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Matrimania Gone Terribly Wrong (At least we think so) June 11, 2010

Posted by Onely in Your Responses Requested!.
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Christina and I are slightly wary of posting this, because we do not want to appear insensitive or overly critical about what is obviously a very sad situation that we are grateful we are not in, but we read about this a few days ago and can’t stop thinking about it… So we’d like your help analyzing the situation.

Here’s the story: A wedding party’s bus got hit in Indianapolis over the weekend, one of the groomsmen died, and multiple people were injured. The couple exchanged vows at the hospital, and even continued with the reception that evening (it sounds as though they may have turned the reception into a prayer service/remembrance for the groomsman who was killed, but it’s unclear from the article).

This marriage is being presented (at least in this article) as a triumph over tragedy, but we personally find it unsettling. How can this couple’s marriage, which turns the attention to them and away from the victim, be interpreted as “mak[ing] the best out of a bad situation”? That’s a direct quote from one of the nurses. Notably, neither the bride nor groom is quoted. It could be that the couple wanted the entire thing kept private, but the media and hospital staff made a huge matrimaniacal deal out of it, adding cookies and reportage–and turning the couple into the stars of the show, the show that weddings are “supposed” to be.

We wonder if clinical shock may have played a role in their decision to go ahead with the service. People are raised to think of weddings as inherently comforting and magical–so when you’re upset and vulnerable, why wouldn’t you reach out for something with that power? The hospital staff probably had similar thoughts, which is why they facilitated the impromptu wedding.

Should we or should we not be astounded that the marriage aura is seen as so powerful it can be used as currency to offset or mitigate the knowledge of a friend’s body lying in the morgue several stories below? Copious Readers, what are your thoughts about this? Is this an example of matrimania gone terribly wrong (as we suggest in the title of this post), or are we being too critical?

– Lisa and Christina

Comments»

1. Alan - June 11, 2010

Initially I wasn’t sure how I felt. But now I think that it was a mistake for this couple to go forward with the ceremony after the accident.

I know that weddings are important to people and a lot of money had been invested. Presumably the deceased groomsman felt the same.

But given that a death occurred, it would seem more respectful of the dead to delay the ceremony, so the deceased could be honored. Christina and Lisa have a point, a wedding is heavily focused on the married couple and it’s not likely the deceased would have gotten much notice.

2. anony-mouse - June 12, 2010

I think that maybe they did it for 2 reasons …..

1. That their marriage was going to be “in good times, in bad times”….. they wanted to show that they still loved eachother, even though they have both gone through this and were possibly injured physically and psychologically.

2. They might have said to themselves that the groomsman would have wanted them to go ahead with it ….. so they might just have done it, in memory of him.

We don’t know what was said by the party – but I wouldn’t have been surprised if they did just that – did it in memory of him.

Anyway, I think it would be terrible to assume anything without knowing the facts, or to even judge them because it was a very traumatic event that they went through. They might not even have been thinking it through properly and were just going by what others were telling them to do.

I wouldn’t blame them for anything that happened.

3. Rachel - June 12, 2010

I think it’s tasteless. Even if the groomsman died in different circumstances on the day of the wedding, I think going forward with the wedding is rather selfish. It’s not only matrimanical but it’s also showing our culture’s fear of death. I can understand that they wouldn’t want to cancel their wedding period but at least have some tact and delay it for a week or so…

4. Lauri - June 14, 2010

It is hard for me to even imagine being in that situation and even remembering that oh yeah, I’m supposed to exchange some vows and have a party with this dude today. If I were that bride, the wedding would be the furthest thing from mind. I would be thinking, my god my friend has been killed, my “husband” and I are injured, has everyone’s family been notified, where is my insurance card, why did I hire that bus service, when is the funeral, etc. I just think it’s incredible that taking vows and having any sort of celebration even crossed their minds.

5. Therese - June 14, 2010

That’s a bit creepy. Somebody died for crying out loud. I think it was in bad taste.

6. anon - December 29, 2010

I agree it’s evidence of matrimania. Marriage is SUPPOSED to be comforting, and in this situation it was NOT comforting in fact, but they just ignored the horrible reality of the situation and pretended everything was alright. They sound like they are on AUTOPILOT rather than rational, thinking adults.


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