We received an invitation in the mail yesterday for my JW niece's wedding.
I am posting this just to add for any lurkers to see typical JW practices.
1st - and perfectly understandable for anybody who is or was a JW. I'm not invited. :) Hey, I'm really not complaining about that. Our families were close when I was in, but I understand ... after all, I was an elder at one time, I know how these things work. Still, it's pretty bad manners. My wife is fully in and of course is invited (it's her brother's daughter that is getting married - - after the typical very short dating period of a young couple). Attending the wedding will require a modest bit of travel and expense. I'm not disfellowshipped. These family members have no problem visiting with me when we do cross paths ... Just another one of many invites that I, the uninvited inactive JW, will be expected to fund but not attend. ;)
2nd - and this is really the one that gets me - how my daughter is treated - this daughter of mine is no longer a believer but was never baptized. Fortunately I woke up during the period that I was encouraging her to get baptized and changed from coaxing her towards baptism to encouraging her to make sure of things. Do her own research. After all, JW's are to "make the truth their own" ... right?
My daughter and her bride to be cousin grew up very close, best friends.
A couple of months ago my daughter was invited to spend a day out of town with the cousin and her mother to shop for a wedding dress and bride's maid dresses. I was surprised by this when she told me and we both thought it was odd, but she was very happy to have been included because they had been so close and during their younger years they often talked about their wedding plans.
My daughter returns from the two day shopping trip and tells me what a good time she had with her cousin and aunt and that she was going to be the maid of honor and ordered her dress.
Again, I was surprised by this, knowing the family and knowing how weddings are micromanaged by the elders. (I had already gone through a Kingdom Hall wedding with another of my daughters ... another story.) My dear daughter told me that the wedding was not going to be held at a Kingdom Hall but would be on a beach on an island and her cousin wanted her to be her maid of honor ... it's what they had always planned. Well, this eliminated the Kingdom Hall problem and JW's can have some latitude if they aren't asking to get married there. However, she told me that an elder would be performing the wedding. I asked if this was already approved because I can't see an elder performing a wedding where non-JW's are part of the wedding party. She said that her aunt and cousin spoke as though all was well.
A month later she gets the phone call. Her cousin notifies her that she can't be in the wedding. Apparently they hadn't gotten the approval to include my daughter in the wedding party and the elder said no. Also, the groom's family refuses to be a part of the wedding if my daughter is included. Breaks my heart, but I wasn't surprised. My daughter, while hurt, wasn't completely surprised. BUT, they still want her to be at the wedding and offered to reimburse her for the maid of honor dress (which she declined) ... and, she can't bring her boyfriend to the wedding. The cousin wants my daughter to still be there at her side throughout the day, getting their hair done together ... although I cautioned my daughter to not be surprised if this changes too.
She loves her cousin and still plans to attend the wedding and wear the dress.
Yeah, it's a cult.