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A Christ-Centered Wedding: Rejoicing in the Gospel on Your Big Day Paperback – May 1, 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


It’s your big day, at last! This is the day you’ve waited for, the moment you’ve dreamed about. But what if you’re not meant to be the star of the show? This book will prove to you that Jesus Christ is meant to be the center of your wedding, and, best of all, it will help you put him there.

Tim Challies, Blogger and Author of The Next Story and The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

In America, weddings have become a combination of a circus, a spectacle, and a spending frenzy. Into this confusion step Linda Strode and Catherine Parks, a mother-and-daughter team bringing genuine biblical insight and Christian clarity that will help us all think more rightly, more biblically, and more faithfully about weddings. This is a timely and important book.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Grounded in the gospel and chock-full of practical advice, Strode and Parks give brides-to-be much to consider for planning a wedding in light of eternity. In a season where it is easy to feel overwhelmed by centerpieces and changing relationships, this book centers a bride's thoughts and affections on the God who never changes.

Gloria Furman, author of Glimpses of Grace and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full

We know the wedding day is all about the bride, right? Catherine Parks and her mother, Linda Strode, collaborate in A Christ-Centered Wedding to help you find the answer; and that answer is no. The duo share compelling reasons why engaged couples should center their pre-wedding days on the gospel. Suggestions such as receiving mentoring and pre-marital counseling, to considering a budget in light of God’s word, will assist the blushing bride and starry-eyed groom well past their wedding date. Practical, honest, and grounded in truth, A Christ-Centered Wedding is the perfect book for anyone thinking about saying those five important words: Till death do us part.

Trillia Newbell, author of United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity

Catherine Parks and her mother, Linda, have created an unexpectedly necessary tool for pastors and counselors or anyone entering into the planning of a wedding. The beautiful truth that the gospel informs and changes everything from how to plan a wedding to your standing before God is brilliantly displayed in A Christ-Centered Wedding. We hope you pick up this book and are as pleasantly surprised as we were by the holistic view that the gospel is for all of life. 

Jessica Thompson and Elyse Fitzpatrick, co-authors of Give Them Grace

The Church has been waiting way too long for this book. How many of us have sat through, or officiated at, train-wreck weddings, wondering how the glory of Christ came to be eclipsed in all this circus? This book, by a wise mother and daughter team, offers guidance and counsel about how to plan a wedding where Jesus is the focus, not an afterthought. I commend this beautiful book to couples pondering marriage, to families planning weddings, and to pastors seeking to navigate through the morass of the modern wedding-industrial complex. This book liberates us to see the wedding as the means to the marriage, and not the other way around.

Russell D. Moore, Ph.D., President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission | Southern Baptist Convention

Many other wedding books we read seemed to add to our stress by telling us how to make our wedding "perfect." A Christ-Centered Wedding replaced that feeling with the constant reminder that our wedding will be about bringing glory to God, not about making us look good. Every time we opened this book we felt more excited for our wedding--not just to start our lives together in the way that God intended, but for the opportunity to glorify Christ and make Him known. 

Jacob and Rachel Dellinger, newlyweds 

There are books that need to be written and there are uniquely qualified authors who need to write them. It’s a special moment when book and author meet. An idea, hidden in the wide open of our experiences is finally seen. It’s always obvious once it’s seen. “Someone should write a book about that.” Reluctantly, the observer becomes the author. Their fate is to give the idea life. The result is not simply words and paragraphs and grammar and knowledge. It’s a gift. A singular undeniable notion brought to light. A contribution to the collective awareness of men. An audience that languished unknowingly in the absence of this wisdom is set free by that original convergence of book and author. That’s a book worth reading. The book you’re holding in your hand is such a gift.

A Christ-Centered Wedding should have been written a long time ago. The need is so obvious. Engaged couples, even Christian ones, can struggle to keep the true significance of the wedding ceremony front and center. By the time the wedding day arrives brides are exhausted people. Having planned, made reservations, scheduled events, invited friends and family, hired photographers and chased down countless little tasks the concept of worship gets lost. More importantly, Christ, the true honored guest, gets relegated to a back seat. No one intends this to happen. But, it will unless you are intentional. This is why A Christ-Centered Wedding is such a brilliant help. From the gospel to finances - and every thing in between – Catherine Parks and her mother, Linda Strode, will get you to the altar with your sanity and a heart of praise. This book is destined to become required reading for any Christian couple planning a wedding.

Byron Yawn, Lead Pastor, Community Bible Church (Nashville, TN), Author of What Every Man Wishes His Father Had Told Him & Suburbianity

This inspiring but practical stage by stage book will keep believers' minds on Christ. Attractive and practical ideas concerning every aspect of the wedding process are in this book, but its main design is to make your wedding turn eyes to Christ.

Jim Elliff, Christian Communicators Worldwide

Wedding planning too often centers on issues like flowers and the color of the bridesmaids' dresses, with little thought given to how God will be exalted and how the gospel will be proclaimed on the wedding day. Here is a resource that puts the most important part of every wedding ceremony back where it belongs, front and center.

Bob Lepine, cohost, Family Life Today

“Too many Christian couples buy into a worldly perspective about weddings.   That’s why I’m exited to commend A Christ-Centered Wedding to the couples in my church.  There are plenty of good books on marriage, but I don’t know of any that helps a couple sort through engagement with a radically gospel-centered perspective.  A Christ-centered Wedding does that, and much more.”  

Deepak Reju, Pastor of Biblical Counseling and Families, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.  

About the Author

Catherine Parks writes from home in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, Erik, and their two young children. She has sung some terribly cheesy songs in weddings over the years, and gave one of the worst rehearsal dinner speeches in history to her college roommate. She blogs at CathParks.com.

Linda Strode is a pastor's wife and has been involved in multiple aspects of wedding planning over the years. She survived the bridesmaid fashion horrors of the 70’s and 80’s and has quite a few photo souvenirs to prove it. Linda and her husband, Tom, live in Fredericksburg, Virginia.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Books (May 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433681145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433681141
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Burke on April 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an easy to read book packed full of suggestions on how to have a God-honoring wedding. I loved the ideas on how to show love to your bridal party! The authors did a great job in sharing why it is important to center your wedding on the gospel of Christ.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I guess we’ve all been to good weddings and not-so-good weddings. We’ve been to gloriously God-honoring weddings and embarrassingly God-dishonoring weddings. The best weddings, at least in my assessment, are the ones where the couple is willing to step out of the spotlight to ensure that attention is focused squarely on God. The best weddings are the ones where the couple makes much of God, where he is at the very center of it all.

Weddings are big business today. As comedian Jim Gaffigan says, “Weddings are an important event where we spend a lot of money so the bride can pretend to be a princess and marry her prince and live happily ever after.” He isn’t far from the truth. The bride is taught that this is her day, her day to shine, the day to fulfill her dreams and fantasies. And in too many cases, even among Christians, Christ is shoved to the margins.

Into the fray step Catherine Strode Parks and Linda Strode with their new book A Christ-Centered Wedding. They write, “Marriage is one of God’s good gifts. It is a blessing to all of creation, and it’s a beautiful picture of Christ’s relationship with the church. Before you can experience the joy of this gift, though, you need to get through the wedding, and the wedding planning. This can be either an uplifting, encouraging experience or a frustrating exercise in trying to please everyone and failing. Many times it’s a combination of the two.” They want to make sure that the wedding and the preparation are uplifting rather than agonizing and that the ceremony is Christ-focused rather than self-focused. And so they wrote a book about rejoicing in the gospel on your big day.

And it’s a good book.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
All I can say is WHY DIDN'T I HAVE THIS BOOK WHEN I GOT MARRIED 17 YEARS AGO? Our wedding portrayed Christ but when we renew our wedding vows in 2017 this book will be on the table as our motivation and for our guest to look at. I will also be purchasing copies for my 6 children so when the time comes they will understand how God wants there wedding to be, not man.

I so love the part of affording a wedding, I have seen some weddings that have cost thousands of dollars and all for what one day to show off in front of guests, but now you have debt and you just became one. You can do anything you put your mind to on a budget, you can have the best wedding of all, and guests wont believe how much you spent.

God is the for front of our marriage has been for 17 years and 6 years later, with out him in the midst then none of this would have worked. i so love reading books like this because I get so much encouragement from this, and then I think about all the young people out there that are reading this book before they are engaged or even married, that's God for you.

Rejoicing in the Gospel on Your Big Day~I so love this saying because if you have Christ in the center of your lives cant nothing go wrong.

This will be going on my book shelf for safe keeping, for the future!

~I received this book to review from Shelton Publishing for my honest opinion~
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Format: Paperback
The average cost of a wedding today is $25,000. Social media has given a new meaning to societal pressure with brides trying to outdo one another in creating the perfect day, but, after all, the end result is always the same--two people get married.

If you desire a Christ-centered marriage, you should begin with a Christ-centered wedding. Catherine Strode Parks and Linda Strode, mother and daughter, co-wrote "A Christ-Centered Wedding", as a guidebook for couples who want to use their wedding as an opportunity to present the gospel. This book is full of useful ideas for putting together a wedding that puts Christ at the center. Strode and Parks will help you stay organized and focused. "A Christ-Centered Wedding" is a valuable resource in planning a wedding. It is a reminder of the true focus and how to present it to those in attendance. Instead of all the Bride's magazines, read this book or, at least, read this book first.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Shelton Interactive, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An easy read... pretty basic stuff...a lot of nice ideas but nothing earth shatteringly new if you are familiar with a Christian Community and have been to some Christian weddings.... It would be a good thing for any engaged couple to check out if they weren't sure where to start... The author is real good about making it clear it is all just ideas...and that some things were just her personal choice....and these things are not legalistic guidelines...take most of it as suggestions for new ways of seeing certain things... I appreciated that... I will probably share it with my daughters when they are engaged. (bought it when it was looking like my daughter might be getting close...but alas...he was not 'the one".) I did like that she included some of the explanations for traditions... like why do we throw a bouquet...
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