News and Blog

Actress & Influencer, Khafi, launches Premier Gospel’s new ‘Naked Love Podcast’ with Theo Manderson

This blog was originally written for Premier Radio’s website and has been reproduced here for the Marriage Week 2021 campaign.  The author of this blog is Akosua DF, a Premier Gospel Presenter. National Marriage Week is coming up and Premier Gospel coincidentally has a brand-new relationship podcast launching that same week, Monday 10th May. Presented by Premier Gospel’s Theo Manderson and Actress/Presenter/Author and star of Big Brother Naija 2019 – Khafi …

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How ‘naked weddings’ could help reduce the ‘marriage gap’

According to our new survey of 2,000 young adults for Marriage Week 10-16 May 2021, nearly one in three 18-30s say they would be more likely to marry if costs weren’t so high. This affects the poorest most. The time is now for our campaign for cheaper stripped-back ‘naked’ weddings. According to something call Hitched, the average UK wedding in 2019 apparently costs an eye-watering £31,974. Whether this is genuinely …

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When will the government back young adults’ aspiration to marry?

For at least two decades, I have been a strong advocate for marriage, not out of some sense of loyalty to outdated traditions, but because the psychology of marriage and the evidence about the effects of marriage go so strongly with the grain of human nature. Study after study suggests that marriage works more than it doesn’t for most people, despite what many people assume about divorce rates. The better-off …

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“You Got a Friend in Me”

“Will you be my husband…I mean WIFE” I asked my then-fiancé, Manning, foolishly on November 6th, 2019. Accidentally calling my girlfriend a man wasn’t the best start to our marriage journey, however maybe it was indicative of things to come. The unpredictability of the next year was certainly far more extreme than most first years of marriage, but whilst it’s certainly thrown its fair share of challenges our way, we’ve …

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Parenting in a Pandemic

Like many parents, I never intended to home school my children. Like many couples, my husband and I don’t normally spend Every. Single. Day. Together. But this is what lockdown meant for so many families, including ours. Here are some essential elements that kept us thriving (*mostly*): Outdoors The weather in the first lockdown was beautiful, so we spent as much time as we could outdoors – using our garden …

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The Wedding is just one day but Marriage is for a Lifetime

A year ago I wrote a blog for marriage week 2020 looking forward to my wedding, with lots of uncertainty about when it would be allowed and what it would look like. So, where are we now? Well our original date passed us by, and then after what felt like months of no news, the Government suddenly announced that weddings were legal again. It was strange they ever weren’t but …

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The Sikh Naked Wedding

Growing up and going to many Punjabi weddings from a young age, I always had the kind of wedding in mind that I wanted, when the time came, of course! For me, it consisted of all the cultural and superficial things that I had been exposed to, which I classed as being everyday life and just what we did. I grew up the youngest and only son, which brought its …

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Locked Down in a Wedding Gown

The pandemic has forced so many new and unusual terms into our vocabulary – the dictionary business must be booming! “Lockdown wedding” is one that has become all too familiar in the last 12 months, and on the surface it conjures up the image of a humourless and dreary affair behind giant iron bars – not exactly the fairytale picture! When we got engaged in early February 2020, the virus …

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The Sikh Anand Karaj (ceremony of bliss): a spiritual union during the pandemic

Pandemic: As the country reminisces the official month and day lockdown started last year, it brought back memories of not just a turbulent and uncertain time myself and my husband went through last year, but of thanks and gratitude to the divine. 23rd March, when: most of my wedding cards were left undelivered as the first national lockdown was announced; the postponement of our April wedding date and services; hundreds …

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No global pandemic is going to stop me from marrying you

Since we first met each stage of our relationship has been a bit like setting out on a new kind of adventure. We first met in the summer of 2019 through a dating app, which Angie in particular was wary of using. But after prompting from her brother, who had already offered to introduce us in the spring, she gave it a go and after a few days messaging we …

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Finding a way back

Claire I had reached the end of myself and, what I thought, was the end of our marriage. Steve and I had met in our church youth group, fallen in love towards the end of our teens and got married at the end of my second year of university. Just before then, Steve had landed his ‘dream job’ in a recording studio. The reality, for us, however, was that for …

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The Essence of Marriage

There have been no shortage of challenges in the last year. The huge scale of the Covid pandemic and its impact is naturally causing a lot of anxiety, uncertainty, and fear across the globe. Lockdowns, face masks, tiers and restrictions, furlough schemes, home-working and business closures have headlined the news. Getting married in the chaos of the pandemic does not seem to be such a great idea. But maybe it …

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Throwing out the Rulebook

Let’s start this story when Aled first asked me out. We had been housemates in Cyprus for a year and a half and had become the best of friends in that time. Three weeks before I was due to return home to the UK, Aled asked me out on a date. I was overjoyed, but couldn’t help but acknowledge the terrible timing of it all. Nevertheless in my remaining three …

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New resource on marriage!

Launched to celebrate National Marriage Week, Claire and Steve Musters take an honest look at how we can strengthen and transform our marriages in their new book Grace-Filled Marriage. They begin by sharing their own story of rebuilding a marriage after loneliness, betrayal and separation. Also included are stories from other couples who have faced specific challenges, such as physical and mental ill health, infertility and cultural differences. While Claire and …

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A year in lockdown: What we’ve learnt about marriage and parenthood 

Last August, my wife and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. I met my wife Sarah when she was 18, and I was 22, and we were working for the same church, overseeing the youth and children’s work. We dated for around 18 months before I popped the question, and we began planning our big day. Finally, in August 2010, we got married in West London (where Sarah had grown up) and …

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Thriving on Less – Our Relationship in Lockdown

2020 was quite the year?  In the midst of great global upheaval and tragedy, my family, as many around the world were stripped of both the fripperies and the seeming necessities of our way of living & social calendars, for lockdown life. It’s been quite the journey, and lockdown living was an interesting way to spend our tenth year of marriage.  In all of our years we had never spent …

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The Biggest Wedding we could ever have had: Covid edition

We had a better wedding than we ever dreamt possible in the middle of a pandemic.   Like many soon-to-be weds with a date booked in 2020, we looked on the year with excitement, for this was going to be ‘our year’. And then we went into a national lockdown.  It was a crushing feeling to witness friends move dates and plans fall through for others over the summer months for their special days. …

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The Box

‘CHARLES AND HIS DOG’ It was 2002 and Zara was moving to Oxford to begin life as an undergraduate. It felt right to gift her with something that would truly demonstrate my love for her before she left London, fell in love with the clean air, and ‘Charles and his dog’, never to return. Zara has always been a person who appreciated the thoughtful things, the subtle, the sentimental. It …

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In Sickness and in Health

I’m sometimes asked questions about our wedding day – how did I feel walking down the aisle? Did I have any pre-ceremony nerves? Did my head feel like it was going to explode or was I as cool as a cucumber? The truth is that I was incredibly calm on the morning of our wedding. Nothing fazed me. I had fun with my bridesmaids, we had the most delicious breakfast …

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Our Silver Lining Wedding!

Since I was a young girl, getting married was something I had dreamed about. Even before my husband proposed, I had a Pinterest board full of inspiration and ideas for our perfect wedding and marriage. Being the perfectionist planner, the majority of our wedding was planned 6 months into what turned out to be a 22-month engagement. I had planned it all; dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t’. It …

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Focussing on the Positives!

David and I have been based at home for a number of years after David took early retirement. They have been busy years, where the focus has been on pursuing our callings in a number of directions rather than earning money. So when lockdown came, life didn’t change as much as it did for many others. Yes, we missed getting out for face to face meetings and seeing the children …

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“How can we have a ‘Naked Wedding’?”

During Marriage Week 2021, the 10 – 16 May, celebrate your relationship by making a definite decision about the future and proposing to your partner! Let us know if you do and to help you on your way, we’ve come up with some thoughts on how to have a simple, stripped back ‘Naked Wedding’. I’m assuming that because you’re reading this, getting married is something that you’ve thought about, but …

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Forgiveness – Why it’s Both Good and Challenging

Mark Twain wrote that forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. While this is an achingly beautiful description, the reality is that for many, reaching any form of forgiveness can seem as impossible to reach as the stars. Hurt can run very deep when it is perceived that a loved one has let you down or has carried out an offence that …

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Marriage Week 2020 Update: Online Launch of UK National Marriage Week – The Forever Conversation

For months, I’ve been preparing for the annual, national celebration that is Marriage Week.  At the early stages of planning for 2020, I was considering what the theme should be this year, having development meetings with the many excellent organisations who partner with the campaign, smaller team meetings, and countless conversations with my husband too!  However, what I couldn’t have predicted was a Marriage Week in lockdown. I was asked …

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Commit or Quit – The Two Year Rule and Other Rules for Romance, by Harry Benson, published 11 May

Attitudes to sex, relationships, and marriage have changed enormously over the last fifty years. We have undergone a sexual revolution. Society is less stuffy, less rigid, and less patriarchal. There is more individual choice, freedom, and sex. It has been an unmitigated improvement to human development, hasn’t it? Well, there’s a problem. Birth control changed the game. But we are not yet playing it very well. Women may have been …

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3 Dates that Shaped a Future

Friday the 9th of August 2019 feels like a lifetime ago. It was a time before the terms ‘quarantine’, ‘social-distancing’ and ‘furlough’ were on the tips of even the most pessimistic tongues (back then I definitely wouldn’t have even known what ‘furloughing’ meant). Although it feels like an era has passed since then, in reality only 244 days have passed between that date and today, which means it is precisely …

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Renovating our home and renovating our marriage

For the past few months my wife and I have been living in a different space as our family home has been undergoing significant restoration. Just as we sifted through the contents of our home prior to our departure into a different place, touching on memories both good and bad, we are now doing the same again as we prepare to return. Sorting out what is needed for the next …

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The best help we can give each other right now

The experience of being in ‘lockdown’ is tough on relationships. Fault lines that may have always been there may now widen under the stress.  Distractions that we used to keep difficult feelings at bay have now gone. I wonder if you, like me have found the wisdom of grief and trauma experts is incredibly insightful at this time? Their wisdom helps because we are all experiencing concurrent trauma and have …

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10 Top Tips for managing Sex and Intimacy during the Covid-19 Crisis

In these difficult times we will be looking for ways to make ourselves feel better and that might mean we struggle to engage with negativity from our partner. If we are too quick to encourage them to ‘look on the bright side’ we risk ‘discounting’ their feelings and this can leave them feeling unheard and create emotional distance. If your partner is struggling then really listen to what they are …

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What’s a wedding for? Love, expectations, obstacles and values in a time of Coronavirus.

In a few weeks’ time I will be getting married to my wonderful fiancée Lizzie. When we got engaged last year there was no way we could have predicted the spanner in the works that Coronavirus has been to our wedding plans. In many ways the last few months has been defined by uncertainty. Uncertainty about when we would get married. Uncertainty about how we would get married. Uncertainty about …

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Our Commitment to Forever!

Gill and I will be celebrating 35 years of marriage on the 13th April this year.  On that date in 1985 we made a lifelong commitment to each other through our marriage vows, before God and those gathered.  We made that commitment as a mixed couple, Gill being English and myself being West Indian, with the love and support of our two families.  We have never regretted it.  It doesn’t …

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Reliable Love, Commitment & The Forever Conversation

What everybody forgets about commitment is that you’re not just making one choice. You’re closing the door on all the other choices. Choosing one thing means not being able to choose anything else. That can be a risky step to take. No wonder many of us try to put off commitments for as long as possible. Now think about your relationship. You want reliable love. You want to know there is …

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I said yes to forever!

‘The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.’ – Audrey Hepburn. Let me take you back to Summer 2013…I was 16 years old, and having just moved 300 miles away from where I grew up with my family, I was about to start a new school. I was feeling scared and vulnerable; moving to a new school in a new town so far away is not easy …

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MPs debate marriage week in parliament

Yesterday MPs debated national marriage week, exploring the link between marriage and mental health. The debate covered a number of issues including the importance of marriage for the wellbeing of couples and children, what support should be available for those whose relationships have ended and may be facing mental health issues as a result, and what can be done to enable family relationships provide a healthy environment for all. Fiona …

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Marriage Week UK Launch Event at the House of Lords

To celebrate the arrival of UK National Marriage Week, we held a special event at the House of Lords today.  The beautiful room gave a great sense of occasion as we reflected on the theme for this year, ‘Recipe for a Healthy Marriage’.  We were thrilled that so many of our partners, journalists and supporters were able to attend and there was a tangible buzz of excitement amongst our guests. We heard …

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Almost one in six people have health problems affecting their sex life – So let’s start talking about sex more!

Many of us would agree that we live in a sexualised society. We think nothing of seeing an explicit sex scene on the TV or sexualised images in magazines and in music videos, but we are surprisingly coy when it comes to talking about sex when there are difficulties. Sexual problems are actually very common but as a society we rarely talk about them and if we do, it will …

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Marriage and Mental Health Parliament Debate

We wanted to share with you the encouraging news that Fiona Bruce MP has secured a Westminster Hall debate in the House of Commons next Thursday from 13.30-15.00. The topic of the debate is ‘Marriage and Mental Health’. This debate will provide a space for Members of Parliament to consider both these topics in a way that has not been discussed recently in the House of Commons. we anticipate that …

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Marriage Week on Premier Radio FAQ sessions

Michaela Hyde is taking part in the FAQ sessions around Marriage Week.
We’ve got video…

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What Mums Want (and Dads Need to Know)

We thought you might be interested in this book by Harry and Kate Benson. Harry is our research director at Marriage Foundation and one of Britain’s leading campions for marriage. Everyone wants a relationship that lasts. Yet nearly half of all today’s parents split up. Harry and Kate Benson began their own married life with great expectations. But within a few years, they stood on the brink of divorce. Today, …

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Divorce Laws in England and Wales

Divorce laws in England and Wales are to be overhauled so that couples that are wanting to get divorced will be able to split with less acrimony.  Whilst this may sound like bad news, it is the firm belief of Marriage Week that this is, in fact, a good thing. 

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Marriage Week UK is a project of Marriage Foundation
PO Box 3014, RM7 1TX
Registered Charity No. 1150453
marriagefoundation.org.uk

Marriage Week UK is affiliated to Marriage Week International

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Marriage Week 2020

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If you’d like us to let you know when it is then leave us your name and email and we’ll be in touch as soon as it is.

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