Top Tips for Creating Wedding Messages
Top Tips for Creating Wedding Messages
I shared in the last post the story of the groom saying, “I don’t remember anything you said….” That experience taught me the lesson taught in that post. In this post I’ll be sharing the top tips for creating wedding messages as I have experienced them.
Top Tips #1 and 2: KISS and Creating Wedding Messages
Keep It Simple, Stupid
When I was in seminary a man two years ahead of me shared what he considered the ultimate tip for preaching of any kind. He said, it is KISS. It stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. Good advice. I don’t know where he had heard it, but it helped remind him to not go wandering into deep theology in his sermons.
In the context of preaching at a wedding this is very important. As I said last time, people are distracted by many things at a wedding, so this is not the time to go into a complex explanation about covenants and how marriage is a covenant or other such theological explorations. Keep it simple.
Keep It Sublimely Short
KISS also stands for tip #2: Keep It Short Silly. I was invited by a colleague to the wedding of his daughter. I was shocked when the time for the message came in the order for the wedding. The whole wedding party went and sat down in the pews. The pastor then went on to preach a full thirty minute sermon! During the sermon I looked around at other guests. Some were looking at their watches. Others had a glazed look on their face. It was obvious that very few were expecting this.
I was reminded that day to keep wedding messages short: 10 to 15 minutes tops. You see, the people who have come to the wedding don’t think that you are the main event. The main event is the bride and groom, and moving them from unmarried to married. This is one of my top tips for wedding messages that you will create.
Tip #3: Be Personal In Your Wedding Message
In your interactions with the couple you should have learned some things about them, like where and how they met, when they first began to feel like this could be the person, and any funny stories they have about their dating experience together. If you did premarital counseling with the couple, you’ll also know things about where they are similar and where they are different. When you weave these things into your wedding message, it will become immediately relevant to the couple and to the audience.
Tip #4: Use Humor
This is a great attention grabber in a regular sermon, one that I think is used too little in preaching. This is also one of the top tips for creating wedding messages for couples. Humor will grab attention. Warning!! Be careful that your humor is appropriate.
One wedding message that I gave stuck in the memory of the groom. I began the message with a humorous story about two college friends who hadn’t seen each other for many years. They ran into each other on the street in their city. The one asked the other, “So, did you ever get married?”
The other responded, “No. Never took the marriage leap.”
“Couldn’t find the perfect person?”
“No,” the other responded. “I found her. Unfortunately, she was looking for the perfect person, too, and I wasn’t it.”
I used that as leap-off point for a message on how finding the perfect person didn’t really work for anyone, because no one is perfect. Rather, we practice certain actions. I Corinthians 13, the great chapter on love describes activities that should be a part of a marriage. Remember it? Love is patient and kind, etc. All of the descriptions of love in this passage are verbs, not adjectives. They are things we do.
The groom came to me later to thank me, and said, “I wondered how you would get me past my nervousness. That worked!”
Tip #5 Avoid Controversy
A fifth tip is to avoid controversy. This is not the time to present your views about male headship in a marriage or in the church. It is certainly not the time to remind them that 50% of marriages end in divorce and the pain they might experience. Remember that you will likely have many unchurched people in the audience. Be winsome and focused on the marriage of the couple before you.
Tip #6: Give the Wisdom of the Bible and the Love of God
God loves marriages, so let them know that. Give them Bible wisdom about living successful marriages. There’s much to consider in the Bible about marriage and relationships in general. For an excellent example of this kind of message, check out this website.
Here’s another website that gives suggestions for creating a wedding message
The wedding is a wonderful opportunity to preach a short, but impactful message. Expect to have fun doing it. Pray for ideas from God, and you’ll be surprised what a meaningful part of your ministry this can be.