Wednesday I had four couples to do ceremonies for. One must have been normal and boring, I can't remember one thing about them. I couldn't remember anything Wednesday night.
The first wedding the bride, groom, and all their guests were dressed up. The bride was in a summery flowered halter dress and the groom wore a suit. She had a son and daughter and he had a son from previous marriages. The boys were in suits and the little girl was in a flowered dress. The bride and her daughter carried beautiful bouquets that the bride had made that morning. The daughter was going to hold her mother's bouquet during the ceremony. The boys were each bringing up a ring for the ring ceremony. I told the boys I would tell them when to come, and started telling them how to hold the rings so they were easy for the couple to pick up. Her son said, "I know how to do this, I did a wedding last week." That brought the house down.
In the post before this one I explained problems with non English speaking couples, and the legalities involved. The issue came up again with the next couple. They were from the Ukraine. His English was perfect. He C had been here long enough to be a citizen. She was here very recently. Clerk T asked me to talk to them, she was worried about the bride's English. I explained the legalities to the couple and took the bride to another part of the lobby. I asked her to pronounce her name for me. She did that. Then I said why are you here? What reason are you and C here today? What do you want from me? No response, not a flicker of the eye. Then she suddenly asked me to repeat the questions. That was a good sign. I asked again why are you here. She said, "I love C and we want to marry." Bingo, we have full sentences. I called C over and it all boiled down to her extreme nerves. The bride told me she had learned English watching youtube. She understood me, she had just been afraid of not speaking well. Also, the couple and the couple witnessing for the ceremony are a little nervous around government agencies.
I apologized for the interviewing of the bride. I was told they didn't mind that. I was protecting her, no one had protected any of them in the USSR or in the Ukraine. They had been controlled by communists much of their lives and told me how dangerous their countries are. One witness told me how she had escaped Russia and been able to become an American citizen. She raved about what a wonderful country the USA is.
The next couple was from Afghanistan. No language problem here. They had previously done a cultural wedding. I asked if they wanted the ring ceremony since they were already wearing wedding rings. She said, "Yes, I want an American wedding."