This is a copy of the letter I sent to the New York Times Style Section after what I considered to be a particularly unpleasant wedding story last Sunday. Not that I have an opinion……We’ll see if it gets printed……
Dear Editors of the Style section,
I am a wedding freak; I love them, I write and perform them as a civil Celebrant, and I own an event company that produces them. I read the “big wedding” before anything else in the New York Times, (which I read every weekend, no matter how nuts the rest of my life becomes). I love the “big wedding” stories; they remind me of my own work, teasing out couples’ stories and constructing a meaningful glimpse at the evolution of their life together. It is joyous work, and I consider myself lucky to be able to do it.
A majority of my couples have histories that include previous marriages, and we deal with that inevitability in a gracious way, but I was disappointed in your choice to highlight the more unsavory aspects of the Drager/Wright courtship. To celebrate a relationship that clearly started as an extramarital affair is not only irresponsible and questionably tasteful, it’s just plain tacky. Dismissing Mr. Wright’s home life as “troubled” doesn’t quite absolve either of them; he was still married, and stayed married for close to two more years. I’m sure the former Mrs. Wright (although remarried) was thrilled to see,in glowing black and white, just how she was betrayed, via email, river rafting and sleeping bags.
As someone who consecrates weddings and writes ceremonies built on my couples’ stories, I’m sorry that you chose to hold this couple up as a joyous model. Had they come to me with their story, I would have had to refer them to someone else.