Friday, September 10, 2010

A United Nations of couples to marry

Wednesday afternoon I performed 6 marriage ceremonies.  It was a United Nations group of couples. I had a Turkish groom and his bride from the Czech Republic; the next couple were Korean; next up were the couple who were from El Salvador, a couple from Tracy CA;  a groom from Oakland and his bride from Paris, France; and the last couple were Mexican.  And everyone was strong in English except the Korean couple.

The Turkish groom was really concerned because his bride's visa was running out in a month. (This was a love match for sure, not an immigration wedding.)  They kept asking me legal questions about whom to contact, what steps to take, who do they notify that she is now married to an American citizen, how do they speed up the process.  Even if I knew the answers, I legally can not give legal advice.  I told them to call immigration and to get an attorney.  Really hope that all works out.

The Korean couple spoke some English and understand most I said.  We have no Korean translator, so it was just me and the witness.  I can not use a witness for the legal parts of the ceremony.  So I interviewed the couple and made the witness stay quiet.  The couple answered my questions.  The main question was, "Why are you here?"  They both told me to get married.  After talking with them for several minutes, I agreed to marry them.  I could have done the three legal sentences wedding.  I could have had them struggle through the vows in English, which they could have done.  But the bride was beautifully dressed and had a bouquet. She had come for a nice wedding.  I wanted her to have an event, not a short stressful ceremony.  I had the witness translate the fluff, they did vows in Korean, and I did the legal part in English.   They were most appreciative of my solution.

The couple from France and California were cute and funny.  First off the groom had on pink nail polish.  In the elevator he asked me, "Do you say by the power vested in me. . .?"  I said yes.  He then said, "I have waited a loooong time to hear that".  During the ring ceremony part of what I say is " . . . as a token of your love" . . .  He took out a huge pink "dimestore" ring  and said, "definitely a token".

Let us finish with a little humor.  The couple were Hispanic.  He had on the stereotypical baggy falling down pants, which he kept hitching up.  After the ceremony he took his infant son from the stroller and his pants started falling down.  His bride stuck her hands in his pockets and pulled the pants up, as if she had done it a thousand times.

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