Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Etiquette for a Wedding to Die For

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Etiquette for a Wedding to Die For

Article excerpt

Gay marriage? Defense of marriage? Old hat. So last year. If you want to be on the cake-cutting edge of controversial conjugality, get ready for the Next Big Thing: dead marriage.

Yes, bachelors, it's getting so that even the grave is no refuge from the altar. She will jam a ring on your cold, dead finger, and your cold feet will not rescue you.

A woman married her late boyfriend last month in ... now don't start ... France. I think France has taken enough abuse these past few years, so I will point out that you can't just dig random people up and marry them there. You need the permission of the president.

And the president isn't going to let you dig up Victor Hugo or Jim Morrison or Marie Antoinette and say "I do." The dead party's family has to be OK with it, and the couple has to have done the premarital paperwork before the Reaper cuts short an engagement.

But, having met all the requirements, a 35-year-old Frenchwoman widowed herself in Nice when she married a former cop killed by a drunken driver in 2002.

As the groom had been dead a year and a half, the ceremony was not open-casket.

She commented later in a television interview that "it could seem shocking to marry someone who is dead." I will leave it to long- married couples to insert their own joke here.

The Riviera bride is not alone. About 20 people wed the dead every year in France. A Malaysian couple killed in a landslide in Taiwan will be unofficially married by a Taoist priest when the urns containing their cremains are returned to their families. And just last week, the New York Post ran a story about a young man who plans to symbolically marry his late girlfriend.

Women might call this sort of scenario romantic -- oh, for a love stronger than death! -- while many men might just call it abuse of a corpse. It is definitely a drastic way to get out of ballroom dancing lessons.

If it ever catches on here, we will need a catchy, euphemistic name for it so it can be marketed and become part of the vast marital-industrial complex. …

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