The Free Wedding that Brought Me to Tears

By Bill Calvin on October 30, 2017

The average wedding in suburban Chicago is $33,391 according to The Knot. It’s no wonder the number one reason people give me for why they have not gotten married is simply: “We haven’t been able to save enough money.”

Last May I was involved in the most beautiful wedding. The bride looked as dazzling as a movie star. Her friends and family were all smiles as they saw how sharp her boys and stepdaughter were dressed. The groom looked like he stepped off the cover of GQ magazine as he watched his bride come down the long center aisle of the church on her beaming father’s arm.

It did not take long before the ceremony was underway. When it came time to exchange rings, many people, including myself, were in tears. This couple could not afford to buy wedding rings so a friend of the family said, “You can have the rings my father and mother left me. I had them soldered together but I will get them separated and burnished at the jeweler.” There was so much love in the sanctuary during the ring ceremony, no wonder there were so many tears of joy.

At the conclusion of the wedding, the bride and groom exited to Al Green’s “I’m Still in Love with You,” and walked into the church’s reception hall which had been decorated by family and friends.

They cut a beautiful three-tiered wedding cake that had been baked and decorated by a terrific baker in our church. We also ate other goodies prepared by people from the church. In the words of Brandon and Kiara:  “God is who brought us together, even through the stormy weather. We know the devil is clever, but we know that God is way better.”

Our church wants to do more free weddings. Go to for more information about weddings at our church.