Pope Francis offers a lot of advice in his 256-page teaching released on Friday. He advises pastors on how to counsel couples at every stage of a lifelong relationship. He guides parents on how to discipline their children. He recommends that husbands or wives greet their spouse at the door when returning home from work, and put down the smartphone so they can go to sleep together.

He even includes some tips that sound straight out of a wedding magazine.

He writes, “Short-term preparations for marriage tend to be concentrated on invitations, clothes, the party and any number of other details that tend to drain not only the budget but energy and joy as well. The spouses come to the wedding ceremony exhausted and harried, rather than focused and ready for the great step that they are about to take.”

Some couples never even get married because the expense and effort of planning a wedding seems so daunting, Francis writes.

For that, Francis has a response. “Here let me say a word to fiancés. Have the courage to be different. Don’t let yourselves get swallowed up by a
society of consumption and empty appearances. What is important is the love you share, strengthened and sanctified by grace. You are capable of
opting for a more modest and simple celebration in which love takes precedence over everything else.”

Right on, Pope Francis. Who doesn’t want their wedding day, whether lavish or tastefully simple, to be a little bit different — and focused above all on love?

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