Busted Halo
feature: sex & relationships
March 25th, 2009

A Marriage of Inconvenience

Coming Soon! Busted Halo's "The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding"



From over-the-top registries to destination weddings, the American wedding industrial complex is a $161 billion consumer bonanza. But a wedding is more than just a party: It’s the beginning of a life-long marriage, an important sacrament in the Catholic Church. Brides want everything to be to their specifications — and priests bristle at being treated like hired help. Friends and family ask about color themes for the reception, and the priest plies pre-Cana compatibility quizzes. It’s a cultural war, and engaged couples are on the front lines.


What happens when the princess planning her “one perfect day” clashes with the priest who would rather preside over a dozen funerals than one wedding?

Find out in the new BustedHalo.com series, “The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding.” Send in your questions to weddings@bustedhalo.com and hear Dr. Christine Whelan, author of the Pure Sex, Pure Love column go head to head with Father Eric Andrews, a Paulist priest with more than 15 years of wedding experience as they debate your questions: Why can’t you get married on the beach? Why is the priest being such a jerk? Why do we have to talk about sex during pre-Cana? And many more.

Click here to watch episodes of “The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding” here.

The Author : The Editors

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  • JuliePurple

    Our wedding was pretty simple. We were married at a friend’s house, and friends cooked for the reception, which we had at our house. About a week before the wedding, I thought, oh, no! I need a dress! So my husband and I walked into the first store that looked likely and I picked out a lovely lavender, blue, and white dress with silver threads in it (it looked lavender-blue from a distance). White gets dirty too easily (as Yara mentioned), and I like colors better, anyhow. The dress was $35. I don’t like to dress up, so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something I’d maybe only wear once (As it turns out, I wore it again to a different friend’s wedding.) For our honeymoon, we stayed with some friends in Chicago, and had a great time! We’ve been married 29 years. For us, it’s all about love and sharing, and with the help of our friends, that’s the way it worked out. We didn’t have to hire strangers to help us celebrate.

  • YaraGreyjoy

    I realize this is a very old thread but I have to comment on this phenomenon.

    Personally, my own wedding was about as stripped down as humanly possibly b/c both bride & groom HATE the money drain that is (IMO often very gauche anyway so a waste of $ – you could have bought a house with what you spent on the wedding!) the modern American wedding which is actually a pretty recent invention and a copy of the wedding practices of royalty.

    Queen Victoria in particular as SHE was the originator of the “bride wearing white” it has nothing to do (religiously or otherwise) with purity, virginity or anything like that… sure that might have been the designer’s stated idea behind the color choice but in reality at that time wearing a lavish white dress was a display of enormous wealth for there was no way to clean a white dress back then & have it be restored to a state where it could be used again. It’s original symbolism was of wealth & power beyond counting… the American Dream so I am not all that surprised we as a culture jumped on it with the zeal that we did.

    Now it is still an enormously expensive dress you wear only once for a day & then essentially “throw away”/box up afterwards. In earlier centuries right up to the 1900s a woman would wear her “Sunday best” – a dress she would get much wear & value out of. Make of this what you will.

    Aside from the fact that I personally think that the undue focus on a wedding day occludes the serious commitment & work that is a lot of marriage, what bothers me most & makes me saddest about the phenomenon of most weddings is the sad truth I’ve seen repeated over & over and it is the desperation I’ve noticed in the brides for a “perfect” day because, sadly, for a lot of women this day is the highlight of her life so she must “make it count”. That makes me incredibly sad for them for many, many reasons, one of them being that this frippery which I find so boring personally – and a pain in the a$$ at worst – is absolutely required to make the bride feel special, valued, essentially. That is horribly sad.

    If someone were to tell me my wedding would be the apex of my existence, I’d have laughed at them & after roughly 15 years of being wed & living I can say with assurance that it was in no way my “peak” & I have more to look forward to. But this materialist messaging, specifically to girls and women in this case, is so cruel in that it essentially convinces them they are nothing without all the trappings on “their big day.”

  • SG

    I wish I had a nickel for every “so-called” serious person that wanted a big, beautiful, sacramental wedding, white dress and all…. only to watch the debauchery at the reception. The bride and groom and possey all drunk, the groom crawing around under the birdes dress…. yeah, i don’t doubt that there are serious couples out there, but it’s been years since I witnessed one where the couple wasn’t keeping quite the fact that they were shacking up, and everyone played the game, and including some priest…….. i wish you well, peace

  • Lindsay

    I love it! I understand that maybe this offend some people but I think it’s great. There are a lot of people out there who have turned weddings into parties and it’s no wonder that priests have become jaded. I have met quite a few ‘princesses’ and trying to convince them of the importance and sanctity of the step they are taking, is like talking to a brickwall. If it’s not about flowers, location, dresses, etc, it doesn’t matter. I can’t wait to see this, great job Busted Halo!

  • Ellen M

    This is a very sexist story. Blaming over-the-top weddings on a “princess”, and leaving the groom out of it entirely is ridiculous. Get a clue Busted Halo.

  • Mary K

    Why such a negative overtone for this project?? The only real problem I had when we got married two years ago was that the priest (a lifelong family friend) almost expected us to take the whole thing as “just a big party.” I think he was so jaded that he didn’t start out thinking that “hey, these kids might actually be taking this seriously, and be interested in the sacramental part of the event.” We DID take it seriously, and it was offensive when the priest just assumed, as this article seems to do, that we and most others don’t take it seriously! Sure, I wanted the day to be beautiful and perfect, but why not?? We make a big deal out of baptisms, confirmations, and even funerals have receptions. I’m sure priests want to celebrate their ordinations just as much…. its just that no one has made a commercial market out of that… yet….. Although there are ordination registries out there!

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