Author Topic: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.  (Read 11369 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #135 on: April 30, 2014, 03:48:21 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.

Goosey

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #136 on: April 30, 2014, 03:50:07 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.

CakeEater

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #137 on: April 30, 2014, 05:31:32 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.

Cz. Burrito

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #138 on: April 30, 2014, 06:19:33 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.

gellchom

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #139 on: April 30, 2014, 08:21:54 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.)

TurtleDove

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #140 on: April 30, 2014, 08:31:44 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.

cass2591

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #141 on: April 30, 2014, 09:20:07 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.

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