Does it, or would it, offend you to be invited/attend a marriage ceremony that was not recognized by the civil government because a civil marriage ceremony had taken place earlier, or was scheduled for later, or the marriage was of a kind not allowed under that state's laws?
The wedding-planning forums, the closest thing to "AoM for women" out there, see this as strictly an etiquette issue. The "real wedding" is whatever is recognized by the state government, anything else, such as a separate religious ceremony or a second ceremony so both the bride's and groom's family traditions are entirely celebrated, is a "fake wedding" and a "pretty princess day," and offensive. Such "fake weddings" are only OK if the couple tells all their guests (I guess in the invitations) that they are being invited to a "fake wedding." Then the guests can be offended and refuse to come.
My understanding is such "fake weddings" are common in Europe. The Prince and Princess of Monaco followed this procedure. They had a small civil ceremony with a very large Nuptial Mass the next day. Some friends of mine who got married in Austria, or who got married at the courthouse in Arizona and then got married at a large Nuptial Mass in Austria, also did this. Prince Charles and Camilla did something similar with a civil marriage followed by a religious blessing.
And various ordinary Americans do it because their weddings are abroad in countries with residency requirements, or their choice of officiant isn't qualified under their state's laws, or the marriage is a kind not allowed under that state's laws.
I'm wondering if "people" are really offended by the idea, or if it's just a certain set of women.
It isn't offensive. I've heard of people having private ceremonies for the real deal, and then a more public version ... or even a private ceremony and more public reception (maybe the church is too small or something). I've heard of people having a quickie wedding -- because someone is shipping off, for instance -- and a formal "fake" ceremony and reception later on when there was time to plan.
I suppose it depends on the reason. There are certain ceremonies that I wouldn't attend even if it was the official deal. Its not inherently bothersome, though -- at least not to me.
Mostly, its your wedding, do what you want. Nobody's forcing attendance.
Exactly, I know what you mean.
HAHA! You talk about the pentultimate 1st world problem! Being a gay guy- lots of my friends have various ceremonies- be it a legal marriage, a committment ceremony, a party after a justice of the peace thing at a court house. A lot of folks get married, then have a party or reception at a later date. Who really cares!?! A fake wedding? Ive never heard of this. I think the drama queens bitching about such need to realize its not about them, its about celebrating a friends marriage or committment. Is a catered dinner party not a real dinner party cause they didnt cook the food at the house? Really? My advice, dont invite those folks to your party, cause they are the onces in the back, eating your food, drinking your booze telling eveyone how bored they are and how much your party sucks.
Most wedding planning is navigating a series of first-world problems. I often want to really needle these women about what they think will happen if a bride breaks one of their "rules." The marriage will still be valid. On that issue, it's really hard to really wreck a wedding, providing both the bride and groom show up.
Most people, I think, won't be offended. Those who are offended...I'm not actually the type to say "You don't want them in your life anyway," because there are all sorts of reasons to keep uptight people in your life. But I think the women on the wedding forums think people hold on to offense from friends and family much longer than real friends and family usually do.
one of the best weddings I ever attended was in central texas. the bride made her own dress and the dresses of her brides maids. it was, obviously, a simple affair, under a couple trees in the hot texas sun. afterwards, we all went to a high school gym, and I remember the old ladies carrying in tinfoil wrapped casserole dishes, while us guys rolled in a couple kegs. the band was a guitar and accordian. This was 1987, and I still remember how genuine, real, fun it was.
Ive since been to extravaganzas on long island, manhattan, nj- the finest of the finest- $250+ per plate. cocktail hours with sushi chefs, prime rib, open bar with top shelf liquors. Private weddings at rented masions on fifth avenue, black tie affairs. None compare to the genuine feel of love and happiness as those texas home made weddings. Junk it all, go rent a trailer outside San Antonio, get a couple kegs and a marriachi band and get yourself married for real.
I have discovered I have expensive taste in everything but weddings. My teenage daydream wedding reception was to have it in the high school gym (which wasn't built yet).
The problem is looking to these wedding forums. You go to an internet room full of people who take the topic uber-serious and you are bound to get people offended by the slightest thing. Heck, I bought a 5 euro safety razor from Boots pharmacy and it works like a charm. Now if I went and promoted that on the shaving group here at AOM I'd be bound to piss off at least some of the group. Are they crazy or uptight? No. But they take that stuff serious.
I don't see anything to be offended about.
I'm getting married soon - like most Mericans, with a civil/religious ceremony conducted simultaneously. The religious part is the only part I really take seriously. The whole marriage license, paperwork part of it I look at as just some annoying stuff we have to do to make life easier.
If someone invites me to or asks me to participate in a wedding that doesn't agree with my political or religious beliefs, I'll take it as a very serious compliment, honor, and profession of friendship from the person who invited me. I wouldn't have any problem attending or participating unless the participation conflicted with my faith, and I can't think of why it would.
I'm a fairly "conservative" christian when it comes to matters of faith. I think marriage is between a man and a woman, and for that matter I think the active practice of a homosexual lifestyle is a sin... but I'm not going to respect or love a friend less because they think otherwise. If a gay friend asked me to attend a service, I'd be honored to be a part of their life in that way, keep my opinions to myself (my friends already know them, anyway), and keep the focus where it belongs - on the people who invited me.
Now, when I go to a religious ceremony that is in accordance with my faith, I look at it as participating in a sacrament.
I'd invite a gay atheist friend to my wedding, and I'm sure he wouldn't consider it a sacrament, but would consider it an honor.
As a matter of fact, there will be 4 gay peeps I know of at my wedding.
Some people don't know when to shut their beak.... and I think 99% of the time the "offence" is phony, and just someone trying to showboat their own sanctity.
You and me- thats what makes this country great. We dont have to agree on anything but mutual respect. I see marriage the exact opposite. Well, not exactly- now I dont wanna open this can of worms, but I think there should be a civil wedding recognized by the state, that affords all equal protectionn and access to all privileges and duties of marriage provided by the law. Then, I think a church wedding is separate. If your church thinks people like me arent human and dont deserve to be with those we love, then thats your right as a church. But, the fact you have homosexual friends who will attend your wedding and vice versa- thats where maturity, respect and intelligence wins over hate, bigotry and small mindedness. We can enjoy a beer (or non-caffined beverage) together with out fighting over who is right to have sex with. Good for you, and I hope you have a wonderful wedding- congratulations.
I totally agree with you about the need for a civil wedding recognized by the state that affords equal protection, privileges and duties.
And thanks for the congrats :)
Hey, side note as I duck my head while the bullets are flying. John Muir- Muir woods. Are you related? I didnt think he married or had kids. You in to the environmental movement? Rachel Carson-Silent Spring type?