Sunday, September 17, 2006

The cat. The bag. The big deal - or is it?

So last night, the legality of our wedding in France comes up at my friend Zoë’s hen night. And, yes, there's a question (accompanied by a few winks) about the fact that we may have got married in London ahead of it at a registry office. God, and we thought we were so good at keeping a secret! I guess there's no stopping a piece of juicy info like that from spreading like wildfire. Who knows how it got out, but I guess the truth must out.

Robert and I viewed our ceremony in France as our wedding. It was a chance for us to exchange our vows and proclaim our love for each other in front of family and friends, and make our commitment to each other public. The last time I checked, that's pretty much what a wedding is.

In order to get 'legally' married in France you have to be a resident there for 30 days first, and then there's the whole thing about being married under French law and all that that entails. We viewed it as laborious and complicated and therefore chose not to do it. So we were 'legally' married in England ahead of our wedding. Yes it's true *gasp*.

We didn't invite any friends or family to that as we viewed it as a legal necessity - paperwork. We had colleagues as our witness's, didn't personalise vows, do readings, any of that stuff. It doesn't mean we didn't respect the importance or seriousness of it, but we really saw it as formal legal process ahead of what we viewed as our true wedding. We didn't even tell people about it, because we didn't want to be in a situation where they may ask to attend, and then it's a matter of who do you invite and who don't you invite, and before you know it, you effectively have another 'wedding' which we didn't want.

The parents are all totally OK with it (I checked - phew), which is important, and I like to think that other family members and friends understand and respect our intentions. Personally I don't really see the issue (if there is one), but then I've always felt that something derives its importance from the value you ascribe to it, rather than having any inherently.

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