military-weddingA Hudson Valley Bride asks,“My first cousin got married last year. The ceremony took place in front of a judge in the judge’s chambers. She wore a beautiful white wedding gown. Her fiance was being shipped out for military duty, and there was no time to plan a full-blown wedding. Her closest relatives, me included, attended, but it was a small quick event. There was a small buffet after the ceremony. Some of us took photos, since there was no professional photographer there. We all sent her photos and she posted them on the web.”

Her husband is back from Iraq and now my cousin is planning the wedding she never had. She calls it her “real wedding” and intends to follow the ceremony with a large, elaborate reception. What do the rules of etiquette have to say about what seems very “off” to me?”

Dear Hudson Valley Bride, According to the rules of strictest etiquette, the couple is already married, so this event she is planning is what as kids we called a “do-over,” but it’s not a “real wedding.” That being said and especially because of the circumstances that necessitated a quick wedding, I would cut the couple a lot of slack. If it makes you more comfortable, look at as his homecoming party, which I’m sure you will agree is, indeed, a cause for celebration. Personally I believe in taking any opportunity to have a party. So, good for her!! As for you, go and have a good time.