Tuesday, June 02, 2009


PH and I went to a wedding this weekend. The bride and groom were 18 years old. Nope, not kidding. They really were just 18. This was not a shotgun wedding. These two young people share an arts-related profession and wanted to be married so they could continue to pursue their dream together. Both sets of parents were supportive of this decision. The bride was gorgeous in a dress that seemed to be about a size 0 or maybe even a negative number, and the groom was very handsome and attentive.

For 18, they seemed pretty mature.

Still. though, 18?

Clergy folk out there, would you have presided at the wedding?

I'm still chewing on it, because I know way too much about failed marriages even among folks who should be old enough to handle it all. They had premarital counseling with the minister who presided and who is a pastoral counselor.

Still, though, 18?


Cheesehead said...

Confession time: my first wedding ever was for a couple who were teenagers. The groom was 19 and the bride 18.

I did the wedding as pastoral care for the mother of the groom, who is a member of St Stoic. He was shipping out to Afghanistan in 20 days. She needed health insurance and military benefits, plus they had been high school sweethearts since ages 14-15, and were already living together in the bride's parents' home. The couple sat in my office and swore there was no other reason.

Of course she was pregnant. Why they did not tell me I don't know. Two kids and two deployments later they are still together.

I mostly don't regret it. His mother asked me with tears in her eyes. They were going to go the the Justice of the Peace if I said no. She just wanted there to be some "God" in the whole thing.

Every couple is different, I suppose.

Rev Dr Mom said...

I got married at 19. I doubt anyone could've talked me out of it at the time, but we were WAY TOO YOUNG and I am eternally grateful that none of my own kids have followed in my footsteps.

Not sure what I'd do as clergy faced with this situation. It's a tough call.

mibi52 said...

My youngest is 21, and as much as I think she is bright and mature for 21, I see how much she has changed in the three years between 18 and 21. And Lord knows I changed pretty radically in those years. I think that's the thing that makes me wonder at the wisdom of such an early wedding. Nevertheless, Cheese, I hear what you say about it being an act of pastoral care for the mother as well as the couple, and I would hope that putting the event into a Christian context would help somehow, some way.

A friend who is in his early 40s got married last week, and although I love him dearly, he is sometimes rather immature...not sure how that marriage will work out either, so I guess it's not simply a kronos thing.

Dang, this business is complicated!

Kathryn said...

I'd definitely try and spend as much time as I could getting to know the couple in the months leading up to the wedding...Church weddings here are typically booked 2 years in advance, so there's a bit of scope for that...and I'd ask a raft of awkward questions, but in the end, I will marry pretty much anyone, as experience suggests that saying No in no way deters them from marrying, it just means that if things get bumpy there is no neutral person who cares about their well being, jointly & severally, to offer support.
I married at 25 and thought I was old enough. I wasn't...but I think my darling daughter at 22 might be, though as she's not in a relationship atm, it's academic....
As you say, really Not Easy