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An ettiquette question about witnesses at weddings. Clever MN solution needed.

(26 Posts)
BroccoliSpears Sat 19-Jul-08 21:59:14

I would like to get married (most basic ceremony, no frills, no rings, no guests - just me, dp and the children) and then for dp and the children and I to go out for family lunch or maybe to a teashop for a bun.

However, we need two witnesses.

I thought the least complicated people to ask would be a couple of my sahm friends as then no faffing about getting time off work etc.

If I ask two people to trog into town complete with young children, pushchairs etc just to do me a favour, we have to then invite them to come for lunch / tea and a bun, don't we? It would be completely rude and a bit rubbish to say "thanks, bus stop is that way, bye".

Is there a way round this that I haven't thought of?

Considered relying on finding random strangers on the street to do it, but if we can't find anyone to witness for us we risk missing our time slot.

tiredemma Sat 19-Jul-08 22:01:08

get two randoms off the street. Thats what Expat did. It sounds tres romantic

cariboo Sat 19-Jul-08 22:01:17

Oh go on! Invite your witnesses to share a bun with you.

scanner Sat 19-Jul-08 22:01:24

Have you asked the registry office? I bet lots of people want to do this, they might have a solution - you know perhaps Doris in the office is always being roped in.

gothicmama Sat 19-Jul-08 22:01:47

are there any Mners near by who could do this for you

funnypeculiar Sat 19-Jul-08 22:01:57

I think being asked to be a witness is a priveldge, not a favour - I'd be delighted to be asked smile
BUT I suspect they'll want to 'celebrate' with you. Could you take them for coffee/bun, then send them off & quietly go for lunch en famille?

NotQuiteCockney Sat 19-Jul-08 22:02:14

I'd ask the office, or explain to your SAHM friends - owe them a drink at a later date maybe?

Gumbo Sat 19-Jul-08 22:03:55

We asked our neighbours the night before. They were thrilled to be our witnesses - and bought us a drink in the pub afterwards.

Go on - let you witnesses share a bun with you - it'll be fun!

onepieceoflollipop Sat 19-Jul-08 22:03:59

I would do it for you and would love to. No idea where you are though! grinI wouldn't need a bun/cup of tea/glass of champagne. Would be happy to push off straight afterwards after congratulating you.

frumpygrumpysooksgin Sat 19-Jul-08 22:05:20

I'd chat to my SAHM friends about the problem and hope that they offered to witness without an onward invite. Its your day.

And FWIW, I live in Edinburgh and I will hapiily be your witness without an onward invite. I am queen of these feelings!!!! grin

theinsider Sat 19-Jul-08 22:06:20

You want retired people for the same reason as you say SAHMs. Can you find people through a church connection, neighbours, older women who run playgroups?

Explain your dilemma, either promise a cream tea at home with dcs (they love them!)another time or just throw yourself on their mercy and give them a decent(ish) present aferwards so they feel appreciated.

frumpygrumpysooksgin Sat 19-Jul-08 22:07:03

On the flip side, often the situations can end up making you feel like you want to share a little. Champagne. One glass in the local. The onwards with just your family. Oooooooh, keep us posted!!!! grin

peanutbear Sat 19-Jul-08 22:08:27

getting MN to do it sounds ideal to me !!

AttillaTheHan Sat 19-Jul-08 22:12:09

How about arranging a thankyou drink/tea/bun for later on that day after you have had your family time or for another day. Get your kids to make invite cards so its more offical then they won't expect to stay on after the ceremony.

BroccoliSpears Sat 19-Jul-08 22:14:41

Good idea to ask at the registry office. Will call on Monday.

Retired people also an option worth exploring. We could always go in 2 cars and give a couple of elderly neighbours a lift in and back home... though our elderly neighbours are soooo elderly I'm not sure they'd manage a trip to town.

Like the idea of promising a cream tea at a later date to SAHM friends.

Thank you for the offers to witness. I'm in Leeds though, so I think I'd definitely have to buy you a bun if you came from Edinburgh! grin.

See, I knew mumsnetters would think of things I hadn't.

Miaou Sat 19-Jul-08 22:17:11

oooh, lots of mners in leeds who would jump at the chance, I'm sure!

frumpygrumpysooksgin Sat 19-Jul-08 22:21:06

Can I do it by proxy????? grin I could eat my own bun on the other end of the line.........


Talking of which....does anyone know if you can still be married by proxy? Or by form? Like in war times?

onepieceoflollipop Sat 19-Jul-08 22:21:51

Leeds - oh that's a bit far for me... [disappointed emoticon] Hope you have an absolutely fabulous day though.

fryalot Sat 19-Jul-08 22:23:54

broccoli - I'm about an hour away from Leeds if you need a signature.

grin

BroccoliSpears Sat 19-Jul-08 22:24:37

I think I will run the idea past dp.

If he doesn't think it's a bad idea I'll post a thread asking if any MNer is free on the date, nearby, and wouldn't mind.

Never heard of getting married by proxy. You mean there's an even more basic way of doing it??

BroccoliSpears Sat 19-Jul-08 22:25:40

And all these lovely offers to help have really made me grin!

frumpygrumpysooksgin Sat 19-Jul-08 22:28:15

Long, long ago, in war time....... there was the ocassional by proxy wedding where a nominated person would say "I do" in place of the actual person. Telegram confirmation would have taken place previously. I remember being taught this at school but I can't remember why it would be done......


I'm so up for it.

For financial reasons I should be wed. 13.5 years, 3 children, inheritance tax problems........SNORE. And everyone gangs up on me because I am HAPPILY UNMARRIED.

I don't want any ceremony whatsoever. But if all I had to do was fill in a form then..........

frumpygrumpysooksgin Sat 19-Jul-08 22:29:21

And I think two MNers you have never met would be just perfect!!! Hope you have a great day when it comes x.

cupcakesinthesnow Sat 19-Jul-08 22:37:29

I recently got married and wanted,like you, no frills, quick ceremony etc etc. After all we have been together 18 years already ad the marriage thing was just to tie up a few legal loose ends tbh.

I asked 2 friends for whom I knew it wouldn't be a 'hassle' ie SAHM's with kids at school who also happaned to be good friends who I knew would not make an issue of it all. I was going to turn up at registry office in 3/4 length Fat Face trousers and top, do the deed and go home. My lovely friends gently persuaded me that we might regret not making a bit of a 'thing' about it and without taking over or being overbering in the slightest, ended up making the day quite wonderful turning it into something we didn;t want.

I ended up wearing a dress rather than my usual surf and sail gear, they presented me with a beautful posey of white roses on the morning and arranged lunch for us overlooking the bay which they paid for as a wedding gift to us.

We were truely overwhelmed and touched by their gestures

After lunch we all crammed in a cab to pick our children up at school and my now DH and spent the rest of the day with our ds's so we had exclusve time together as well.

I wouold say that real friends know you well enough to do the best by you and will not be offended if you tell them you really just require them for the ceremony. But be prepared to feel quite overwhelmed and actually want to spend more time with them during a lunch as the ceremony itself although I had not anticpated it being quite so emotional, actually was and the fact our friends shared that specal moment with us made us want to all chat about it afterwards

notcitrus Sun 20-Jul-08 01:31:37

The registry office can provide people - we were going to do that but then MrNC's parents wanted to be there - in the end we had both sets of parents, a 1-minute ceremony, did the paperwork to Annie Lennox (because we found the council's CD list hilarious and thought Annie is appropriate in all circs), and went to a nearby pub/restaurant for a meal.

All lovely and simple - I'd come straight from work, and there's no photos, as befits a bit of bureaucracy and paperwork.

Then we had the big commitment ceremony with loads of guests and family...

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