Wedding in absentia.....Yes or No?
I called my old school classmate and friend the other day to wish her congratulations on her wedding and she told me she was on her honeymoon and away from work. I was taken aback because the last I heard she was not seeing anyone and suddenly she is married. I congratulated her and asked about her husband and she said he was in America... While I was trying to process how there was a honeymoon without a 'honey' she dropped the bomb that the wedding was in absentia. *long pause*...That sounds implausible...a marriage without a groom and a honeymoon without a honey.
What is the rush anyway? Even a shot-gun wedding should not be done in absentia. Something does not feel right, I could never feel as if I am properly married not having a parent or a sibling present at my wedding (except if they are deceased), but my better half being away, out of the question!
Long distance relationships are hard enough, but a marriage by proxy is much more than I can handle. Oftentimes, a marriage in absentia occurs as a result of visa issues. I find its all too rampant in Edo state where I come from, take for an instance, a few months ago my mum was indecisive about a distant relative’s wedding in Lagos.....a few days to the wedding she casually dropped a hint that the wedding was in absentia as both the bride and groom would not be present for the wedding due to visa issues in Germany. The look on my face told her what I had in mind - She was not attending any wedding where enlarged framed photographs are used to represent the couple.
In some instances where one of the couple is present (usually the groom is away) they use a representative, especially someone close to the groom, like a brother or cousin who knows a lot about the groom. Nowadays, where technology is readily available, there could be a conference call or a webcam where groom sees what is going on throughout the event.
Dare I say I am a helpless romantic and for me I can understand an introduction ceremony or even an engagement but a white wedding is totally out of the question. The white or civil wedding has a more personal and intimate touch to it, I want to hold him, feel him and touch him. If distance is a barrier, then I am afraid our love is just not going to stand the test of time, distance or time-zones. I do not think my heart can take it.
In reality, Proxy Marriages do happen and if you are inclined towards that route, the information below will help.
A Proxy Wedding or (Proxy Marriage) is a wedding where the bride or groom (or both) is not physically present but represented by another person. If both partners are absent a double proxy wedding occurs.
Marriage by proxy is usually resorted to, either when one or both partners cannot attend for reasons such as military service, imprisonment, or travel restrictions or when a couple lives in jurisdiction in which they cannot legally marry (such as Israel, where only people belonging to the same recognized religious community may marry).
Proxy weddings are not recognized as legally binding in most jurisdictions: both bride and groom must be present. A proxy marriage contracted elsewhere may be recognized while proxy marriage within the jurisdiction is not; for example, Israel recognizes proxy marriages abroad between Israelis who may not have been permitted to marry in Israel, while Nigeria does not.
It was common for European monarchs and nobility to marry by proxy. A famous example of this is the marriage of Napoleon I of France to Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma. Catherine of Aragon wed Prince Arthur by proxy. A famous 17th-century painting by Peter Paul Rubens depicts the proxy marriage of Marie de Medici.
Various Internet sites now offer to arrange proxy and double-proxy marriages for a fee, although the service can generally be set up by any lawyer in any jurisdiction that offers proxy marriage. Video conferencing allows couples to experience the ceremony together. A unique "space wedding" took place on August 10, 2003 when Ekaterina Dmitriev married Yuri Malenchenko, a cosmonaut orbiting the Earth in the International Space Station, by proxy in Texas, USA.
Legality In Nigeria
Marriage in absentia is not LEGALLY recognized by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Traditional marriage by proxy is a recognized and acceptable norm in Nigeria. If one or both of the couple will not be present, big portraits of their pictures will be placed in the centre or on seats and the ceremony will go on as normal provided two individuals from both families will stand in and represent them in the ceremony and traditional vows exchange.
In the United States Proxy marriages are illegal in all US states but provided for in the law or by customary practice in California, Colorado, Montana, Missouri, Kansas and Texas, although Montana is the only state that permits double proxy weddings. Not all states fully recognize proxy marriages, but legal precedent dictates that States recognize proxy marriage as at least a common-law marriage.
Proxy marriage has been commonly used in the USA for marriages where one partner is a member of the military on active duty. It was legalized in California in 2004, for members of Armed Forces deployed and unable to attend the ceremony. During the early 1900s, US proxy marriages increased significantly when many Japanese picture brides arrived at Angel Island, California.
Mexico and Paraguay both offer proxy marriages for a fee. Proxy marriages through the consulate of Paraguay in Tel Aviv are recognized by Israeli law.
How can we celebrate without the celebrant?
So tell me, what are your opinions about a Wedding in absentia?
References: www.namywedding.com/articles/9-the-civil-marriage-get-married-legally, Wikipedia and www.mamuje.com