“Goin’ to the chapel, and we’re gonna get married.” This lyric from the 1964 song Chapel of Love by the Dixie Cups at one time represented the venue where a bride walked down the aisle. She met her waiting groom to exchange vows, flanked on one side by her father, a veil covering her face. Not only did Chapel of Love represent the venue where the couple got married, but it also represented the simplicity of a wedding.
As time has past, weddings have lost much of their simplicity – if a wedding can ever really be simple – and have become much more of an event. Now, couples do not necessarily go to a chapel, or a place of worship, to get married. In fact, when the term chapel is mentioned some may first think of the chapels lining the glittering streets of Las Vegas. Instead of a couple getting married in front of their friends and family at a place of worship, having a ceremony at a local reception hall, and jetting off to an island for their honeymoon, the ceremony has become an event in and of itself.
Receiving an invitation in the mail inviting guests to attend a ceremony at a beach resort, for example, is more normal than ever because 20% of weddings are held at destinations around the world. The popular bridal website Brides.com even posts destination wedding location ideas, including places such as Tuscany and Maui. An article explaining a Maui wedding suggests where to hold the wedding, as well as the resorts that should be booked to accommodate guests.
Although weddings may have lost some of the innocence that once surrounded them since the release of Chapel of Love, weddings still represent a union of two people. Whether a ceremony is held at a chapel or a place of worship, followed by a reception at a local hall, or if the entire wedding occurs at a beach surrounded by tropical landscapes and a blue ocean, the basis of a wedding should always be love.
“Gee, I really love you, and we’re gonna get married. Goin’ to the chapel of love.”