NCSR 2008 - Urban Diversity and Religious Traditions
13-15 August 2008, Åbo Akademi University

Big and beautiful – the effect of marriage trends on church weddings

Karin Jarnkvist

The number of new marriages in Sweden has strongly increased during the last eight years. At the same time the most popular wedding form has shifted. Until recently the majority of all weddings in Sweden entered in churches. Now most people chose a non-religious ceremony. What we also see is that weddings have become strongly commercialized. Couples spend a small fortune on “the day of their lives”. The more exclusive and personalized the better, it seems. Church weddings are often big and tend to be more expensive than non-religious weddings. In my paper I discuss the possible connection between big, exclusive weddings and the fact that less people choose to marry in church. The question is what effects this connection might have on the church wedding as a ritual, now as well as in the future.