LONDON (RNS) A top priest at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, where Prince Charles and Princess Diana were married in 1981, says fancy, multi-million-dollar weddings are now posing a threat to marriage itself.

The Rev. Giles Fraser told BBC Radio’s Thought for the Day that the problem with the modern wedding is that it’s too often a glitzy stage-set, overly concerned with the shoes, the flowers, the napkin rings and performing to the cameras.

Fraser is canon chancellor at venerable St. Paul’s, where he oversees the cathedral’s teaching office. Charles and Diana’s 1981 wedding at St. Paul’s attracted a global television audience of an estimated 750 million viewers.

It’s no wonder, the cleric said in his broadcast Wednesday (August 4) that at their worst, some weddings can feel like an overblown vanity project, all justified by foot-stomping references to `my special day. ˜

Such ceremonies, Fraser claimed, have just lost their way and have become a threat to marriage itself.

Some fellow clerics have become so disenchanted with weddings, he said, that they would prefer to conduct a funeral because funerals still have a beauty, a quiet dignity and a moral seriousness that is quite absent from many of the weddings we get to take.

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