Post # 1
Hi bees! Just wanted to ask what others think of this and to find out if it’s fairly common, etc. My wedding is on Sunday and I just briefly met with the officiant (Justice of the Peace) today. I found out that he will be bringing his wife to the ceremony. She came with when he met me and just basically sat there, and then he said she will be there on that day as well and said she comes to his weddings. I just found it odd. I didn’t expect that. I don’t know what she does there, just sit and watch? It would have been inappropriate to ask why she is coming and what she will be doing. I am the furthest thing from a bridezilla, so nothing bothers me too much, but I just find it wierd. Thing is, my wedding is very private and intimate. It’s in my parent’s livingroom, which won’t be big as is, and just 6-7 guests, and there will be a photographer there snapping photos. With such an intimate setting, it’s just quite awkward to have some lady standing there who wasn’t invited, who I don’t even know. Is this common? Am I just not with the times or something? lol I found it strange. I would prefer he come alone, but oh well, nothing I can do about it, it’s just wierd is all. How would others feel about this and has anyone heard of this before? Maybe this is a practice I am unaware of and spouses sometimes help out? I just don’t know. If my wedding were bigger and less intimate, I wouldn’t care too much.
Post # 2
I don’t find it odd at all.
Post # 3
At a big wedding, there would be nothing odd about this. But at a small wedding… it does seem a little awkward. Can you discuss this with the JoP directly? Surely he would understand given the tiny size of the wedding…
Post # 4
Maybe she is there to help out with random stuff if needed. I don’t think she’ll cause a commotion or be in the pictures or anything. I would be more annoyed if the officiant brought his wife, and then you had to pay for her meal or something.
Generally speaking, unless the spouse has a specific role, I do find it a little odd when the spouse tags along during business situations (i. e. not a hybrid social/business situation).
Post # 5
I think you’ll have to gently tell him that there will only be 6 or 7 guests there, and out of respect to the dozens of guests who you were unable to invite, and would want to be there, the wife will not be able to attend.
Post # 6
She is probably used to being in odd scenarios at weddings. I doubt she’ll be in the way. Discuss with your priest that maybe she will be more comfortable in the guest room so that she can relax while he’s working. Warn the photographer the guests who should be in the photos, in case she wanders in. I’m sure she’ll find it odd to be on some random people’s photos anyway.
Post # 7
Thank you all! I guess this is not too out of the ordinary then. As for speaking with him, I already basically ok’d it today while we were talking. She was right there and he just said she will be there on that day with him, and in the moment, it was just fast and I said ok and we moved right on to other things. I don’t feel comfortable going back now and saying anything about it, especially if she always comes with to his weddings.
2XMOB I actually already told him that there will only be 6-7 guests. He knows the whole story, what the wedding will be, that it is intimate, that it is in a livingroom. There really is no other place for her to go, the house is not very big and we don’t have a guest room.
Swirly, thanks for the tip, I will let the photographer know.
I didn’t realize officiant’s brought their spouses. What would they do to help? This is a 10 min ceremony and very intimate and very simple and quick. I just found it odd, the livingroom will already be packed since all the furniture will not be removed. I am not sure of her purpose.
Post # 8
Maybe so he always has someone to sign as witness? Could that be why she’s there – as a back-up?
I never brought along my spouse when I have officiated. It never occurred to me to do that.
Post # 9
no we already have our witnesses and he knows that we do, so I don’t understand her purpose. It was of course inappropriate for me to ask why she is coming, especially with her sitting right there.
Post # 10
I would seat her in the dining room or kitchen with a cup of tea.
Post # 11
I know some Bees are saying it’s not weird, so maybe it’s a regional thing or something because I think it is extremely bizarre. She just comes and sits? And came to the meeting and just sat? Huh?
I don’t feel this is any different than if a photographer or caterer was like “oh my significant other is coming too” – unless they are part of the professional team and helping with the job in some way, it’s super weird to me.
Post # 12
My friends officiant brought her husband along. But they did actually know him somewhat. He didn’t actually attend the wedding… It was outside and we saw him taking pictures of the ceremony from a great distance in the trees lol it wasn’t weird that he was there, but the whole hiding amongst the bushes taking pictures was strange!
Im sure your officiant wouldn’t be put off if you asked. Maybe she helps him out? I know our Officiants were a duo, and sometimes would accompany each other to weddings if they werent both booked. They both attended our rehearsal and helped with set up and placing everyone and run through.
Post # 13
Just for the record, i think its weird and I don’t think it would be uncomfortable for you to bring it up now. Just say, “Ive had time to think since our last meeting about your wife coming as well. We are private people which is why we have chosen to have a very small intimate ceremony and are not comfortable with another person in attendance.” you could email him if that works better for you. You could even inquire at this point why she comes as well. They should be upfront about that when you first contacted him, in my opinion. He might have a valid personal reason to bring her like a health issue but you will never know unless you ask.
We had a very intimate ceremony as well, and our officiant is a friend of ours and his husband was invited too. If we had hired someone, we would not have been comfortable at all with it.
Post # 14
This, to me, is very odd. I am Australian, so perhaps it is an Aerican thing, but it is inappropriate to ‘dictate’ such a thing to the clients (you and groom). If my wedding was that mall and so intimate, there would be no way the wife would be there. I would email him and say “I am sorry but, as we are having such a small and intimate ceremony, and out of respect to the many individuals whom did not receive an invite, your Wife will not be able to attend.” Or something. This is so weird to me.
Post # 15
It could be a geographical thing because that to me is incredibly…well…weird. What does she do? Just stand there and smile? I can’t understand any purpose for her to be there for a semi-quick, intimate 10 minute ceremony. Especially considering he knows all of the details and that you have your witnesses already.
Maybe she’s learning to be a JoP herself or she’s just got him on a really tight leash and is controlling…it’s just strange.
For the PPs saying they find it normal, can one of you please explain why? Maybe there’s something obvious I’m missing.