Pastor Won't Perform Marriage Ceremony Because of Bride's 'Sexy Dress


Ah, wedding dresses. What a bride chooses to wear to her wedding is a sacred choice. Different colors and different shapes can represent how a gal chooses to enter into a lifetime with the person she loves. Every outfit is as unique as each woman herself; a really good wedding dress can help to express the ways in which she and her partner love one another. So can location, for that matter. Whether it’s a church or a beach or in the middle of the woods, the place at which couple chooses to wed is crucial. One couple can elope and another can choose to celebrate with hundreds of people. 



Lisa Washington of Houston, TX had planned her personal perfect wedding. She and her groom flew family members into town from far and wide to The Truth Ministries Holiness Church where they planned to be married by Apostle Michael Canty on a late summer afternoon. Her dress was unconventional, to be sure: it ends around the upper thigh, has deep-plunging neckline, and is quite tight. Washington had personal reasons for choosing the dress, as most brides do: “I’m a unique person, I chose this dress because it’s different than the traditional wedding gown you see at every wedding,” she tells American Preachers. 


Washington's Unusual Dress, As Modeled on Store Website


An hour prior to scheduled wedding, the pastor walked by the bride-to-be, mid-preparation, and joked, “‘where is the other half of the dress?’” The bride’s family continued with the hair and make-up, but when the pastor came back out a half hour later, he told both the bride and the groom that he could not marry them unless the bride wore a more modest gown. He explained that the bride’s chosen dress was “too sexy.”


But there was no time for Ms. Washington to find a gown, and her entire family was there. There was even a wedding feast prepared back at her aunt’s house! The family repeatedly begged the pastor to reconsider, but he remained firm in his refusal to marry the couple. A minister in attendance offered to perform the ceremony, but Canty scolded him for being disrespectful and would not allow it. 


Last we heard, the couple had not been able to marry, and the families continue to look for ways to compensate for the lost money. I understand that the pastor did not feel comfortable with the bride sporting such a revealing gown in a church, but there are certainly other ways to go about expressing that. Modern women get married in all sorts of outfits, and if the pastor has concerns about more revealing gowns, I think it’s his responsibility to inform the couple of his preferences prior to a few hours before the wedding. His use of the word “sexy” and his joking seems inappropriate, and I can completely understand why the bride feels that “she’s never been more embarrassed.” There’s no need for rudeness and embarrassment-- especially on a gal’s wedding day.


Lisa, please feel free go out and find a nice place where you’d like to get married, a place where you can wear whatever you please. Don’t let this spoil your special day!


Do you think it was inappropriate or justified for the pastor to refuse to wed the couple? Please let us know in the comments!


Thanks to American Preachers

Images via Brides and American Preachers 

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