‘Cost’ making couples forgo church wedding – poll
MANILA, Philippines — Bridal gowns, pictorials, wedding receptions, and the accouterments that go with church weddings make for a memorable celebration, but their rising costs are making many couples think twice about tying the knot in front of the altar.
A recent survey by the Catholic Church radio station Radio Veritas has found that couples shy away from having church rites mainly due to the expenses and the many requirements.
The survey, conducted from Jan. 5 to Feb. 10, asked 1,200 respondents nationwide what they considered to be the “utmost obstacle in doing a church wedding.”
About one-third or 32 percent of the respondents cited “cost” as the main factor.
It was also the reason cited by 38 percent of the male respondents and by 28 percent of the females.
About one-fourth or 24 percent of the respondents said couples tend to hesitate about having a church because of the “requirements.”
It had equal weight for men and women: 24 percent of female respondents and 23 percent of males viewed this as the main obstacle.
For 16 percent, the main obstacle was the “process or interview” involved in a church wedding.
Eight percent said it was the “attire” expected to be worn for a church ceremony, while six percent cited “conflict of faith.”
Fourteen percent were undecided on the matter.
Need for reorientation
A Radio Veritas official said the survey results showed the need to reorient Catholic couples “that a church wedding is more than just the perceived extravagance but a spiritual ceremony.”
“The real reason for a church wedding is to celebrate a solemn sacrament. As a religious ceremony, it acknowledges that marriage is an act of God,” said Bro. Clifford Sorita, who oversaw the latest Veritas Truth Survey.
“Sadly, the survey reveals that a Church wedding is being readily associated with opulence, which may not be the case,” he added.
Sorita insisted that weddings may be celebrated in a “simple yet meaningful and blessed manner.”
Churches usually charge a fee for the use of the venue in a wedding, sometimes exclusive of the décor and other items needed for the ceremony.
Nuptials during pandemic
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the number of marriages registered in the country dropped to 240,775 — a 50-year low — in 2020 or during the first year of the pandemic.
It rose to 356,839 in 2021 apparently due to the gradual easing of quarantine restrictions.
The PSA data also showed that 141,183 or 39.6 percent of the marriages in 2021 were held in a civil ceremony.
There were 114,660 marriages (or 32.1 percent) held in a Catholic Church and 94,146 (26.4 percent) in rites of other religious denominations.
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