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  • June 28, 2016, 04:04:04 PM

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Author Topic: Can We Do This? Clarification #6, Update #23  (Read 3041 times)

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gellchom

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2016, 05:29:21 PM »
Quote
In other words, it's still a wedding.  Even where etiquette forbids it or people don't like it or feel misled. 

This doesn't seem like helpful advice on an etiquette site, where the OP specifically asked for etiquette advice.

LOL!  I see what you mean.  In my opinion, the etiquette ruling might depend on circumstances.  But I know to others it doesn't.

Anyway, what I was thinking of was just the question on what to call it if you're going to do it anyway, irrespective of whether it is correct.  I guess like when people do things that aren't etiquette-approved, like put registry info in an invitaiton -- I'd still call it a "registry" rather than try to change the name to something else so as not to be violating the rule.  Or to switch from etiquette categorization to the issue of "misrepresentation" -- I'd still call it a "birthday party" even if it weren't held exactly on the real birthday.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 06:48:05 PM by gellchom »

EllenS

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2016, 06:45:03 PM »
I'm in the camp that the word "wedding" means a ceremony accomplishing a change in legal and/or social status from two single people to a married couple.

You can have as many parties or receptions in as many places as you want, you can get your vows blessed, etc. But to enact an exchange of vows that have already been exchanged, strikes me as just putting on a show for an audience, rather than including special people in a life milestone.

It's not the equivalent of a birthday party on a convenient weekend. It's more like throwing a birthday party for your three-year-old and calling it a "baby shower".

Celebrate away! But call things what they are.

gellchom

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2016, 09:59:52 PM »
I'm in the camp that the word "wedding" means a ceremony accomplishing a change in legal and/or social status from two single people to a married couple.

You can have as many parties or receptions in as many places as you want, you can get your vows blessed, etc. But to enact an exchange of vows that have already been exchanged, strikes me as just putting on a show for an audience, rather than including special people in a life milestone.

It's not the equivalent of a birthday party on a convenient weekend. It's more like throwing a birthday party for your three-year-old and calling it a "baby shower".

Celebrate away! But call things what they are.

Re: the bolded -- but what about when the "vows that have already been exchanged" aren't at all the same type of vows, as in a civil ceremony and a religious one?  Civil and religious requirements can be very different and not satisfy each other. 

That's where the "and/or" confuses me.  "Or" would suggest that you should call only whichever one comes first a wedding, or even that even if you don't call the first one your wedding, you shouldn't call the second one a wedding.  "And" would suggest the opposite (because the first event didn't accomplish both purposes). 

The ceremony our synagogue uses does include the couple of things that the State of Ohio requires (and the license being witnessed and returned is really the main thing the state cares about), so it does satisfy both the civil and religious and cultural requirements. 

But no way does a City Hall ceremony satisfy Jewish law.  (Certainly makes a real difference if there is ever a divorce; there is a procedure for that in Jewish law, too.)

So a Jewish wedding, even following a City Hall civil ceremony [ETA: or for that matter even a BWW with just a civil ceremony], would in no way be "just putting on a show for an audience."  I'm sure you didn't mean to imply that.

And I think that for many people, publicly taking vows before their families and community is what matters most to them and truly "marries" them.  That's not so fanciful; it's what the witness requirement is about, too.  This can be hard to understand for people who see a wedding as being solely about the bride and groom making a permanent commitment to each other.  But for many people and many communities, that isn't the only important part.  That's not just a "show for an audience," either.

I completely understand that many people feel differently, and don't think it is proper ever, under any circumstances, to call more than one event a "wedding."  Even if that is true, though, it doesn't mean that the motives of those who do it are always necessarily greed or exhibitionism.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 02:51:13 PM by gellchom »

lmyrs

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2016, 10:48:15 PM »
Rather than try to articulate my own thoughts on this, I'd just ask you to re-read all of gellchom's posts and know that I couldn't agree more.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2016, 11:14:13 PM »
So a Jewish wedding, even following a City Hall civil ceremony, would in no way be "just putting on a show for an audience."  I'm sure you didn't mean to imply that.

And I think that for many people, publicly taking vows before their families and community is what matters most to them and truly "marries" them.  That's not so fanciful; it's what the witness requirement is about, too.  This can be hard to understand for people who see a wedding as being solely about the bride and groom making a permanent commitment to each other.  But for many people and many communities, that isn't the only important part.  That's not just a "show for an audience," either.

There are certainly reasons why the civil and religious and/or family-witnessed ceremonies might be separated, and why some people would feel that the latter is the one that truly marries them. However, that implies that the couple is going to consider themselves socially and (if religious) religiously unmarried until the non-civil ceremony occurs, however long that takes. That does not seem to be the case for the OP. The OP said that one reason they want to marry now is because they want to try for a baby and feel they should be married first...if the civil ceremony (or whatever ceremony they have next month) makes them "married enough" to have a baby, then it would be really tough sell to claim that a ceremony a year later is a wedding rather than just a party with the trappings of a wedding.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting that the OP and DF should put their lives on hold and pretend they're not married until they can do a BWW next year, just that claiming it was a "wedding" is likely to come across as disingenuous if they've been conducting themselves as married for a year.

ETA: In other words, IMO it's not that there's some rule that whatever ceremony takes place first (civil or religious) is the only one that is allowed to be celebrated as a wedding. But a wedding is "a ceremony at which two people are married to each other" (from merriam-webster.com), so there is logically only one per marriage, and it's reasonable for people to take their cue from the couple about which ceremony is the important one that represents the actual marriage. If a couple consider themselves "married" after a purely civil ceremony, that implies that they consider the civil ceremony the important one, and people are likely to wonder if they're then asked to celebrate some other ceremony as if it's the true "wedding." OTOH, if a couple has the civil ceremony but socially (and religiously, if applicable) conducts themselves as an engaged-but-unmarried couple, then that demonstrates that they consider the non-civil ceremony to be the important one that actually marries them, and I would expect polite people to go along with that and treat the later ceremony as the wedding.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 11:32:27 PM by Onyx_TKD »

EllenS

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2016, 12:11:28 AM »

But no way does a City Hall ceremony satisfy Jewish law.  (Certainly makes a real difference if there is ever a divorce; there is a procedure for that in Jewish law, too.)

So a Jewish wedding, even following a City Hall civil ceremony, would in no way be "just putting on a show for an audience."  I'm sure you didn't mean to imply that.


Certainly not. Both are important, and singular, changes in status. I've been to my share of wonderful Jewish weddings - some where the civil and religious requirements happened at the same time, and others where they happened at different times, and completely understand the distinction.

And you know what? If the couple are two different religions, and each religion has different requirements for them to be considered married, then go ahead - have the civil, religion 1, and religion 2.

But for people who have no specific religious beliefs or requirements, or whose religious beliefs are satisfied by a civil ceremony (as, for example, most Protestant denominations that I've encountered), it strikes me as odd to call a "do-over" just to have a party.

Have the party, by all means. Have ten parties. Wear the poufiest white dress in the world, have the catering, the band - knock yourself out.

But the whole point of the wedding ritual is to surround an important life change. If nothing's actually happening, then it's a celebration of something that already happened. Which is great! It's just two different things.

To revisit the birthday analogy, inviting someone to your child's birthday party is not the same as inviting them to be in the delivery room, or to the courtroom when you sign the adoption papers. Or to keep in the theme here, there's a huge difference between inviting someone to your baby's bris, and inviting them to a party a year later and telling them it's the bris. That would just be odd.

There's the actual event, and then however many ancillary celebrations of the event you want to do. To mix up the names is confusing, and it does inspire a big fat side-eye from me - because if you like your guests enough to want to celebrate with them, why would you bandy words about what they're coming to? Just call it what it is.

mime

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2016, 12:01:57 PM »
Rather than try to articulate my own thoughts on this, I'd just ask you to re-read all of gellchom's posts and know that I couldn't agree more.

Me, too.

mandycorn

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2016, 04:57:51 PM »
One practical thing to consider, etiquette aside, is that the second event may not happen, especially if TTC goes quickly.

My cousin and her husband got married at the courthouse for insurance purposes just before their first baby was born, with the intention that they would have a larger religious ceremony with all their friends and family present later. Their oldest son just turned 5 and at this point staging a wedding has taken a back seat to all sort of other expenses. I know this is really disappointing for my cousin, so I think it might be better to only count on having one wedding, so make sure the most important people and elements are included, even if it's toned down from being everything you could have dreamed of.

It might help if you and your fiance both make a list of what elements you'd want to include, if time and budget weren't constraining factors and figure out what the most important ones are. Then from there, see if you can scale your list back into something you'll both be happy with doing in a month. Then, I would just have that wedding, and see where life takes you.

Is the month timeline set by an external deadline or is it something you could push a little bit if you needed to? If it's flexible, you may have more luck getting your DM and DSF out to attend with slightly more lead time, plus that would give you slightly more time to plan an event that's somewhere between just legal and dream wedding.

Another thing to consider is that there's no rule that your wedding is the only big party you're allowed to throw, so don't feel like you need that as a reason to get a fancy new outfit, order a lot of really good food, and invite your nearest and dearest to come have a good time with you. You can celebrate for a particular reason, like an anniversary, graduation, immigration status, or just because! You can even cite not having a big wedding as a reason to throw an awesome party, and just run with it!
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Angel B.

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2016, 05:01:20 AM »
A small update:

My SO and I spoke to my DYB yesterday. We laid out everything out and asked his opinion.

The good thing is, he knows our DM well, so he told us her reactions pretty much as I thought she would. However, he suggested that we have the ceremony in the US and the reception in the UK. So that was a suggestion we hadn't thought of(maybe I missed it if someone mentioned that here). It would require me to plan both though, so I'm not sure how thrilled I am about that(I'm not).

As far as why we'd want to have it next month, it is so we can apply for the visa before my current one expires. It take 8 weeks for the spousal visa to go through. My SO didn't realise when it expires(he thought we had until September), which is this summer.

So no real decision have been made, but I'll update when we have.
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Tea Drinker

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2016, 07:48:50 AM »
A small update:

My SO and I spoke to my DYB yesterday. We laid out everything out and asked his opinion.

The good thing is, he knows our DM well, so he told us her reactions pretty much as I thought she would. However, he suggested that we have the ceremony in the US and the reception in the UK. So that was a suggestion we hadn't thought of(maybe I missed it if someone mentioned that here). It would require me to plan both though, so I'm not sure how thrilled I am about that(I'm not).

As far as why we'd want to have it next month, it is so we can apply for the visa before my current one expires. It take 8 weeks for the spousal visa to go through. My SO didn't realise when it expires(he thought we had until September), which is this summer.

So no real decision have been made, but I'll update when we have.

It wouldn't be rude to say something like "That's a good idea, but I'm so busy with school that I can barely manage to plan one event. Can you handle planning/organizing the ceremony?" to your brother (or to tell your mother that your brother had this idea, but you've got so much else to handle that if there's going to be a ceremony in the US, you need her to plan it, here's the time that would work for you and your partner). Nor would it be rude for them to say no, too much work, of course--but at that point they might be more aware that if it was too much work for them to plan one event, it would be too much work for you and your partner to plan two.
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Margo

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Re: Can We Do This?
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2016, 08:07:39 AM »
I don't even know how you would have a repeat wedding in the UK. You would be able to get a blessing in a church, but I can't see that the vicar would be willing to "now pronounce you man and wife" if you were already legally married.

I think this would depend on your vicar. If you are regualr members of the conggrgation and s/he knows you, they may be fine with it.
My cousin and her husband got married in a hurry becuase of a change in visa rules. In their case it was only a month or two. They didn't mention it to anyone and the wedding went ahead as originally planned a couple of months later. Their parish priest did both services and the second one (which I attended) was a normal marriage service, including pronouncing them to be husband and wife.

but you could certianly have a blessing, or , if having a second church ceremony isn't vital to you. you could have a separate ceremony with your own vows. (this might work quite well - you can tell guests that you have already done the legal buit privately (which would be true) and don't have to go into any detail about exactly when that took place.

I personally would probably o for the option of a quiet wedding now (this could be register office or church, as you prefer) then a celbration / ceremony when you are ready. I'd be inclined to be open with people about the fact that the ceremony has already taken place, if only because it avoids the upset which people may feel if they feel that they have been misled, and it means you don't have to worry about keeping your story straight.

Another option: What specific aspects of a BWW are importnat to you? Because you could try for a middle ground and get married now but on a budget.

For instance:
Wedding dresses are expensive, but Oxfam have several Wedding Dress shops where you can get beautiful, worn once and ex-display dresses for very little, flowers don't need to be done by a florist, you can have a buffet rather than a full-service meal and so on.

I think the two mian issues people have with doing a wedding twice are:

1. It can look greedy, particualrly if gifts were given on the first ocassion
2. People may fel that they have been lied to or misled, if you don't let them know that the ceremony they are invited to is not the actual, legal wedding

I think that you can overcome (1) by not telling people the first time, and by making clear to anyone who does know, andwho does give a gift, at the time that you invite them to the second sceremony that they have already given you a gift and that they should not give another, and can overcome (2) by letting people know that the ceremony is not the legal one. This doesn't ned to be a big thing, you can say briefl (maybe on invitations) something about inviting  them to celebrate your marriage, and sayingthat you had to hold the legal ceremony earlier for legal reasons, but want them to celebate your marriage with you.

Good luck, and enjoy whatever you decide to do.


auntmeegs

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2016, 08:32:36 AM »
Rather than try to articulate my own thoughts on this, I'd just ask you to re-read all of gellchom's posts and know that I couldn't agree more.

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cheyne

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6, Update #23
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2016, 09:01:05 AM »
I think you need to make a list of your priorities to clarify what you and DF need, and what you and DF want

If you and DF sit down and clarify what is most important to you both, you can make a list and whittle it down from there.  While I understand that your mom wants you to have a "wedding", that may not happen.  You and your DF need to be happy (or at least content) with your life plans and honestly your mom gets no say.