Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Today Word of Mouth takes a matrimonial journey, from “I do”, to “I don’t”. First, how the American wedding has evolved from private affair, to public extravaganza. Then, put your iPhone down! Why more couples are opting for an unplugged wedding. Plus, a look into the legal barriers that make gay divorce even more complicated than same-sex marriage.
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American Wedding Traditions
Whether disastrous or delightful, everyone loves a wedding. Or, at the very least, is obligated to attend one. and for the most part, American weddings tend to have the same moving parts: engagement, engagement announcement, engagement party, invitation, engagement ring, white gown, flowers, food, signature drink, gift registry, bridesmaids, bridesmaids’ dresses that look good on all of them, groomsmen, groomsmen attire, ceremonial vows, rings, reception, champagne toast, more drinking, cutting of the cake, dancing, bouquet toss…But it wasn’t always this way. In fact, in the early-mid nineteenth century, weddings were private affairs, far from the lavish ceremonies of today. Joining us to provide more insight into the history of American weddings is Carol Wallace. She is the author of many books including, “How to Marry an English Lord” and “All Dressed in White: The Irresistible Rise of the American Wedding.”
The Birthplace of the Quickie Wedding
With an average of nearly 100,000 marriage licenses issued annually, Las Vegas is recognized as the wedding capital of the world. But before there was Vegas, there was Elkton, Maryland. Producers Nell Boeschenstein and Kelley Libby take a trip to this tiny town and tell the story of its former life as the elopement capital of the country.
Not so long ago, wedding attendants needed to make sure they had one thing on hand, tissues. Nowadays, your great Aunt Mable and Uncle George are armed with iPhones and flip-cams. But, are their digital keepsakes creating a distraction? Joining us to discuss the unplugged wedding trend is Ariel meadow Stallings, author of "Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides". She is also the founder and publisher of the Offbeat Bride website.
The Difficulties of Same-Sex Divorce
This week Pennsylvania lifted their ban on same-sex marriage – paving the way for gay couples to wed, and consequently – to split, but same-sex marriage is still banned by either constitutional amendment or state law in 32 other states. So the legal roadblocks that were true in Pennsylvania up until this week are still preventing same-sex couples get divorced all over the country. With that in mind, we turn to Tiffany Palmer, a Philadelphia attorney who specializes, among other things, in gay rights issues around adoption, marriage, and more recently, divorce.
Confessions of a Wedding Photographer
There’s a lot of pressure on a wedding photographer, after all the expense and attention to planning the day, the photographer is charged with capturing all of it -- the fleeting expressions, the flattering angles and happy guests – images that reinforce the undisputable rightness of a couple’s decision to unite. But it’s just the beginning of a union. Only when the guests have gone home and the camera’s been put away does marriage begin in earnest. Matt Mendelsohn is a writer and professional photographer of more than 450 weddings since 1999. Matt explores the meaning of marriage by reconnecting with five couples whose weddings he photographed years before to find out whether they’re relationships have grown, evolved, or ended, in a long-form article for the Washingtonian.