Busted Halo
April 2nd, 2009

The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding

Debut Episode!

by and Dr. Christine B. Whelan & Fr. Eric Andrews CSP


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.

Want to see more? Watch other episodes of “The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding” here.

Dr. Christine B. Whelan, is an Iowa-based social historian, professor, journalist and author. She is the author of Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love, and Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women.

Fr. Eric Andrews CSP is the pastor of Blessed John XXIII parish, which serves as the Catholic campus ministry for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Prior to entering the priesthood, he worked for Jim Henson and the Muppets on a variety of television productions.

The Author : The Editors

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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • luigi

    The question why is the priest being a jerk? shouldn’t even be said. It’s a blasphemy to even use such an adjective that damages the dignity of a minister of God. I guess it s just part of the de sacralization that’s going on in the world these days. A priest is not your personal servant. He is there to indicate you the way to God and not to fulfill your capriciousness on “your” wedding day. Don’t make of the sacrament of marriage another occasion to satisfy your empty vane, life.

  • Ella

    K Beth and others,
    As as recent bride myself I’m feeling that the satire of this little video clip was lost on you and maybe others. Clearly the point of this site is to understand WHY both the “typical bride” and priest are at odds when it comes to the wedding day, and not to hurl pointless insults. Maybe the video was produced in too joking of a manner and should have addressed some issues upfront instead of leaving them all for the next installments. How crazy is it to think that a man gives up his life to serve the Church (50% of which is female!!) because he HATES women?? At least to me that’s not a logical conclusion. I hope you listen further as the questions are addressed and you come to understand what this site is about, like Fr. Henry said, mainly between the difference of the wedding DAY industry and the idea of the sacrament of marriage. It is in the best interest of EVERYone (including the Church) to promote healthy marriages while the wedding industry is only interested in one DAY (any maybe multiple ones if they can get it out of you). What seems more like a scam to you??

  • Matt Abid Sr

    K Beth, I am sad to hear you have fallen away from Holy Mother the Church. I think FATHER Eric (sorry, thought we should put the respect for the position in there) works really hard to show why the priests would act the way they do. The Church has its rules, and Fr. Eric is charged with keeping those rules. I would like to ask why you have watched all these videos if you are so mad at the church?

  • Fr. Henry Roberson

    I don’t know what Fr. Andrews said that riled you, K Beth, but your comments about weddings have plenty of material. You talk about her perfect day; I thought we were celebrating the marriage of two people. It is also a sacrament of the church; in fact, the sacrament of matrimoony mirrors the church. However, respect does not necessarily equate with kowtowing. What bothers most priests is that if he didn’t mention God during the wedding, no one would comment on the absence. So much time is spent on less important things and brides resent being asked about important things. K Beth’s comments say more about her than either the Church or weddings.

  • K Beth

    Every time I take a moment of insanity to sneak a peek of the Catholic Church that I was so wise to walk away from, the misogyny of “priests” like Eric Andrews slaps me in the face and once again I am awake and relieved to be “on the outside looking in.” For starters, Andrews admits to sheer laziness– he would rather work at a funeral where he can do just any old thing without receiving any critical feedback instead of at a marriage ceremony where he will be required to deal with the feminine nature and the spiritual needs of women as women. After all, let’s face it– the reason these guys shun the company of women is NOT because of the surpassing greatness of dedicating one’s life to the gospel of Christ– “by their fruits you shall know them.” We are all too familiar with the “fruits’ that Catholic priests have been bringing us in this country. He is afraid of women and his American Catholic upbringing has taught him all his life that women are worthless and dirty, even though that is NOT what the Bible teaches when taken as a whole (American Catholics just don’t read the Bible, and most will tell you they don’t because the Catholic priests told them not to when they were children). A woman who has been raised in the American Catholic Church has been the victim of degradation, abuse and loathing from the clergy since her birth– but she has been told that there will be ONE day in her whole life that the Catholic Church will treat her as a valuable person worth celebrating– her wedding day. Then things go back to “normal,” so who can blame her for wanting to make the most of that brief, fleeting moment before the abuses begin again full force? Suck it up, Andrews. Ignore the “cooties” and pretend like you respect these women. After all, you’re really nothing but an actor and a pretender anyway. As long as you’re going to be a liar then lie about the amount of respect you have for women– they might make a donation to your parish if you do. Donations are the American Catholic priests’ primary motivation for doing anything so remind yourself of the potential donations coming in year after year from just one bride.

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