US state allows unions in which neither party is actually there, explored in documentary Absent from Our Own Wedding
For some nervous betrothed couples a proxy matrimony might announce more good to be true: if there really were such a simple way to avoid the stress and fuss of a wedding ceremony, surely everyone would do it?
But marriages in which neither the bride nor groom are present happen all the time, and not only in countries with very different customs and constitutions to Britain.
The award-winning British film make and former performer Debbie Howard recently released the first movie about a US duo who lope a thriving proxy wedlock business from their urban home in Flathead county, Montana.
Her film Absent from Our Own Wedding tells the impressive storey of the retired husband and wife crew Tom and Teresa Kennedy, who deport about 500 weddings a year for a fee of $750( PS530 ), without ever meeting a redden bride or a gallant groom.
Montana is the only US state where doubled proxy weddings are law and the Kennedys belief their business, Armed Pressures Proxy Marriages, offers a useful service to couples who cannot arrange to be together on their large-scale day.
Tom Kennedy said:” I stumbled on the said law and now we just passion doing it and we want to carry on. We are not doing it for the money. We are penalty, because Teresa was a stockbroker and I made in public service for around 25 years, including a long time in the fire department .”
The obscure Montana law dates back to the 1860 s, Tom explained, and was initially a road to help out male miners.” All the status of women were on the east coast and it was not seen as proper to return them to tough all-male mining local communities to get married ,” he said.
Teresa, 56, regularly standing in for either the bride or the groom, who are able same-sex, while a colleague steps up to play their proposed. Tom is often used conduct the opening ceremony.
In the past double, proxy union was possible in Montana for anyone who worked from anywhere in the world, but 10 years ago the law was changed. Now one of the two getting married must be a resident of Montana- or on active duty in the armed services.
” Outside of Montana very few people have heard of this ,” said Tom, 66.” It is very obliterate and even federal officials know nothing about it. The reality is, in Montana you do not even need to be a magistrate or a reviewer to marry beings. You exactly have to appear to be of sound mind to those who are present at the time. You could even marry yourselves .”
Howard’s documentary, just made by Big Buddha Films, was shot in Montana last year and is now exhibition as part of the Real Fib strand on YouTube.