Post # 46
I’m ignoring the debate above me on gifts, paperwork, attention grabbing, etc. to give my opinion on OPs actual question.
So I’ve been to two “later” receptions where the bride and groom got married quickly/casually (courthouse and private ceremony) for immigration reasons and then had a big shindig later. There was definitely no secrets about what they were doing and no one had any trouble with the concept. Both brides wore a wedding dress. They both had bridesmaids and I was actually a bridesmaid in both.
The first wedding they did a full ceremony – the officiant described their courthouse wedding and used language about celebrating the marriage and standing in front of friends and family. It was extremely lovely. It wasn’t vow renewal language becuase the ceremony was still geared towards the start of their life together – they were only a year in and so I think to most people still starting out their lives. If there were any negative opinions, I certainly didn’t hear any. I think keeping the language really honest and describing *exactly* what they were doing kept the bride (my good friend) feeling better about the whole thing. The day was still very special to the parents in particular, who had some cultural traditions and rituals they were looking forward to.
The second wedding was a little more awkward. They didn’t do a ceremony because they felt their first one was enough and I’d say the start of the wedding was really uncomfortable because no one knew where to go or what to do. The bride and groom were still taking pictures and everyone was kind of just wandering in like “do I eat now?”. So, if you opt out of a ceremony, I’d still have a clear picture of how your event “begins”. These are new kinds of parties, so your guests need to be instructed a little. Something ceremonial (if not a full ceremony) will set the mood. Later they did speeches, dances, etc. and that felt a little more normal, but the beginning was a bit uncomfortable.
You shoudln’t do anything that makes you feel weird, but I hope my stories can give you some direction on how to think about your event. It doesn’t have to fit into any box that you’re not comfortable with.
I think it’s pretty crappy that a year ago everyone was literally begging people to postpone their weddings for the good of public health and now here we are and folks are like, “oh well you made your decision guess you lost your chance stop being so entitled”. Let’s have some empathy, particuarly for the people who made the selfless decision to postpone their once-in-a-lifetime event.
Post # 47
My thinking on these things is that you and your partner should do whatever would be most meaningful and natural feeling to the two of you, without worrying about what anyone else thinks. Whether that’s a full blown wedding with vows, big white dress, bridal party and the works, or a casual reception only, or something in between. I am certain that the vast, vast majority of your guests will be down to celebrate in any manner you choose because they are just excited to share in your joy.
There are always going to be people who insist on criticizing your choices. (These types never fail to come out of the woodwork on any WB thread about this stuff.) I feel like that has to be an incredibly miserable existence to be nitpicking the way a COVID couple celebrates their marriage, but some people seem to get a sad thrill from it so more power to them I guess? You do you bee and trust that your loved ones will be nothing but happy for you!
Post # 48
Unprecedented times. I think you should do whatever you want to do, including the ceremony, the works, etc if you want to fo that without any feelings of guilt or inappropriateness.
Post # 49
Ok, I have the exact same issue, so our destination wedding got cancelled (I was actually happy about it) and for my legal ceremony i wore simple dree, I still have my wedding dress. The idea was to have a nice photoshoot in a dress on our honeymoon and maybe even a vow renewal but I honestly feel weird about wearing it even though my wedding dress it not very traditional, but still looks very bridal…We decided to still have a photoshoot but no vow renewal
Post # 50
After over a year of covid I will gladly eat hotdogs and watch you say vows to your cat if it gives me a place to go, and an opportunity for socialization.
Have you looked into vow renewal ceremonies at all in terms of the actual wording? All the ones I have been to were never just repeats of wedding vows but more celebrating your ongoing commitment. You may find something that feels more comfortable to you.
And if not, fuck it, have a big party. I can’t imagine anyone who loves you objecting to that! And wear your dress if you want to, and if you don’t that’s ok too. Ultimately this is still about you two as a couple and you should feel comfortable.
Post # 51
If you’ve signed the paperwork, that’s all you need. No need for specific sentences/phrases in the vows in order for an American marriage to be legal.
Post # 52
WB won’t let me edit (big surprise), so I have to write another post (sorry that it’s not on point): Can someone tell me what these specific sentences ARE that people have to say in their ceremonies in order to be married in the UK? And is it true you’re not allowed to mention anything religious during that time either? What’s the purpose of this?
OP, I’m definitely not one of the people who think it makes a lick of difference how people want to conduct their weddings, so do whatever. It can be meaningful to you even if other people are rolling their eyes; there’s no objective truth to be found about whether or not a vow renewal early on is meaningful. What’s the core problem here? Is it the actual act of RENEWING VOWS that’s holding you back? Or do you feel a little like you’re “play acting” when you’re walking down the aisle in the dress and going through the more ritualistic motions?
You’ll need to identify exactly what makes you feel so strange so that you can make the appropriate changes — you don’t want to nix the vow renewals if it’s just walking down the aisle and having the officiant tell you that you’re now pronounced husband and wife.
Post # 53
@obviousanonymous: Can someone tell me what these specific sentences ARE that people have to say in their ceremonies in order to be married in the UK? And is it true you’re not allowed to mention anything religious during that time either? What’s the purpose of this?
Not UK, but Canada is similar. Here you can choose to have a religious or non religious ceremony. If non religious, then no mention of god or religious stuff. I believe provinces vary, but in BC we had to say something dumb like “there is no legal imediment I know of that would prevent me from marrying” or similar. You could make it however long you wanted and add lots of other stuff in, but that sentence had to be included.
We also generally sign the paperwork as part of the ceremony, so it’s not some big secret thing lol.
Post # 54
I’m posting again. I went to a vow renewal but it was the church party of the wedding if that makes sense? It was lovely they said their vows there was a wedding dress and it was really lovely. I can’t remember exactly what was said but they did exchange vows and it was them being officially married by their church which required some classes etc. And no one had any comments or anything.
So I’m saying so what you would like. I know I wouldn’t judge if you wanted to wear a big ol ballgown with all the crystals. Same if you wanted to wear something else.
I know you haven’t come back to post again but most people are going @ to be happy to celebrate with you how YOU want to. So be sure that whatever you do is what you and your hubs want to do. That is all. Unprecedented times call for new ways of saying things so I personally think it was very very attains if you to postpone for safety so you deserve to celebrate how you want.
Post # 55
You seem amazingly cross and inclined to insult (” nitpick, criticise , miserable, sad, crawling out of woodwork ” etc)) those whose ideas on this differ from yours . Almost unanimously this different view is simply not calling the second ceremony a marriage and/ or allowing guests to think it is.
l don’t believe anybody at all has suggested having a big celebration a while after the marriage ceremony, for any reason whatever, is wrong or strange or unacceptable, merely that it is not the actual marriage. Don’t know why that upsets you .
Post # 56
first of all the thread is literally called vow renewal. OP is not even calling it a wedding and yet there are pages of people criticizing.
Second, yes, IMO it is 100% nitpicking and petty of you to dictate to a COVID couple how they should celebrate their marriage or what term they should use for their event. Take it as an insult if you want, but if the shoe fits?
No, I’m not “amazingly cross” (projecting much?)… I’m happy for these couples who are finding ways to make lemonade out of lemons. It’s unfortunate some bees prefer to find things to criticize rather than just being happy for these couples, but cest la “bee”
Post # 57
Ah, that makes SO much more sense of some of the comments I’ve seen on this and other threads. It’s weird to get your head around when you come from such a different background. In the UK, you can have whatever vows you like as long as you include two specific ones. There are several different versions of these, some with more formal language than others, but it basically boils down to these two statements – the first is that you don’t know of any reason why you may not lawfully marry your spouse-to-be, and the second is the formal declaration of taking them as your partner in marriage. The promises need to be made in the presence of two witnesses and of someone who is legally allowed to officiate at weddings (there was a case a few years back when a vicar was taken ill, and a well-meaning person decided to ‘stand in’ for him, only for the couple to find out, when they got back from honeymoon, that they hadn’t actually been legally married because the guy who married them wasn’t authorised to do weddings! So they had to redo the ceremony post honeymoon!!!)
Although there are a range of different wordings for the vows, you have to use the phrases in one of the agreed formats – you can’t just rewrite the vows in your own words. My father used to act as registrar for his local church, and he attended one wedding where the guy officiating decided he could ‘improve’ on the vows, so he reworded them to sound better – unfortunately, this meant the marriage wasn’t legally valid! Fortunately, they’d decided to sign the register in the vestry, out of sight of the congregation, so my father was able to get the minister to run through the two vows again, this time using the right wording. So none of the guests at that wedding actually saw the ‘marriage’ take place.
Regarding religious content, in this country, you can either have a religious or a civil wedding. A civil wedding takes place in a registry office, hotel, stately home or other non-religious building that has been registered for holding weddings, and you can’t have any prayers, references to God etc as part of the ceremony.
Post # 58
don’t forget jealous and bitter!
Post # 59
Serious question though…everyone I know who had their wedding plans changed due to COVID just put off the entire thing. What’s the motivation behind signing the paperwork and being married, only to want to have a ceremony at a later date? Why not just put off the entire thing? What’s the rush? Is this some kind of US health insurance thing? xo
Post # 60
Very sadly, it is not uncommon to rush marriages for that reason. Which goes to show that health insurance in the US should be provided by the government rather than by employers. Medicare, a single payer government-provided insurance for those 65 and older, has efficiencies and economies of scale. It is funded by a combination of payroll taxes paid while working and general tax dollars. It can be expanded to those under 65 if a way to pay for it is agreed on.
The other possible reason to get married during COVID rather than postponing the entire thing: not wanting to delay having kids and wanting to be married before doing so.
But I agree with you overall. I think people who want a big wedding or certain people in attendance should wait until it’s safe to have the kind of wedding they want rather than getting legally married now.