Weddings were a pagan invention. The church deemed weddings to be sinful, because they inevitably led to sexual intercourse between consenting partners.
But when pagans started showing up at churches to ask the priests bless their new pagan marriage, the priests would do it for a fee “in facie ecclesiae” – literally, at the front doorstep of the church.
A blessing of a pagan ceremony could not be done inside the church, lest it contaminate the holy space.
But eventually, the church realized that weddings would be a revenue boon, so they appropriated the pagan ceremony, just like God appropriated the pagan week when He created the universe. (The week has seven days named after the seven special celestial objects visible to the naked eye – Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.)
Today, “in facie ecclesiae” is still used in wedding ceremonies, but it is mistranslated to supposedly mean “in front of the congregation.”