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My sister's wedding- is it me?

(44 Posts)
CranberryCookie Mon 03-Mar-14 22:02:05

My sister has decided not to have anyone other than two friends (to act as witnesses) at her actual wedding ceremony. She will then have a fake wedding ceremony later the same day, which family and friends are invited to.

I'm totally baffled by this- I was expecting to be at her actual wedding and share in her joy as she gets married. Our parents especially feel hurt at not being invited to the real wedding. I just can't understand why she wants to do it this way.

The reason she gives is cost- she doesn't want to spend extra on a big room at the registry office, and their (very cheap) venue doesn't have a licence so they can't have a real wedding there. But I don't buy it- her and her fiancé eat out several nights a week- they can afford a bit more money for a full registry office wedding.

I'm gutted that I won't see her get married but she clearly doesn't understand why I have an issue with this.

Is it me?

Louloo2012 Mon 03-Mar-14 22:09:22

Strange in that she intends on having a fake wedding later the same day! She does want to celebrate with you otherwise she wouldn't be doing that but baffled why she wants secret ceremony without guessing soap opera silly stuff ;-) ask her again maybe?

CailinDana Mon 03-Mar-14 22:10:53

Why would she lie?

Technical Mon 03-Mar-14 22:11:04

It's because in her mind the important bit is the fake one at the fancy venue. She's wrong but that's the bit she's excited about and so she assumes that's the bit that will be important to you too.

MrsBartowski Mon 03-Mar-14 22:13:52

Maybe one or both of them are feeling shy or stressed at the thought of doing the real bit in front of people?

HelenHen Mon 03-Mar-14 22:20:41

It's their wedding and they've probably made a very difficult decision for whatever reason. Please don't make it harder on them!

SailingToByzantium Mon 03-Mar-14 22:28:12

The bigger the wedding the sooner the divorce... if that's what they want you should leave them to it...

pootlebug Mon 03-Mar-14 22:34:15

"My sister has decided not to have anyone other than two friends (to act as witnesses) at her actual wedding ceremony. She will then have a fake wedding ceremony later the same day, which family and friends are invited to"

This is how you see it. She might see it completely differently.

A friend of mine got married. They had an official legal ceremony, which next-to-no-one was invited to, and then their wedding ceremony to which all their guests were invited.

They didn't want their wedding to take place in an impersonal registry office, and they didn't want someone they didn't know officiating their ceremony. So a close relative officiated their 'unofficial' ceremony. All their friends there, and they made it just the ceremony they wanted whilst they said their vows.

In their minds, their 'unofficial' ceremony was the 'real' one. The one where they made their vows to each other in the way that they chose, in the presence of their friends and family. The other one was just a necessary formality in the eyes of the law.

YABU to dismiss their 'fake wedding ceremony' so easily.

colafrosties Mon 03-Mar-14 22:35:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TinyDiamond Mon 03-Mar-14 22:36:54

She can do what she wants it is nobody else's business really.

cakewitch Mon 03-Mar-14 22:37:30

Its their business. let them do it how they see fit.

elliebe13 Mon 03-Mar-14 22:38:37

It's her wedding. If she didn't care about friends and family she wouldn't even bother with the fake ceremony.

As for affording it, maybe she prefers her comfortable lifestyle to spending loads of money on one day?

Twooter Mon 03-Mar-14 22:41:18

My dsis did this, and tbh I was really disappointed I didn't get invited to the 'real wedding'. By the end of the day, I had forgotten all about it, as the big wedding was so special for them, rather than the legal bit.

Bunbaker Mon 03-Mar-14 22:43:18

It doesn't cost any more to have say four or five people at the wedding than it does two. I can understand you and your parents feel left out. It is almost like saying that their friends are more important than their family.

When my cousin got married he had 12 people at the registry office, and then a huge party in my auntie's beautiful garden. I wasn't at all miffed that I didn't get invited to the registry office bit.

wimblehorse Mon 03-Mar-14 22:45:46

I've been to 2 weddings (of friends) where this happened. For 1, the religious ceremony wasn't allowed to be the legal wedding so they did registry office the day before. Their family attended but they didn't consider themselves married until the religious ceremony.
The other, the logistics of getting everyone from registry office to venue was too much of a headache. Think they did the legal bit a week before - no family there as they flew out later. They celebrate their anniversary according to fake ceremony.

Have you/parents asked if you can attend reg office too? I would have thought they could have a few guests for no additional £ though they may not want to get into A & B list guests...

growingolddicustingly Mon 03-Mar-14 22:46:20

My late DH and I did this but not on the same day. We had the legal bit and then 9 days later our "real" wedding with family and friends one of whom was a vicar so we were blessed too. I didn't see the latter as "fake" in any way. We celebrated our anniversary on the day of the family wedding not the legal one.

Moreisnnogedag Mon 03-Mar-14 22:53:18

I get that people can do what they want, but I'd be a wee bit hurt by that depending on the way they talked about it.

My friend got married in a registry office with parents only a couple of weeks before their wedding do. for them it was just a piece of paper, and their proper wedding was in front of friends and family. It was a really lovely ceremony and it didn't feel as if it wasn't a 'real' ceremony.

gilliangoof Mon 03-Mar-14 22:53:54

Seems a really good idea to me.

MostWicked Mon 03-Mar-14 22:54:31

Their wedding, their decision, none of your business.
If you want to share in their joy, then it has to be THEIR joy, not what you think their joy should be.

HelloDoris Mon 03-Mar-14 22:55:05

We're doing this, it's all cost in our case £130 to do it legally with only 2 close friends. If we did it with the number of guests we want to invite it would be close to £800 for the registrar alone without room hire etc added on tip. We see our "fake ceremony" as our wedding day, the legal bit is just us going to sign some paperwork. I know our families have found it difficult to understand but to have all the people there we wanted we had to make a compromise.

There could be any number of reasons why they have done it this way, be happy for them and embrace their wedding as you would any other.

SidandAndyssextoy Mon 03-Mar-14 22:59:13

We had a register office wedding with two friends as witnesses followed a couple of days later with a big humanist wedding. We only asked the friends along because we really didn't see it as our wedding and wanted to keep it to the utter minimum. Once you invite just one set of other people, you end up with 20 people!

We had our legal ceremony late morning (and it did feel more meaningful than we expected but it was very brief), had a nice lunch with our witnesses to thank them both for taking a day's leave from work, and then raced back home to take DS to his swimming lesson! We didn't wear new clothes or anything.

On the Saturday we had our wedding, complete with 120 guests, family, best man and bridesmaid (our witnesses again), food, dancing, and a really moving ceremony with readings, music and our own vows. I don't think many people there even realised it wasn't a legal wedding.

youmakemydreams Mon 03-Mar-14 23:02:50

I wish I'd done this first time around tbh. It was so stressful trying to find somewhere big enough to accommodate everyone that we could afford so in the end we did neither we just had a tiny wedding. Had we dome it this way we could have got the paperwork bit out the way and had another and to us real wedding where we wanted to with everyone we would have liked to invite.

I think you sister feels you are watching get get married. She is having a ceremony that to her will most likely be the bit she remembers when she looks back on the day the registry office bit is a formality. And it does cost a heck of a lot more to get a bigger room. We could have done it even cheaper if we had only had 2 witnesses and nothing more but we got the medium sized room the large town hall room east ridiculously expensive.

Bogeyface Mon 03-Mar-14 23:06:56

Is it "fake" though?

Who is doing the ceremony?

We did this. We had a humanist ceremony which isnt legally binding, so we had to "do the legals" at the registry office which was us and 6 friends, followed by what we saw as our "proper" marriage ceremony afterwards at the hotel. It was significantly cheaper (think £100 instead of several hundred for the same words, by the same person just in a different place). The humanist ceremony was personal to us, the vows were personal to us and we have always felt the our wedding was the humanist one and not the registry office one.

CranberryCookie Tue 04-Mar-14 07:46:02

Thanks for all the replies. It looks like I'm out of touch with what happens at modern weddings...

I can totally understand that if you're doing it for religious reasons then the legal bit is not the real ceremony. And if you're strapped for cash then saving a few hundred pounds is important. But neither of these apply to my sister- she's just having a standard registrar.

I'm not going to make a fuss about it. I'm disappointed I won't be at the ceremony, but I'm more upset that she's hurting our parents. I'm sure there are other older relatives who won't understand as well...

Cabrinha Tue 04-Mar-14 07:54:45

But this is how people move with the times. You've had a group of people explain their ceremonies - how and why - here. Why not show the thread to your parents? Older relatives if they ask their friends find they have examples to share too. I hope that when I'm older I'm not stuck in my ways!
In France, a church wedding doesn't fulfill legal requirements. Several couples I know (I worked in France) just skipped off to the town hall in jeans to sign paperwork a few days before. Big church wedding to follow. No-one would consider it fake.
You could compare it to filling out the licence application here - that doesn't require a party and a dress, does it?! It's just admin.
I think you're being quite rude to her using the work fake - unless she's happily saying that herself.

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