Wedding Etiquette Forum

EDIT: What does the label "wedding" mean to you?

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Re: EDIT: What does the label "wedding" mean to you?


  • banana468 said:

    Knottie1459048711, are your parents OK with you not being religiously married?   Are they OK knowing that your marriage is recognized in the US?  

    I don't understand the mentality that parents are really religious so they want you to have a religious ceremony and in the same breath they don't want anyone to know what you already did.   Lying is also against their religion too.




    Ultimately, are YOU okay with it? At the end of the day, you have to live with your choices, whether it's making your parents unhappy, lying to your family or avoiding both.
    OurWildKingdom
  • mrsjapanmrsjapan Japan member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments
    Here's the thing: me and my husband (yes, he is and I fully accept it) are both non-religious so we're not even doing it for the religious aspect. We went back and forth for months about signing the papers, wondering if we should just wait to have a true wedding when we lived in the States again, but we didn't know if that would have ever happened to be honest. I contemplated having a ceremony in Japan but in that case nearly none of my family would've been able to make the expensive trip. My mother and I discussed it and she agreed with most of you, a wedding ceremony exists to sign the papers in a traditional format (my family is Catholic and Methodist, husband's is Catholic as well). However, after months of debate, we came to the conclusion that since my husband wants to work in Japan for a few years and my family didn't want us to be apart, we would sign the papers and have a ceremony when we could find the time to come back home.
    This is the very definition of a PPD, where we are literally going through the motions of getting married, but I plan to be as up front about my situation as I can with everyone involved...that my parents agree with. My mother...is very concerned about appearances so we're trying to keep this as traditional as possible in terms of holding the ceremony and reception. I just want to celebrate with my family, my sister has wanted to be my Maid of Honor for years and I've dreamed of walking down the aisle and being with the one I love. Both my parents and in-laws are supportive of the decisions we're making and are excited for us.
    I'm not doing this for gifts (I don't even want to bother with making a registry), I'm not trying to do any do-over, I'm literally doing all of this for my family, I just want them to be there. I'm happy with what I'm doing, and I honestly don't think people should judge others so harshly from deviating from what's "normal". People have very individual lives and they should do things the way they want to and do what makes them happy but of course be honest about it if it may hurt others. Life is tricky and it can suck but we just gotta do what we can with what we're dealt. 
    "I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request.... It means no." -Alistair, Dragon Age Origins

  • ei34ei34 member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Another vote for a celebration of marriage party.  Or if there has to be a ceremony before the party, have a vow renewal.  
    DrillSergeantCatOurWildKingdomPrettyGirlLost
  • mrsjapanmrsjapan Japan member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited April 2017
    Ok, ok. I hear everything you're all saying. I feel like I've confused everyone. So let me clarify:

    A) There was no courthouse wedding. I went to city hall and they gave me a marriage license. That's it. I am not at all ashamed of that decision.

    2) My mom is traditional in the fact that she was against not having the papers signed at the ceremony. Other than that I think it's all ok.

    C) Me and my husband are non-religious and plan to have our event be non-religious, just vows. My family is religious, but that doesn't have any bearing on how we want to do it.

    D) I'm sorry if the labels "wedding" or "ceremony" confused anyone. I am super inexperienced with marriage labels so I didn't honestly know how to call our event. There will be a ceremony and reception if that's what you call it.

    E) My parents and siblings, all my in-laws, and my friends know we are married and they want to go forward with this event. My extended family knows nothing but after hearing what you have to say I want to tell them to keep things honest.

    F) I created this poll for fun, I'm extremely sorry if I have offended anyone in the process, I am extremely inexperienced.

    I have never been part of a wedding in terms of planning, I am only 24 and the third oldest of all my cousins, with only one having gotten married before me. I had no idea there were so many labels and specifics to this whole thing so I'm sorry for any hatred and anger I may have caused. The facts are the facts: I got married in Japan so I could stay in Japan with my husband and I am going home next year for a celebration with my family because I could not afford to come home this year. AND I AM 100% HAPPY WITH THE DECISIONS I HAVE MADE. That's that. Thanks for welcoming me so warmly to the community.
    "I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request.... It means no." -Alistair, Dragon Age Origins



  • Ok, ok. I hear everything you're all saying. I feel like I've confused everyone. So let me clarify:

    A) There was no courthouse wedding. I went to city hall and they gave me a marriage license. That's it. I am not at all ashamed of that decision.

    2) My mom is traditional in the fact that she was against not having the papers signed at the ceremony. Other than that I think it's all ok.

    C) Me and my husband are non-religious and plan to have our event be non-religious, just vows. My family is religious, but that doesn't have any bearing on how we want to do it.

    D) I'm sorry if the labels "wedding" or "ceremony" confused anyone. I am super inexperienced with marriage labels so I didn't honestly know how to call our event. There will be a ceremony and reception if that's what you call it.

    E) My parents and siblings, all my in-laws, and my friends know we are married and they want to go forward with this event. My extended family knows nothing but after hearing what you have to say I want to tell them to keep things honest.

    F) I created this poll for fun, I'm extremely sorry if I have offended anyone in the process, I am extremely inexperienced.

    I have never been part of a wedding in terms of planning, I am only 24 and the third oldest of all my cousins, with only one having gotten married before me. I had no idea there were so many labels and specifics to this whole thing so I'm sorry for any hatred and anger I may have caused. The facts are the facts: I got married in Japan so I could stay in Japan with my husband and I am going home next year for a celebration with my family because I could not afford to come home this year. AND I AM 100% HAPPY WITH THE DECISIONS I HAVE MADE. That's that. Thanks for welcoming me so warmly to the community.


    Well now I'm even more fucking confused. 

    If you legally signed your marriage license papers at the courthouse, congratulations: you had a courthouse wedding. I don't know what idea you have in your head about a courthouse wedding but marriage is a binary state: if you walked in not married and walked out married regardless of any pomp and circumstance, congratulations, you had a courthouse wedding. 

    Getting the marriage license in advance of a ceremony is standard. It's literally a license that allows you to get married, you just have to have it signed by the appropriate people, which is usually done at the ceremony or right before. (I've been MOH where I've signed the witness portion in the bridal suite.) It's the signing of the license that matters. 
    image
    OurWildKingdomInLoveInQueensPrettyGirlLost
  • Easy:  The event at which a couple gets married.

    Bells and whistles don't matter.  If the couple walks in unmarried and walks out married, there's the wedding.
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
    CMGragainshort+sassy
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited April 2017
    A wedding is an event where two adults legally change their status from being two single people to being a married couple, with all the legal advantages that the law extends.  I believe your wedding was in Japan in February?
    In the USA, weddings can be done anywhere at anytime, as long as the legal requirements are met.  If you are Catholic, you must follow the rules of the Catholic church to be married in the eyes of the church, but the church recognizes the legality of civil marriages, which you have had.  Most other faiths will bless a civil marriage.  Japanese marriages are recognized by the USA government, and if you apply for a new marriage license, you will be committing fraud.  
    It is impossible to have more than one wedding day unless you divorce your husband or are widowed.

    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    OurWildKingdom
  • mrsjapanmrsjapan Japan member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments








    Ok, ok. I hear everything you're all saying. I feel like I've confused everyone. So let me clarify:

    A) There was no courthouse wedding. I went to city hall and they gave me a marriage license. That's it. I am not at all ashamed of that decision.

    Actually, that is the definition of a courthouse wedding.  I'm not sure what your definition of a courthouse wedding is.  Maybe sometimes there are vows people say in front of a justice of the peace and you all didn't do that part?  But it doesn't matter.  If you walked in unmarried and walked out married.  That was a courthouse wedding.  And you are 1000+% correct.  There is definitely nothing wrong with that.  People have been doing that for eons.  It's really only been in the last few generations that the wedding industry has turned this event into a big hoopla.  And it does seem like you all have regrets.  Not regrets about getting married, but disappointed that family/friends weren't there and it wasn't the gala affair that is now being planned.  Those are VALID things to be disappointed about.  But as much as you dress up the party you're planning as a wedding, the fact of the matter is, your family/friends weren't there for your wedding. 

    2) My mom is traditional in the fact that she was against not having the papers signed at the ceremony. Other than that I think it's all ok.

    C) Me and my husband are non-religious and plan to have our event be non-religious, just vows. My family is religious, but that doesn't have any bearing on how we want to do it.

    You seemed to really focus on religion in one of your first posts.  I definitely had the impression that some of what you were regretting is the ceremony hadn't happened in a religious setting, so I'm sure other PPs had that impression also.  But no biggie.  I appreciate the clarification.  But it really doesn't change the advice people gave, other than the religious aspect/concerns being taken out.

    D) I'm sorry if the labels "wedding" or "ceremony" confused anyone. I am super inexperienced with marriage labels so I didn't honestly know how to call our event. There will be a ceremony and reception if that's what you call it.

    E) My parents and siblings, all my in-laws, and my friends know we are married and they want to go forward with this event. My extended family knows nothing but after hearing what you have to say I want to tell them to keep things honest.

    YES!!!!  I know you've been hurt by this discussion.  But if you get nothing else out of it but that, it is a HUGE improvement on your previous plans.  The fact that you were keeping the info that you were already married from many of your guests was really what was getting the other PPs the most upset.  Because it is a super, super shitty thing to do.

    A real wedding ceremony MATTERS to people.

    Let me give you an example.  I flew from Miami to San Diego for my sister's wedding.  Because she was getting MARRIED on that day.  I would not have done that if she'd previously gotten married in another country/at the courthouse/whatever.  If I lived nearby, I would have definitely gone to celebrate with her.  But I wouldn't have taken a week off of work and flown across the country for a fun party.

    And, OMG, if I'd done all that.  Gone to all that trouble.  Only to find out after the fact they had already been married.  That would potentially be relationship-ending for a friend/cousin.  I wouldn't end my relationship with my sister over it.  Because that's my sister.  But it would definitely have been a wedge in our relationship and not something I would forgive and forget.

    F) I created this poll for fun, I'm extremely sorry if I have offended anyone in the process, I am extremely inexperienced.

    I have never been part of a wedding in terms of planning, I am only 24 and the third oldest of all my cousins, with only one having gotten married before me. I had no idea there were so many labels and specifics to this whole thing so I'm sorry for any hatred and anger I may have caused. The facts are the facts: I got married in Japan so I could stay in Japan with my husband and I am going home next year for a celebration with my family because I could not afford to come home this year. AND I AM 100% HAPPY WITH THE DECISIONS I HAVE MADE. That's that. Thanks for welcoming me so warmly to the community.






    Responses in bold.

    Here's the thing to your original question.  A person is either married or not.  It's not a perception.  It's not an opinion.  It's a black/white fact about a person.

    I hope I better clarified why people were upset with aspects of your plan.

    Everyone has said there is nothing wrong with a celebration party.  Have a vow renewal there also, if that is something you all want.

    I don't want to beat up on you more, but I have to go a bit on a tangent.  I've also been getting the impression that you all are pooh-poohing your wedding in Japan.  Like it doesn't count.  Like it doesn't matter.  But it is the ONLY thing that matters.  Perhaps I'm misunderstanding!  I very much hope so.  I know it can sometimes be hard to communicate/understand in writing.  But, in general, I do take MAJOR offense to people who act like the day they wear the poofy white gown and have the big party is the "real" wedding.  And not yourself, but other posters having a PPD will literally use that term, ie "but my real wedding is happening...".

    Up until 1967, there were parts of this country where inter-racial couples could not get married and were ARRESTED if they were living as man and wife.  Very, very recently, same sex couples couldn't get married in most parts of the U.S.  And, if they got married in a state that allowed same sex marriage, but lived/moved to a state that didn't...their marriage still wasn't recognized.

    People have fought for years...up to the Supreme Court...for the RIGHT to "sign those papers".  So that's why, yeah, people get really offended when a poster at least appears to be treating a marriage certificate like it is nothing.  Like it was just a means to an end.




    No, you really helped! And I'm not at all upset about the courthouse wedding (I didn't go to a courthouse or have to swear anything so that's why I was confused why people kept calling it that). I plan to celebrate both days as anniversaries (I've talked to my previous students who have two anniversary days and it seemed like a normal thing to do) and I'm very happy to have done it. I plan to have celebration with a vow renewal, I just didn't know that calling it a wedding would offend so many so I'm sorry about that. Thank you for clarifying and I'm sorry to everyone if anything I said was confusing or upsetting at any point, thank you for all your feedback so I could get this right :)
    "I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request.... It means no." -Alistair, Dragon Age Origins

  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited April 2017



    NO, you really helped! And I'm not at all upset about the courthouse wedding (I didn't go to a courthouse or have to swear anything so that's why I was confused why people kept calling it that). I plan to celebrate both days as anniversaries (I've talked to my previous students who have two anniversary days and it seemed like a normal thing to do) and I'm very happy to have done it. I plan to have celebration with a vow renewal, I just didn't know that calling it a wedding would offend so many so I'm sorry about that. Thank you for clarifying and I'm sorry to everyone if anything I said was confusing or upsetting at any point, thank you for all your feedback so I could get this right :)



    You still don't seem to understand that you were legally married in Japan. That is your wedding.  It doesn't matter what the ceremony, or lack of it, was at the time.  That was your wedding.  You don't get another one.

    No one I know celebrates two wedding anniversaries.  That is insane.  You get one.  The day you were legally married - in Japan.  When you fill out any legal documents regarding your marital status, the February date is the date that you will give.  Don't try to lie to the IRS.  This legal date is a matter of public record, and it will be available to anyone who cares to look it up for years to come.

    Why did you decide to get married in Japan?  Was it for military benefits?  The military takes a very dim view of people who use legal marriage to get benefits that are paid for by taxpayers , and then deny that they are really married.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • mrsjapanmrsjapan Japan member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments

    CMGragain said:





    NO, you really helped! And I'm not at all upset about the courthouse wedding (I didn't go to a courthouse or have to swear anything so that's why I was confused why people kept calling it that). I plan to celebrate both days as anniversaries (I've talked to my previous students who have two anniversary days and it seemed like a normal thing to do) and I'm very happy to have done it. I plan to have celebration with a vow renewal, I just didn't know that calling it a wedding would offend so many so I'm sorry about that. Thank you for clarifying and I'm sorry to everyone if anything I said was confusing or upsetting at any point, thank you for all your feedback so I could get this right :)




    You still don't seem to understand that you were legally married in Japan. That is your wedding.  It doesn't matter what the ceremony, or lack of it, was at the time.  That was your wedding.  You don't get another one.

    No one I know celebrates two wedding anniversaries.  That is insane.  You get one.  The day you were legally married - in Japan.  When you fill out any legal documents regarding your marital status, the February date is the date that you will give.  Don't try to lie to the IRS.  This legal date is a matter of public record, and it will be available to anyone who cares to look it up for years to come.

    Why did you decide to get married in Japan?  Was it for military benefits?  The military takes a very dim view of people who use legal marriage to get benefits that are paid for by taxpayers , and then deny that they are really married.


    I'm fully aware that I am legally married in both Japan and America, the IRS and all governmental bodies have been notified.
    And sure, having 2 anniversaries sounds insane, but in non-western countries it's not too unusual. Having the legal day and the ceremony day not be the same is something that several of my students have done, which is part of what convinced me to get married. 
    As for why, my husband and I both are English teachers, I was with a conversation school near Tokyo and he works for a school district near Hiroshima. We tried applying to the same companies hoping that they would put us in the same area, but with no official proof of relationship (a marriage license) they said they couldn't guarantee anything. We were engaged in March of 2016 so we didn't want to immediately get married before I left a few months later. I was going to continue working near Tokyo, but a job offer popped up at my husband's school district, but there was a condition that they would only consider me if I was married so to guarantee I wouldn't up and leave at some point and so that way I could also live in his apartment. It was a tossup, because if I left my job and it didn't pan out, I would have to go back to America because my visa sponsorship would be gone. So we decided to get married so that if the job didn't happen I could still get a dependent visa and not have to leave the country. We're in no way affiliated with the military nor do I want to lie to anyone, government or otherwise.
    "I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request.... It means no." -Alistair, Dragon Age Origins

  • redoryxredoryx member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    edited April 2017










    CMGragain said:











    NO, you really helped! And I'm not at all upset about the courthouse wedding (I didn't go to a courthouse or have to swear anything so that's why I was confused why people kept calling it that). I plan to celebrate both days as anniversaries (I've talked to my previous students who have two anniversary days and it seemed like a normal thing to do) and I'm very happy to have done it. I plan to have celebration with a vow renewal, I just didn't know that calling it a wedding would offend so many so I'm sorry about that. Thank you for clarifying and I'm sorry to everyone if anything I said was confusing or upsetting at any point, thank you for all your feedback so I could get this right :)







    You still don't seem to understand that you were legally married in Japan. That is your wedding.  It doesn't matter what the ceremony, or lack of it, was at the time.  That was your wedding.  You don't get another one.

    No one I know celebrates two wedding anniversaries.  That is insane.  You get one.  The day you were legally married - in Japan.  When you fill out any legal documents regarding your marital status, the February date is the date that you will give.  Don't try to lie to the IRS.  This legal date is a matter of public record, and it will be available to anyone who cares to look it up for years to come.

    Why did you decide to get married in Japan?  Was it for military benefits?  The military takes a very dim view of people who use legal marriage to get benefits that are paid for by taxpayers , and then deny that they are really married.








    I'm fully aware that I am legally married in both Japan and America, the IRS and all governmental bodies have been notified.
    And sure, having 2 anniversaries sounds insane, but in non-western countries it's not too unusual. Having the legal day and the ceremony day not be the same is something that several of my students have done, which is part of what convinced me to get married. 
    As for why, my husband and I both are English teachers, I was with a conversation school near Tokyo and he works for a school district near Hiroshima. We tried applying to the same companies hoping that they would put us in the same area, but with no official proof of relationship (a marriage license) they said they couldn't guarantee anything. We were engaged in March of 2016 so we didn't want to immediately get married before I left a few months later. I was going to continue working near Tokyo, but a job offer popped up at my husband's school district, but there was a condition that they would only consider me if I was married so to guarantee I wouldn't up and leave at some point and so that way I could also live in his apartment. It was a tossup, because if I left my job and it didn't pan out, I would have to go back to America because my visa sponsorship would be gone. So we decided to get married so that if the job didn't happen I could still get a dependent visa and not have to leave the country. We're in no way affiliated with the military nor do I want to lie to anyone, government or otherwise.






    You still got married for benefits, just not the ones we're used to seeing here. 

    In the States, because the civil and religious ceremonies can all be done at the same time and it's all recognized, there's no two wedding anniversaries. That said, I know that's not the case in all countries but you're not from those countries so that's what makes it a little weird. Plus, you're not even HAVING a religious ceremony which is why other countries have two ceremonies. So it's a little fucked up to say "This is perfectly normal in other countries that do this because of X and Y but I'm only doing X but you Americans just don't understand." 

    What is bothering people is that you seem to be minimizing that you are legally married and you planned on not telling anyone and going home and just going through the motions all over again just so you could have your big white wedding dress day. Vow renewals as long as your guests know that it is indeed a vow renewal.
    When it comes to PPDs, there are various shades of tolerance within this community but one thing we can all agree on is that hiding and lying is 100000% not acceptable.  
    image
    InLoveInQueensei34PrettyGirlLostcowgirl8238
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