Post # 1
I saw an idea somewhere that I really like, and decided to do it: I want all the married couples attending our wedding to bring a picture from their own wedding, with the goal being to celebrate all the marriages that came before ours (and to have a bit of a laugh at the expense of the couples who got married in the 80’s!! I think one of my uncles wore a powder-blue tux, no joke). I think it will be nice to have all the pictures set up on a table together, with the number of years married on the frame.
When I first floated the idea to my mom and Dear Fiance, both expressed concern because DF’s parents are divorced and they thought it would be a touchy subject. I quickly shot that down, because 1) both are remarried, so it’s not like one of them will awkardly have a picture from their new wedding while the other won’t, and 2) IT’S A WEDDING! It’s not my fault other people’s marriages haven’t worked out, and I certainly hope that ours does and that anyone who is divorced would also wish the best for us. I’m not going to be on eggshells about celebrating marriage while at a wedding.
What actually came up in my mind as a bit of a concern is my gay uncle. He and his partner have been together as long as my parents — over 30 years!!! But they live in Texas, and so, of course, they are not married or anything like it. So while I have no problems rubbing ‘wedding’ in the face of people who are divorced, I am worried that it could be hurtful to my uncles that they don’t get to be included simply because they live in a state that won’t let them marry.
Is there something I could do to let them feel included without making it awkward? Will they even care, after 30 years together and probably attending umpteen weddings together? Am I just overthinking this?
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2009 - Barr Mansion
I think it’s nice that you have thought of your uncle. Are you close enough with him that you could reach out and explain to him that you want him and his partner to feel included so you would love it if they gave you a picture of the two of them to use as part of the display?
Post # 4
No, inform them, like every other couple about this picture sharing. Let THEM decide if they consider themselves “married-enough” to participate. By single-ing them out shall only make them feel worse. If they *really* wanted to be married, they would have moved, to be able to get married.
Post # 5
My aunts have been together for 20+ years and are “civil unionized” but obviously don’t have a wedding picture – since they couldn’t have a wedding. Is there a nice picture of the two of them you could include with the wedding pictures? They obviously know its not your fault they can’t be married – but – it probably would be a little hurtful to totally leave them out? So – just a nice picture of them together should do the trick!
Post # 6
@PinkFlemingo: Personally, I think you may be overthinking this. After all, will it offend them that you’re having a wedding because they can’t have one? It’s not a personal insult, you didn’t make the law banning gay marriages in Texas.
If you want, you could always ask them personally to contribute their favorite, funny “couple” photo of themselves.
ETA: Or, if you want to avoid singling them out, you could just ask couples to contribute a “wedding photo or date photo from early on in the relationship” or something equally broad.
Post # 7
“If they *really* wanted to be married, they would have moved, to be able to get married.”
…. are you …serious???
Post # 8
I agree, just ask for a couples picture. I’m doing something similar with our parents’ wedding photos and photos of their parents’, for our guest book table… but we don’t have wedding photos for some of the older generation. So I’m just making it work.
Post # 9
Can you ask each couple to bring a favorite photo, instead of a wedding photo?
Post # 10
@PinkFlemingo: Why not put up a picture of them and celebrate their 30 years. I know you’re using wedding pictures for everyone else, but why not just a normal picture of them from when they first started dating?
We did the same thing at our wedding. It was the opening for our slide show and we recognized anyone who had been married for 20 years or more. We had very good friends who were together for 20 years before being able to legally get married. We put up a picture of when they first started dating and a pic from their wedding, noting they had had been together for 23 years.
I think it’s important to acknowledge a love that has lasted that long, even if the state of Texas won’t.
Post # 11
I would invite them to bring a picture of the two of them and instead of years married you could just write the number of years they have been together. Regardless of legal status, they have basically the same relationship as any married couple.
EDIT: if you do this, you might want to say that the other couples can choose a regular picture or wedding picture, so they’re not ALL wedding photos except your uncles?
Post # 12
@vmec: Your last sentence blows my mind. They should move away from family/friends/loved one’s so they can get a piece of paper? ugh. They should just have their rights to get married, but that’s a whole other conversation.
Post # 13
I think it would be great to include them, and other long-term commited couples who aren’t technically married (gay or straight), in the photos. I have aunt’s who were/are with my “uncles” for over 20 years but aren’t married who I’d like to see with couple-y pics from back in the day.
Post # 14
I think it’s great you’re trying to be sensitive to your uncles’ feelings! I’d call your uncle, explain it, and say although they aren’t formally or legally married, that you know this is lifetime love and ask if he has picture of them he’d like included. If he says no you’ve done your part, if he says yes you get another picture! I’m sure in 30 years they took some photo of them both dressed formally that will fit in, and they probably have a picture from some momentous event or the start of their relationship. You can suggest those as options or let him pick on his own 🙂
Post # 15
@vmec: That last sentance is pretty ignorant. No couple should pick up and move their life just because their state is behind in the times.
To the OP, I agree with the others. Ask your uncle for a nice picture of him and his partner and include it with the others. I bet he will be flattered 🙂
Post # 16
I agree with PP, speak with them directly and explain your motivation for the project, which is actually to have some fun looking at old pictures of couples, rather than JUST to celebrate marriages. Ask them if they would like to include an old picture of themselves, in funny clothes. Have they had a commitment ceremony or anything like that? If so, you could include that picture.
Otherwise, maybe you should just include grandparents, parents etc. I can see your FI’s concern about his parents and other divorced couples. As someone who works in the legal field, I see couples every day that get divorced through no fault of their own (husbands leave with other women and visa versa, people leave because of abusive situations etc.), also single people who wish they were married will also be excluded. Making it something that EVERYONE at the wedding is doing may leave a bad taste in more than one person’s mouth, is that what you definitely want for your guests on your wedding day? It might be something to think about.