I'm getting married. As I write this on Saturday afternoon, I am waiting for my family to arrive and for the wedding ceremony to start.
What?!? Aren't you already married? Haven't you mentioned "her royal highness," "she who must be obeyed?"
Indeed! We have been married for 11 years today; this is our anniversary date. However, we were married by a judge, a friend of mine, under the capital dome of the State House in Indianapolis. We have never been married in the Church.
Why do it again? How is this different from a renewal of the vows?
Allow me to explain.
We were not married in the Church because we could not be married in the Church. Yvette had been married before which resulted in the blessing of our three grown sons. The Catholic Church takes the wedding vow of "'til death us do part" very seriously. However, ten years into married life, the Church finally agreed with me and found Yvette's first marriage to be invalid and granted an annulment. Now we can get married in the Church.
Reviewing all of this for a friend today reminds me of another marriage; and the smartest thing one of my cousins ever did on accident.
In the fullness of time, one of my cousins decided it was time to get married. On the way to the church, the Groom and his best men were cruising around town in a limousine. The limousine had a bar in it and he commenced to drink. As fate would have it, he got drunk, not a little drunk, but DRUNK. When the limo stopped in the church parking lot, he was poured from the car onto the ground. He was quickly escorted into the church sacristy to be cleaned up and made ready.
At the alter; the best man had one hand on each shoulder, as his bride approached, to keep him steady. At the appropriate times, the priest said, "Do ya? He did, "Do you too?" She did. All captured on videotape.
This tape is now known as "Exhibit 1"
Fate is a cruel mistress. As it turned out, they shouldn't have. The marriage eventually became another statistic. However, he comes from a "good Catholic family." Divorce is not well regarded. Enter the videotape.
There was irrefutable video evidence that he was intoxicated at the time of the wedding. This got him both a civil and religious annulment. Problem solved.
Is there a moral to the story? I'm not sure. The moral could be "if you are planning on getting married, get drunk first!"
He was sober at his next wedding. They are still together.