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Author Topic: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?  (Read 15267 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2015, 09:52:01 AM »
90 minutes strikes me as extraordinarily long. It's a big demand on your guests' time to sit through such a ceremony filled with religious details they may not share and ceremonial rituals they are merely observing rather than participating in. I'm sure for you, the participants, it will seem to go quickly, but some of your guests might find it interminable.


Powers  &8^]

But...the ceremony is not a performance.
The guests are not an audience, nor are they observers. They're witnesses, which is a subtle but distinct difference. Some of them might be participants in the rite as congregants.

It's a religious rite that other people get to witness, and the only people who really matter are the people undergoing that rite.

lowspark

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2015, 10:06:16 AM »
You're specifically looking for ways to answer your mother, right? You haven't had any other guests say anything, I take it. When my kids were little and would ask me the same question repeatedly I sometimes used an old Perry Mason quote: "Objected to on the grounds that this has already been asked and answered."

Ok, yeah, I can talk to my kids differently than how I might talk to my mom. But I think that's the real issue. She keeps asking you because she's trying to wear you down. Like kids do. She may be figuring that if she asks enough times, she'll convince you.

So some form of that reply is what I'd do. "Mom, I'm not answering that again" or something like that.

I don't mean to dog pile here as you've said that most people will be expecting the long service and that you'll warn others but I do want to emphasize that you should make sure your guests realize it will be 90 minutes. I think that many people will expect "full mass" to be about an hour so don't just say "full mass", tell them the length.

I honestly would have no trouble sitting through a long ceremony if it were meaningful to the couple, regardless of their religion or mine. But I would absolutely want to know if it were going to last that long. Not because I'd be bored or annoyed, but just because it's outside of the expected norm.

Houston 
Texas 
USA 

magicdomino

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2015, 10:17:58 AM »

I honestly would have no trouble sitting through a long ceremony if it were meaningful to the couple, regardless of their religion or mine. But I would absolutely want to know if it were going to last that long. Not because I'd be bored or annoyed, but just because it's outside of the expected norm.

Also, I'd want to be extra careful to visit the ladies' room before the ceremony.

nuit93

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #33 on: April 08, 2015, 10:20:11 AM »
The majority of the guests (minus those who are immediate family) have seen this ceremony hundreds of times before so there's hardly going to be confusion there.  I've already sent immediate family members a script of the mass and some basic information on it as well as the heads-up that "yes, it's going to be an hour and a half long and I realize that's longer than you might be used to" so they have time to get used to the idea. 

mime

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2015, 10:22:37 AM »
90 minutes strikes me as extraordinarily long. It's a big demand on your guests' time to sit through such a ceremony filled with religious details they may not share and ceremonial rituals they are merely observing rather than participating in. I'm sure for you, the participants, it will seem to go quickly, but some of your guests might find it interminable.


Powers  &8^]

But...the ceremony is not a performance.
The guests are not an audience, nor are they observers. They're witnesses, which is a subtle but distinct difference. Some of them might be participants in the rite as congregants.

It's a religious rite that other people get to witness, and the only people who really matter are the people undergoing that rite.

I think that's an important difference to remember. This isn't about entertaining or pleasing the guests, but allowing or asking them to witness the ceremony/celebration. If something about that bothers them, then they can politely RSVP "no". 

Letting potential guests know some aspect of the ceremony is outside of their norm is a thoughtful thing to do. From OP's updates, it sounds like she has that covered already.

ETA: I see nuit93 confirmed my last statement as I was still writing it!




TootsNYC

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2015, 10:24:21 AM »
If you think your mom might be getting pressure from others, or even just hearing comments and perceiving it as pressure (bcs I can totally envision people thinking it's rude to criticize or comment to -you- but thinking they could say something to your mom in order to influence you by proxy, or simply as conversation making), you might suggest a script for her to say.

I might ask her point-blank: "Mom, are other relatives making comments to you about the ceremony length? Is that what's behind this?"

Lynn2000

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #36 on: April 08, 2015, 11:19:02 AM »
If you think your mom might be getting pressure from others, or even just hearing comments and perceiving it as pressure (bcs I can totally envision people thinking it's rude to criticize or comment to -you- but thinking they could say something to your mom in order to influence you by proxy, or simply as conversation making), you might suggest a script for her to say.

I might ask her point-blank: "Mom, are other relatives making comments to you about the ceremony length? Is that what's behind this?"

And if she has to say no, then that just highlights the fact that it's really just her making trouble. Because whether she says yes or no, your response isn't going to be, "Okay, I'll make it shorter." It's either going to be, "Well you can tell them it's really important to us and nothing is changing," or "Well, it's really important to us and nothing is changing."
~Lynn2000

JeanFromBNA

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2015, 06:51:57 PM »
You could make a game of it:  Every time she mentions that, you take a shot on your honeymoon, or go a day without calling her . . .  >:D

turnip

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2015, 07:07:21 PM »
You could make a game of it

You know - this is not a bad suggestion.   I've been reading a book called "Playful Parenting " that suggests this sort of approach with your toddler, it probably works on mothers as well!

"So, it's still looking to be about 90 minutes long?"
"Oh gosh no - we're up to 180!"
"What - it's gotten longer!?!"
"Well once we hired the mime troupe we had to make some changes!"
"What!"
"And the dancing cats, of course - we couldn't skip the dancing cats.  Very traditional."

Have fun with it.  The more she asks, the more absurd you get.  It may or may not stop her but at least you won't get so stressed.



Luci

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2015, 07:19:20 PM »

I honestly would have no trouble sitting through a long ceremony if it were meaningful to the couple, regardless of their religion or mine. But I would absolutely want to know if it were going to last that long. Not because I'd be bored or annoyed, but just because it's outside of the expected norm.

Also, I'd want to be extra careful to visit the ladies' room before the ceremony.

One of my major thoughts for the warning.  :)

katycoo

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2015, 09:42:17 PM »
I do have an alternative suggestiion that you might wish to consider, if you think the mass will be unappealing to a large number of your guests.

I went to a ceremony a number of years ago where the couple was quite religious.  The church service was just the standard but afterwards the bride and groom remained in the church for a private communion with the minister. It was very personal to them as communion was something they felt strongly about being the first thing they did as husband and wife, but this way their guests were not watching or pressured to participate.

They then met up with everyone else who was having tea and biscuits in the foyer afterwards.    I thought it was quite sweet.

LtPowers

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #41 on: April 09, 2015, 10:15:25 AM »
But...the ceremony is not a performance.
The guests are not an audience, nor are they observers. They're witnesses, which is a subtle but distinct difference. Some of them might be participants in the rite as congregants.

It's a religious rite that other people get to witness, and the only people who really matter are the people undergoing that rite.

In this case, apparently the vast majority of the guests are familiar with the ceremony length, so it's probably not an issue. But I do think, as a matter of general application, that there is a limit to the indulgence one can expect from one's guests -- yes, even for a religious ceremony.

Can we at least agree that there is some length of ceremony that is obviously and incontrovertibly too long? If we can, then we can discuss where the line should be drawn...


Powers  &8^]

Kiwipinball

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #42 on: April 09, 2015, 10:26:11 AM »
But...the ceremony is not a performance.
The guests are not an audience, nor are they observers. They're witnesses, which is a subtle but distinct difference. Some of them might be participants in the rite as congregants.

It's a religious rite that other people get to witness, and the only people who really matter are the people undergoing that rite.

In this case, apparently the vast majority of the guests are familiar with the ceremony length, so it's probably not an issue. But I do think, as a matter of general application, that there is a limit to the indulgence one can expect from one's guests -- yes, even for a religious ceremony.

Can we at least agree that there is some length of ceremony that is obviously and incontrovertibly too long? If we can, then we can discuss where the line should be drawn...


Powers  &8^]

In some cultures I believe wedding ceremonies can last most of the day. I think people should choose the ceremony that works for them (and if they're religious, they may feel strongly about using what they believe is the correct religious rite, regardless of anything else). I think it's kind to let people know if it's outside their norms, but if a ceremony is too long, too uninteresting, too religious for an invited guest, that guest can decline. If the couple harasses people for declining, that's obviously not okay, regardless of length of ceremony.

nuit93

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #43 on: April 09, 2015, 10:28:14 AM »
But...the ceremony is not a performance.
The guests are not an audience, nor are they observers. They're witnesses, which is a subtle but distinct difference. Some of them might be participants in the rite as congregants.

It's a religious rite that other people get to witness, and the only people who really matter are the people undergoing that rite.

In this case, apparently the vast majority of the guests are familiar with the ceremony length, so it's probably not an issue. But I do think, as a matter of general application, that there is a limit to the indulgence one can expect from one's guests -- yes, even for a religious ceremony.

Can we at least agree that there is some length of ceremony that is obviously and incontrovertibly too long? If we can, then we can discuss where the line should be drawn...


Powers  &8^]

I still think that's going to vary, since I'm pretty comfortable (as a guest) with an all-day or even all-weekend ceremony whereas others won't even bother staying at one that's more than 20 minutes.  If the all-day ceremony is a sincere reflection of the couple's beliefs then I can't even imagine telling them that it's too long.

scansons

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Re: I'm being asked to make the ceremony shorter?
« Reply #44 on: April 09, 2015, 10:39:48 AM »
I wonder....

As a pastor's wife I know that how long the pastor/priest/officiant chooses to preach sometimes has a lot to do with the running time of a service.  My husband does a solid 12 - 13 minutes on his sermons.  If he gets to 17 he's afraid I'll start heckling.  :)  But I've seen guys go on for a half hour. 

Have you talked to your clergy member about the problem?  Lots of guys have one sermon that they preach for every wedding with some changes.  Maybe he'd be amenable to cutting back a little, especially if there are lots of elderly or children attending.   Important though to open this conversation with something like "We love you sermons.  They mean so much to us.  But we're concerned about the length of the service because my mother...."