The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Y2K wedding bells

Tis the season for wedding bells. Stephen Cunningham, CEO of WeddingNetwork.com, says the number of weddings in Y2K is nearly double that of a normal year. Presumably, this will make it easier for the forgetful to calculate which anniversary they're celebrating.

At the ELCA's largest congregation — 13,500-member Mount Olivet Lutheran, Minneapolis — wedding coordinator Jan Knotek says about 120 weddings were held in 1998 and 1999. This year the outlook is for 150, with another 15 or so "away weddings" at hotels, country clubs, by the lake or the city zoo for those who prefer a wilder theme.

During busy months — May, June, August and September — Knotek works one wedding on Friday and four on Saturday. Sometimes a fifth Saturday wedding is scheduled in one of the chapels.

Knotek hasn't had many unusual requests this year. But Mount Olivet may have been doing some Scottish outreach as three Y2K weddings will feature bagpipes at the processional and recessional. "One bride got the idea vacationing in Scotland with her parents," Knotek says. "The others wanted something different."

Knotek's only objection was to one piper who suggested Amazing Grace, which she judged appropriate for funerals, not weddings. All three couples settled on Scottish gigues.

It's a ministry, Knotek says warmly, recalling dozens of couples she's assisted: "When I see them coming down the aisle afterward with tears running down their cheeks, that's the best time for me."


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