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They wrote the vows; now others are saying them

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Other couples are using 'their' vows without permission

Vows: We were married in April. Our minister gave us a stack of old vows, photocopied from books, from which to draft our own vows. None of them was usable. We did the usual love, honor and cherish — but we added a part about being friends and partners, and we agonized for a ridiculous amount of time over which word should go where, editing until we both agreed the vows were perfect.

Last month we went to another wedding at our church and they used the vows we wrote — verbatim. I was in shock. I am mad at the minister for giving our personal vows to another couple. He didn't give us any vows that had been used this century, so I guess it's a compliment, and I don't know what I want. An acknowledgment? A promise not to give "our" vows to anyone else? Should I let it go? I don't know why I felt so violated. I haven't gone back to church since.

Carolyn: I get why you feel violated, I do — but this is kind of like when you introduce your best friend to your brother, and they go on to spend much less time with you now that they're spending their time together. You feel kind of robbed and angry, right? But, at the same time, you've brought real joy to people.

Your words, emotions, beliefs are being embraced by people on one of the most significant days of their lives. There is something cool about that. I suppose I could make an argument for your having your names on the handouts, so you get proper credit — but there's something even cooler about being the unnamed agent behind all of these loving pronouncements.

If none of this is persuasive, then just go back to the minister and ask to have your vows removed from the stack of handouts.

Mom doesn't approve of daughter's destination wedding

Where did I go wrong?: I am anti-big/expensive weddings. I had a small wedding, borrowed my dress, let my sister choose what she wanted to wear as my maid of honor. Reception was at my parents' house, catered by family and friends.

Imagine my surprise when my daughter announces she wants a lavish destination wedding, with all the obnoxious bells and whistles. And guess who she expects to pay?

This led to a huge row. Other than setting guidelines of what her dad and I would be willing to pay, how can I get her to understand how . . . WRONG she is?!

Carolyn: Don't. "Getting" an adult to understand is a setup for failure even more spectacular than an overblown wedding. And don't venture even close to the "I walked a mile to my wedding through the snow barefoot and uphill both ways" zone — it's a relationship black hole.

That doesn't mean you can't voice objections to line items when necessary. For example, saying "No, Muffy, it is not acceptable to print 'Cash gifts preferred' on the invitation" is a moral obligation to society. But otherwise, just set reasonable financial limits, stick to them and hope she gets priced out of her own fatuity.

They wrote the vows; now others are saying them 09/24/10 [Last modified: Friday, September 24, 2010 5:30am]
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