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Wedding Wisdom - Ladue News: Weddings & Engagements

Wedding Wisdom

Does Attending Mean I Approve?

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Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 10:49 pm, Tue Aug 9, 2011.

First, I’d like to comment on how enjoyable it has been to receive your email questions. When we first solicited for reader questions last month, I had no idea of how incredible the response would be—certainly, enough topics for years of Wedding Wisdom columns.

This reader question was particularly provocative: A young woman mentioned how she felt strongly that her brother’s relationship with his long-term male companion was immoral. She asked me if I thought she should attend the large wedding celebration that he and his partner are planning. This young lady wondered that if by attending, it would signify her approval.

First of all, this issue comes up often for all couples, straight or gay. People sometimes think the couple hasn’t known each other long enough, or that they’re too young. Or maybe different faiths are involved.

Contrary to popular belief, attendance at a wedding is not synonymous with giving the marriage a seal of your approval. It is a ceremony that you have been invited to witness, not to validate.

We’ve all heard the phrase (albeit mostly in movies), “Speak now, or forever hold your peace.” It’s rarely heard in real life and has never served the purpose of consensus.

Only you can decide whether to go or not to go to a wedding that you have been invited to attend. I am inclined to recommend to the reader that she decline the invitation, and suggest that she think long and hard on how to present the kindest, most loving conversation or letter she can muster.

Lengthy explanations rarely make the situation better. Since her brother and partner know her opinions, it’s best to simply say that she would be uncomfortable at the wedding. Or better still, that she would never want to bring a dark cloud or damper their happy day.

If you do decide to go to the ceremony, make an effort to be happy that the friend or loved one is celebrating a new phase in his or her relationship. Even if you disapprove, make a point to express your love and best wishes for the couple’s happiness.

It has always been such a great joy in my own life that family and friends have expressed to me their love without regard to the life choices I’ve made.

Your wedding etiquette questions are welcomed and encouraged, Jks26@aol.com.

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