For one day this month, Cathedral of Life Church in Canton, Ohio, is offering to host free weddings, complete with premarriage counseling, minster service, flowers and a reception. Couples taking advantage of the package don't even have to be Christian. They just have to be local and — here's the catch — already living together, Uptown magazine reports.

Because nothing is more romantic or indicates readiness for a lifelong commitment than a proposal based on, "Hey, it's free, and we're already roommates — why not?"


On a serious note, the plan is actually really well-intended. The church's website detailing the Oct. 20 "The Love Gift" free wedding event explains:

Cathedral of Life decided to get involved because we care about the marriage act and we love people. It’s simple, we want to tell people that we’re for them and remove any financial barriers that stand in the way of them leading a fulfilling life according to God’s purposes.

The Love Gift got its name because we want to spread the love of Jesus Christ. Cathedral of Life Church decided to host this event because we believe in marriage and we believe in God’s vision of family. We wanted to be a blessing in the lives of the couples who participate and show the love of God through this act of service.

But we're left wondering whether "financial barriers" are really the only thing keeping most already-cohabitating couples from tying the knot (after all, you can get married for next to nothing at city hall, right?). If so, free weddings might be little more than a symbolic quick fix when it comes to the church's legitimate goal of encouraging people to lead a "fulfilling life according to God's purpose." Any ideas for how these resources could be better used to support stable and loving families in substantive ways that don't require a ceremony?

Read more at Uptown Magazine.

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