A few weeks ago, Dallas’ Concord Church held its fourth “Grand Wedding.” The idea is simple. If cohabiting couples in the church take part in a 90-day program and go to 11 weeks of marriage counseling from the church, then they will get to take part in the wedding for free—and receive mentorship from a married couple in the church for a year (H/T Christianity Today).
The wedding includes hair stylists, music and everything you’d expect from a ceremony.
Pastor Bryan Carter, who created the “Cohabitation Challenge,” told Christianity Today that “It helps us to model the gospel, because the gospel is redemptive.” Carter continued, saying “It’s not just about us calling out a struggle that people may have, but let’s talk about how I can move from where I was to the place where God is honored.”
Since Carter first launched the challenge, 81 couples have taken part. The church will even pay for the rent of couples who decide they aren’t ready to get married.