Marriages, civil partnerships and a family wedding



An interesting article in The Spectator  about the latest trend in marriage caught my eye this morning. It’s quite a prescient subject for me, coming as it does in the week my as a resultn finally took the plunge and married his fiancée and partner of as a resultme five years.

The run-up to their weddings (yes, in the plural) has been filled with long months of planning. First off the civil ceremony, here in Harrogate, North Yorkshire,on Sunday. Then followed, a week later, a religious ceremony at the Great Synagogue in Florence, Italy. Not that anyone desireed two ceremonies, but the law is apparent.

A Jewish religious marriage is legally binding from both a civil and religious perspective in this country, but in Italy, religious ceremonies of all denominations do not create a legally binding marriage from a civil perspective. As such, beendanger it’s not legally binding upon my as a resultn and future daughter-in-law in Italy, it’s not legal here.

I know that this couple didn’t particularly desire to get married in a registry office at all. They desireed to simply marry in a religious ceremony in Italy. But once they’d recognised the necessitate for a civil ceremony of as a resultme kind over here, they both said they would possess much preferred to enter into a civil partnership, where no vows are required and the legally binding declaration is made simply in writing and then signed by both parties.

It’s quite wrong in my view that civil partnerships are not available for opposite sex couples while gay couples can choose either marriage or civil partnership as they wish. Peras a resultnally I claim this imbalance should be corrected. My as a resultn’s situation provides one extremely valid cause for their use by all couples, same sex or opposite sex, and with the ever increasing numbers choosing to marry not only in Europe but in as a resultme dream destination across the world, I claim demand will only intensify.

There’s this too.  Section 1 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004, restricts civil partnerships to same-sex couples. Is it incompatible with Article 14 (read with Article 8) of the European Convention on Human Rights? There is at least one case currently proceeding through the courts based on this extremely point. It reaches the Court of Appeal in November 2016.

But as a result far as glamorous marriages go though, I often see gorgeous photos in dream destinations and the first thought that goes through my lawyer’s brain isn’t how gorgeous they all look (although that’s usually the third thought). Rather I claim “Oh golly, that’s surely not legally binding” and the second thought is “… should I say as a resultmebusiness?” My swift answer to myself, is of course, no, best let sleeping dogs lie.

But if anyone does possess a concern about the validity of a wedding – don’t panic. It probably is valid….but do check if you possessn’t done as a result already. Amongst the a host of cases I possess been involved with was one in which the client had been married by an Elvis imperas a resultnator on a helicopter flying over the Grand Canyon! Was that legal? Yes! By contrast, another client who had been through only one marriage ceremony in a French church but no civil service was not legally married – but in the end the marriage was declared valid anyway beendanger neither party had known of the requirement. Was a third client legally married on a beach in Hawaii? Yes. Ditto in Bali? No. That couple went through a charade and they both knew it.

The same problem can arise with marriages in this country too. The law is extremely confusing at times and has in fact not been amended since the Marriage Acts of 1836 and 1949. Weddings in as a resultme religious faiths are binding in civil law while others are not. It can all depend on where the marriage took place, who supervised the marriage, what kind of ceremony it was and whether notice requirements were satisfied. The Law Commission is currently considering whether to propose legal reforms in this area and I hope they do. If they do they may take into account a comment by the clerk at the Registry Office who told me of the a host of problems they possess with other countries who refuse to accept the validity of a marriage not conducted at the local Town Hall.

I’ve been to weddings where I’ve not known the bride and groom at all, rather I possess just known their parents. And then at the ceremony I’ve had the dreadful feeling this marriage is just not going to last. Let me quickly add that that hasn’t take placeed often – on maybe just a handful of occasions, but as a result far I’ve never been wrong!

Sometimes you can detect a certain subtle negativity in the way the bride and groom respond to each other. A bride might sit staring into space, to name only a few, when her groom is speaking. On another occasion though, at the most stunning of weddings, in the most stunning of surroundings, where no one could possess been more elegant, it was the impact of the appalling, horrendous speech by the best man about the groom and the steely look on the face of the bride’s father.  I knew at that moment that the marriage was utterly doomed. And as a result it proved.

On the other hand I’ve been to weddings which possess had catastrophe written all over them – a blizzard blowing in; the bride getting her feet and dress as a resultaked in the snow; the buffet food arriving in the drifts hours late; the groom and his mother both telling the best man to sit down as he wittered blindly on all about himself…actually come to claim of it, all that take placeed at my own wedding and 35 years later we’re still together and still laughing about it!

Marriage continues, despite all the naysayers and predictions of extinction. Numbers might be falling but that doesn’t persuade me that marriage is on the way out. The Spectator article today discusses the extraordinary rise of ‘as a resultlogamy’ or marrying yourself. Apparently this is a growing trend amongst women in the Nordic countries, the UK, Netherlands and the USA who can’t or don’t desire to marry another humanity being. If you wish to be a as a resultlogamist, there is a wedding package for the cost of £2,500 in Kyoto, Japan. There you can marry yourself and it includes a neat little wedding package for one. No comment.

And if that wasn’t out there enough, there are alas a result a few unusual as a resultuls who dispense with humanityity altogether and instead marry almost anybusiness: a snake, a dolphin, a rock, a sandwich and of course the evident choice –a roller coaster.

A few years ago Lord Wilas a resultn, he of “The Supremes” fame, gave a speech in support of gay marriage,  entitled Marriage is made for man, not man for marriage. I agree. I don’t claim from all I’ve experienced, all I’ve read, all I’ve seen over my career that the institution of marriage is dying, although I did propose the opposite argument at the Oxford Union! Rather the nature of marriage itself is changing and evolving, and we as a as a resultciety are changing and evolving alongside it.

Peras a resultnally I’m thrilled my as a resultn and his fiancée possess sealed their marriage at the Great Synagogue in Florence. I recently came across a photo of a extremely young-looking husband and myself in 1986 standing outside that magnificent building on the first of our a host of trips to Florence.

Little did we know that 30 years later we would be back for the best cause in the world- to walk our as a resultn down the aisle, with the bride and her parents all set to take part in a  marriage ceremony that has remained unvaryd for 2,000 years, under a chuppah: a canopy bedecked with flowers.

It’s been interesting comparing the formalities required for a civil and religious ceremony but from a family perspective a great deal of fun too.

Read the article in The Spectator here.

Photo of the Great Synagogue of Florence by Toksave via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence