Every 70 years or so, the Biggs Family hosts a wedding

Our lovely daughter Sarah is getting married in August to a wonderful young man, Josh.

Sarah is a special part of our family. Most of the babies born in our family recently were boys. In fact, we had 13 boys born in a row until Sarah was born. That string stretched over 72 years.

My late Aunt MilJean was the last girl born into the family before Sarah.

The Biggs Family hasn’t had a wedding for a Biggs daughter in more than 70 years!

Obviously, we have had several beautiful women marry into our family. But I have five nephews from my four brothers and no nieces. (My late Mother was married before World War II and her husband died. They had two children, my sister Peggy and my late brother Ben, but they were both born into the Campbell Family, not the Biggs Family).

One of Sarah’s brothers and one of her cousins are married and their brides are lovely additions to our clan. So, we are having a wedding for the only daughter and the only girl cousin on our side of the family.

That’s a big deal.

Fortunately, we have budgeted a tidy sum for her wedding. Figuring what it costs to have a wedding is a big deal. It can be very expensive.

I spoke to three of my good friends who recently paid for the weddings of their daughters. One spent $17,000, another spent $27,000 and the third spent $35,000.

Wow.

When Susan and I got married 35 years ago (July 10, 1982), our wedding cost in the hundreds, not the thousands.

I asked these three friends why it cost so much.

First, they all had catered dinners for all of their wedding guests. I suppose this is pretty commonplace these days but it seems a bit excessive. Wedding cakes cost from $300 up, although some of these millennial brides prefer cupcake wedding towers (or even, believe it or not, donut wedding towers).

Secondly, they rented fabulous venues for the weddings. This can cost thousands of dollars. Even church weddings are running up into big bucks these days.

And they bought expensive bridesmaids’ dresses and rented tuxedos. A typical tuxedo rental these days is more than $200. Ouch. Wedding dresses are sky high, especially since you consider that they most likely will only be worn once. (Susan still has her wedding dress but it doesn’t fit Sarah so we bought her a very stylish new wedding dress).

We quickly eliminated the idea of an outdoor wedding because it is in August and even if it didn’t rain, it will be hot.

If you have a wedding in a church, which we will, most evangelical churches require premarital counseling for the couple. I think that’s a great idea. When Susan and I got married, we went through pastoral counseling and it was beneficial.

A friend who is an elder at a local church told me that many churches have adopted a policy that you cannot have a wedding in their sanctuary unless both the bride and the groom are members of the church. One reason for this policy is that conservative, Bible-believing churches don’t want to have homosexual marriages in their building and a policy like this is needed to avoid lawsuits. It is sad that such a policy is necessary.

Some pastors will not marry couples without being assured that they are Christians. Some ministers won’t marry anyone who has been divorced.

By the way, you can get a marriage license from the county these days without a blood test. Previously, a blood sample was taken to test for a sexually transmitted disease.

Music is a key part of a marriage celebration. Some churches don’t allow any dancing (not a good thing) and many churches don’t allow alcohol to be served at the reception (which is a good thing). And some churches will allow secular music at a reception, but will draw the line at really loud or inappropriate music.

Wedding photography is really expensive but how can your have a wedding without a set of family photos?

I am learning a lot about weddings, stuff I didn’t know when my son Brian got married because the bride’s family kind of runs the show.

My wife and daughter are very excited about this ceremony and they are spending a lot of time and energy to make it as perfect as possible. I am excited, too, but not so much about the catering or the floral arrangements, etc.

Daddies and daughters have a special relationship.  Dads are supposed to be an image of our Heavenly Father and that is a big burden to bear. That is a responsibility that I have always taken very seriously and one that I have never navigated perfectly.

But let’s face it – daughters are different than sons. We treat them differently and they respond in other ways.

And I want her wedding to be extraordinary, a good starting point for a wonderful marriage.

After all, it may be another 70 years before we have another Biggs wedding.