Etiquette Hell

Wedding Bliss and Blues => Where Do I Start? => Topic started by: Cz. Burrito on April 05, 2014, 12:19:40 PM

Title: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Cz. Burrito on April 05, 2014, 12:19:40 PM
A friend of mine became engaged to a lovely woman last year.  Between them, they have five kids.  Money is very tight, and it doesn't look like they'll be able to move in together until sometime next year (finding a place for 7 people, even if they're not all going to be there all the time, is rather difficult!).

She is having some health problems of late and the insurance situation is iffy.  He wants to get married sooner rather than later so that he can put her on his health insurance through work.  His thought was to go down to the courthouse and get married without telling anybody and then hold their big wedding later as planned.

I told him that he shouldn't deceive people like that, and I recommended that he have a small ceremony now if they decide that's what they want to do, TELL people they got married, and then hold a reception at a later date for all of their friends and family.  I hope he does anything besides the plan he proposed.   :-\
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: lakey on April 05, 2014, 04:29:45 PM
I think they would be better off to be honest about what they are doing and why. Have the courthouse wedding. Tell people what they did and why. In some countries, and religions, it is actually acceptable to have 2 weddings, a civil ceremony and a religious wedding. Are they members of a church or religion? Would it be possible for them to have a religious ceremony, or perhaps a repeating of the vows later along with a reception?

I don't think that repeating the vows is a problem so much as misleading people. I can see their wanting to have the fancy wedding with all their family and friends, especially since there are children who could be a part of the festivities.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Cz. Burrito on April 05, 2014, 04:57:50 PM
He's Catholic. I don't know about her, and I don't think he had his previous marriage annulled, so I don't know if they're planning a religious ceremony or not.

I emphasized that I think the biggest problem is concealing the first wedding, if that's what they do. If they are both religious and would be doing the second ceremony for the religious aspect, I think that's reasonable. But they want to hide the fact that they would already be legally married, and they think their families would be upset about the secret legal ceremony, which I think says a lot about where they and their families are coming from in terms of the legal/religious ceremonies being separate concepts. Which is to say, they aren't.

I'm trying to figure out how to phrase this...I think it's a disingenuous 'out' to say "well, we are having both parts of the marriage ceremony separate and a year apart" if you consider yourself to be fully married and refer to yourselves as husband and wife after the legal ceremony.  There are definitely people who do not feel they are married until they have said their vows with their god as witness in the presence of their religious leader. That is not the case here.  In any case, if the religious part is important to them for the religious bit, I'm certain that they could have a small religious ceremony on reasonably short notice.  They've been engaged for about 8 months now, so it's also not like they couldn't have already been working on this if it were that important to them.

I also think it would be wrong to not have the children at their legal wedding.  They should be involved for sure.  So I don't think "for the children" is a good reason for a second, large ceremony. If they do anything for the children, it will be to teach them to not deceive.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: CakeEater on April 05, 2014, 05:08:47 PM
I don't think it's a great plan.

However, I think if they did it themselves and never breathed a word to anyone, they could get away with it. But they've obviously told you their plan, and who knows who else. So it is likely to get out. (Not because you would tell, OP, but because the more casual the couple are with this info, the more likely it is that someone who knows will slip up.)

I think in real life, people would be understanding about the circumstances and let them get away with it, too.

Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on April 05, 2014, 05:15:20 PM
Things like this are hard to keep secret.  They already told one person (you). People tend to get very upset if they learn they've been deceived.  There are repercussions the couple probably hasn't considered: even simple things like when they'll celebrate their anniversary.

Are they going to hide the initial marriage from their kids?  If not, how do they keep the kids from blabbing?

It seems like a bad idea to start a marriage with a lie.  If they're actively religious, are they willing to discuss this with a priest?  If they're planning a future religious ceremony, will a priest be willing to perform it?

There's truth to the warning "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive".
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 05, 2014, 05:38:18 PM
I agree that this seems like a bad plan. A small wedding with only immediate family and a big party later seems the best way to go.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Luci on April 05, 2014, 05:52:48 PM
A couple did that to me once. I admit that I felt betrayed somehow.

They could also have the wedding performed by a minister or priest if they feel it important to married before God. Clergymen often perform small weddings with no elaboration.

I like the reception later on. Fun way to spend the first anniversary!
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 05, 2014, 06:31:32 PM
Our church specializes in small, low or no cost weddings for religious reasons. The congregation will throw them a reception, if the HC so desires.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: cicero on April 06, 2014, 04:52:07 AM
I don't like the idea either.

When my father got married to his current wife - he had been married twice before, widowed from my mother and then divorced from wife number 2; she had been married twice before, divorced from her first husband/father of her children and second marraige ended in divorce after about five minutes. so since they had both been in bad second marriages (and she had been in a bad first marriage), they decided to have a very small wedding (literally very close family/very close friends only). a year later they threw a big lovely bash for all their friends and family.

for your friends - where you say money is very tight - i'm curious why would they even want a big wedding?
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Cz. Burrito on April 06, 2014, 06:18:14 AM
for your friends - where you say money is very tight - i'm curious why would they even want a big wedding?

I'm not entirely sure. It will be her third marriage and his second.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: LtPowers on April 09, 2014, 10:58:41 AM
They could also have the wedding performed by a minister or priest if they feel it important to married before God. Clergymen often perform small weddings with no elaboration.

Yeah, not so much in the Catholic Church.  It could be small, and it could be cheap, but it wouldn't be short or quick.


Powers  &8^]
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: turnip on April 09, 2014, 11:15:19 AM
A couple did that to me once. I admit that I felt betrayed somehow.



Just to give another POV, it's happened to me twice and I didn't care a whit!  Practical considerations sometimes take over ( one couple was at risk of being deported, the other was at risk of getting less-than-adequate medical care due to insurance issues )  and I didn't have any desire to deny them a nice wedding ceremony because of issues that could be solved by a 'piece of paper'. 

Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Cz. Burrito on April 09, 2014, 01:27:04 PM
They could also have the wedding performed by a minister or priest if they feel it important to married before God. Clergymen often perform small weddings with no elaboration.

Yeah, not so much in the Catholic Church.  It could be small, and it could be cheap, but it wouldn't be short or quick.


Powers  &8^]

I don't think they can get married in the Catholic Church anyway because one or both of them has a marriage that hasn't been annulled according to the church.

I do have a friend who just got married who found a Catholic Church that would marry them on 4 months notice (she wanted the wedding to be as soon as possible because she has a grandmother who isn't well and she wanted to make sure that grandma could be there).  The priest waived part of the pre-Cana stuff.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: auntmeegs on April 09, 2014, 02:31:37 PM
A couple did that to me once. I admit that I felt betrayed somehow.



Just to give another POV, it's happened to me twice and I didn't care a whit!  Practical considerations sometimes take over ( one couple was at risk of being deported, the other was at risk of getting less-than-adequate medical care due to insurance issues )  and I didn't have any desire to deny them a nice wedding ceremony because of issues that could be solved by a 'piece of paper'.

This is how I feel about it to.  It's been discussed so many times on this board and I still can't understand why anyone cares. 
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on April 09, 2014, 02:53:33 PM
A couple did that to me once. I admit that I felt betrayed somehow.



Just to give another POV, it's happened to me twice and I didn't care a whit!  Practical considerations sometimes take over ( one couple was at risk of being deported, the other was at risk of getting less-than-adequate medical care due to insurance issues )  and I didn't have any desire to deny them a nice wedding ceremony because of issues that could be solved by a 'piece of paper'.

This is how I feel about it to.  It's been discussed so many times on this board and I still can't understand why anyone cares.

I'm parking my POD here. I just honestly don't care when/if someone fills out legal paperwork. If I'm watching a commitment be made, then that's what I'm doing. The legal stuff is their business.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: wolfie on April 09, 2014, 04:12:33 PM
A couple did that to me once. I admit that I felt betrayed somehow.



Just to give another POV, it's happened to me twice and I didn't care a whit!  Practical considerations sometimes take over ( one couple was at risk of being deported, the other was at risk of getting less-than-adequate medical care due to insurance issues )  and I didn't have any desire to deny them a nice wedding ceremony because of issues that could be solved by a 'piece of paper'.

This is how I feel about it to.  It's been discussed so many times on this board and I still can't understand why anyone cares.

I'm parking my POD here. I just honestly don't care when/if someone fills out legal paperwork. If I'm watching a commitment be made, then that's what I'm doing. The legal stuff is their business.

Because they are lying to me. If they tell me that they are recommitting themselves then great! I am there. But if they say the are getting married and then I find out that they actually got married a year ago and this is a recommitment ceremony I feel hurt that they think they need to lie to me to get me there and then I start to wonder what else they are lying about.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: mime on April 09, 2014, 04:30:51 PM
We seem to go around in circles about this. Some people define marriage by the legal/contractual aspects. Other people define it by the commitment in a faith-based ceremony, or other ritual.

If someone holds a different definition of marriage than you, it doesn't mean they are lying. They are operating and communicating according to their own beliefs about the relationship.

I'll celebrate a wedding ceremony with a couple by whatever standard they measure the term. I may not hold that same standard, but my opinion doesn't matter.

Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: wolfie on April 09, 2014, 04:34:47 PM
We seem to go around in circles about this. Some people define marriage by the legal/contractual aspects. Other people define it by the commitment in a faith-based ceremony, or other ritual.

If someone holds a different definition of marriage than you, it doesn't mean they are lying. They are operating and communicating according to their own beliefs about the relationship.

I'll celebrate a wedding ceremony with a couple by whatever standard they measure the term. I may not hold that same standard, but my opinion doesn't matter.

I don't understand why the couple can't be upfront and honest about what is actually happening. If they know that the majority of people think that when they say "please come to our wedding" they are assuming that this is the legal and faith based ceremony (which is the default understanding) then why don't they say "please come to our faith based commitment ceremony". Then there are no misunderstandings at all. But the fact that they plan on not telling anyone that the legal ceremony is already done makes me think that they know that people are expecting it to be the legal ceremony and they don't want to deal with whatever they think will happen if people know it isn't that ceremony afterall.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 09, 2014, 04:55:37 PM
I would happily celebrate any coupling, but I find it strange to not just be honest. "Please come celebrate our marriage!" instead of "come watch us get married." If I am happy for a couple I am not going to accuse them of lying to me or being dishonest people, but I would just find it weird to not just say what is being celebrated.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on April 09, 2014, 05:19:47 PM
Why use the word wedding? Because, you want too. It's a nice word. It's what I've always wanted to have.

To me it's a question of when did they fill out paperwork. I just watched my best friend marry the man he loves. In beautiful wedding. Sometime this summer (when they have time off from work) they'll be going to California. Where they will receive a marriage license. But what they just had. That was the wedding.

Another friend got married 8 years ago in England so her citizenship would be easier to handle. She got married in November by her minister. She'd always said she was married. But now she got to have the wedding.

Honestly, I don't give a hoot what you call your shindig. I don't care when you fill out the paper work. Come to our wedding, tells me exactly whats going to happen. You and partner(s) are going to stand up in front of people with some kind of officiant, say vows, maybe have a reading, you'll be pronounced as some kind of union and then we'll have a party. If you filed the legal stuff earlier/later doesn't change what happens on the wedding day.

Couple years ago Partner moved in and found I had no health insurance. I had a cough and was going with my "wait and see" method of dealing with health issues. Partner marched me down to an official city office and we registered as domestic partners. Then she put me on her health insurance as her domestic partner and I went to a doctor and found out I was really really sick. We had no celebration. For a long time no one knew. Actually it wasn't until my above referenced friend needed health insurance that I even brought up what we had done. Wasn't a secret, just wasn't something to share. I also didn't tell anyone when I added her as my beneficiary on my life insurance. Because no one would care. To me, our registering as domestic partners and someone getting married for health insurance are the same. Sometimes there is no way to wait to have a wedding that you want. And I don't think it's fair to say you have to give up having a wedding because other factors stand in the way.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: turnip on April 09, 2014, 06:14:51 PM
I won't quote but I agree with GlitterIsMyDrug.  Your "wedding" is your public commitment to each other in front of friends, family, and the officiant of your choosing.   If you want to also say that that's when you got "married", I'm fine with that too.  I've never asked to see the paperwork, I don't really care what is written on it.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: LtPowers on April 09, 2014, 07:10:03 PM
As far as modern American society is concerned, the "legal stuff" and "paperwork" is the wedding.  It's the only part that's required in order to constitute a valid marriage, and the only part that every marriage has in common.

It's one thing to have the legal ceremony a day or two before the formal or religious ceremony.  I understand that's standard in some countries, even required in some cases.  I don't think anyone would feel duped or have cause to object to that kind of thing.

But to have the legal ceremony, and then months or years later have another (invariably bigger) ceremony and call it your "wedding" is weird.  You're already married!  Period!


Powers  &8^]
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: mime on April 10, 2014, 09:57:14 AM
As far as modern American society is concerned, the "legal stuff" and "paperwork" is the wedding.  It's the only part that's required in order to constitute a valid marriage, and the only part that every marriage has in common.

It's one thing to have the legal ceremony a day or two before the formal or religious ceremony.  I understand that's standard in some countries, even required in some cases.  I don't think anyone would feel duped or have cause to object to that kind of thing.

But to have the legal ceremony, and then months or years later have another (invariably bigger) ceremony and call it your "wedding" is weird.  You're already married!  Period!


Powers  &8^]


That is not how everyone regards it. It is also not the norm among my family and friends. Maybe we're in the minority, but we are as much a part of modern American society as anyone else living here.

The "legal stuff" and "paperwork" is basically filing for joint treatment and benefits. It is not the "wedding". I know of several *real* marriages without it. Some could have the paperwork if they wanted, other's can't. Calling those marriages invalid because they haven't signed government forms is a bit insulting.

In a way, I want to say that this is a difference between "legal marriage" and "spiritual marriage" (I'm struggling for the right adjectives-- I know that "spiritual" isn't quite what I'm looking for, but it's the best I have right now). It seems in this discussion that we all find only one of those is real/necessary/relevant. We just don't agree on which one it is.

I don't think disagreeing on that point has to be a problem, though. Why can't we let every couple decide according to their own beliefs and customs what act constitutes their real marriage, rather than trying to re-cast it all according to your (general "your") own beliefs?

I know that it is difficult to convey tone in typed messages. Please read my response not as an argument, but just trying to explain my POV and gain understanding. I admit that I am a bit defensive of my faith-based beliefs and the relationships of some dear friends who are married, just without paperwork.  :-\
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 10, 2014, 10:03:28 AM
I would not consider this a wedding if they were already married.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Fleur on April 10, 2014, 10:13:18 AM


I agree with Turnip and Glitter, I don't see this as a big deal at all and it wouldn't make me think any less of a couple.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: wolfie on April 10, 2014, 10:15:13 AM
As far as modern American society is concerned, the "legal stuff" and "paperwork" is the wedding.  It's the only part that's required in order to constitute a valid marriage, and the only part that every marriage has in common.

It's one thing to have the legal ceremony a day or two before the formal or religious ceremony.  I understand that's standard in some countries, even required in some cases.  I don't think anyone would feel duped or have cause to object to that kind of thing.

But to have the legal ceremony, and then months or years later have another (invariably bigger) ceremony and call it your "wedding" is weird.  You're already married!  Period!


Powers  &8^]


That is not how everyone regards it. It is also not the norm among my family and friends. Maybe we're in the minority, but we are as much a part of modern American society as anyone else living here.

The "legal stuff" and "paperwork" is basically filing for joint treatment and benefits. It is not the "wedding". I know of several *real* marriages without it. Some could have the paperwork if they wanted, other's can't. Calling those marriages invalid because they haven't signed government forms is a bit insulting.

In a way, I want to say that this is a difference between "legal marriage" and "spiritual marriage" (I'm struggling for the right adjectives-- I know that "spiritual" isn't quite what I'm looking for, but it's the best I have right now). It seems in this discussion that we all find only one of those is real/necessary/relevant. We just don't agree on which one it is.

I don't think disagreeing on that point has to be a problem, though. Why can't we let every couple decide according to their own beliefs and customs what act constitutes their real marriage, rather than trying to re-cast it all according to your (general "your") own beliefs?

I know that it is difficult to convey tone in typed messages. Please read my response not as an argument, but just trying to explain my POV and gain understanding. I admit that I am a bit defensive of my faith-based beliefs and the relationships of some dear friends who are married, just without paperwork.  :-\

I think it is all well and good as long as people are upfront about what is happening. This is our spiritual wedding, the legal one happened already. This is the legal wedding, the spiritual one happened already. This is both the legal and spiritual wedding. This is just a party to celebrate - the legal and spiritual happened already.

I have to wonder at the people who are insisting that they are doing nothing anyone should disapprove of by separating those two things while refusing to let people know they did that. It makes me think that they know people would not react well to what they are doing. And that is what I have a problem with.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: wolfie on April 10, 2014, 10:18:21 AM
Why use the word wedding? Because, you want too. It's a nice word. It's what I've always wanted to have.

To me it's a question of when did they fill out paperwork. I just watched my best friend marry the man he loves. In beautiful wedding. Sometime this summer (when they have time off from work) they'll be going to California. Where they will receive a marriage license. But what they just had. That was the wedding.

Another friend got married 8 years ago in England so her citizenship would be easier to handle. She got married in November by her minister. She'd always said she was married. But now she got to have the wedding.

Honestly, I don't give a hoot what you call your shindig. I don't care when you fill out the paper work. Come to our wedding, tells me exactly whats going to happen. You and partner(s) are going to stand up in front of people with some kind of officiant, say vows, maybe have a reading, you'll be pronounced as some kind of union and then we'll have a party. If you filed the legal stuff earlier/later doesn't change what happens on the wedding day.

Couple years ago Partner moved in and found I had no health insurance. I had a cough and was going with my "wait and see" method of dealing with health issues. Partner marched me down to an official city office and we registered as domestic partners. Then she put me on her health insurance as her domestic partner and I went to a doctor and found out I was really really sick. We had no celebration. For a long time no one knew. Actually it wasn't until my above referenced friend needed health insurance that I even brought up what we had done. Wasn't a secret, just wasn't something to share. I also didn't tell anyone when I added her as my beneficiary on my life insurance. Because no one would care. To me, our registering as domestic partners and someone getting married for health insurance are the same. Sometimes there is no way to wait to have a wedding that you want. And I don't think it's fair to say you have to give up having a wedding because other factors stand in the way.

Life isn't fair. Sometimes you have to give up one thing you want for something else you want/need more. Not just weddings - maybe you need to move from your family for that job you really want. Or you can't go to the college you love because you got a full ride scholarship someplace else. It is what it is.  I have way more respect for someone who says "legally we got married last year for health insurance and this is our spiritual wedding" then someone who keeps quiet and hope noone finds out.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 10, 2014, 10:19:35 AM
I admit that I am a bit defensive of my faith-based beliefs and the relationships of some dear friends who are married, just without paperwork.  :-\

As I said earlier, I personally will celebrate any coupling but I find it strange when people are not clear about what is happening.  I want to adopt your phrasing of "I am not being argumentative, just stating my point of view." 

For me, for example, I find it diminishes the purpose of fighting hard for legal gay marriage if the legal part means nothing and a person does not consider themselves married until they have a BWW in front of their friends and family.  (all yous general, of course)  If the legal part is important to you, then you are married when you sign the legal paperwork.  If you do not "consider yourself married" after signing the legal paperwork, then why was it important to fight for the right for gay people to legally marry? 

Again, I will happily celebrate any coupling, but I think it diminishes what was hard fought for to say that the legal part does not make a person actually married.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 10, 2014, 10:21:18 AM
I think it is all well and good as long as people are upfront about what is happening. This is our spiritual wedding, the legal one happened already. This is the legal wedding, the spiritual one happened already. This is both the legal and spiritual wedding. This is just a party to celebrate - the legal and spiritual happened already.

I have to wonder at the people who are insisting that they are doing nothing anyone should disapprove of by separating those two things while refusing to let people know they did that. It makes me think that they know people would not react well to what they are doing. And that is what I have a problem with.

I should have scrolled before I posted - this states what I was trying to state much better.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: wolfie on April 10, 2014, 10:21:59 AM
I admit that I am a bit defensive of my faith-based beliefs and the relationships of some dear friends who are married, just without paperwork.  :-\

As I said earlier, I personally will celebrate any coupling but I find it strange when people are not clear about what is happening.  I want to adopt your phrasing of "I am not being argumentative, just stating my point of view." 

For me, for example, I find it diminishes the purpose of fighting hard for legal gay marriage if the legal part means nothing and a person does not consider themselves married until they have a BWW in front of their friends and family.  (all yous general, of course)  If the legal part is important to you, then you are married when you sign the legal paperwork.  If you do not "consider yourself married" after signing the legal paperwork, then why was it important to fight for the right for gay people to legally marry? 

Again, I will happily celebrate any coupling, but I think it diminishes what was hard fought for to say that the legal part does not make a person actually married.

you know - I never thought of that but that is a good point.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Mikayla on April 10, 2014, 10:39:44 AM
I find it puzzling that people would say they don't care if they're lied to.  Words have definitions, and if you pass an event off as a wedding and that you're "getting married", this has a specific meaning.

I agree with comments that it's so easy for this to be exposed, whether through casual convos or even someone seeing a government or work form.  It just takes one person.

I want to know what I'm witnessing, and a legit wedding will always be more important to me than one that isn't, even when people are upfront about it.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 10, 2014, 10:46:09 AM
I find it puzzling that people would say they don't care if they're lied to.  Words have definitions, and if you pass an event off as a wedding and that you're "getting married", this has a specific meaning.

I agree with comments that it's so easy for this to be exposed, whether through casual convos or even someone seeing a government or work form.  It just takes one person.

I want to know what I'm witnessing, and a legit wedding will always be more important to me than one that isn't, even when people are upfront about it.

I completely see where you are coming from, and I would agree for complete strangers.  For me, though, I tend to cut quite a bit of slack to people I care about, unless and until I find myself not liking them anymore because of all the slack I have had to cut them (if that makes sense). I guess what I mean is, if I genuinely like a person, the fact they do 1 or even 10 things I don't approve of is not going to make me not want them in my life.  I would imagine others cut me slack too - no one can please everyone 100% of the time!

So, for me, if I really like Amy and Sue, and I know they were legally married six months ago but are now inviting me to their "wedding" that is a BWW, I might roll my eyes and wonder why they are not just honest that they have already been married for six months and this is instead a celebration of their marriage.  But absent some reason for me to not be genuinely happy for them and their marriage I wouldn't boycott the "event" (for lack of a better term) or be outwardly negative about them because they "lied" to me and everyone else about what we are witnessing.  No, we are not seeing them "get married."  But to me, we are celebrating their marriage, and since I care about them, I am going to help them celebrate this.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: auntmeegs on April 10, 2014, 11:28:57 AM
I find it puzzling that people would say they don't care if they're lied to.  Words have definitions, and if you pass an event off as a wedding and that you're "getting married", this has a specific meaning.

I agree with comments that it's so easy for this to be exposed, whether through casual convos or even someone seeing a government or work form.  It just takes one person.

I want to know what I'm witnessing, and a legit wedding will always be more important to me than one that isn't, even when people are upfront about it.

Whereas I don't really care exactly what I'm witnessing, because its not about me, I care about what the couple considers to be the actual important milestone of the marriage. 
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: turnip on April 10, 2014, 11:31:56 AM
I find it puzzling that people would say they don't care if they're lied to.  Words have definitions, and if you pass an event off as a wedding and that you're "getting married", this has a specific meaning.

...

No one has said that and I find this kind of phrasing quickly throws a conversation off the rails.  The definitions of words change constantly and I know some people find this troubling ( witness all the angst over 'literally' e.g., "I literally died when I heard that" ) but it is still an undeniable truth.   If you are going to throw a party, make a public declaration of your commitment, and invite me, and call it a wedding, that's OK by me. 

A piece of paper is clearly important - but ( IMO ) only to the couple involved.  If they already have one or are planning on getting one later when available or never planning on getting one at all, it is really not my business.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: mime on April 10, 2014, 11:44:15 AM
I admit that I am a bit defensive of my faith-based beliefs and the relationships of some dear friends who are married, just without paperwork.  :-\

As I said earlier, I personally will celebrate any coupling but I find it strange when people are not clear about what is happening.  I want to adopt your phrasing of "I am not being argumentative, just stating my point of view." 

For me, for example, I find it diminishes the purpose of fighting hard for legal gay marriage if the legal part means nothing and a person does not consider themselves married until they have a BWW in front of their friends and family.  (all yous general, of course)  If the legal part is important to you, then you are married when you sign the legal paperwork.  If you do not "consider yourself married" after signing the legal paperwork, then why was it important to fight for the right for gay people to legally marry? 

Again, I will happily celebrate any coupling, but I think it diminishes what was hard fought for to say that the legal part does not make a person actually married.

Here's my take on the efforts to allow same sex marriage.

For some people, the legal paperwork is the wedding. They fight for the right because that is the only way in their eyes they can get married. Not my belief/POV, but I can appreciate it.

For others, the legal paperwork gets them the benefits. Some employers won't extend benefits to a non-legal spouse. Social Security, inhertitance, property rights, etc. are granted and calculated according to the presence of the government paperwork. Personally I don't consider it to be the 'real' marriage, but that paperwork gives DH and myself some good shared benefits. For a same sex couple, getting that same treatment is in itself worth fighting for, regardless of what you label it.

Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 10, 2014, 11:57:35 AM
For a same sex couple, getting that same treatment is in itself worth fighting for, regardless of what you label it.

I don't necessarily disagree that all people should have the same benefits available, but then in my opinion that isn't "marriage."  Anyway, we digress.  :)
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: lowspark on April 10, 2014, 11:57:56 AM
If you do not "consider yourself married" after signing the legal paperwork, then why was it important to fight for the right for gay people to legally marry? 

I'm on the side of the couple going ahead and stating clearly what is happening. They can call it anything they want but it ought to be clear if it's a celebration of an event that has already occurred.

However, I think the answer to your question is that what gay people are seeking are the benefits related with being legally married. Legal benefits, employee benefits, next of kin benefits, etc. And I can completely understand wanting those benefits while still saying that the actual meaningful moment is when they stand up in front of friends and family and make vows.

Just because the legal part isn't the most meaningful doesn't mean it's not important. If it did, then why bother to do a legal ceremony if you do a religious one?
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 10, 2014, 12:03:01 PM
I think for me I struggle to understand the following situation.  Amy and Sue are legally married on January 15.  They have a BWW July 15 and say that is when they got married.  What were they for the previous six months?

Again, I will happily celebrate the BWW with them....but I will consider it strange that they are calling it a wedding when they have already been married for six months.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Mikayla on April 10, 2014, 12:17:23 PM
I find it puzzling that people would say they don't care if they're lied to.  Words have definitions, and if you pass an event off as a wedding and that you're "getting married", this has a specific meaning.

I agree with comments that it's so easy for this to be exposed, whether through casual convos or even someone seeing a government or work form.  It just takes one person.

I want to know what I'm witnessing, and a legit wedding will always be more important to me than one that isn't, even when people are upfront about it.

Whereas I don't really care exactly what I'm witnessing, because its not about me, I care about what the couple considers to be the actual important milestone of the marriage.

It's a little unfair to imply that I'm making it "about me" when I just want to know what's happening at this event.  Besides, if they consider it the important milestone, why would they lie about it?  (It's a lie by omission if they "forget" to tell friends and family they're married).

Also, @Turtle Dove, when you brought up Amy and Sue, you reminded me I should have mentioned gay/lesbian ceremonies.  I've been to one of each and to me this is totally different. 

I find it puzzling that people would say  they don't care if they're lied to.  Words have definitions, and if you pass an event off as a wedding and that you're "getting married", this has a specific meaning.

...

No one has said that and I find this kind of phrasing quickly throws a conversation off the rails. The definitions of words change constantly and I know some people find this troubling ( witness all the angst over 'literally' e.g., "I literally died when I heard that" ) but it is still an undeniable truth.   If you are going to throw a party, make a public declaration of your commitment, and invite me, and call it a wedding, that's OK by me. 

A piece of paper is clearly important - but ( IMO ) only to the couple involved.  If they already have one or are planning on getting one later when available or never planning on getting one at all, it is really not my business.

On the bolded, why would my comment throw the conversation off its rails?  We're talking about 2 separate issues.  If a couple thinks the piece of paper is meaningless, fine.  I'd never agree with this, since becoming legally married isn't like like signing a  credit slip.  But that's their right.

The issue of hiding it from others is not fine by me.  If I'm close enough to someone to be invited to their wedding, yet they never bothered telling me they're a married couple....yes, I call this a lie. 

If someone threw a graduation party and I later learned they had never graduated, I would call this the same kind of lie. 
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 10, 2014, 12:19:36 PM
If a couple thinks the piece of paper is meaningless, fine.  I'd never agree with this, since becoming legally married isn't like like signing a  credit slip.  But that's their right.

The issue of hiding it from others is not fine by me.  If I'm close enough to someone to be invited to their wedding, yet they never bothered telling me they're a married couple....yes, I call this a lie. 

If someone threw a graduation party and I later learned they had never graduated, I would call this the same kind of lie.

This I agree with, although I would still celebrate with the couple.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: turnip on April 10, 2014, 12:23:07 PM
I think for me I struggle to understand the following situation.  Amy and Sue are legally married on January 15.  They have a BWW July 15 and say that is when they got married.  What were they for the previous six months?

You'd probably have to ask them.   Is it important that they have a clear label?  Sometimes we just don't have a good word for a situation but that doesn't invalidate the situation in some way.

Quote
Again, I will happily celebrate the BWW with them....but I will consider it strange that they are calling it a wedding when they have already been married for six months.

I don't consider it strange at all.    It's just an evolving state.   The reasons to get/not get a piece of paper are often legal or financial.   The reasons to have a wedding are often social.

So as an example.  Our HC is living together, happy together, planing a future together, but for one reason or another haven't gotten around to getting married yet.

Then a test result comes back and it's a bad one.  Out of the blue, everything changes, priorities shift, lives are never the same.

So the HC realizes that if they are legally wed, soon, then they can solve a lot of problems and potentially save a life.  Easy decision.

But what about a 'wedding'?   Maybe they just don't get one? Maybe the rush something together in a few days?

Pros: Traditional etiquette is satisfied.

Cons: Parents, siblings, friends and family are saddened and disappointed to miss out on an event that they may have been happily anticipating. 

When I line it up like that - for me it's an easy decision.  Get the license and legal stuff done, have a Wedding later with the friends and family who love you and want to support you.  I'd rather have Emily Post wag her finger at me than deal with my Father's heartache that he'll never walk me down the aisle.

Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 10, 2014, 12:25:55 PM
But what about a 'wedding'?   Maybe they just don't get one? Maybe the rush something together in a few days?

Pros: Traditional etiquette is satisfied.

Cons: Parents, siblings, friends and family are saddened and disappointed to miss out on an event that they may have been happily anticipating. 

When I line it up like that - for me it's an easy decision.  Get the license and legal stuff done, have a Wedding later with the friends and family who love you and want to support you.  I'd rather have Emily Post wag her finger at me than deal with my Father's heartache that he'll never walk me down the aisle.

You are leaving out the option that several of us are advocating:  Have the BWC (big white celebration) but call it what it is - a celebration of a marriage that already exists.  Everyone wins.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: turnip on April 10, 2014, 12:32:41 PM
But what about a 'wedding'?   Maybe they just don't get one? Maybe the rush something together in a few days?

Pros: Traditional etiquette is satisfied.

Cons: Parents, siblings, friends and family are saddened and disappointed to miss out on an event that they may have been happily anticipating. 

When I line it up like that - for me it's an easy decision.  Get the license and legal stuff done, have a Wedding later with the friends and family who love you and want to support you.  I'd rather have Emily Post wag her finger at me than deal with my Father's heartache that he'll never walk me down the aisle.

You are leaving out the option that several of us are advocating:  Have the BWC (big white celebration) but call it what it is - a celebration of a marriage that already exists.  Everyone wins.

I don't think a template for that exists in wedding catalogs.  I suppose you could make something up ( "You are invited to celebrate the marriage of B & G, which occurred on MM/DD/YYYY but is being honored on MM/DD/YYYY" ) but I think you are probably going to get a bunch of confused calls from guests who now have no idea what they are being invited to attend.  ("Oh, it's your _wedding_!  Well why didn't you just _say_ so!')

I'm very lazy, personally, and tend to go the easiest route.  Everyone knows what a wedding is, I'm throwing what to all intents and purpose is a wedding, why make up a whole new and different category of things to satisfy Miss Post?
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 10, 2014, 12:37:55 PM
I don't really do anything in my life to satisfy Ms. Post!  But when I eloped and had a solemnization of vows and reception six months later, everyone knew that is what happened - that I was married on x date and they were invited to the solemnization and celebration on y date.  I don't recall the specific wording, but it wasn't a difficult thing and no one was confused, at least to my knowledge.  I feel like it was something like:

TurtleDove and FirstHusband,
along with their parents,
invite you to witness the soleminization of their marriage vows taken on x/xx/xx

Solemnization Ceremony will be at 4:00 pm on y/yy/yy
at ABC Church
Dinner, Dancing and Reception to follow at XYC Location
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: EllenS on April 10, 2014, 01:07:47 PM
What it comes down to for me, is manipulation.  If I am close enough to someone to be invited to a wedding, am I not close enough to know when they go through major life milestones? Regardless of whether the religious or social aspects of a wedding are more emotionally meaningful than the legal benefits, there is a difference between "not making a big deal about something" and doing it in secret.

If I am already aware that two people are married - as a pp mentioned - and they invite me to their BWW, I dont' care what they call it and I will go. But if someone is actively concealing the fact that they are legally married, I have to ask, why? What are you trying to get me to do, that you think I would not do if I knew the truth?

This actually happened to me about 8-9 years ago. DH's family was all raised in, and adheres with varying degrees of commitment to, the same faith tradition. There is definitely a common understanding about weddings/marriages and the importance and traditions thereof.  They LOVE weddings. Everyone will travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to attend a family wedding, and they are often used as de facto family reunions.

They also have a binary view of marriage. There is no concept of being legally married as something separate from "married in the eyes of Diety" or "in the eyes of the Church", or anything like that. You are or you aren't. Regardless of what an individual couple may feel, in this family this is a well-established understanding to 50% of the guest list.

DH and I were invited to Cousin N's wedding, several states away. It was a big trip, we ordered a nice gift to be sent to their registry address, and went. Everyone very happy and excited.

At some point during the ceremony, we all realized that the officiant was not administering vows. He was, instead, twisting the words of the traditional religious ceremony to be a blessing of the vows which the HC had already exchanged. "HUH?" The family is looking at each other in extreme confusion. The bride is furious, glaring at the officiant.

They stop the ceremony and the groom takes the officiant aside. When they return, they finish the ceremony, with the officiant giving pointed looks at the HC, and great emphasis on the words, "DID you promise..." I thought the bride was going to throw down her bouquet and strangle him.

I have no idea what went down with the officiant, whether they lied to him about already being married and he found out at the last moment, or whether he intended to do a fake wedding and backed out.  Come to find out afterward, HC had been married for over a year and kept it a secret from the entire family. I'm not even sure if the bride's parents who footed the bill knew, possibly they did.

Ultimately, it was so senseless because if they had just announced that they eloped, everyone would have sent the same presents a year earlier, and if they threw a postdated reception everyone or nearly everyone would have come anyway. And instead of having a fun party, they spent the whole time being mad and embarassed because they were lying and got exposed.

We used to think of Cousin N as "fun and flaky Cousin that we wish we saw more often". Now we think of her as bizarre manipulative lying Cousin, who we are happy to see less of.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 10, 2014, 01:14:06 PM
That reminds me....my "vows" at my solemnization were similar to what EllenS described: "Did you take this man...." etc. and "I did," or "we have" (or whatever made sense but clearly referring back to vows we had already taken but were reaffirming before our friends and family.  No one was shocked because they were expecting this - they were happy about our marriage and wanted to celebrate the marriage, but understood we had already been married for six months.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: auntmeegs on April 10, 2014, 01:52:16 PM
I find it puzzling that people would say they don't care if they're lied to.  Words have definitions, and if you pass an event off as a wedding and that you're "getting married", this has a specific meaning.

I agree with comments that it's so easy for this to be exposed, whether through casual convos or even someone seeing a government or work form.  It just takes one person.

I want to know what I'm witnessing, and a legit wedding will always be more important to me than one that isn't, even when people are upfront about it.

Whereas I don't really care exactly what I'm witnessing, because its not about me, I care about what the couple considers to be the actual important milestone of the marriage.

It's a little unfair to imply that I'm making it "about me" when I just want to know what's happening at this event.  Besides, if they consider it the important milestone, why would they lie about it?  (It's a lie by omission if they "forget" to tell friends and family they're married).Also, @Turtle Dove, when you brought up Amy and Sue, you reminded me I should have mentioned gay/lesbian ceremonies.  I've been to one of each and to me this is totally different. 

I find it puzzling that people would say  they don't care if they're lied to.  Words have definitions, and if you pass an event off as a wedding and that you're "getting married", this has a specific meaning.

...

No one has said that and I find this kind of phrasing quickly throws a conversation off the rails. The definitions of words change constantly and I know some people find this troubling ( witness all the angst over 'literally' e.g., "I literally died when I heard that" ) but it is still an undeniable truth.   If you are going to throw a party, make a public declaration of your commitment, and invite me, and call it a wedding, that's OK by me. 

A piece of paper is clearly important - but ( IMO ) only to the couple involved.  If they already have one or are planning on getting one later when available or never planning on getting one at all, it is really not my business.

On the bolded, why would my comment throw the conversation off its rails?  We're talking about 2 separate issues.  If a couple thinks the piece of paper is meaningless, fine.  I'd never agree with this, since becoming legally married isn't like like signing a  credit slip.  But that's their right.

The issue of hiding it from others is not fine by me.  If I'm close enough to someone to be invited to their wedding, yet they never bothered telling me they're a married couple....yes, I call this a lie. 

If someone threw a graduation party and I later learned they had never graduated, I would call this the same kind of lie.

I didn't mean to imply that you were making it about you.  I was just explaining how I view the situation. 
They probably don’t view it as lying and I wouldn’t either. 
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Redneck Gravy on April 10, 2014, 02:10:07 PM
I would view it as a "misrepresentation of the truth" also. 

I consider wedding vows to mean something significant and if the couple were already married and lied about it to have their BWW then I consider that a big whopper.  Now if they called it a reenactment, celebration, reception, or whatever then I'm on board with it - but trying to cover it up is just deceitful. IMO

I am going to a BWW in a couple of weeks where the couple got married at the JP's when there was a sudden health issue and insurance became a major concern.  They are trying to pull one over on their guests and while I don't approve, I'm still going because it is important to their parents for me to share this day with them and they asked for my attendance.

   
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 10, 2014, 02:16:06 PM
I am an honest and forthright person. I expect friends and family to be as well. If I were invited to a wedding that turned out to be something other than a wedding, I would not be very happy and would have to evaluate the relationship.

IMO, a wedding is a wedding in the US. I know in other places, there has to be separate civil and spiritual ceremonies because the spiritual wedding is not recognized by law. That is different.

I would celebrate a wedding reception held after the fact at the same level as a wedding.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Fleur on April 10, 2014, 02:42:42 PM
What it comes down to for me, is manipulation.  If I am close enough to someone to be invited to a wedding, am I not close enough to know when they go through major life milestones? Regardless of whether the religious or social aspects of a wedding are more emotionally meaningful than the legal benefits, there is a difference between "not making a big deal about something" and doing it in secret.

If I am already aware that two people are married - as a pp mentioned - and they invite me to their BWW, I dont' care what they call it and I will go. But if someone is actively concealing the fact that they are legally married, I have to ask, why? What are you trying to get me to do, that you think I would not do if I knew the truth?

This actually happened to me about 8-9 years ago. DH's family was all raised in, and adheres with varying degrees of commitment to, the same faith tradition. There is definitely a common understanding about weddings/marriages and the importance and traditions thereof.  They LOVE weddings. Everyone will travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to attend a family wedding, and they are often used as de facto family reunions.

They also have a binary view of marriage. There is no concept of being legally married as something separate from "married in the eyes of Diety" or "in the eyes of the Church", or anything like that. You are or you aren't. Regardless of what an individual couple may feel, in this family this is a well-established understanding to 50% of the guest list.

DH and I were invited to Cousin N's wedding, several states away. It was a big trip, we ordered a nice gift to be sent to their registry address, and went. Everyone very happy and excited.

At some point during the ceremony, we all realized that the officiant was not administering vows. He was, instead, twisting the words of the traditional religious ceremony to be a blessing of the vows which the HC had already exchanged. "HUH?" The family is looking at each other in extreme confusion. The bride is furious, glaring at the officiant.

They stop the ceremony and the groom takes the officiant aside. When they return, they finish the ceremony, with the officiant giving pointed looks at the HC, and great emphasis on the words, "DID you promise..." I thought the bride was going to throw down her bouquet and strangle him.

I have no idea what went down with the officiant, whether they lied to him about already being married and he found out at the last moment, or whether he intended to do a fake wedding and backed out.  Come to find out afterward, HC had been married for over a year and kept it a secret from the entire family. I'm not even sure if the bride's parents who footed the bill knew, possibly they did.

Ultimately, it was so senseless because if they had just announced that they eloped, everyone would have sent the same presents a year earlier, and if they threw a postdated reception everyone or nearly everyone would have come anyway. And instead of having a fun party, they spent the whole time being mad and embarassed because they were lying and got exposed.

We used to think of Cousin N as "fun and flaky Cousin that we wish we saw more often". Now we think of her as bizarre manipulative lying Cousin, who we are happy to see less of.

Your family,  so of course your choice, but I think that's a shame. It is not a serious lie IMO, and I don't think of it as a manipulation at all. Maybe they just felt self concious at not having a 'real' wedding, so tried to cover up. I would think it a little odd, but it certainly wouldn't change how I felt about the person.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: EllenS on April 10, 2014, 02:53:48 PM

Your family,  so of course your choice, but I think that's a shame. It is not a serious lie IMO, and I don't think of it as a manipulation at all. Maybe they just felt self concious at not having a 'real' wedding, so tried to cover up. I would think it a little odd, but it certainly wouldn't change how I felt about the person.

Yes, it is a shame. But, WOW.

Someone stops their wedding ceremony to argue with the officiant ? You wouldn't think that was a bizarre thing to do?

I assure you, it was a really, really wierd and uncomfortable situation. I think if you'd had to sit through it, you might feel differently.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Fleur on April 10, 2014, 03:06:25 PM

Your family,  so of course your choice, but I think that's a shame. It is not a serious lie IMO, and I don't think of it as a manipulation at all. Maybe they just felt self concious at not having a 'real' wedding, so tried to cover up. I would think it a little odd, but it certainly wouldn't change how I felt about the person.

Yes, it is a shame. But, WOW.

Someone stops their wedding ceremony to argue with the officiant ? You wouldn't think that was a bizarre thing to do?

I assure you, it was a really, really wierd and uncomfortable situation. I think if you'd had to sit through it, you might feel differently.

To be honest, I would feel bad for the people getting married and wonder what was wrong with the officiant!
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 10, 2014, 03:12:46 PM

Your family,  so of course your choice, but I think that's a shame. It is not a serious lie IMO, and I don't think of it as a manipulation at all. Maybe they just felt self concious at not having a 'real' wedding, so tried to cover up. I would think it a little odd, but it certainly wouldn't change how I felt about the person.

Yes, it is a shame. But, WOW.

Someone stops their wedding ceremony to argue with the officiant ? You wouldn't think that was a bizarre thing to do?

I assure you, it was a really, really wierd and uncomfortable situation. I think if you'd had to sit through it, you might feel differently.

To be honest, I would feel bad for the people getting married and wonder what was wrong with the officiant!

I think this depends on denomination, but officiants have rules they must follow (which most likely include not pretending to marry people who are already married).  I know several officiants who have often had to explain to a HC why what they want for the wedding is simply not possible if they want that officiant to perform the wedding. 
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: turnip on April 10, 2014, 03:19:39 PM

Your family,  so of course your choice, but I think that's a shame. It is not a serious lie IMO, and I don't think of it as a manipulation at all. Maybe they just felt self concious at not having a 'real' wedding, so tried to cover up. I would think it a little odd, but it certainly wouldn't change how I felt about the person.

Yes, it is a shame. But, WOW.

Someone stops their wedding ceremony to argue with the officiant ? You wouldn't think that was a bizarre thing to do?

I assure you, it was a really, really wierd and uncomfortable situation. I think if you'd had to sit through it, you might feel differently.

To be honest, I would feel bad for the people getting married and wonder what was wrong with the officiant!

I think this depends on denomination, but officiants have rules they must follow (which most likely include not pretending to marry people who are already married).  I know several officiants who have often had to explain to a HC why what they want for the wedding is simply not possible if they want that officiant to perform the wedding.

Sure, but the time of that explanation is anytime _other_ than while the ceremony is being performed in front of a packed church.  I'd think the officiant was off his rocker too.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 10, 2014, 03:28:26 PM
Sure, but the time of that explanation is anytime _other_ than while the ceremony is being performed in front of a packed church.  I'd think the officiant was off his rocker too.

Hah!  True.  The officiants I have known have been very clear about what they will and will not do and refuse to officiate weddings when the HC wants them to do something that is not "okay" to do. 
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: EllenS on April 10, 2014, 03:34:44 PM

Your family,  so of course your choice, but I think that's a shame. It is not a serious lie IMO, and I don't think of it as a manipulation at all. Maybe they just felt self concious at not having a 'real' wedding, so tried to cover up. I would think it a little odd, but it certainly wouldn't change how I felt about the person.

Yes, it is a shame. But, WOW.

Someone stops their wedding ceremony to argue with the officiant ? You wouldn't think that was a bizarre thing to do?

I assure you, it was a really, really wierd and uncomfortable situation. I think if you'd had to sit through it, you might feel differently.

To be honest, I would feel bad for the people getting married and wonder what was wrong with the officiant!

I think this depends on denomination, but officiants have rules they must follow (which most likely include not pretending to marry people who are already married).  I know several officiants who have often had to explain to a HC why what they want for the wedding is simply not possible if they want that officiant to perform the wedding.

Yes, as I mentioned DH's family are all participants in the same religion. If the officiant had lost his mind and was doing the wrong ceremony, that would of course be unfortunate. I have seen that happen, as a matter of fact - I once saw an elderly officiant start reciting the ritual for blessing an infant, instead of the wedding service.  When corrected, he then started to marry the bride to her brother who was giving her away! Naturally I felt very sorry for the HC in a situation like that.

But since we got the real story about Cousin after the ceremony, it was obvious they were pressuring him to fake a solemn religious ritual in order to maintain a very odd and totally unnecessary fiction. I too, wondered why this was not sorted out beforehand, but we never found out.

As I said before, if the family had known they were married they would have celebrated their marriage, joyously, in any configuration they were invited to do so. And there is a perfectly acceptable ritual for blessing an existing marriage - the one the officiant wound up using.

The combination of elaborate secrecy + ugly behavior toward the religious officiant, showed us a side of Cousin's character we were very sorry to see.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on April 10, 2014, 03:45:19 PM
So the vows I said when we were in California were "Do you Glitter take Partner to be your life partner?" and I said "I do" and then they said "Do you Partner take Glitter to be your life partner?" and she said "I do" and then we kissed. Four sentences.

What we're each writing for wedding. Now that's the serious stuff. That's the can't-eat, can't-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over- the-fence, World Series feeling kind of stuff we'll be saying. The stuff that means something. Four sentences we already said? That's what we had to say to get legalized in another state because our state won't allow it. Because we are modern Americans who are told they aren't allowed to get married in their state because other people get upset when two chicks wanna get hitched.

I've never wanted a commitment ceremony. And I don't like that no matter what, that's apparently all I can have. Because other people think I'm less then. Because our relationship isn't as good as a heterosexual relationship. Because we aren't allowed to get married in the state we call home. Because until last year, even the federal government said we weren't worthy enough of those rights. We weren't good enough.

So, even before we over-turned DOMA, even before we overturned prop 8, I said wedding. I wanted a wedding. I'm having a wedding. I'm going to stand up in a pretty dress in front of my friends and my family in the state I call home and make loving vows to the woman that I love. And I'm not calling it something else because I'm different. Because I'm not. Because our relationship is not.

Our legality isn't a secret. We're both terrible at secrets anyways. But it's not announced. We see it as a step. For us to make this commitment we have to take certain steps. Our steps have to be separate. Even though we live in the good ol' US of A, we have to have separate ceremonies or have a destination wedding. Those are our choices. So we've taken one of our steps. I still call Partner my partner. After our wedding, she'll be my wife.

Now I know, the OP is talking about a straight couple. But given what I get to go through, I can't fault a straight couple for still wanting their wedding to be their wedding, even though circumstances don't always allow for the legal part and the celebration part to be at the same time.

Though I think we're saying "Wedding Celebration" on the invites. Partner saw it somewhere and thought it was cool and sounded like a fun thing to go to. But as far as we're concered, it's our wedding. It's when we become wife and wife. And had we gotten the legal bit done after the ceramony (because again, we can't do it in our state), it'd still be when we became wife and wife.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 10, 2014, 03:50:43 PM
The Sweetie and I, thanks to the patchwork of state laws about same-sex marriage, got married out of state in city hall office, with two friends who lived in that city.

We had a big reception at home a few days later. The invitations said "Celebrate our marriage."


Because people like ceremony, we stood up with an officiant, and reaffirmed our vows.

The officiant started with "Ms_Cellany and The Sweetie were legally married on Tuesday..." and we very specifically used the word "reaffirm."  Then we ate and danced!

Lots of fun, and total honesty.  It can be done.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 10, 2014, 03:57:38 PM
GlitterIsMyDrug, no one is saying that you can't have the celebration you want with special vows and the dresses and cake and dancing (congrats, by the way!). Some of us are just saying that it strikes us as odd that you don't believe yourself to be married now, even though you are legally married.  Maybe I have misunderstood you. At any rate, it seems like you are being honest with your friends and family that you are already married anyway, so the element of deception isn't present in your specific circumstances anyway.

Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Carotte on April 10, 2014, 04:13:54 PM
You can't even fathom how difficult this conversation would be in a language that use the same word for the wedding (ceremony) and being married, since what I take from this is that a couple can be married but not have had a wedding, so have a wedding while already being married, but they should make that clear if it's been more than a week...
And sometimes they have already been wed(in the legal sense, I don't think it happens often for religious weddings), but don't consider themself married...
Or they consider themself married (religious) but are not legally wed (state)...

Unless done for gift-graby reasons I'd give a pass to couples that didn't announce to all they already signed but are having the ceremony now, it can be awkward, it can be just not something people would understand (my grandparents would be completely lost with this concept).
As for putting it on the invite, not everyone would catch or know the difference between the right, etiquette approved wording and something else "we invite you to celebrate","so and so require the honour of your presence", "come and join us" go right above the heads of most people. (For example I just learned that religious wedding have a different wording because you don't invite people to a church/temple, you let them know when/where it is)
So writting "to our wedding", "to our marriage", "as we get hitched","as we are joined","as we exchange marriage vows"... would either need a footnote of explanation or I'll just think the HC found the wording nice.

There's even an example on http://www.invitationconsultants.com/ that doesn't say (with words) what you are invited to!
Quote
Just like a page out of a fairy tale the storybook romance comes true...
Mary Stein  and  James Brooks
request the honour of your presence
on Thursday, the twenty-sixth of June
two thousand eighteen
at ten o'clock in the morning
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 10, 2014, 04:19:45 PM
It is impossible to be married without having had a wedding.

Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 10, 2014, 04:21:19 PM
It is impossible to be married without having had a wedding.

Agreed.  It might not be a BWW, but it is a wedding.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: EllenS on April 10, 2014, 04:26:46 PM
As a person with a binary (yes/no) concept of marriage myself. I get wanting to celebrate, and that's awesome. Celebrations are awesome. Call the celebration whatever you want, wear what you want, use whatever wording you want on the invite, but if I'm supposed to be close with somebody,  I want to know what's actually going on in their life. Like, their real life. It's hurtful to find out someone considers you merely an audience.

Secrets are wierd. If nobody's keeping secrets, then hey, that's not wierd.

But, my understanding of what "married" is, is like (if you'll pardon the associations) "pregnant" or "dead." Once you're married, you can't be "more" married. To me, that's kind of the point of the thing.  Either your life has changed, or it hasnt. And if we're not close enough for me to know when your life changes, then we're not close enough for you to invite me to your wedding.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 10, 2014, 04:30:23 PM
As a person with a binary (yes/no) concept of marriage myself. I get wanting to celebrate, and that's awesome. Celebrations are awesome. Call the celebration whatever you want, wear what you want, use whatever wording you want on the invite, but if I'm supposed to be close with somebody,  I want to know what's actually going on in their life. Like, their real life. It's hurtful to find out someone considers you merely an audience.

Secrets are weird. If nobody's keeping secrets, then hey, that's not wierd.

But, my understanding of what "married" is, is like (if you'll pardon the associations) "pregnant" or "dead." Once you're married, you can't be "more" married. To me, that's kind of the point of the thing.  Either your life has changed, or it hasnt. And if we're not close enough for me to know when your life changes, then we're not close enough for you to invite me to your wedding.

I think this sums it all up perfectly!

Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: mime on April 10, 2014, 04:42:15 PM
As a person with a binary (yes/no) concept of marriage myself. I get wanting to celebrate, and that's awesome. Celebrations are awesome. Call the celebration whatever you want, wear what you want, use whatever wording you want on the invite, but if I'm supposed to be close with somebody,  I want to know what's actually going on in their life. Like, their real life. It's hurtful to find out someone considers you merely an audience.

Secrets are wierd. If nobody's keeping secrets, then hey, that's not wierd.

But, my understanding of what "married" is, is like (if you'll pardon the associations) "pregnant" or "dead." Once you're married, you can't be "more" married. To me, that's kind of the point of the thing.  Either your life has changed, or it hasnt. And if we're not close enough for me to know when your life changes, then we're not close enough for you to invite me to your wedding.

So if a couple has been committed to each other and living together but no wedding of any form has taken place, then they get married (legally or not), nothing has really changed in their lives. Is it wrong to have a big celebration then?

What if a couple does the paperwork but doesn't start living together until after a traditional ceremony? Is the life-change in their relationship or the life-change in their insurance benefits and such the one worth celebrating?

Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 10, 2014, 04:50:39 PM
As a person with a binary (yes/no) concept of marriage myself. I get wanting to celebrate, and that's awesome. Celebrations are awesome. Call the celebration whatever you want, wear what you want, use whatever wording you want on the invite, but if I'm supposed to be close with somebody,  I want to know what's actually going on in their life. Like, their real life. It's hurtful to find out someone considers you merely an audience.

Secrets are wierd. If nobody's keeping secrets, then hey, that's not wierd.

But, my understanding of what "married" is, is like (if you'll pardon the associations) "pregnant" or "dead." Once you're married, you can't be "more" married. To me, that's kind of the point of the thing.  Either your life has changed, or it hasnt. And if we're not close enough for me to know when your life changes, then we're not close enough for you to invite me to your wedding.

So if a couple has been committed to each other and living together but no wedding of any form has taken place, then they get married (legally or not), nothing has really changed in their lives. Is it wrong to have a big celebration then?

What if a couple does the paperwork but doesn't start living together until after a traditional ceremony? Is the life-change in their relationship or the life-change in their insurance benefits and such the one worth celebrating?


They decide what's worth celebrating. I think what most people here are saying is that they should be honest about what the celebration is for.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: EllenS on April 10, 2014, 04:53:02 PM

So if a couple has been committed to each other and living together but no wedding of any form has taken place, then they get married (legally or not), nothing has really changed in their lives. Is it wrong to have a big celebration then?

What if a couple does the paperwork but doesn't start living together until after a traditional ceremony? Is the life-change in their relationship or the life-change in their insurance benefits and such the one worth celebrating?

Are they secretly living together? As in, they invited a whole bunch of people to their wedding - who don't know where they live?
 If you don't get why that is wierd, I wouldn't even know how to start explaining it.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: whatsanenigma on April 10, 2014, 05:03:30 PM
As a person with a binary (yes/no) concept of marriage myself. I get wanting to celebrate, and that's awesome. Celebrations are awesome. Call the celebration whatever you want, wear what you want, use whatever wording you want on the invite, but if I'm supposed to be close with somebody,  I want to know what's actually going on in their life. Like, their real life. It's hurtful to find out someone considers you merely an audience.

Secrets are wierd. If nobody's keeping secrets, then hey, that's not wierd.

But, my understanding of what "married" is, is like (if you'll pardon the associations) "pregnant" or "dead." Once you're married, you can't be "more" married. To me, that's kind of the point of the thing.  Either your life has changed, or it hasnt. And if we're not close enough for me to know when your life changes, then we're not close enough for you to invite me to your wedding.

So if a couple has been committed to each other and living together but no wedding of any form has taken place, then they get married (legally or not), nothing has really changed in their lives. Is it wrong to have a big celebration then?

What if a couple does the paperwork but doesn't start living together until after a traditional ceremony? Is the life-change in their relationship or the life-change in their insurance benefits and such the one worth celebrating?


They decide what's worth celebrating. I think what most people here are saying is that they should be honest about what the celebration is for.

That is my opinion also.  Just be honest, is what I would hope people would do.  I don't begrudge anyone an all-out ceremony with white dress and attendants and all the elaborate things, if that's what they want., even if for some reason the legal ceremony took place earlier.  But just call it what it is.  A vow renewal, or a celebration of the marriage, or whatever feels meaningful.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Cz. Burrito on April 10, 2014, 05:17:52 PM
But what about a 'wedding'?   Maybe they just don't get one? Maybe the rush something together in a few days?

Pros: Traditional etiquette is satisfied.

Cons: Parents, siblings, friends and family are saddened and disappointed to miss out on an event that they may have been happily anticipating. 

When I line it up like that - for me it's an easy decision.  Get the license and legal stuff done, have a Wedding later with the friends and family who love you and want to support you.  I'd rather have Emily Post wag her finger at me than deal with my Father's heartache that he'll never walk me down the aisle.

You are leaving out the option that several of us are advocating:  Have the BWC (big white celebration) but call it what it is - a celebration of a marriage that already exists.  Everyone wins.

I don't think a template for that exists in wedding catalogs.  I suppose you could make something up ( "You are invited to celebrate the marriage of B & G, which occurred on MM/DD/YYYY but is being honored on MM/DD/YYYY" ) but I think you are probably going to get a bunch of confused calls from guests who now have no idea what they are being invited to attend.  ("Oh, it's your _wedding_!  Well why didn't you just _say_ so!')

I'm very lazy, personally, and tend to go the easiest route.  Everyone knows what a wedding is, I'm throwing what to all intents and purpose is a wedding, why make up a whole new and different category of things to satisfy Miss Post?

I had a party after my wedding to celebrate with my family. The wedding itself was very small. The party was about three weeks later and everybody knew that it was a reception, not a wedding. The phrasing on the invites was clear.  It was something like "you're invited to a reception to celebrate the marriage of  _____&______."
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: GlitterIsMyDrug on April 10, 2014, 06:51:16 PM
So I'm turning this over in my brain and I think it might boil down to know your audience.

My audience, the people I'm inviting to my wedding, I can't imagine caring. Most of them haven't done things traditionally in their lives. All of them know, what they are seeing isn't going to legal. Because it can't be in our state. In less something changes in the next year (which is possible, but not probable). So they'll know were gonna sign the dotted line at some other point. Though, in case anyone wanted to know, I love the photo of the couple signing their marriage license so we're going to sign a copy of our vows or something similar so we can get the shot. So we will be signing something that day.

As for secrets. I learned a very long time ago keeping secrets from people you love, who love you back, is just a mess. It's best to be honest. However, I also learned, sometimes it's smart to keep your mouth shut. Which is where we fall. It's not a secret. If you ask "Did you guys get married while you were in California?" we'll say yes, we got all legal out there. But our Facebook status still says we're engaged and we still refer to each other as fiance or as us being engaged. Some people know, some people don't, most don't seem to care.

We actually had a long talk about updating our status on Facebook (yes, it was an actual conversation) and Partner put it perfectly when she said she felt like we were "half married", we're half way there. And well Facebook doesn't provide that option. That's how I think of us. Half married.

Now that doesn't track for everyone. And that's fine. But I think it's important to acknowledge, everyone feels differently about defining what is and isn't marriage. And really, I feel like that's only up to the couple to define. For some people, if you aren't married in a church, you aren't "really married". Well that doesn't track for me. But that doesn't make those people wrong when discussing their own relationships. It's their relationship and they can use whatever language they like.

I will say since we've gotten legalled, I rarely refer to Partner as my girlfriend anymore. She's my life partner now. It's not a conscious effort on my part, but some how the vow of taking her as my "life partner" stuck in my brain. I even have introduced her as "This is my life partner Partner" (and that sentence sounds less weird with her real name and not Partner in there).
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Tea Drinker on April 10, 2014, 08:46:37 PM
It is impossible to be married without having had a wedding.

It's difficult, these days, but not impossible. There are still places that recognize common law marriage, meaning that if a couple present themselves as married--living together and referring to each other as "husband" and "wife" are big parts of that--they are married as far as the state is concerned, and presumably as far as they are concerned (since they are calling themselves married), even though they never got a marriage license or took any sort of formal vows, and can't say "we got married on thus-and-such-a-date" or at a specific location.

Now that it's fairly easy to get to either a member of the clergy or city/town hall, not a lot of people do it that way, but it's still possible.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: LtPowers on April 10, 2014, 09:24:08 PM
I don't think disagreeing on that point has to be a problem, though. Why can't we let every couple decide according to their own beliefs and customs what act constitutes their real marriage, rather than trying to re-cast it all according to your (general "your") own beliefs?

Because, like it or not, marriage is not a purely personal construct.  It is a societal construct.  Society has set up rules regarding who can be married and who can't, and what needs to be done for the marriage to be official.  (These rules do vary based on jurisdiction and for certain religious groups, but the important thing is simply that there are rules.)  As such, a wedding is not just about two people.  It's about those two people declaring to the rest of society that they are a unit.  And the way that declaration is made is via certain official forms and ceremonies and regulations.

So you get a quicky ceremony down at the city hall so that you can file joint taxes/get health insurance/immigrate?  Great, you're married.  If you want to say you're not married (yet), you're still just engaged, but you wanted to get the benefits of legal recognition... that's kinda cheating.  You signed the paperwork saying you're getting married.  You took vows promising all the things that people promise to do in a marriage.  You obtain from society all of the benefits we've set up for married couples.  It's unfair to then turn around and say "Well, we aren't really married yet."


Powers  &8^]
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: EllenS on April 10, 2014, 09:48:06 PM
I think one of the fundamental purposes of marriage, is making the private relationship public "property" in some way. You have, for whatever reasons/benefits/feelings/motivations, made your relationship public knowledge and (to some extent) other people's business. In return you are treated as a social/legal unit.

There is a point (and it's not a bright line, but there is some reasonable period of time) at which pretending you are not married, when you really are, (or pretending you are married when you are not) becomes wierd and starts to impact your relationships with other people.  To see it from the other end, look at situations where people are separated or divorced and try to pretend to still be a family in certain situations, like the holidays. It's terribly uncomfortable for everyone because it's a split from reality.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: kareng57 on April 10, 2014, 11:21:07 PM
Overall - I figure that you can't have it both ways.  IMO you can't figure that you're "married enough" to share health insurance, satisfy immigration issues etc. but "not married enough" because there wasn't a BWW.  Either you were married, or you weren't.  And like some PPs, I am fine with having a big celebration some time after the legal papers, but it shouldn't be misrepresented as the initial ceremony.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: mime on April 11, 2014, 10:00:40 AM

So if a couple has been committed to each other and living together but no wedding of any form has taken place, then they get married (legally or not), nothing has really changed in their lives. Is it wrong to have a big celebration then?

What if a couple does the paperwork but doesn't start living together until after a traditional ceremony? Is the life-change in their relationship or the life-change in their insurance benefits and such the one worth celebrating?

Are they secretly living together? As in, they invited a whole bunch of people to their wedding - who don't know where they live?
 If you don't get why that is wierd, I wouldn't even know how to start explaining it.

No secrets.

In one case a couple isn't living together until after thier traditional ceremony, regardless of when paperwork happens.

In the other case, a couple is living together well before any of that takes place.



I knew that all of us would never come to an agreement on the definition of marriage (and there's no need to). I see now that we cannot even reach a mutual understanding that those different definitions exist, or should even be tolerated.

I guess that's just how it goes sometimes!
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: rigs32 on April 11, 2014, 10:31:03 AM
Overall - I figure that you can't have it both ways.  IMO you can't figure that you're "married enough" to share health insurance, satisfy immigration issues etc. but "not married enough" because there wasn't a BWW.  Either you were married, or you weren't.  And like some PPs, I am fine with having a big celebration some time after the legal papers, but it shouldn't be misrepresented as the initial ceremony.

This is where I fall, too.  Some say they want the BWW because it's what the dreamed of, want to celebrate with family, etc.  So, can I have a BWW and never do the legal part so that I can have a party, a white dress, and get all the gifts?  It'll make things so much easier if SO and I break up since there'll be no need for a divorce.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Ginger G on April 11, 2014, 11:40:42 AM
I got married last August for a similar reason - my husband was having health problems and needed to get on my insurance as soon as possible.  Our original plan was to get married this year in a small ceremony, but we ended up doing it last year with just the two of us at a courthouse.  Personally, I would feel ridiculous at this point having a ceremony.  We considered having a reception a month or two after the wedding, but didn't get around it and I feel it's too late for that now too although some people keep telling us we "need" to do it.  I'm nor sure why we need to, I feel just as much married as anybody else.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TriCrazy73 on April 11, 2014, 02:40:36 PM
I got married last August for a similar reason - my husband was having health problems and needed to get on my insurance as soon as possible.  Our original plan was to get married this year in a small ceremony, but we ended up doing it last year with just the two of us at a courthouse.  Personally, I would feel ridiculous at this point having a ceremony.  We considered having a reception a month or two after the wedding, but didn't get around it and I feel it's too late for that now too although some people keep telling us we "need" to do it.  I'm nor sure why we need to, I feel just as much married as anybody else.
Probably because everyone love a fun wedding reception!  It is a great reason to get together with loved ones and celebrate your marriage and party!  ;)
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: EllenS on April 11, 2014, 08:03:09 PM

So if a couple has been committed to each other and living together but no wedding of any form has taken place, then they get married (legally or not), nothing has really changed in their lives. Is it wrong to have a big celebration then?

What if a couple does the paperwork but doesn't start living together until after a traditional ceremony? Is the life-change in their relationship or the life-change in their insurance benefits and such the one worth celebrating?

Are they secretly living together? As in, they invited a whole bunch of people to their wedding - who don't know where they live?
 If you don't get why that is wierd, I wouldn't even know how to start explaining it.

No secrets.

In one case a couple isn't living together until after thier traditional ceremony, regardless of when paperwork happens.

In the other case, a couple is living together well before any of that takes place.



I knew that all of us would never come to an agreement on the definition of marriage (and there's no need to). I see now that we cannot even reach a mutual understanding that those different definitions exist, or should even be tolerated.

I guess that's just how it goes sometimes!

I really don't see this as having anything to do with anybody's definition of marriage.
It has to do with defining the relationship between the HC and the invitees.

A wedding invitation means "hey, I care about you, value your support and consider you an important person in my life."
If that's true, wouldn't such a person already know your personal definition of marriage?  Wouldn't they know your religious beliefs about being married in the eyes of Deity vs. the eyes of the government? Wouldn't they know if you had some kind of major life-threatening health scare that meant you needed health insurance right away?  Wouldn't they know that the family/friend affirmation means more to you than the legal rights?

If not, why invite such a person to the wedding?  Obviously there is no meaningful connection.
The "deceit" is not in the use of the word wedding - it's in making people think they are very close and dear to the HC, when in reality they are not.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: CakeEater on April 12, 2014, 02:57:18 AM

So if a couple has been committed to each other and living together but no wedding of any form has taken place, then they get married (legally or not), nothing has really changed in their lives. Is it wrong to have a big celebration then?

What if a couple does the paperwork but doesn't start living together until after a traditional ceremony? Is the life-change in their relationship or the life-change in their insurance benefits and such the one worth celebrating?

Are they secretly living together? As in, they invited a whole bunch of people to their wedding - who don't know where they live?
 If you don't get why that is wierd, I wouldn't even know how to start explaining it.

No secrets.

In one case a couple isn't living together until after thier traditional ceremony, regardless of when paperwork happens.

In the other case, a couple is living together well before any of that takes place.



I knew that all of us would never come to an agreement on the definition of marriage (and there's no need to). I see now that we cannot even reach a mutual understanding that those different definitions exist, or should even be tolerated.

I guess that's just how it goes sometimes!

I really don't see this as having anything to do with anybody's definition of marriage.
It has to do with defining the relationship between the HC and the invitees.

A wedding invitation means "hey, I care about you, value your support and consider you an important person in my life."
If that's true, wouldn't such a person already know your personal definition of marriage?  Wouldn't they know your religious beliefs about being married in the eyes of Deity vs. the eyes of the government? Wouldn't they know if you had some kind of major life-threatening health scare that meant you needed health insurance right away?  Wouldn't they know that the family/friend affirmation means more to you than the legal rights?

If not, why invite such a person to the wedding?  Obviously there is no meaningful connection.
The "deceit" is not in the use of the word wedding - it's in making people think they are very close and dear to the HC, when in reality they are not.

I've agreed with you EllenS, up til now. I go to plenty of weddings and invited people to mine who wouldn't have had the faintest clue about my thoughts on marriage, or my need or otherwise for health insurance. Many people invite guests o their weddings who are friends of ttheir parents, distant cousins etc, for lots of valid reasons that don't necessarily mean that they'd be aware of the specific circumstances of the couple's relationship.

And therein lies the problem, I think. Guests should be aware of what they're being invited to. All the guests - not just those in the inner circle who already know what the relationship entails.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: EllenS on April 12, 2014, 08:19:13 AM
Guests should be aware of what they're being invited to.

Yes, absolutely. What I'm saying is, if everybody is already on the same page then the words don't matter. I've been to gigantic 600+ people weddings where the civil ceremony happened months earlier but they believed the religious ceremony was the one that "counted." That's fine, because 90% of the guests were the same religion and had the same belief, and the rest of us were well aware of that belief system. They didn't put it on the invitation, but it wasn't a secret. Being part of a religion like that is a major part of life. The only way someone wouldn't know about it is if they never had a conversation of more than 5 minutes with the HC or any member of their family.

If you're inviting people who don't know what you're really doing, then it needs to be expressed.

I just don't understand why someone would have an attitude that they don't care if their guests know what they're seeing. People who have no connection to you at all, to the point they wouldn't know where you live, what religion you practice  or whether you almost died last year? That seems like putting on a show and selling tickets to strangers, not inviting family and friends to a significant personal life event.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Redneck Gravy on April 14, 2014, 09:01:26 AM
Guests should be aware of what they're being invited to.

Yes, absolutely. What I'm saying is, if everybody is already on the same page then the words don't matter. I've been to gigantic 600+ people weddings where the civil ceremony happened months earlier but they believed the religious ceremony was the one that "counted." That's fine, because 90% of the guests were the same religion and had the same belief, and the rest of us were well aware of that belief system. They didn't put it on the invitation, but it wasn't a secret. Being part of a religion like that is a major part of life. The only way someone wouldn't know about it is if they never had a conversation of more than 5 minutes with the HC or any member of their family.

If you're inviting people who don't know what you're really doing, then it needs to be expressed.

I just don't understand why someone would have an attitude that they don't care if their guests know what they're seeing. People who have no connection to you at all, to the point they wouldn't know where you live, what religion you practice  or whether you almost died last year? That seems like putting on a show and selling tickets to strangers, not inviting family and friends to a significant personal life event.

Yes, this comes across as the gimme grab!
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 14, 2014, 09:08:02 AM
As a person with a binary (yes/no) concept of marriage myself. I get wanting to celebrate, and that's awesome. Celebrations are awesome. Call the celebration whatever you want, wear what you want, use whatever wording you want on the invite, but if I'm supposed to be close with somebody,  I want to know what's actually going on in their life. Like, their real life. It's hurtful to find out someone considers you merely an audience.

Secrets are wierd. If nobody's keeping secrets, then hey, that's not wierd.

But, my understanding of what "married" is, is like (if you'll pardon the associations) "pregnant" or "dead." Once you're married, you can't be "more" married. To me, that's kind of the point of the thing.  Either your life has changed, or it hasnt. And if we're not close enough for me to know when your life changes, then we're not close enough for you to invite me to your wedding.

So if a couple has been committed to each other and living together but no wedding of any form has taken place, then they get married (legally or not), nothing has really changed in their lives. Is it wrong to have a big celebration then?

What if a couple does the paperwork but doesn't start living together until after a traditional ceremony? Is the life-change in their relationship or the life-change in their insurance benefits and such the one worth celebrating?

I think people can celebrate whatever they want to celebrate.  But if a couple is married, they are married.  To then "get married" six months (or whatever) after they are already married makes no sense to me - what were you for the past six months of your marriage then? Not married?  What?  I say celebrate the marriage whenever and however you want to, but don't say you are "getting married" six months after you got married.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Tea Drinker on April 14, 2014, 11:21:54 AM
Guests should be aware of what they're being invited to.

Yes, absolutely. What I'm saying is, if everybody is already on the same page then the words don't matter. I've been to gigantic 600+ people weddings where the civil ceremony happened months earlier but they believed the religious ceremony was the one that "counted." That's fine, because 90% of the guests were the same religion and had the same belief, and the rest of us were well aware of that belief system. They didn't put it on the invitation, but it wasn't a secret. Being part of a religion like that is a major part of life. The only way someone wouldn't know about it is if they never had a conversation of more than 5 minutes with the HC or any member of their family.

If you're inviting people who don't know what you're really doing, then it needs to be expressed.

I just don't understand why someone would have an attitude that they don't care if their guests know what they're seeing. People who have no connection to you at all, to the point they wouldn't know where you live, what religion you practice  or whether you almost died last year? That seems like putting on a show and selling tickets to strangers, not inviting family and friends to a significant personal life event.

I think the question is, Who is doing the inviting? We've had plenty of posts here, and seen stories elsewhere, about people whose parents or soon-to-be-in-laws wanted to invite cousins they barely knew, or parents' neighbors who the happy couple had never met, or the bride or groom's father's business associates. Someone like that may know whether the bride or groom's parents nearly died last year, where they live, and what religion they practice (though business associates might not know the last). They're less likely to know where the about-to-be-son-in-law of the person who wants to invite them lives, or if the people getting married practice a religion different from that of the parents.

Some people who are getting married are content to let their parents invite such people as long as they're paying for the wedding; others, as we've seen here, have gotten worn down enough by the arguments to give in even though they really just want the relatives they know and love, and their own close friends.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Wintergreen on April 15, 2014, 08:54:06 AM
I think for me I struggle to understand the following situation.  Amy and Sue are legally married on January 15.  They have a BWW July 15 and say that is when they got married.  What were they for the previous six months?

You'd probably have to ask them.   Is it important that they have a clear label?  Sometimes we just don't have a good word for a situation but that doesn't invalidate the situation in some way.

Quote
Again, I will happily celebrate the BWW with them....but I will consider it strange that they are calling it a wedding when they have already been married for six months.

I don't consider it strange at all.    It's just an evolving state.   The reasons to get/not get a piece of paper are often legal or financial.   The reasons to have a wedding are often social.

So as an example.  Our HC is living together, happy together, planing a future together, but for one reason or another haven't gotten around to getting married yet.

Then a test result comes back and it's a bad one.  Out of the blue, everything changes, priorities shift, lives are never the same.

So the HC realizes that if they are legally wed, soon, then they can solve a lot of problems and potentially save a life.  Easy decision.

But what about a 'wedding'?   Maybe they just don't get one? Maybe the rush something together in a few days?

Pros: Traditional etiquette is satisfied.

Cons: Parents, siblings, friends and family are saddened and disappointed to miss out on an event that they may have been happily anticipating. 

When I line it up like that - for me it's an easy decision.  Get the license and legal stuff done, have a Wedding later with the friends and family who love you and want to support you.  I'd rather have Emily Post wag her finger at me than deal with my Father's heartache that he'll never walk me down the aisle.

First a disclaimer. Should what you say happen for my friends, following would not be the stuff in my head. Following is meant as part of "rationalized" discussion about the topic.

But, how I see it, that slightly goes under the "though luck"-category. Maybe it is because for me marriage is a financial agreement firstly. It does have also plenty emotional value for me (and I recognize it does have spiritual value for others too, but about that I'm not fit to discuss here), but love does not need papers, nor it needs public recognition. If it would only be about love, marriage would not be needed at all. But historically, and mainly for today too, marriage is about finances. It is a decision between two people who at that moment will promise to each other to take responsibility of each other, to support each other and to act as a unit, financial unit. If you decided not to marry, you just take the legal and financial risk involved with not marrying. If you are living happily together and planning future, this should be, at that point, a conscious decision. And when situation suddenly changes, you reap the result of your conscious decision. This might mean that you don't get the happy social side effects of getting married.

I don't condemn in anyway living together without being married (I do it myself too) or feel that everybody should get married. I just say, that adult in relationship should know the benefits and risks of marrying/not marrying. There really should be the thought and discussion about "hey, you are not in my health insurance/are not considered my near relative and thus cannot decide about my medical treatment should something happen/won't be able to live in our apartment if I die in accident because we are not married, is this reason big enough that we marry as soon as legally possible or do we risk it and marry with nice big do later on with good time?". Because there are no right answers for these. You might be in a relationship where you'd rather that your parents or siblings will make the decisions about your medical treatment. It's just... a person old enough to marry should know these things and make decisions based on that.

But as I said, should someone near find themselves in such situation, I would not think of this. And I'd happily attend a celebration about their marriage, even if they got legally married long time before. But I'd like to know about it.

Also, I don't remember who talked about words changing. But it's slightly different about marriage than word "literally" when used in general discussion. You could use a word "murder" as an example. Yes, both can be used in casual discussion anyway person talking wants, and it can be assigned different meanings too. But they both do also have "clear" legal definition, and I don't run around claiming my grandpa was murdered when he died of old age, even if the result is same. That is because it might cause terrible misunderstandings when people would assume I'm using the publicly known, clearly defined legal meaning of the word.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: CakeEater on April 16, 2014, 12:54:49 AM
I think for me I struggle to understand the following situation.  Amy and Sue are legally married on January 15.  They have a BWW July 15 and say that is when they got married.  What were they for the previous six months?

You'd probably have to ask them.   Is it important that they have a clear label?  Sometimes we just don't have a good word for a situation but that doesn't invalidate the situation in some way.

Quote
Again, I will happily celebrate the BWW with them....but I will consider it strange that they are calling it a wedding when they have already been married for six months.

I don't consider it strange at all.    It's just an evolving state.   The reasons to get/not get a piece of paper are often legal or financial.   The reasons to have a wedding are often social.

So as an example.  Our HC is living together, happy together, planing a future together, but for one reason or another haven't gotten around to getting married yet.

Then a test result comes back and it's a bad one.  Out of the blue, everything changes, priorities shift, lives are never the same.

So the HC realizes that if they are legally wed, soon, then they can solve a lot of problems and potentially save a life.  Easy decision.

But what about a 'wedding'?   Maybe they just don't get one? Maybe the rush something together in a few days?

Pros: Traditional etiquette is satisfied.

Cons: Parents, siblings, friends and family are saddened and disappointed to miss out on an event that they may have been happily anticipating. 

When I line it up like that - for me it's an easy decision.  Get the license and legal stuff done, have a Wedding later with the friends and family who love you and want to support you.  I'd rather have Emily Post wag her finger at me than deal with my Father's heartache that he'll never walk me down the aisle.

First a disclaimer. Should what you say happen for my friends, following would not be the stuff in my head. Following is meant as part of "rationalized" discussion about the topic.

But, how I see it, that slightly goes under the "though luck"-category. Maybe it is because for me marriage is a financial agreement firstly. It does have also plenty emotional value for me (and I recognize it does have spiritual value for others too, but about that I'm not fit to discuss here), but love does not need papers, nor it needs public recognition. If it would only be about love, marriage would not be needed at all. But historically, and mainly for today too, marriage is about finances. It is a decision between two people who at that moment will promise to each other to take responsibility of each other, to support each other and to act as a unit, financial unit. If you decided not to marry, you just take the legal and financial risk involved with not marrying. If you are living happily together and planning future, this should be, at that point, a conscious decision. And when situation suddenly changes, you reap the result of your conscious decision. This might mean that you don't get the happy social side effects of getting married.

I don't condemn in anyway living together without being married (I do it myself too) or feel that everybody should get married. I just say, that adult in relationship should know the benefits and risks of marrying/not marrying. There really should be the thought and discussion about "hey, you are not in my health insurance/are not considered my near relative and thus cannot decide about my medical treatment should something happen/won't be able to live in our apartment if I die in accident because we are not married, is this reason big enough that we marry as soon as legally possible or do we risk it and marry with nice big do later on with good time?". Because there are no right answers for these. You might be in a relationship where you'd rather that your parents or siblings will make the decisions about your medical treatment. It's just... a person old enough to marry should know these things and make decisions based on that.

But as I said, should someone near find themselves in such situation, I would not think of this. And I'd happily attend a celebration about their marriage, even if they got legally married long time before. But I'd like to know about it.

Also, I don't remember who talked about words changing. But it's slightly different about marriage than word "literally" when used in general discussion. You could use a word "murder" as an example. Yes, both can be used in casual discussion anyway person talking wants, and it can be assigned different meanings too. But they both do also have "clear" legal definition, and I don't run around claiming my grandpa was murdered when he died of old age, even if the result is same. That is because it might cause terrible misunderstandings when people would assume I'm using the publicly known, clearly defined legal meaning of the word.

Great post! I agree.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: nuit93 on April 16, 2014, 11:35:44 AM
Guests should be aware of what they're being invited to.

Yes, absolutely. What I'm saying is, if everybody is already on the same page then the words don't matter. I've been to gigantic 600+ people weddings where the civil ceremony happened months earlier but they believed the religious ceremony was the one that "counted." That's fine, because 90% of the guests were the same religion and had the same belief, and the rest of us were well aware of that belief system. They didn't put it on the invitation, but it wasn't a secret. Being part of a religion like that is a major part of life. The only way someone wouldn't know about it is if they never had a conversation of more than 5 minutes with the HC or any member of their family.

If you're inviting people who don't know what you're really doing, then it needs to be expressed.

I just don't understand why someone would have an attitude that they don't care if their guests know what they're seeing. People who have no connection to you at all, to the point they wouldn't know where you live, what religion you practice  or whether you almost died last year? That seems like putting on a show and selling tickets to strangers, not inviting family and friends to a significant personal life event.

Yes, but how many of us have had to deal with (or heard stories of) the parents/in-laws of the HC insisting that every distant cousin/friend of the family receive an invitation, regardless of the HC's own connection or feeling toward said distant people?
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: mj on April 17, 2014, 11:04:58 AM
This has happened recently in my family and I found I have rather strong views on it personally.  We were invited to a family members religious wedding 2 years after their legal ceremony.  Both DH & I were confused.  They share a last name, refer to each other as husband & wife, live together, share their married benefits and really, behave as a married couple in every sense of the word.  So that was the first thing that sprung to mind for me, we have already acknowledged the marriage by sending gifts and congratulations.  We were not invited to the first ceremony so witnessing then was not an option.

So two years later receiving this invite coupled with all the big white wedding traditions (showers, registries) has all left a bad taste in our mouths.  There are several of us in the family who are very confused, asked each other what was up - should we send gifts?  Go?  What do we do?  I get that now is their religious ceremony, but I have to think what we were the previous two years then?  I truly do not get it.  If they called this their religious blessing or the actual name of this particular ceremony, I would understand a whole lot better - but using the word wedding when they are already wed, along with things like showers and registries is just off-putting. 

Especially when you're looking at quite a substantial sum to attend and take vacation time off of work.  I don't see how you can wed again in the same marriage, but I do understand religious ceremonies.  And this one in particular requires you to behave as an unwed couple not living together, when we all know that is not the case.  Where I see being the line is not whether they are being just deceitful, but whether the couple is truly behaving in a way as to what this ceremony is and what they are asking of their guests.  Otherwise it's asking ME to be deceitful for them if we go along with it, imo and I don't like it one bit.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Redneck Gravy on April 17, 2014, 02:23:11 PM
This has happened recently in my family and I found I have rather strong views on it personally.  We were invited to a family members religious wedding 2 years after their legal ceremony.  Both DH & I were confused.  They share a last name, refer to each other as husband & wife, live together, share their married benefits and really, behave as a married couple in every sense of the word.  So that was the first thing that sprung to mind for me, we have already acknowledged the marriage by sending gifts and congratulations.  We were not invited to the first ceremony so witnessing then was not an option.

So two years later receiving this invite coupled with all the big white wedding traditions (showers, registries) has all left a bad taste in our mouths.  There are several of us in the family who are very confused, asked each other what was up - should we send gifts?  Go?  What do we do?  I get that now is their religious ceremony, but I have to think what we were the previous two years then?  I truly do not get it.  If they called this their religious blessing or the actual name of this particular ceremony, I would understand a whole lot better - but using the word wedding when they are already wed, along with things like showers and registries is just off-putting. 

Especially when you're looking at quite a substantial sum to attend and take vacation time off of work.  I don't see how you can wed again in the same marriage, but I do understand religious ceremonies.  And this one in particular requires you to behave as an unwed couple not living together, when we all know that is not the case.  Where I see being the line is not whether they are being just deceitful, but whether the couple is truly behaving in a way as to what this ceremony is and what they are asking of their guests.  Otherwise it's asking ME to be deceitful for them if we go along with it, imo and I don't like it one bit.

There's no way to make this sound like anything but a gift grab. 

Dealing with one of these right now in our family... deliberately deceitful so they can have their BWW long after the fact.  They both have said "we feel like we didn't get the wedding gifts we would have had we had a BWW so we are having it now"
 
Calling it a renewal of their vows or a celebration reception would be acceptable - calling it a wedding, not really. 
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: CakeEater on April 17, 2014, 05:47:40 PM
This has happened recently in my family and I found I have rather strong views on it personally.  We were invited to a family members religious wedding 2 years after their legal ceremony.  Both DH & I were confused.  They share a last name, refer to each other as husband & wife, live together, share their married benefits and really, behave as a married couple in every sense of the word.  So that was the first thing that sprung to mind for me, we have already acknowledged the marriage by sending gifts and congratulations.  We were not invited to the first ceremony so witnessing then was not an option.

So two years later receiving this invite coupled with all the big white wedding traditions (showers, registries) has all left a bad taste in our mouths.  There are several of us in the family who are very confused, asked each other what was up - should we send gifts?  Go?  What do we do?  I get that now is their religious ceremony, but I have to think what we were the previous two years then?  I truly do not get it.  If they called this their religious blessing or the actual name of this particular ceremony, I would understand a whole lot better - but using the word wedding when they are already wed, along with things like showers and registries is just off-putting. 

Especially when you're looking at quite a substantial sum to attend and take vacation time off of work.  I don't see how you can wed again in the same marriage, but I do understand religious ceremonies.  And this one in particular requires you to behave as an unwed couple not living together, when we all know that is not the case.  Where I see being the line is not whether they are being just deceitful, but whether the couple is truly behaving in a way as to what this ceremony is and what they are asking of their guests.  Otherwise it's asking ME to be deceitful for them if we go along with it, imo and I don't like it one bit.

There's no way to make this sound like anything but a gift grab. 

Dealing with one of these right now in our family... deliberately deceitful so they can have their BWW long after the fact.  They both have said "we feel like we didn't get the wedding gifts we would have had we had a BWW so we are having it now"
 
Calling it a renewal of their vows or a celebration reception would be acceptable - calling it a wedding, not really.

And that mindset doesn't even make any sense! It costs a whole lot more money to put on a BWW than couples usually 'recoup' in gifts.

I suspect that people either get swept up in the sponteneity of 'Let's get married right away!' or do a small ceremony for the benefits etc, and later start to regret the lack of the ceremony and the flowers and the dress and the dancing and the being the centre of everyone's attention for a day, and figure they'll just do it now, two years later.

Don't get me wrong, that stuff's great! My wedding day was the greatest day ever for me - I love all that stuff. But of course the whole hoopla is to get married. if you're already married, the rest is just a weird performance.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Cz. Burrito on April 18, 2014, 08:56:12 AM
Dealing with one of these right now in our family... deliberately deceitful so they can have their BWW long after the fact.  They both have said "we feel like we didn't get the wedding gifts we would have had we had a BWW so we are having it now"
 
Calling it a renewal of their vows or a celebration reception would be acceptable - calling it a wedding, not really.

Oh that's just awful.  Weddings are not fundraisers.   >:(
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: rigs32 on April 18, 2014, 09:01:47 AM

And that mindset doesn't even make any sense! It costs a whole lot more money to put on a BWW than couples usually 'recoup' in gifts.


Assuming you actually host your guests properly.....
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: z_squared82 on April 18, 2014, 10:22:50 AM
I actually believe my SIL’s sister (or my brother’s SIL, whichever you prefer), X, is trying to do this now. She didn’t have a BWW for either of her marriages. Just popped down to the courthouse. When my SIL and Brother got married, they had a BWW and X was bitter the whole time. Kept passive aggressively harping on the photographer, of all things. Well, if X's Pinterest page is at all telling, they’ll be doing a Big White Vow Renewal.

I’m so glad I won’t be invited. I hope my SIL doesn’t get roped into being a “bridesmaid”.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: cheyne on April 23, 2014, 01:06:35 PM
Etiquette (according to Merriam Webster dictionary) is: "the rules indicating the proper and polite way to behave."  So does etiquette only apply to certain people?  If you think you're the exception does that give you a pass?  If everyone who has a reason gets a pass, why do we have etiquette at all?  Or is it too "judgemental" to ask people to hold to correct etiquette? 

When it comes to being married, etiquette is clear that you get one wedding per couple* unless there is a divorce in-between.  If you choose to be married due to health insurance, military service, citizenship status or same-sex, you are married.  That fact does not change just because you want to have a religious blessing or a BWW for whatever reason you want those things (for family harmony, gifts or being Princess for a Day).

If we keep making exceptions for everyone who "doesn't feel married" or wants a BWW after their courthouse wedding for the reasons stated above, where does it stop?  Is it only certain people that must hold to etiquette while others are exempt? 

I have no problem going to a reception to celebrate a marriage held earlier.  The problem with holding 2 weddings is that you are lying to your guests and lying to people isn't cool.  In answer to the OP, your friend should be encouraged to do exactly as you stated.  Tell people they are married and have the reception later.

All "yous" general
*I know this is different in Europe/outside the US. 

Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: LadyL on April 23, 2014, 03:02:23 PM
I know a couple who took the "reenactment" part very literally - they had two weddings, one on each coast, because their families were bi-coastal. They "reenacted" the entire ceremony from Wedding #1 at Wedding #2 complete with processional, readings, vows, and recessional. 
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: turnip on April 23, 2014, 03:49:49 PM
Etiquette (according to Merriam Webster dictionary) is: "the rules indicating the proper and polite way to behave."  So does etiquette only apply to certain people?  If you think you're the exception does that give you a pass?  If everyone who has a reason gets a pass, why do we have etiquette at all?  Or is it too "judgemental" to ask people to hold to correct etiquette? 

When it comes to being married, etiquette is clear that you get one wedding per couple* unless there is a divorce in-between.  If you choose to be married due to health insurance, military service, citizenship status or same-sex, you are married.  That fact does not change just because you want to have a religious blessing or a BWW for whatever reason you want those things (for family harmony, gifts or being Princess for a Day).

If we keep making exceptions for everyone who "doesn't feel married" or wants a BWW after their courthouse wedding for the reasons stated above, where does it stop?  Is it only certain people that must hold to etiquette while others are exempt? 

I have no problem going to a reception to celebrate a marriage held earlier.  The problem with holding 2 weddings is that you are lying to your guests and lying to people isn't cool.  In answer to the OP, your friend should be encouraged to do exactly as you stated.  Tell people they are married and have the reception later.

All "yous" general
*I know this is different in Europe/outside the US.

See the bolded. In your asterisk you clarify that this is the etiquette according to current U.S. norms.  My observation is that this etiquette is perhaps in the process of changing in the U.S. - that there are guests ( myself included ) who are not concerned about the legal status of the happy couple. 

There are happy couples who cannot get legally married.  There are happy couples who must get legally married immediately or risk terrible repercussions.  Many happy couples are already sharing a life and a home, so a wedding is not the gateway to a whole new world in the way it used to be.   And of course many people just like to go to a big party!

All of this, I think, leads to an environment where a lot of people are less interested in dictating what a 'wedding' has to be.  If we like the couple, and they are having a wedding, then that's enough for us - we'll go and eat cake and drink champagne with them.

I know not everyone feels this way - of course.  But back to the OP I would be very careful about trying to 'convince' a friend not to have a non-legal wedding ceremony.   If my friend knows her family and knows her guests than she is better able than I to evaluate how concerned they are about whether or not they are witnessing a legal binding.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 23, 2014, 04:16:08 PM
I told him that he shouldn't deceive people like that, and I recommended that he have a small ceremony now if they decide that's what they want to do, TELL people they got married, and then hold a reception at a later date for all of their friends and family.  I hope he does anything besides the plan he proposed.   :-\

turnip, this is from the OP.  No one is saying that people cannot or should not have the party and celebration that they want.  Some of us are saying, however, that they should be honest about what it is.  I am even fine with having a BWW feel so long as it is a solemnization of vows rather than purported to be the first time the vows are exchanged.  It is as simple as changing the tense from "I do!" to "I have!" 

Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: CakeEater on April 23, 2014, 04:27:42 PM
Etiquette (according to Merriam Webster dictionary) is: "the rules indicating the proper and polite way to behave."  So does etiquette only apply to certain people?  If you think you're the exception does that give you a pass?  If everyone who has a reason gets a pass, why do we have etiquette at all?  Or is it too "judgemental" to ask people to hold to correct etiquette? 

When it comes to being married, etiquette is clear that you get one wedding per couple* unless there is a divorce in-between.  If you choose to be married due to health insurance, military service, citizenship status or same-sex, you are married.  That fact does not change just because you want to have a religious blessing or a BWW for whatever reason you want those things (for family harmony, gifts or being Princess for a Day).

If we keep making exceptions for everyone who "doesn't feel married" or wants a BWW after their courthouse wedding for the reasons stated above, where does it stop?  Is it only certain people that must hold to etiquette while others are exempt? 

I have no problem going to a reception to celebrate a marriage held earlier.  The problem with holding 2 weddings is that you are lying to your guests and lying to people isn't cool.  In answer to the OP, your friend should be encouraged to do exactly as you stated.  Tell people they are married and have the reception later.

All "yous" general
*I know this is different in Europe/outside the US.

See the bolded. In your asterisk you clarify that this is the etiquette according to current U.S. norms.  My observation is that this etiquette is perhaps in the process of changing in the U.S. - that there are guests ( myself included ) who are not concerned about the legal status of the happy couple. 

There are happy couples who cannot get legally married.  There are happy couples who must get legally married immediately or risk terrible repercussions.  Many happy couples are already sharing a life and a home, so a wedding is not the gateway to a whole new world in the way it used to be.   And of course many people just like to go to a big party!

All of this, I think, leads to an environment where a lot of people are less interested in dictating what a 'wedding' has to be.  If we like the couple, and they are having a wedding, then that's enough for us - we'll go and eat cake and drink champagne with them.

I know not everyone feels this way - of course.  But back to the OP I would be very careful about trying to 'convince' a friend not to have a non-legal wedding ceremony.   If my friend knows her family and knows her guests than she is better able than I to evaluate how concerned they are about whether or not they are witnessing a legal binding.

The question for me, though, is where does it end? Do you celebrate the quickie legal wedding with a card and a gift, then spend money to attend the BWW months later, then what if elderly Grandma couldn't attend that one and the couple has another ceremony at Grandma's church that she can witness. As the bride's sister or mother or best friend, do you have to go to that one? Just how many celebrations of the one couple's joining is enough? Especially if they've had an angagement party, showers, hen's night etc.

What if they have a one year anniversary party 6 months after that? It sounds silly, but I've seen just this situtation. And even the bride's mother got pretty weary of celebrating her daughter's 'wedding'.

My brother and his wife were married in a civil ceremony with about 20 family members and close friends present. They're having a church wedding in his wife's home country about a year later. I love my brother and his new wife, but I don't feel a need to go to this ceremony, or drink champagne with them. I saw them get married the first time: they're married now. I'm interested to look at photos of the church wedding, but that's about it. Happily, they understand that and aren't pushing anyone to come to wedding number 2.

It's not about whether you like someone enough to let them off the hook.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: gellchom on April 23, 2014, 04:29:57 PM
Coming late to the conversation and admitting I skimmed the last few pages --

I can see all the different points of view.  Here's mine:

The legal interests and the social* interests, matters, and affected parties, with regard to both weddings and marriages, don't always equal each other.  (Note that in all the following, fraud would be an obvious exception.  But we aren't talking about that.)

*I don't mean "social" in the "party" sense, I mean "in the eyes of the community" as opposed to "in the eyes of the state."

The legal or "paperwork" parts -- the stuff that the government requires, license, officiant, ceremony with certain bone fides -- are very important to the couple and to the government.  They really aren't the guests' business.  But the civil wedding (which may be the only ceremony and may be combined with a religious one) is the only one of interest to the government.  You can have a BWW and tell everyone you're married and share a name and so forth, but if you don't perform the legal requirements -- or the state won't accept them, e.g. same sex couples in most states -- then you might well be considered married by your community and families, but not by the state.

Conversely, the social (including in some cases religious) parts -- including possibly a wedding with guests and any religious ceremony, but the point being that you are holding yourself out as a married couple, a family unit, to other people -- are very important to the couple and to society (friends, family, community).  The government couldn't care less.  You could be secretly legally married but not live as a married couple or tell anyone you are married, and be considered married by the state, but not by the community. 

In most cases, the two will be the same: you're both legally and socially married, or neither.

But as you see, it's theoretically possible to have only one or the other.  And because of that, I cannot agree with the posters who insist that no one should ever call the social event their "wedding" if the legal event was separate and more than a couple of days before or after.  (And you might be very surprised to know how common that is.  My husband has performed several such, for one boring technical reason or another.  We almost did it ourselves, until we learned that for a fee the distant state where we were to be married would waive the requirement that we get the license in person three weeks before the wedding.  No one ever discusses it with the guests, not because they are trying to trick anyone, but because it simply doesn't matter.)

Nor do I think that such a couple is "lying."  They may be perfectly honest about it with any and all when it comes up somehow, yet still call the event their "wedding" in conversation and on their invitations.  I sure would -- even if every single guest knew the legal details, I wouldn't put "solemnization of vows" or something, I'd put "marriage."  The same as I wouldn't insist that same-sex couples having ceremonies in non-marriage-equality states not put "marriage" on their invitations just because the state won't recognize it as such.  It's just not something that has to be spelled out on the invitations.  Same for insisting that they say "I have" instead of "I do."

Part of this is coming from a respect for religious, not just civil law.  A religious ceremony, at least in my religion, isn't just a blessing by clergy -- in fact, clergy aren't even a requirement.  But a ketuba (marriage contract) and certain rituals absolutely are.  And many people absolutely would not consider themselves married without them, even if they had totally satisfied the state's requirements.  It is terribly disrespectful to insist that they are wrong, and only the state's requirements really matter.  "I have" simply wouldn't work.

A good point was made about respecting the struggle for marriage equality; we don't want to minimize the importance of civil marriage, either, for that and other reasons.  I'm just saying it's separate, and not the only or, to many people, most important side of marriage.

The legal issues really aren't the guests' business (again, fraud excepted), any more than the virginity of the bride or the consummation of the marriage, which not long ago were, and still in some places are, considered very much the community's business -- people would have felt outraged if those had been misrepresented.

Cake eater, I think your brother's situation is different, because in his case, it sounds like both events were "social" weddings, even though only one was religious and one was small.

I think there is a big space between lying to your guests and just not making a point of stressing or even mentioning things that are really not their business.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: turnip on April 23, 2014, 06:36:42 PM
I told him that he shouldn't deceive people like that, and I recommended that he have a small ceremony now if they decide that's what they want to do, TELL people they got married, and then hold a reception at a later date for all of their friends and family.  I hope he does anything besides the plan he proposed.   :-\

turnip, this is from the OP.  No one is saying that people cannot or should not have the party and celebration that they want.  Some of us are saying, however, that they should be honest about what it is.  I am even fine with having a BWW feel so long as it is a solemnization of vows rather than purported to be the first time the vows are exchanged.  It is as simple as changing the tense from "I do!" to "I have!"

I was responding specifically to the title -  "Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to."

And while I think solemnization is a lovely term and I'd be delighted if it caught on, I have to admit that if I was planning a 'post-legal wedding ceremony' and was trying to think of an alternate title for it, 'solemnization' probably wouldn't occur to me in 100 years.  I'm sympathetic to couples who call it a wedding just because that's the closest term that occurs to them that they think other people will understand.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: LtPowers on April 24, 2014, 04:33:22 PM
The legal or "paperwork" parts -- the stuff that the government requires, license, officiant, ceremony with certain bone fides -- are very important to the couple and to the government.  They really aren't the guests' business.  But the civil wedding (which may be the only ceremony and may be combined with a religious one) is the only one of interest to the government.  You can have a BWW and tell everyone you're married and share a name and so forth, but if you don't perform the legal requirements -- or the state won't accept them, e.g. same sex couples in most states -- then you might well be considered married by your community and families, but not by the state.

But what you're missing here is that the government is not an independent entity completely separate from society and community.  It is part and parcel.  Government is nothing more than an administrative arm set up to execute the will of society.  So if you're married in the eyes of the law, you're married in the eyes of your community -- they are one and the same.

You have a point about people who treat the religious ceremony as an essential component -- which is why no one is objecting to couples having a ceremony in which their religion blesses or formalizes their union.  But to go to the town clerk and get a license and get married and accept all of the myriad benefits of marriage that society (via government) bestows upon married couples, only to claim up and down that you're not "really" married... that's dishonest.  You have to take the good with the bad.  In exchange for all those benefits society offers, society expects couples to hold up their end of the bargain.

Now, of course, society doesn't enforce that through the legal system, but rather through etiquette.  And that's why etiquette says it's not okay to pretend you're not married when you really are (or to obtain government marriage benefits if you don't really consider yourself married).


Powers  &8^]
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: mj on April 24, 2014, 04:54:48 PM
Coming late to the conversation and admitting I skimmed the last few pages --

I can see all the different points of view.  Here's mine:

The legal interests and the social* interests, matters, and affected parties, with regard to both weddings and marriages, don't always equal each other.  (Note that in all the following, fraud would be an obvious exception.  But we aren't talking about that.)

*I don't mean "social" in the "party" sense, I mean "in the eyes of the community" as opposed to "in the eyes of the state."

The legal or "paperwork" parts -- the stuff that the government requires, license, officiant, ceremony with certain bone fides -- are very important to the couple and to the government.  They really aren't the guests' business.  But the civil wedding (which may be the only ceremony and may be combined with a religious one) is the only one of interest to the government.  You can have a BWW and tell everyone you're married and share a name and so forth, but if you don't perform the legal requirements -- or the state won't accept them, e.g. same sex couples in most states -- then you might well be considered married by your community and families, but not by the state.

Conversely, the social (including in some cases religious) parts -- including possibly a wedding with guests and any religious ceremony, but the point being that you are holding yourself out as a married couple, a family unit, to other people -- are very important to the couple and to society (friends, family, community).  The government couldn't care less.  You could be secretly legally married but not live as a married couple or tell anyone you are married, and be considered married by the state, but not by the community. 

In most cases, the two will be the same: you're both legally and socially married, or neither.

But as you see, it's theoretically possible to have only one or the other.  And because of that, I cannot agree with the posters who insist that no one should ever call the social event their "wedding" if the legal event was separate and more than a couple of days before or after.  (And you might be very surprised to know how common that is.  My husband has performed several such, for one boring technical reason or another.  We almost did it ourselves, until we learned that for a fee the distant state where we were to be married would waive the requirement that we get the license in person three weeks before the wedding.  No one ever discusses it with the guests, not because they are trying to trick anyone, but because it simply doesn't matter.)

Nor do I think that such a couple is "lying."  They may be perfectly honest about it with any and all when it comes up somehow, yet still call the event their "wedding" in conversation and on their invitations.  I sure would -- even if every single guest knew the legal details, I wouldn't put "solemnization of vows" or something, I'd put "marriage."  The same as I wouldn't insist that same-sex couples having ceremonies in non-marriage-equality states not put "marriage" on their invitations just because the state won't recognize it as such.  It's just not something that has to be spelled out on the invitations.  Same for insisting that they say "I have" instead of "I do."

Part of this is coming from a respect for religious, not just civil law.  A religious ceremony, at least in my religion, isn't just a blessing by clergy -- in fact, clergy aren't even a requirement.  But a ketuba (marriage contract) and certain rituals absolutely are.  And many people absolutely would not consider themselves married without them, even if they had totally satisfied the state's requirements.  It is terribly disrespectful to insist that they are wrong, and only the state's requirements really matter.  "I have" simply wouldn't work.

A good point was made about respecting the struggle for marriage equality; we don't want to minimize the importance of civil marriage, either, for that and other reasons.  I'm just saying it's separate, and not the only or, to many people, most important side of marriage.

The legal issues really aren't the guests' business (again, fraud excepted), any more than the virginity of the bride or the consummation of the marriage, which not long ago were, and still in some places are, considered very much the community's business -- people would have felt outraged if those had been misrepresented.

Cake eater, I think your brother's situation is different, because in his case, it sounds like both events were "social" weddings, even though only one was religious and one was small.

I think there is a big space between lying to your guests and just not making a point of stressing or even mentioning things that are really not their business.

In some cases though, the civil and religious marriage lines are more blurred.  In the example with my family member, the religious ceremony used to bless the marriage after a civil ceremony and not married within a church has a very specific name.  Those familiar with this religion have so far been shocked to receive their invitation to the "wedding" when we know this religion to call it by another name, and this religion is very specific that the civil wedding is not to be cast aside.  In other words, they also believe that you cannot re-marry twice within the same marriage.  The civil ceremony is considered pertinent and permanent.  This is the reason why the couple will have to perform a certain amount of steps to have their marriage blessed by the church.

So knowing this and receiving an invitation to their "wedding" flies in the face of those who believe in this religion because we know this church does not allow it.  It is confusing and appears to be deceitful. 
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Mikayla on April 25, 2014, 10:33:14 AM

The legal issues really aren't the guests' business (again, fraud excepted), any more than the virginity of the bride or the consummation of the marriage, which not long ago were, and still in some places are, considered very much the community's business -- people would have felt outraged if those had been misrepresented.
(snip)
I think there is a big space between lying to your guests and just not making a point of stressing or even mentioning things that are really not their business.

First, CakeEater, I agree with all of that.  Miss Manners has expressed those same concerns, simply because each new trend is heading bigger/better/more.  Today's controversial topics like honeyfunds will become the norm; then what?  Door charges? 

On the bolded, I'm trying to find a non-humorous way to state the difference between someone's viriginity vs the legal status of a couple taking marriage vows!  Of course the former is nobody's business, but I'd never agree the latter is in the same category.  I want to know what I'm witnessing when I'm watching a ceremony. 

Another way to put it is that my favorite part of any wedding is watching a couple become husband and wife.  If I somehow end up attending a re-do,  this would be meaningless to me, and no different than someone re-enacting their graduation ceremony.  And if I later learned that they were married and I didn't know it, I'd consider this a lie by omission.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: gellchom on April 25, 2014, 11:23:54 AM
Another way to put it is that my favorite part of any wedding is watching a couple become husband and wife.  If I somehow end up attending a re-do,  this would be meaningless to me, and no different than someone re-enacting their graduation ceremony.  And if I later learned that they were married and I didn't know it, I'd consider this a lie by omission.
I think this pretty much encapsulates it.  For some of us, whatever comes first is what makes "a couple become husband and wife" (or wife and wife or husband and husband).  For some of us, it's whatever satisfies the government that they are married.  For some of us, it's whatever the couple decides "makes them" a married couple.

Most of us feel pretty much "one to a couple"; the disagreement is what counts as a "wedding" and what doesn't.  To some of us, an earlier, private, uncelebrated, legal proceeding counts as "a wedding" (I don't mean an elopement that you change your mind about later, I mean a quick visit to a government office to get the legal requirements covered before the planned wedding for some reason) and to some of us, it is more like getting the license.  So for us, "what we are witnessing" isn't changed by that.

And that colors our feelings when we attend the wedding.  Some wouldn't want it called a "wedding" and would feel that "I do" is a lie, because they already had satisfied the legal requirements.  But to me, if the couple felt they were forced to call it a "blessing" or "reenactment" or "renewal" or "sanctification of their marriage" or something and had to say "I did" instead of "I do," that would feel worse.  And it's for exactly the same reason as lead Mikayla to the opposite position! 

That is: don't invite me to a meaningless ritual.  But where we part company is what makes a ritual meaningful or meaningless.

In my opinion, if this is, to the couple, their wedding, what makes them a married couple, then the vows they are taking have meaning, and it's an honor to be there, and I really don't care that they took care of the civil legalities another time, and I don't think they should have to devalue what they are doing today by not calling it a wedding and saying "we did" or something.  But I agree that if they feel that the civil legalities were really the important part and they have been a married couple since then, then (I suppose except in the case of a religious ceremony that the couple takes seriously) I feel like this ceremony is the attempt to have things both ways that we all pretty much disapprove of, and they should just have a reception.

Mikayla, I am genuinely curious (you know I respect your opinion!): if The Moment is both (1) whatever establishes the legal status and (2) what you need to see in order to feel that it counts as "the wedding," then how do you (and others in your camp on this) feel about
- people in countries or religions where the civil and religious ceremonies cannot be done at the same time
- same-sex couples who want their wedding in their home town, but live in a state that does not yet have marriage equality, so must go somewhere else another time for legalities?

To me, it seems both mean and unnecessary to insist that these couples should not call their weddings "weddings" or say "I do" and the like.

And I guess for people who have other reasons for treating a separate legal ceremony like no more than getting a license, I feel the same.  I don't feel lied to or as if I am witnessing something meaningless in such a case.

[And I also stress that I am not talking about people who really are trying to fool people and have already considered themselves a married couple, and I know that you are not talking about people who had a civil proceeding just a few days before the wedding for some logistical reason.]
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 25, 2014, 08:37:48 PM
I guess I like the old fashioned way of the HC eloping if they couldn't afford a BWW or didn't want to wait for one, in the case of needing to be legally married before getting sent away with the military or for other reasons.

Maybe they were thrown a big party later, but they didn't call it a wedding.

I would have no interest in attending a do-over unless it was a vow renewal, which is usually held on a milestone anniversary.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: kareng57 on April 25, 2014, 11:04:35 PM
I guess I like the old fashioned way of the HC eloping if they couldn't afford a BWW or didn't want to wait for one, in the case of needing to be legally married before getting sent away with the military or for other reasons.

Maybe they were thrown a big party later, but they didn't call it a wedding.

I would have no interest in attending a do-over unless it was a vow renewal, which is usually held on a milestone anniversary.


This.  I think the re-do BWW is a fairly recent phenomenon.  There have always been people who had to have a simple, quick wedding for various reasons - military deployment (as with a couple of my great-aunts during WWII), immigration, or pregnancy.  Re the latter - I know that few people these days would see it as a "have to" simple wedding but it used to be fairly common.  In any event, people in these kinds of situations just accepted the situation and realised that that a BWW just wouldn't be in the cards for them.

And I really don't buy the idea of "we really won't feel married unless it's in the church/temple".  IME many clergypersons are perfectly prepared to do a simple ceremony with only a few weeks notice, as long as they've gotten to know the HC.  Yes, there might be eight guests, as opposed to a hundred.  But it's not as though the HC had absolutely no option but to choose the registry office initially, and then the big-bash religious ceremony months or years later.

Of course I am not referring to jurisdictions where religious ceremonies are not recognized as legally binding and a civil ceremony must also take place - but generally in these cases the two ceremonies are only days apart.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: gellchom on April 25, 2014, 11:38:00 PM
You know, I think most of us are actually talking past each other here -- I think we really agree.

Because I think that those of us who are in the who-cares-call-it-a-wedding camp are NOT picturing a second wedding after there has already been a small one.  I completely agree about that.  (I don't even like "vow renewals" and especially not "reenactments.")  I think we are all (anyway, I am) thinking of the few-days-before-quick-trip-to-the-courthouse-for-some-technical-reason, such as in a country where a religious ceremony must be done separately or for some equivalent reason in the US.  Like, you are having an out of state cousin who is clergy come in and do your wedding, but there is a glitch of some kind in getting the temporary permission to perform a wedding, or they won't be in town in time to do some sort of paperwork, so you run to City Hall some time in the few days before or after the wedding. 

And I am also thinking of my LGBT friends who live in states that don't yet recognize same-sex marriage.  Their trip to another state for a civilly legal marriage may be more than those few days, perhaps even several weeks before or after their wedding, but I still see no reason to say that they shouldn't still call it their wedding and take their vows as usual.  That is just mean, IMO.

In neither of those cases do I feel that the couple is "lying" about anything to their guests.  There's just a short gap between what makes them married and what makes the marriage recognized by the state.  (Technically, that always happens anyway, because the officiant has to mail in the certificate.  So the guests are never really seeing the whole "moment.")

And in neither of these cases, when I've been a guest at both, did the couple either lie about it or make a particular point of announcing the situation, much less alter their vows.  Sometimes it just isn't important enough to mention, as in the City Hall example above, and sometimes, as in the GLBT wedding, everyone knows anyway. 

For those of you, if any, who think that even couples in these situations still shouldn't say "wedding" and must say something like "We did," what happens if the wedding is first and then the legal proceeding?  What are they supposed to call it then, a "preeneactment" at which they say "We will"?  And what do they say at City Hall?  The government will NOT consider the earlier, unlicensed wedding to be a marriage -- they won't want to hear "We did."  So it seems that this only works one way, and what is really being said is that no matter which comes first, the legal proceeding is elevated to the ONLY significant one.  And that I just disagree with.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Mikayla on April 26, 2014, 06:18:18 PM

Mikayla, I am genuinely curious (you know I respect your opinion!): if The Moment is both (1) whatever establishes the legal status and (2) what you need to see in order to feel that it counts as "the wedding," then how do you (and others in your camp on this) feel about
- people in countries or religions where the civil and religious ceremonies cannot be done at the same time
- same-sex couples who want their wedding in their home town, but live in a state that does not yet have marriage equality, so must go somewhere else another time for legalities?

To me, it seems both mean and unnecessary to insist that these couples should not call their weddings "weddings" or say "I do" and the like.


First, I feel the same and you're stating this so well I'm getting dizzy trying to defend myself!  But getting to your question first, I personally exclude these situations.

On the part in red, what I can't wrap my head around is the notion that a legal marriage is subject to interpretation if the couple doesn't "feel" married.  So it then becomes an issue where people like me are viewed as wanting to define someone else's personal views, and of course that would be rude.  But it's not "me" defining them.  It's our society and our government.  Oh, and etiquette.

Sometimes this issue of paperwork gets tossed aside as a hoop you have to jump through, or nothing more than an inconvenience.  Well, same sex couples have been fighting for the right to be inconvenienced or jump through this hoop for years.   If marriage is subject to interpretation, why can't they just announce they're married?  In other words, if same sex couples can't claim marriage when they aren't, why can other couples claim non-marriage when they are? 

So when it comes to weddings, if people are separating the legal meaning from what they’re doing, fine…but it leads to questions.  If someone has been married a year, is she a bride?  Does she get a bridal shower and a bachelorette?  Is it ok for parents to give away a married woman to her husband?  (I realize this issue of "giving away" has other things attached, but I've seen ladies say they wanted to give their father the experience of walking them down the aisle). 

I do agree that some things are subject to interpretation.  Turtle Dove described her event upthread, and I thought it sounded really nice.  But a re-do BWW with showers and registries?  Not so much.   Of course a lot of this is part of my “where will this end” mindset.  We seem to be getting further away from the sacredness of the marriage ceremony and then....well, people get invites like your DD did a few weeks back :)  I just see all of this as part of a larger pattern, and it's heading in the wrong direction.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Library Dragon on April 26, 2014, 06:36:06 PM
This.  I think the re-do BWW is a fairly recent phenomenon.  There have always been people who had to have a simple, quick wedding for various reasons - military deployment (as with a couple of my great-aunts during WWII), immigration, or pregnancy.  Re the latter - I know that few people these days would see it as a "have to" simple wedding but it used to be fairly common.  In any event, people in these kinds of situations just accepted the situation and realised that that a BWW just wouldn't be in the cards for them.

And I really don't buy the idea of "we really won't feel married unless it's in the church/temple".  IME many clergypersons are perfectly prepared to do a simple ceremony with only a few weeks notice, as long as they've gotten to know the HC.  Yes, there might be eight guests, as opposed to a hundred.  But it's not as though the HC had absolutely no option but to choose the registry office initially, and then the big-bash religious ceremony months or years later.

Of course I am not referring to jurisdictions where religious ceremonies are not recognized as legally binding and a civil ceremony must also take place - but generally in these cases the two ceremonies are only days apart.

Some yes, not all.  In some churches, including the largest Christian denomination, a quick marriage is a no-go.  Required prep is often about 6 months. 
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: LtPowers on April 26, 2014, 08:58:34 PM
I think we are all (anyway, I am) thinking of the few-days-before-quick-trip-to-the-courthouse-for-some-technical-reason, such as in a country where a religious ceremony must be done separately or for some equivalent reason in the US.  Like, you are having an out of state cousin who is clergy come in and do your wedding, but there is a glitch of some kind in getting the temporary permission to perform a wedding, or they won't be in town in time to do some sort of paperwork, so you run to City Hall some time in the few days before or after the wedding.

Of course, this is fine (and, as you note, required in some cases). All that's needed in this case is to make clear that the legalities were previously taken care of.  (So the clergyperson would not say, for instance, "by the power vested in me by the State of East Virginia", etc.)

What is a problem is when a couple gets married in a civil ceremony in order to receive some sort of benefit that society (or an employer) reserves to married couples (tax break, green card, insurance coverage, moving expenses, etc), but continues to present themselves as unmarried for the purpose of having a more elaborate ceremony months or years later.


Powers  &8^]
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: kareng57 on April 26, 2014, 11:52:28 PM
This.  I think the re-do BWW is a fairly recent phenomenon.  There have always been people who had to have a simple, quick wedding for various reasons - military deployment (as with a couple of my great-aunts during WWII), immigration, or pregnancy.  Re the latter - I know that few people these days would see it as a "have to" simple wedding but it used to be fairly common.  In any event, people in these kinds of situations just accepted the situation and realised that that a BWW just wouldn't be in the cards for them.

And I really don't buy the idea of "we really won't feel married unless it's in the church/temple".  IME many clergypersons are perfectly prepared to do a simple ceremony with only a few weeks notice, as long as they've gotten to know the HC.  Yes, there might be eight guests, as opposed to a hundred.  But it's not as though the HC had absolutely no option but to choose the registry office initially, and then the big-bash religious ceremony months or years later.

Of course I am not referring to jurisdictions where religious ceremonies are not recognized as legally binding and a civil ceremony must also take place - but generally in these cases the two ceremonies are only days apart.

Some yes, not all.  In some churches, including the largest Christian denomination, a quick marriage is a no-go.  Required prep is often about 6 months.


And that's exactly what I said - "many" does not mean "all".  I'm not sure what you are referring to as the "largest Christian denomination"; certainly that varies among different countries.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: violinp on April 27, 2014, 12:12:47 AM
This.  I think the re-do BWW is a fairly recent phenomenon.  There have always been people who had to have a simple, quick wedding for various reasons - military deployment (as with a couple of my great-aunts during WWII), immigration, or pregnancy.  Re the latter - I know that few people these days would see it as a "have to" simple wedding but it used to be fairly common.  In any event, people in these kinds of situations just accepted the situation and realised that that a BWW just wouldn't be in the cards for them.

And I really don't buy the idea of "we really won't feel married unless it's in the church/temple".  IME many clergypersons are perfectly prepared to do a simple ceremony with only a few weeks notice, as long as they've gotten to know the HC.  Yes, there might be eight guests, as opposed to a hundred.  But it's not as though the HC had absolutely no option but to choose the registry office initially, and then the big-bash religious ceremony months or years later.

Of course I am not referring to jurisdictions where religious ceremonies are not recognized as legally binding and a civil ceremony must also take place - but generally in these cases the two ceremonies are only days apart.

Some yes, not all.  In some churches, including the largest Christian denomination, a quick marriage is a no-go.  Required prep is often about 6 months.


And that's exactly what I said - "many" does not mean "all".  I'm not sure what you are referring to as the "largest Christian denomination"; certainly that varies among different countries.

I'm pretty sure that the one referred to is Catholicism.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Twik on April 27, 2014, 03:06:52 PM
It's great to have all these exceptions - "yeah, but what about THESE people? Surely in their situation you'd allow them to celebrate their wedding now even though they had another ceremony days/weeks/months/years before?" But I just get something stuck in my throat at pretending. So, if you've legally tied the knot before the religious ceremony, or whatever, at least let people know the truth. And if you have been living together in what legal authorities would call marriage, when you do have the big shindig, you'll have to skip all the "just married" stuff, like having an MC announce "Presenting, for the first time, MR AND MRS NEWLYWEDS!" Otherwise, it's all a big game of pretend, which is rather degrading for your guests.

Plus, of course, you get *one* big shindig per marriage, *not* per ceremony. No double-dipping. Your friends may love you, but there is a limit to how many times they will be willing to toast your "new life."
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Wintergreen on April 28, 2014, 06:56:13 AM

The legal issues really aren't the guests' business (again, fraud excepted), any more than the virginity of the bride or the consummation of the marriage, which not long ago were, and still in some places are, considered very much the community's business -- people would have felt outraged if those had been misrepresented.

I actually fully disagree with this. The legal issue really is the guests' business: they are witnessing legal contract being made. Even if they all don't sign their names/act as named witnesses (at least here is the practice that you should have at least two witnesses along when you get married), they still are part of the group that witnesses the contract being made. And I'd rather not witness legal procedures that I'm not aware what is being agreed on. Or to be tricked to witness something I think is a legal procedure but actually does not hold any legal meaning.

Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Tea Drinker on April 28, 2014, 12:22:55 PM

The legal issues really aren't the guests' business (again, fraud excepted), any more than the virginity of the bride or the consummation of the marriage, which not long ago were, and still in some places are, considered very much the community's business -- people would have felt outraged if those had been misrepresented.

I actually fully disagree with this. The legal issue really is the guests' business: they are witnessing legal contract being made. Even if they all don't sign their names/act as named witnesses (at least here is the practice that you should have at least two witnesses along when you get married), they still are part of the group that witnesses the contract being made. And I'd rather not witness legal procedures that I'm not aware what is being agreed on. Or to be tricked to witness something I think is a legal procedure but actually does not hold any legal meaning.

That sounds good, but my immediate thought is "how much research do I have to do before traveling to a wedding?" I've been to religious weddings where I don't know what being married means in that religion, such that I may not know what's being agreed on. (For example, are they committing to having children, and if so, what happens if they can't?) Should I check, before a wedding, whether the couple will be living in a community property state? There are very long lists of the rights, privileges, and obligations that come with being legally married in the United States, but nobody handed me that list when I applied for a wedding license.

From the less legalistic angle, if someone gets up in front of their friends and family and has a wedding ceremony, but are already legally married, they have already agreed to whatever they say they are agreeing to during the wedding. The ceremony might be less important in some ways, but they aren't pretending to be married while actually living together unmarried: when we walk out of that room they really are married, with the rights and obligations that go with that.

I sympathize with not wanting to feel as though you're being held up for gifts twice, or expected to attend two weddings and buy two fancy outfits and travel twice and so on, but that doesn't feel relevant here: if you slip off to the courthouse with two witnesses and don't tell anyone you're getting married, the people you didn't tell won't be buying you wedding gifts. And they weren't there, so it didn't use up any of their time off.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Wintergreen on April 29, 2014, 04:38:55 AM

The legal issues really aren't the guests' business (again, fraud excepted), any more than the virginity of the bride or the consummation of the marriage, which not long ago were, and still in some places are, considered very much the community's business -- people would have felt outraged if those had been misrepresented.

I actually fully disagree with this. The legal issue really is the guests' business: they are witnessing legal contract being made. Even if they all don't sign their names/act as named witnesses (at least here is the practice that you should have at least two witnesses along when you get married), they still are part of the group that witnesses the contract being made. And I'd rather not witness legal procedures that I'm not aware what is being agreed on. Or to be tricked to witness something I think is a legal procedure but actually does not hold any legal meaning.

That sounds good, but my immediate thought is "how much research do I have to do before traveling to a wedding?" I've been to religious weddings where I don't know what being married means in that religion, such that I may not know what's being agreed on. (For example, are they committing to having children, and if so, what happens if they can't?) Should I check, before a wedding, whether the couple will be living in a community property state? There are very long lists of the rights, privileges, and obligations that come with being legally married in the United States, but nobody handed me that list when I applied for a wedding license.

From the less legalistic angle, if someone gets up in front of their friends and family and has a wedding ceremony, but are already legally married, they have already agreed to whatever they say they are agreeing to during the wedding. The ceremony might be less important in some ways, but they aren't pretending to be married while actually living together unmarried: when we walk out of that room they really are married, with the rights and obligations that go with that.

I sympathize with not wanting to feel as though you're being held up for gifts twice, or expected to attend two weddings and buy two fancy outfits and travel twice and so on, but that doesn't feel relevant here: if you slip off to the courthouse with two witnesses and don't tell anyone you're getting married, the people you didn't tell won't be buying you wedding gifts. And they weren't there, so it didn't use up any of their time off.

What you do, as a guest, is up to you of course. Nobody can force you to do research, if you do not want. But it should not be assumed by other person that you wont do the research and you don't want to know what  you are witnessing. Bit like EULAs :D I think many of us skip those very fast, without reading and thinking. But I still would not want them to be hidden from me, without even the change to check what I'm agreeing on.

Personally, I don't feel that this is only about gifts. It's about lying of the situation. Also, if you want to take the thinking further, you could think what kind of message one is sending when they get married (in this case registry office/or whatever the means to do the legal paperwork) and claim they are not really married. If a friend would say something like that to me, I might also think "okay, are you saying that only you are not married now... or are you implying that all registry office marriages are not real or full marriages? So are you saying too that my parents are not married? In the future, will my marriage be less valued to you if you think that yourself are not properly married after the marriage process."

Perhaps it is only me, but I don't see why not just call the celebration reception like you normally would. You got married with the procedure it requires, then you arrange a party, your reception. It might be wedding reception with blessing of the union (if you want the religious aspects there) or it might be wedding reception with repeating of the vows or something similar if you want to have that there. Yes, it might raise some eyebrows when somebody is invited only to the reception, but that is anyway the case if the couple is already married - guests are not going to see that moment, only the after-works. But I would think many would be far more understanding if told that "we had to pop to the courthouse due to rough time causing the reason to quick marriage" than finding out later on that couple only reenacting the marriage.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 29, 2014, 08:19:31 AM
Personally, I don't feel that this is only about gifts. It's about lying of the situation. Also, if you want to take the thinking further, you could think what kind of message one is sending when they get married (in this case registry office/or whatever the means to do the legal paperwork) and claim they are not really married. If a friend would say something like that to me, I might also think "okay, are you saying that only you are not married now... or are you implying that all registry office marriages are not real or full marriages? So are you saying too that my parents are not married? In the future, will my marriage be less valued to you if you think that yourself are not properly married after the marriage process."

This is the issue I have.  If a couple is married legally, and then six months later has their "real wedding," what were they for those six months?  Not married?  I would still go and celebrate the marriage if they chose to have a BWW, but I would be celebrating the marriage that took place six months earlier.  It seems, to me, to be devaluing the marriage to claim that the couple was "not really married" for the six months between the marriage and the more theatrical celebration of that marriage.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 30, 2014, 08:10:33 AM
I think it would be wedding purgatory until the other celebration.  ;)
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: menley on April 30, 2014, 01:10:26 PM
I recognize that a number of posters from the US feel quite strongly that they are being lied to when they are not witnessing the exact legal moment of union, and I feel that's a bit... well, strange, because you're never witnessing it. In my home state, yes, the minister or whoever says that he pronounces them husband and wife, but I still have to have my certificate signed (which generally only the two required witnesses see - not the entire congregation) and mail it into the county clerk's office. I don't get any of the benefits of marriage until I receive the notice back from the county that my signed certificate has been received. Yes, it's recognized as of the date that it was signed, but if for whatever reason I don't remember to mail in my certificate, I'm not legally married. So unless you're all taking a trip to the county clerk's office together, you're not witnessing the legal union. You're witnessing a social ceremony. How is that different than if they went to the JP a year ago without you and are having a wedding party now?
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 30, 2014, 01:18:45 PM
I recognize that a number of posters from the US feel quite strongly that they are being lied to when they are not witnessing the exact legal moment of union, and I feel that's a bit... well, strange, because you're never witnessing it. In my home state, yes, the minister or whoever says that he pronounces them husband and wife, but I still have to have my certificate signed (which generally only the two required witnesses see - not the entire congregation) and mail it into the county clerk's office. I don't get any of the benefits of marriage until I receive the notice back from the county that my signed certificate has been received. Yes, it's recognized as of the date that it was signed, but if for whatever reason I don't remember to mail in my certificate, I'm not legally married. So unless you're all taking a trip to the county clerk's office together, you're not witnessing the legal union. You're witnessing a social ceremony. How is that different than if they went to the JP a year ago without you and are having a wedding party now?

For me, it isn't "the exact moment" that is the issue.  It is situations where a couple is married for six months or a year and then "pretends" that they are "getting married" again six months or a year later and "pretends" that they have not already been married for x amount of time.  What were they for the six months or year prior?  To me, I am happy to celebrate the union, but it is a celebration of a marriage that occurred six months or a year prior.  I don't understand why a couple would pretend that they have not already been married for whatever amount of time that they were.  For me, it doesn't make sense to lie be coy when they can just say, "Come join us for a celebration on June 1, 2014 for our marriage that occurred January 1, 2014!"
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: turnip on April 30, 2014, 01:30:55 PM
Obviously very IMHO - but I simply don't think that a 'wedding' has to be the ceremony that initiates the 'marriage'.  You want to get married and have a wedding 6 months later?  Fine by me!

We don't insist birthday parties occur on the birthday.  We don't insist house warming parties occur on the first day you move in.  We don't insist that anniversary parties occur on the actual anniversary of the event.   

And to further the 'birthday' example ( which I like, so bear with me ) - if I'm invited to a birthday party on Nov 28th, I'm not going to feel 'lied to' if I discover the birthday actually occurred on Nov 23rd.  I'm not going to feel like the party girl 'pretended' to be ( RealAge minus 1 ) for 5 days. 

It just seems like such an insignificant snag to get caught up on.   People I love got married!  They want to have a party!  Sounds like fun to me!
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Goosey on April 30, 2014, 01:31:36 PM
Because for them it's not pretending?

I mean, I kind of get where people are coming from. Kind of. I can see being surprised. But irate/angry?

If I really care about a couple, I think it would be more important to me how/what THEY feel/believe about their wedding than make it all about me and what I would prefer.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 30, 2014, 01:47:03 PM
Obviously very IMHO - but I simply don't think that a 'wedding' has to be the ceremony that initiates the 'marriage'. 

My mileage very much varies. To me, a wedding is a ceremony in which two people get married. That's pretty much the dictionary definition of a wedding.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 30, 2014, 01:51:25 PM
It just seems like such an insignificant snag to get caught up on.   People I love got married!  They want to have a party!  Sounds like fun to me!

I would absolutely attend the celebration!  But I would find it really strange that the HC would pretend they were not already married for x number of months.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Goosey on April 30, 2014, 01:53:33 PM
There seems to be an assistance on calling it "pretending", "Lying", "deceptive" etc. If a couple believes in their hearts and in their beliefs that their marriage does not begin before their wedding, I would not consider that a lie. That's a sincerely held belief and I will respect that.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 30, 2014, 01:59:16 PM
There seems to be an assistance on calling it "pretending", "Lying", "deceptive" etc. If a couple believes in their hearts and in their beliefs that their marriage does not begin before their wedding, I would not consider that a lie. That's a sincerely held belief and I will respect that.

Hmmm.  I can respect that a person holds that belief, but I don't agree with it.  For example, as I said upthread, I think a lot of people fought hard for the legal right to marry.  To me, if that legal right - and the legal marriage - does not mean anything to the couple, that strikes me as incredibly odd.  Again, I would celebrate the marriage, but if a couple was legally married January 1 and then said they were "getting married" for the first time June 1, I would wonder "what have they believed themselves to be for the past six months?"
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: menley on April 30, 2014, 02:01:09 PM
Because for them it's not pretending?

I mean, I kind of get where people are coming from. Kind of. I can see being surprised. But irate/angry?

If I really care about a couple, I think it would be more important to me how/what THEY feel/believe about their wedding than make it all about me and what I would prefer.

This is where I land.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Goosey on April 30, 2014, 02:06:41 PM
There seems to be an assistance on calling it "pretending", "Lying", "deceptive" etc. If a couple believes in their hearts and in their beliefs that their marriage does not begin before their wedding, I would not consider that a lie. That's a sincerely held belief and I will respect that.

Hmmm.  I can respect that a person holds that belief, but I don't agree with it.  For example, as I said upthread, I think a lot of people fought hard for the legal right to marry.  To me, if that legal right - and the legal marriage - does not mean anything to the couple, that strikes me as incredibly odd.  Again, I would celebrate the marriage, but if a couple was legally married January 1 and then said they were "getting married" for the first time June 1, I would wonder "what have they believed themselves to be for the past six months?"

Of course being able to legally marry is important. No one is denying that. People are just saying many believe it is completely separate from their social/religious/whatever marriage.

I don't really respect organized religion. But I'm not going to say people getting married religiously are putting on a farce because I find their beliefs or their church offensive. You can disagree with someone and respect their choices at the same time. And you can definitely disagree with someone and not take that disagreement in philosophy as personnally as many seem to - especially when it has very little to do with you.

As to your bolded - I assume they believe they are the same as they had been before the signed the paperwork. It's not that much of a mystery.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: turnip on April 30, 2014, 02:16:30 PM
It just seems like such an insignificant snag to get caught up on.   People I love got married!  They want to have a party!  Sounds like fun to me!

I would absolutely attend the celebration!  But I would find it really strange that the HC would pretend they were not already married for x number of months.

I don't think they are pretending.   They don't think they are pretending.  Why is it up to you to declare that they are pretending?
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 30, 2014, 02:18:32 PM
There seems to be an assistance on calling it "pretending", "Lying", "deceptive" etc. If a couple believes in their hearts and in their beliefs that their marriage does not begin before their wedding, I would not consider that a lie. That's a sincerely held belief and I will respect that.

Hmmm.  I can respect that a person holds that belief, but I don't agree with it.  For example, as I said upthread, I think a lot of people fought hard for the legal right to marry.  To me, if that legal right - and the legal marriage - does not mean anything to the couple, that strikes me as incredibly odd.  Again, I would celebrate the marriage, but if a couple was legally married January 1 and then said they were "getting married" for the first time June 1, I would wonder "what have they believed themselves to be for the past six months?"

Of course being able to legally marry is important. No one is denying that. People are just saying many believe it is completely separate from their social/religious/whatever marriage.

I don't really respect organized religion. But I'm not going to say people getting married religiously are putting on a farce because I find their beliefs or their church offensive. You can disagree with someone and respect their choices at the same time. And you can definitely disagree with someone and not take that disagreement in philosophy as personnally as many seem to - especially when it has very little to do with you.

As to your bolded - I assume they believe they are the same as they had been before the signed the paperwork. It's not that much of a mystery.

Right, and that is what I find so odd - if the legal marriage means nothing in terms of their relationship, why do it separately from the "wedding" they actually value then? Why do it at all?  Again, no one has to agree with me, and if I cared about people I would celebrate the marriage anyway, but I am pointing out why it seems odd, at least to me, to pretend not to be married when you are.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 30, 2014, 02:20:39 PM
It just seems like such an insignificant snag to get caught up on.   People I love got married!  They want to have a party!  Sounds like fun to me!

I would absolutely attend the celebration!  But I would find it really strange that the HC would pretend they were not already married for x number of months.

I don't think they are pretending.   They don't think they are pretending.  Why is it up to you to declare that they are pretending?

I guess I don't follow - it isn't up to me!  They are in fact legally married.  Also, why be legally married if it means nothing?  I think this is the sticking point for a lot of people in understanding this, and certainly is my issue with it.  And, my typical disclaimer, if I cared about the couple of course I would celebrate with them anyway :)
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Goosey on April 30, 2014, 02:23:18 PM
Because sometimes legal benefits are required before they are able to get socially married. I've seen it/heard about a thousand scenarios where this has happened. They may be legally joined out of necessity, but their "marriage" does not begin until the wedding. I don't get the confusion.

If you want an example, many times people get married before their SO deploys and don't have a wedding until they get back from deployment. But that is only one example.

Many people say "too bad, so sad!" but I consider that very unfeeling and narrow.

I wish you would stop saying "pretending", too. They believe they are not married. They are not pretending not be married.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 30, 2014, 02:31:14 PM
Because sometimes legal benefits are required before they are able to get socially married. I've seen it/heard about a thousand scenarios where this has happened. They may be legally joined out of necessity, but their "marriage" does not begin until the wedding. I don't get the confusion.

If you want an example, many times people get married before their SO deploys and don't have a wedding until they get back from deployment. But that is only one example.

Many people say "too bad, so sad!" but I consider that very unfeeling and narrow.

I wish you would stop saying "pretending", too. They believe they are not married. They are not pretending not be married.

To me, when a person is legally married, it would be strange indeed to believe they are not legally married.  And again, I would celebrate the couple's marriage regardless, but I strongly believe that no matter what the reason, if you are legally married, you are married.  And if it means nothing, why get legally married.  Obviously some people disagree, and I have a very difficult time seeing where they are coming from, especially because I would not begrudge anyone a solemnization/reaffirmation of a earlier marriage and/or a blowout reception months later. I just take issue with the idea that people who apparently believe it is important to get legally married, because they did so, yet do not believe there is any importance to that marriage, can hold themselves out as not really married.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Goosey on April 30, 2014, 02:40:36 PM
Yeah, I get that. You're confused. You don't understand it. I don't think anything we're going to say is going to spark enlightenment. It's about compartmentalization between legal and religious/social.

But by insisting that they're pretending because you find it "strange", you are projecting negative behaviors on people that they are not doing because that's what you would be doing if you did the same thing due to YOUR beliefs.

Many people (I won't say all because I don't pretend to know ever couples' beliefs and circumstances) are not pretending at all. It's what they believe. You are actually being very insulting to them by insisting on calling it pretending. So, on the one hand, you're saying "I respect people believe differently than me" and in the next breath, you're saying, "But if you do believe differently, you're a big fat fibber." And no, not you're saying that word for word and that's not a direct quote, but your word choices can speak VOLUMES. Telling people they're pretending is either insulting or condescending. Most likely both.

And no, I am not defending this because it's something I did. I got married in a court house and was darn happy to do so! But I also feel we should be open to celebrating others' beliefs and happines despite what we may believe.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: HannahGrace on April 30, 2014, 02:42:39 PM
Because sometimes legal benefits are required before they are able to get socially married. I've seen it/heard about a thousand scenarios where this has happened. They may be legally joined out of necessity, but their "marriage" does not begin until the wedding. I don't get the confusion.

If you want an example, many times people get married before their SO deploys and don't have a wedding until they get back from deployment. But that is only one example.

Many people say "too bad, so sad!" but I consider that very unfeeling and narrow.

I wish you would stop saying "pretending", too. They believe they are not married. They are not pretending not be married.

To me, when a person is legally married, it would be strange indeed to believe they are not legally married.  And again, I would celebrate the couple's marriage regardless, but I strongly believe that no matter what the reason, if you are legally married, you are married.  And if it means nothing, why get legally married.  Obviously some people disagree, and I have a very difficult time seeing where they are coming from, especially because I would not begrudge anyone a solemnization/reaffirmation of a earlier marriage and/or a blowout reception months later. I just take issue with the idea that people who apparently believe it is important to get legally married, because they did so, yet do not believe there is any importance to that marriage, can hold themselves out as not really married.

Exactly. If the legal marriage is important to get the benefits, then great!  But you're married.  Have a celebration later, that's fine, but you're married, you chose to get legally married for a reason, why act like that didn't happen?  It makes no sense to me.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 30, 2014, 02:48:21 PM
Yeah, I get that. You're confused. You don't understand it. I don't think anything we're going to say is going to spark enlightenment. It's about compartmentalization between legal and religious/social.

No, I understand the arguments about what various couples value.  All of that is fine, and again, I would celebrate any couple I care about even if I find their position strange.  My issue is that to say a couple is not legally married when they are legally married is, well, not correct.  They can say that they do not "feel married" or that they value the BWW and celebration more or ______, but being legally married is a quantifiable state.  A person has to take active steps to become legally married.  A person who is legally married would have to dissolve that marriage via divorce or otherwise, regardless of whether they felt married.  To say that they don't "feel married" would not change that. 

At any rate, we are talking in circles.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Goosey on April 30, 2014, 02:50:07 PM
Oh, no - if you're legally married, definitely that's a fact. But, it doesn't make it an important fact to everybody. That's where the distinction lies.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: CakeEater on April 30, 2014, 04:31:32 PM
Oh, no - if you're legally married, definitely that's a fact. But, it doesn't make it an important fact to everybody. That's where the distinction lies.

The question for me is: is the couple utilizing the benefits of the legal marriage, or would they if the situation arose?

If the couple is using cheaper medical insurance or tax benefits (I'm not sure what the legal benefits of marriage are in the US), or they would use their status as next-of-kin if their spouse became incapacitated, then it *is* an important fact to that couple. I would think more of a couple who rejected those benefits for the six months or whatever until they had their BWW, if 'feeling' married was actually most important to them.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: Cz. Burrito on April 30, 2014, 05:19:33 PM
Oh, no - if you're legally married, definitely that's a fact. But, it doesn't make it an important fact to everybody. That's where the distinction lies.

The question for me is: is the couple utilizing the benefits of the legal marriage, or would they if the situation arose?

If the couple is using cheaper medical insurance or tax benefits (I'm not sure what the legal benefits of marriage are in the US), or they would use their status as next-of-kin if their spouse became incapacitated, then it *is* an important fact to that couple. I would think more of a couple who rejected those benefits for the six months or whatever until they had their BWW, if 'feeling' married was actually most important to them.

I absolutely agree with this.  I think it's disingenuous to take advantage of the benefits of marriage for several months/years and then say that you didn't feel married.  You clearly felt married enough to present yourselves as married for the purpose of benefitting from it.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: gellchom on April 30, 2014, 07:21:54 PM
I recognize that a number of posters from the US feel quite strongly that they are being lied to when they are not witnessing the exact legal moment of union, and I feel that's a bit... well, strange, because you're never witnessing it. In my home state, yes, the minister or whoever says that he pronounces them husband and wife, but I still have to have my certificate signed (which generally only the two required witnesses see - not the entire congregation) and mail it into the county clerk's office. I don't get any of the benefits of marriage until I receive the notice back from the county that my signed certificate has been received. Yes, it's recognized as of the date that it was signed, but if for whatever reason I don't remember to mail in my certificate, I'm not legally married. So unless you're all taking a trip to the county clerk's office together, you're not witnessing the legal union. You're witnessing a social ceremony. How is that different than if they went to the JP a year ago without you and are having a wedding party now?

I think that some people would say that their having had the legal benefits of marriage for a year is the difference. 

But --

In my view, if they have not held themselves out as married for any purposes and are not considered a married couple by the community ("community" in the social, not the government sense), then an earlier legal marriage is a matter of great interest -- to the government, but not to the community. 

TurtleDove says, "it doesn't make sense to lie be coy when they can just say, 'Come join us for a celebration on June 1, 2014 for our marriage that occurred January 1, 2014!'"  Well, I think there's a big difference between having people attend your wedding and having them attend a party celebrating your marriage six months ago.  I see quite clearly that many posters feel the opposite, but for me, I'd much rather just be invited to a Wedding, that was treated as such, even though there has already been, or will later be, a legal procedure another time, than a "blessing" or "sanctification" or something. 

For example, I attended a same-sex wedding a few years ago, where the couple went a couple of months later to another jurisdiction for a City Hall proceeding.  It was just called, and treated like, their "wedding."  I assume that everyone knew that the State of Ohio wouldn't recognize it, but even if someone didn't, I don't think that they were being dishonest in any way by saying "I do" instead of "I will" and so forth.  Those were definitely their vows to each other.  That the State of Ohio won't recognize them is the State of Ohio's problem and shouldn't control what it meant to them or to all of us who were there, or, in my opinion, to society.

After all, don't the rules of etiquette require us guests to treat a same-sex marriage ceremony, even in a state where the marriage won't be recognized, the same as an opposite-sex wedding?  I never even notice that the officiant doesn't say anything about "the laws of the State of Ohio" (I never notice when they do, either, actually).  To say that it can't be called a "wedding" seems not only cruel, it's also pointless.  And it's very insulting in the implication that the government recognition is solely what is important about marriage.  Yes, gay couples have struggled and still are for marriage equality -- but I don't think any of them would say that their weddings in non-equality states were "fake" or "lies" because the government wouldn't recognize them as married.

That's why I don't agree with the view that considers even a few-days-apart legal and social event a lie unless it is not only not concealed, but somehow announced to the guests.  To me, it necessarily enshrines the legal proceeding as the only meaningful one, and makes the legal formalities way more in the guests' faces than is necessary and distracts from the beauty and fun of the wedding. 

Consider whether you feel different if the legal proceeding is after, not before, the "wedding."  Which one do you consider the "real" one then?  Which, if either, is a "lie" or "just pretend"?  Always the second one?  Or always the non-government-recognized one?  Your answer will tell you whether you are assigning sole meaning to the government's interest over society's and the couple's. 

I definitely agree, though: one social event -- large or small or even private; just "social" in the sense that it establishes you as a married couple in your social community -- to a couple, just like one legal event to a couple (if you were legally married in NY, you don't have another legal marriage in OH.)
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: TurtleDove on April 30, 2014, 07:31:44 PM
I think the first wedding - whether it be legal or ceremony (assuming there was some reason it could not be legal, like gay marriage not being recognized) - is when a HC is "married." I certainly do not think only legal marriage matters! But I do think it *matters* - and I personally find it odd to go through the steps to become married - legally - and then hold yourself out as "not married" because you didn't have the BWW production. Well, you are married, period, if you are legally married. You can still have a party!  But you are already married.
Title: Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
Post by: cass2591 on April 30, 2014, 08:20:07 PM
Miss Manners does not approve of wedding re-enactments no matter what the reason. She does approve of a reception, up unto a year post legal wedding. Then it's an anniversary party.

Thread locked because it's going in circles.