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[personal profile] henry_the_cow
On Friday, Mrs HtC and I went to my niece's wedding.  In legal terms, it was a civil partnership, but it was a wedding to all intents and purposes.  The ceremonies (one legal, one handfasting) were held at Leighton Moss, which is a beautiful bird reserve on the edge of the Lake District. We were lucky with the weather as it was both dry and warm.  Just in case, the brides' outfits included wedding wellies for the outdoor parts of the day!

My BiL's speech included this update of a classic line, "We think of it not so much as losing a daughter, but ... of gaining another daughter". 

Numbers were limited at Leighton Moss so on Saturday Jossy & Cat held a larger party.  This included several musical turns, because both brides are musicians and naturally also have many musical friends.  We were serenaded by Jossy's horn quartet/quintet, Cat's string quartet (both available for other people's weddings!), plus spots from several friends, including Mrs HtC reading a short Judy Grahn poem, and a folk band for some (rather crowded) dancing. 

This was the first time I'd been invited to a civil partnership, or a handfasting.  I know people who have had these but this was the first one I have actually attended.  It was the first wedding I've been to in an outdoor setting.  It's the first time I've heard a horn quartet and certainly the first time that I've been in party singing The Hippopotamus Song along with a horn quartet.  The wedding wellies were a first too.  It was also the first time that I've done an Irish ceilidh dance,although looking at this list of set dances it seems we were given a greatly simplified version.

It was also the first civil partnership in our family, which had a particular resonance for me.  While I haven't been involved in the bi movement for many years now, the memories and friendships from that time are still important to me. During that time, some of my family ties were a bit strained (or at least that's how it felt to me).  So although this weekend's event was most definitely Not About Me, I did get something rather special from it for myself.

It was a great couple of days,  It was lovely to see Jossy and Cat so clearly in love and to witness that love by the ceremonies.  The party was fun. It was good to see my family and to meet Cat's family too.  I wish the couple a happy and long marriage.

Date: 2012-04-04 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] routemaster159.livejournal.com
Congratulations to the happy couple.

We've been to three civil partnerships; all were of couples who had been together a long time. The ceremonies were weddings (if not marriages, thanks to the last government's cowardice). I just don't like the ceremony's words: referring to someone as x's 'civil partner', rather than her wife or his husband, makes a couple who love each other sound like a firm of accountants.

Date: 2012-04-06 08:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] routemaster159.livejournal.com
I'd rather see the religious aspect removed completely, as it is in France. Marriage has been a specialised form of contract since at least the mid-Eighteenth Century and I don't see any difference between a marriage between same- and different-sex couples, except in one trivial aspect; I do know at least one woman who would civilly partner rather than marry, due to the patriarchal baggage that marriage brings, and there must be some way to accommodate her.

I don't have any problem, in principle, to polyamorous marriages; I just worry about the factorially increasing complexity of arrangements within one and the potential abuse of power within some religious groups which authorise polygamy (but that's the result of the misogyny of those groups, really, and there are other, more worrying, aspects of that to worry about).

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