It seems it is becoming more and more common for children as young as five years old to be involved in mock weddings in an attempt to improve their education. Teachers backing this move have argued that encouraging children to participate in mock weddings enhances their comprehension and appreciation of different cultures and religions. Others have even reasoned that mock marriages are an excellent way of aiding the children’s learning and understanding of families and relationships. This view was re-iterated by Rev. Pollard who carried out the wedding ceremony for Warndon Primary School, Worcester, saying that it was a great means with which to encourage children to be in “stable and committed relationships”. Sarah Allen, the Deputy Head of Warndon Primary, even maintained that “the event was staged to encourage writing skills in children”.
The majority of these concerned carried out Christian wedding ceremonies but others have also made their pupils participate in Hindu and Muslim mock weddings. The characteristics of these mock weddings are virtually identical to that of the normal ceremonies. For example, the Christian mock weddings are typically administered by a vicar in a church and include a wedding cake, rings, signing of the register, a wedding reception and sometimes even a hen and stag party.
However, not everyone is of the same opinion. Nick Seaton, the chairman for the Campaign For Real Education, stated that “I think it is crazy. If children need to be taught to improve their writing the way to do that should be through learning grammar, spelling and through reading.”
Critics have given other reasons for their disapproval of mock weddings. Some see these ‘weddings’ as a form of indoctrination or even as unnecessary, because it is argued primary school children are too young to properly appreciate the meaning of marriage. It’s worth considering, however, that if we are going to educate our children on relationships through mock weddings, then shouldn’t we carry out mock civil partnerships as well?