Author Topic: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.  (Read 10541 times)

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kareng57

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #105 on: April 26, 2014, 12:04:35 AM »
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.

gellchom

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #106 on: April 26, 2014, 12:38:00 AM »
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.

Mikayla

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #107 on: April 26, 2014, 07:18:18 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.

Library Dragon

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #108 on: April 26, 2014, 07:36:06 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. 

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LtPowers

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #109 on: April 26, 2014, 09:58:34 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.


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kareng57

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #110 on: April 27, 2014, 12:52:28 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.

violinp

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #111 on: April 27, 2014, 01:12:47 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.
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Twik

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #112 on: April 27, 2014, 04:06:52 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."
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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #113 on: April 28, 2014, 07:56:13 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.


Tea Drinker

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #114 on: April 28, 2014, 01:22:55 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.
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Wintergreen

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #115 on: April 29, 2014, 05:38:55 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.

TurtleDove

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #116 on: April 29, 2014, 09:19:31 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.

ladyknight1

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #117 on: April 30, 2014, 09:10:33 AM »
I think it would be wedding purgatory until the other celebration.  ;)

menley

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #118 on: April 30, 2014, 02:10:26 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?

TurtleDove

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Re: Wedding reenactment-- really hope I convinced my friend not to.
« Reply #119 on: April 30, 2014, 02:18:45 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!"