US state tolerates wedlocks in which neither party is actually there, explored in documentary Absent from Our Own Wedding
For some nervous betrothed duos a agent union might voice very good to be true: if there really were such an easy 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 traditions and statutes to Britain.
The award-winning British documentary maker and former actor Debbie Howard recently released the first movie about a US duo who flowed a thriving proxy marriage business from their rural home in Flathead county, Montana.
Her film Absent from Our Own Wedding tells the impressive tale of the retired husband and wife team Tom and Teresa Kennedy, who deport about 500 marries a year for a cost of $750( PS530 ), without ever matching a blushing bride or a chivalrous groom.
Montana is the only US state where double agent bridals are legal and the Kennedys accept their business, Armed Forces Proxy Marriages, offers a helpful assistance to duets who cannot arrange to be together on their large-hearted day.
Tom Kennedy said:” I stumbled on the said law and now we just love do it and we want to carry on. We are not doing it for the money. We are fine, because Teresa was a stockbroker and I ran 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 interpreted, and was initially a behavior to help out male miners.” All the women were on the east coast and it was not seen as proper to accompanied them to tough all-male mining communities to get married ,” he said.
Teresa, 56, regularly is currently in for either the bride or the groom, who can be same-sex, while a colleague steps up to play their purposed. Tom will often conduct the ceremony.
In the past double, proxy wedlock was possible in Montana for anyone who exploited from in all regions of 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 tariff in the armed services.
” Outside of Montana very few people have heard of this ,” said Tom, 66.” It is very obscure and even federal officials know nothing about it. The happening is, in Montana you do not even need to be a magistrate or a adjudicator to marry beings. You just have to appear to be of sound mind to those who are present at the time. You could even marry yourselves .”
Howard’s documentary, made by Big Buddha Films, was shot in Montana last year and is now showing as part of the Real Stories strand on YouTube.