D ear Amy: A friend of 15 years had her wedding this past fall.
In my recent phone conversation with the “bride,” she slipped up and I learned the couple were never legally married. The “bride” said the “groom” wanted to wait until 2015 because of taxes and now he wants a prenuptial agreement.
The groom’s cousin performed the fake ceremony. Guests traveled from four countries and across the country to attend this fake wedding, with 150 in attendance.
As far as I can tell, beyond the “bride,” “groom” and cousin, I am the only person who knows the couple are not legally married and that the wedding was a sham. Everyone else thinks they are married – including the parents. Both the “bride” and “groom” are professionals and in their 30s. This lack of integrity and respect is shocking and unforgivable. Please help me deal with this friend.
Dear RSVpeeved: I may be extrapolating too much from this story, but my instinct is that if the “groom/husband” is perusing a prenuptial agreement at this point, there is a real possibility that this sham marriage may be followed by a breakup before a legal wedding ever takes place.
The bride should have figured out by now that once she dons a wedding dress and participates in a bogus wedding ceremony, legal leverage regarding prenups has pretty much walked itself down the aisle. But if a breakup happened, the couple would be in the uncomfortable position of having to fake a divorce from a marriage that never existed. This would make a nice plot for a Noel Coward farce but it is quite awkward in real life.
Or the couple might quietly go to the courthouse, tie the knot and continue to celebrate the date of the ceremony and party as their wedding anniversary.
I understand your distress over this. The most logical response would be to convey your disappointment to your friend (if you haven’t already). There is no need to disclose this to anyone else.
Dear Amy: Many years ago my family resolved the “grab bag” gift exchange by each person buying a gift for himself. It is amazing how it ended all the anxiety of gift-giving.
We set a price range. The gift to yourself cannot be a gift card. It must be wrapped and then opened in the presence of the others.
It is so much fun getting something you wish for but would not normally splurge on. We call this “Elf to Myself.”
It might sound quirky but I don’t think there has been a return yet! It is fun and has worked well for us.
— Plan B Grab Bag
Dear Plan B: Inventive. I look forward to readers’ reactions.