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Wedding denied because Preacher didn't like her dress!

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Do you think he was within his rights to refuse to perform her ceremony? Should he have been required to provide a written 'dress code' or has common sense just gone out the window?

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Houston pastor refuses to marry couple over bride’s dress

Opinion


An angry black woman

A Houston pastor refused to marry a couple in his church, because he didn’t find the bride’s dress to be appropriate.

Lisa Washington showed up to the storefront church she’d rented for her wedding ceremony in a nontraditional wedding gown — a cleavage baring white halter dress that skimmed her bottom. “I’m a unique person,” Washington toldAmericanPreachers.com, explaining her risqué choice. “I chose this dress because it’s different than the traditional wedding gown you see at every wedding,” she said.

“Where is the other half of the dress?” 

Unfortunately, the church’s pastor, Apostle Michael Canty, wasn’t impressed by her lack of convention. The family says that on the day of the wedding, the pastor saw the racy gown an hour before the wedding and asked Washington, “where is the other half of the dress?” The family thought the minister was joking. He was not. Thirty minutes later, the minister sent a church official back to the family to request that the bride cover her cleavage and add length to the dress.

The bride, of course, was not able to alter the dress at the last minute, so the pastor refused to perform the ceremony.  Relatives pleaded with him to change his mind to no avail. One family member, a minister, offered to perform the ceremony, an offer the pastor flatly refused.

I offer my sympathy to the bride, who is undoubtedly mortified that her wedding did not take place as planned. However, she chose to be married in a church, and most churches have rules – unwritten or not—on what is appropriate attire for functions that take place in God’s house.

Washington’s “gown” wasn’t an on-the-fence outfit, the likes of what gospel singers Yolanda Adams and Mary Mary are sometimes criticized for wearing. It was in the vein of what Beyonce’ called a “freakum dress,” at it was way over the line for what a reasonable person would consider acceptable for a church event. I was raised as a church girl and I know that you show respect in the house of Lord.

Whose fault is it?

I don’t fault the pastor for upholding and enforcing the widely-understood standards of what is suitable for church.

I do, however, find fault with the pastor for not providing Washington, who was not a church member, with a general list of rules for what is and is not acceptable in his church. Washington’s choice of attire for a church wedding leads to me to believe that, though she desired to be married in a church, she may not have spent a lot of or any time in one previously. What is appropriate for a church function is clearly not common knowledge and as the pastor allows non-members to rent the space and the pastor performs ceremonies for non-members, the onus is on him to make sure clients know what is and is not acceptable at the church.

That’s doubly important as the pastor reserves the right to refuse to perform a ceremony because he doesn’t find the clothing acceptable.

Miscommunication causes mayhem

The pastor evidently did not cross his clichéd “t’s,” if the bride showed up to the church in club attire. Perhaps instead of devastating the couple and their family members, he could have offered the bride a robe, or cover-up of some kind to meet his desire to have her more covered and she could have been married.  That would have been an happy-ish ending.

Unfortunately, the poor communication on the pastor’s end and the absence of any negotiation despite not providing a list of rules led to a desolate couple and angry family members — who traveled to a wedding that didn’t happen. The pastor has his moral high ground, but at the time of AmericanPreachers.com’s story, the bride still didn’t have her groom.

All because the pastor didn’t like a dress.

 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!
  

by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 7:24 PM
Replies (151-159):
grandmab125
by Gold Member on Sep. 4, 2013 at 11:58 PM

 Why, oh why, is the word 'sue' the first thing that comes out of some people's mouths?eye rolling

Quoting BaronSamedi:

They should sue!

 

grandma B

grandmab125
by Gold Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 12:03 AM

 What minister in this country requires the bride to get his approval of her wedding dress before the wedding?  Think of the uproar that would cause.

Quoting JTE11:

I think he had a right to refuse, but I disagree with the way he did it. He should have had prior approval of the dress, or provided her with guidelines of what is acceptable. But then again, when someone is getting married in a church you don't expect them to show up in a hooker dress, you expect them to know what is respectful for the venue. He obviously assumed that she would be presentable for a church wedding, and was wrong. Bet he'll do things differently next time.

 

grandma B

TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 12:05 AM

 No kidding.

And if the bride were heavy, and not very thin like this model, it would look even more inappropriate.  She could have been bursting out all over, literally.

Quoting katy_kay08:

It's interesting that they didn't send pictures of the bride in the dress but rather the picture from the store.  I wonder what alterations were done.  


 

Anna92464
by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 4:33 AM

Is he within his rights?  I think that is the wrong question.  My question is whether or not he is behaving as Christ would want him to, and my answer is NO!

ZombieChicken
by Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 4:49 AM
I would have changed into street clothes, its really not about the dress. I'm not sure how I feel about this, I see both sides.
muslimah
by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 4:57 AM

 

Quoting tanyainmizzou:

And it is his church, one where she isn't even a member.

Quoting Its.me.Sam.:

ugh.  he doesnt like the dress so he deems them unworthy of his services.  people are just self absorbed.  its HER wedding .. he is a judgy mcjudgerson.

 

 You're right. Any religious leader has the right to deny preforming the ceremony. My imam (which is our leader) denied me and we had close relationship. He denied me because he didn't like who I was marrying and didn't think he was right for me.

 We had to find someone I didn't even know. Turns out my imam was right. Within a year we were in his office for marriage counseling and within another year I was in his office getting my Islamic divorce declared.

TheMommyTaxi
by on Sep. 5, 2013 at 6:54 AM

Not for nothing... but why is this any different than the photographer or the cake baker who wouldn't participate in weddings that they PERSONALLY didn't believe in?  Why is everyone on the preacher's side in THIS CASE, but sooooo against the photogs and bakers?  I think, as a private business, you can pick and choose your clientele.  The church as well. Could he have gone about it differently?  Yes.  Could she have chosen to have her family member, an ordained minister, according to the story, marry her, yes.  If the minister at the church wouldn't then, rather than sue, take the opportunity at hand and move on.  She didn't even know the pastor at the church or she would have known not to dress so wildly inappropriate!

When I got married, the church wanted two counseling sessions with the minister.  We went and met with him, he discussed what we wanted ceremony wise and what the expectations for the attire was, etc.  Had this happened, the issue wouldn't have happened.  Also, there is a huge lack of common sense in the younger generation.  Everyone seems to think they are entitled to do, say or wear whatever they wish, and no one can impose rules on them.  It's the risk we run when we don't teach children that live has rules and breaking them has consequences!

JTE11
by Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 2:15 PM


Well, that's just the thing. They usually don't have to, because most people have good sense about what to wear or not to wear in a church. I was just saying that if he is going to approve or not approve dresses, he'd need to see them in advance because waiting until the wedding day to refuse is too late to say something. I'm Ok with him refusing, I just think it was pretty poor form to do it the actual wedding day. If he'd have refused earlier she could have gone with a different church, one who wouldn't be bothered by the dress she chose (if she could find one).  As far as uproar, there are lots of places people can get married, it doesn't have to be in a church. But if they choose a church they should expect to be held to certain ideas of good taste and propriety.

Quoting grandmab125:

 What minister in this country requires the bride to get his approval of her wedding dress before the wedding?  Think of the uproar that would cause.

Quoting JTE11:

I think he had a right to refuse, but I disagree with the way he did it. He should have had prior approval of the dress, or provided her with guidelines of what is acceptable. But then again, when someone is getting married in a church you don't expect them to show up in a hooker dress, you expect them to know what is respectful for the venue. He obviously assumed that she would be presentable for a church wedding, and was wrong. Bet he'll do things differently next time.

 



supercarp
by Silver Member on Sep. 5, 2013 at 2:23 PM

I think she purposely wore the racy dress to tweak the noses of "church people." It backfired on her.

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