There are two passages of Scripture that come before our mind in connection with the arrangements at weddings: (1) “Be not conformed to this world,” and (2) “Be conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 12. 2; 8. 29). It will be readily conceded by spiritually-minded believers that the world cannot give the cue for what arrangements Christians should make for their marriage. It is an “evil world,” whose God is Satan, and whose attitude toward the Father and His beloved Son is one of hatred (Gal. 1. 4; 2 Cor. 4. 4; John 15. 24). Surely our unerring guide in all matters is the Word of God; also the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, in that He always did those, things that pleased the Father.
There are marriages “solemnized” among us that are inconsistent with a testimony of separation unto God from the world; some even ranking with society displays, followed by a detailed description in the newspaper of the dresses and attire. What are we coming to! Sobriety and restraint should mark Christian weddings, in contradistinction to worldly display. How frequently does the Holy Spirit exhort us in the Word to behave as becometh saints, not worldlings. Let us not grieve the Spirit, whereby we are sealed unto the day of redemption (Eph. 4. 30). To go contrary to the fashion of the world brings reproach, and we are considered as peculiar; this is more than the pride of our hearts can sometimes endure. But, if borne for Christ’s sake, it ensures His approval, which, after all, is the only thing worth having. The natural desires must be curbed, if we would walk not as other Gentiles walk (Eph. 4. 17). To dress neatly and becomingly for a wedding is right, avoiding costly attire or showiness. “Modest apparel” is the Scriptural mode (1 Tim. 2. 9), and the true adornment is found in Colossians 3. 12-14.
As the Lord and His disciples attended a marriage feast at Cana of Galilee, it is usually considered a mark of good fellowship to have what is called the “wedding breakfast.” No exception need be taken to this; for a wedding is a time of rejoicing, provided that all is ordered ” as becometh saints.” Should one and another wish to make a few remarks suitable to so happy an occasion, then let them eschew all foolish talk and jesting, which the Word declares is “not convenient”; but rather speak words that will edify and minister grace to the hearers (Eph. 5. 4; 4. 29). Good wishes and wise counsel, based on the Word, is both appropriate and acceptable. Toasting or drinking the health of bride and bridegroom is so worldly and pagan a custom as to need no comment.
Weddings are truly “solemnized” when the arrangements are such as coincide with the mind of God and such as leave behind the sense of the Lord’s blessing “which maketh rich” (Prov. 10. 22).