thegreythinker wrote: ↑
08 May 2019, 14:46
I'm so happy about this change.
It's been my dream to have a civil wedding, (even before my faith crisis) but I didn't feel like I could until now.
Now couples can choose how many people they want to invite or none at all to their sealing. Instead, they can invite most of their friends and family to a wedding ceremony.
As another single woman, I agree with you whole-heartedly.
I didn't find out about this change until my mom came into town at the end of last week. She got to tell me and I am sure she can share my reaction better than I can. I was happier than words could tell. I haven't said anything here until now because we've been having fun, but she's back home now, so I wanted to come and celebrate.
Before I jump in, I want to acknowledge the hurt that people who didn't get to take advantage of this policy change must feel. I watched every one of my close friends get married without being able to attend, with one exception last summer - and that was a sealing after the year, not a full "wedding." Two of my friends were unable to have their parents with them. Most of them had most or all of their siblings outside. I have been part of that and have been hurt by it. Knowing my dad couldn't attend my wedding has been one of the hardest things of processing his faith transition.
That said, I think this thread has been sadly negative. Since many of the people on the site are already married, I guess that makes some sense. I want to share how I feel - to highlight the joy that this announcement brought me.
1. My dad can be at my wedding. As can my sister and brother. And no one will question. It won't cause sideways looks or rumors about my own "worthiness." I had made up my mind sometime fairly recently (by which I mean the past year or two) that I would push for a civil ceremony first and deal with the waiting period. I also at about the same time realized I wasn't all that dead-set on marrying a member, which would make the question totally moot. But if I marred a TR-holding member, I was going to push to get sealed on our first anniversary instead of right away. Now that discussion will be much easier, should the day arrive. "I want my dad at my wedding - we are having a civil ceremony." And the hypothetical fiance will have no valid reason to disagree.
2. As I move into the realm of dating non-members, I do so with no intention of expecting them to convert to Mormonism in order to continue a relationship. However, I do intend to ask them to take the full missionary discussions. Not with the intent to convert, but simply to understand where I am coming from. This does come with the "risk" as it were, of them coming to believe in the church (since that's the goal of the missionaries) and deciding to be baptized for their own reasons. Just as I would never try to coerce someone into joining the church, I would never try to stop them joining if they so choose. With this new policy, we could have a civil ceremony in the religious tradition they were brought up in, and a sealing after. Which I think would be a really cool way to include their family. (I am not seeing anyone - I just have a very vivid imagination. I have, in the past few days, considered the possibilities of both a Jewish and a Hindu wedding ceremony.)
3. While there will still be people who judge those who choose a civil ceremony first, there will now be so many reasons to do so that it will be less intrusive feeling. I remember when a friend of mine was married civilly instead of in the temple, I wondered why. I couldn't help it. I really didn't care, but I still wondered. Now, the default assumption won't be sin/unworthy/unrighteous/etc. The default (I hope at least) will be "someone important can't attend the temple." It will be a lot harder at most weddings to identify that "one" person, especially as for most people, it will probably be more than one.
4. I'm going to have a wedding party. At a temple wedding, bridesmaids really don't do much. But now my sister and my two best friends can actually participate in my wedding. Even though two of the three have active TR, there isn't anything for them to do. And one of them has little kids, so it's tricky. This would be easier. And more fun.
5. I have wanted to write my own vows for years. Ever since I realized my dad wouldn't be at a temple wedding, that was part of my plan. For my "ring ceremony" or my civil ceremony, when I started to consider that, I wanted to write my own vows. For a ring ceremony, you are explicitly told not to exchange vows. No one can stop me now. I can write flowery, personal, special, silly, dorky, intimate, memorable vows if I want to. And I do.
6. My friends can all come. My brother is hitting the age where his friends are pairing off and starting to get married. They aren't LDS, so he has been able to attend the weddings. I couldn't even do that. It was really hard for me to miss out, and more so as each one got married and was able to attend the next wedding. I didn't even go to the temple for a couple of them because it wasn't worth the effort to get to town. I don't have many friends who couldn't attend a temple wedding, but I don't want to leave even one out, because it's so much harder to be the only one outside.
7. I can choose my venue. I am not a fan of cultural halls. As was mentioned earlier, they are free, and that is still a really nice feature. Depending on where I am in life, I still may go that way. But I have been admiring an event center for several years, wishing it could be where I have my reception. And that's a lot of money for a reception. It feels more justifiable if I have the entire wedding there.
Basically, I'm over the moon. I'm sad for the past: for the weddings I've missed and those who couldn't have loved ones with them. But I'm far more excited for the future.