Has you all know I was engaged to another lady before I married my wife, but part of the reason my ex and I broke up was because we couldn't get a kingdom hall wedding. To make a long story short why is it such a big deal ?
How big of a deal is Kingdom Hall Weddings ?
Why is it a big deal for whom?
For the elders, for the attendees, for the engaged couple???
One of the reasons a KH wedding is a big deal for JW's is that is alledgedly shows the congregation that the couple is in a 'clean' moral standing, no 'loose' conduct occuring during the 'courtship' time period. I did know a brother who was reinstated and a month or two later started dating a sister, they had a short engagement, as JW's are wont to do, and they wanted to get married at a KH. This was objected to, as he hadn't been reinstated 'long' enough. They opted to be married in an outdoor ceremony. They couldn't get an elder to marry them, as he wasn't 'clean' enough. Finally, his brother-in-law who was a ministrial servant did the ceremony. The whole thing was ridiculous. Definitely shows how the borg prefers the oral or their own law, above what is written in the bible.
To be approved to have a wedding in a KH means that you are "in good standing".
If either one of the happy couple don't have that status, they won't be allowed to have the wedding in the Hall. And if they don't have the wedding in the Hall, they won't have Jahovah's blessing on the marriage. Or not as much as if it had been in the Hall.
Not having the wedding in the Hall can also cause speculation that the happy couple "did the deed" before the big day.
I think alot depends on the area.
In many areas such as here in South Florida, Kingdom Hall weddings are increasingly rare. Especially when 4 or 5 congregations share the building, there is little if any time to decorate and plan what would be considered a wedding.
With Saturday morning used for field service and a Saturday afternoon Public Talk/Watchtower study (4:30PM here), there is really no time for a wedding. Keep in mind, a wedding is usually planned 6 months or more ahead.
And the KH may not even be available. On Saturday afternoon, the CO has the pioneer meeting which means that if you have even 3 congregations sharing the KH and the CO visits twice a year, then the KH is used on Saturday afternoon 6 times in the year (3x2 = 6). If you have 4 congregations, it would be used 8 times, with 5 congregations, 10 times, etc. Plus, there are often special elders meetings, building committee meetings, rennovations and other uses of the KH outside of the standard meetings.
With the consolidation going on of having more and more congregations share the same KH, I think in most populated areas weddings in KH's are a thing of the past. At least here, an Elder typically gives the talk at the location of the wedding reception.
Rub a Dub
It's cheap way to go if you aint got no "Dough"
Song lyric in that I think
Something else to be considered even beyond it being a money saver as well as an indication of good standing, is the WT's printed words on the the talk given from the platform. There's actual WT literature stating that it's more important for those attending to be present for the talk than it is for the reception. Part of the reasoning which includes the spiritual food delivered from the platform, is also to provide a good witness for nonJWs in attendance. Those same articles while not explictely stating that not having the wedding at KH is wrong, still leave one with the impression it's not exactly encouraged either. I always joked with our COBOE that if I ever get married, just give me the talk outline and I'll go over it with my wife sometime prior to settling any legal formalities.
There seems to be a stigma about couples who don't tie the knot at a KH, but, I've known a few who were in good standing but chose to hold it elsewhere for a variety of reasons. One reason was convenience. There are a few spots in my town where the reception hall also has nice space to conduct the wedding ceremony. It's great when you only have to walk a few yards to another large room that's well designed for feeding a large crown, contains a dancefloor with nice acoustics and has in-house catering. It's a one-stop shop and I love it, especially when I'm in a wedding party because we don't have to mess with coordinating a commute or make guests wait while we have our photos taken.
Another reason I've heard that has merit is, the couple wants a place that's photogenic. I've been to weddings where very good-standing JWs took their vows in parks, gardens, beaches, near waterfalls or inside historical landmarks with interior beauty. I mean, let's face it--who wants their pictures taken in a drab room with industrial carpet, low-lying suspended grid ceilings, fabric conference chairs, flourescent lighting, vinyl wallpaper, a skinny, handmade podium, microphone wires and a tacky poster with the year's text in bold font letters in English and Spanish hanging off to the side? No amount of floral designs or chair rearrangements can make that look any better.
Despite that, anytime I've attended a JW wedding off site like that, I hear murmuring about it. Usually among the elderly or parent-age generation. Sometimes, the murmuring happens at the event! But it usually takes a day or two to surface as car group fodder. The following week is when all the pioneer crones and retired sheriff elders start running their mouth about "how bad it looks not to marry in a KH." "One of them must have done something wrong and cannot qualify for a KH wedding." blah-blah-blah...
IF you marry in a KH, all the bridesmaids and groomsmen are subject to extensive background investigations to prove their worthiness to participate in the ceremony. If held offsite, the bride and groom can select whoever they want to be in their wedding and the elders can say or do nothing. I see no advantage to marrying in a KH. None. And I feel pity for any EXJW couple who married inside a KH and have a permanent reminder of their former lives forever sealed in their wedding photos. How sad.
Bottom line: Witness or not, don't do it! It's worth dealing with people's gossip and rumors.
Agree with above posters. By not marrying in the Kingdom Hall you become fodder for the gossip mill.
Aesthetically speaking they are butt ugly. Opt for great pictures, don't get married in the Hall. lolLeslie
I think it's a big deal to them because Witnesses in general don't get much reason to celibrate, so they go all out for weddings. I've people spend $15,000-$25,000 dollars on weddings ! My ex was picking the most expense places, and I just wanted a court house wedding ( like my parents who are still married; unlike her parents but that's another story ). It got to the point where she cared more about the wedding than are relationship.