Brides shun churches as venue

Most girls dream of walking down the aisle of a beautful candelit church, adorned with flowers, to the sound of organ music and complete with confetti on the church steps.

However, these dreams are being replaced by a wedding at a beach, garden or even a boat as more and more Australians are turning to celebrants to conduct their wedding ceremonies, the Courier Mail reported.

"A church wedding was never in my vision," says Lisa Barry who was married at the end of jetty said.

"There wasn't a hymn book or altar in sight."

Father Ken Howell, dean of Brisbane's St Stephen's Roman Catholic Cathedral said he was sad to hear that participation in the life of the faith community was diminishing.

"It is right across the board, but it is something that we continue to work with to ensure what we do provide in wedding ceremonies is beautiful and dignified and reflects the couple that is being married.

"We don't want to provide something that is aloof, but something that speaks to their faith."

He says that despite the figures, he has seen no reduction in demand on the Cathedral to host weddings.

However, Fr Howell said the statistics were symptomatic of the way younger people were not attending churches.

Couples move away from traditional church weddings(The Courier Mail, 16/10/07)

16 Oct 2007