June 3rd, 2005

marriage

Okay, this is a multi-layered one.

One character is an American citizen, and the other is a citizen of the UK. They want to get married in America without a bunch of pomp and circumstance, and not necessarily involving a church, but if that's possible without slowing down the process too much, it's not out of the question. So, I'm trying to figure out two things:

1) What's it called in America when you get married without the church being involved? Who performs the ceremony? I know all about the process in England from reading that I've done, but somehow the laws of my own country escape me. I don't even know where to start with this on Google. Would involving the church necessarily take longer?

2) And as an extension of that, how long would it take to validate the marriage, or make it official, or whatever?

3) Finally, how would the process be complicated by the man being a citizen of the UK? What special things would need to be done? Would this slow things down at all?
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Coming out in colonial Britain

Okay, I know that high-society young women in 18th century England usually had a "coming out ball" when they were 17 or 18 to mark their entering adult society.  but was this custom also common in the English colonies in the Caribbean?  And what happened after?  Obviously, a London season wasn't an option, but was there some similar sequence of balls and parties that a well-bred Colonial girl had to get through in order to snag a husband, or was the ration of men to women high enough that no special effort was necessary?

All my books only talk about England proper, not the Caribbean, and Google has failed me. :-(

rehab

Gah. Sorry to spam with dumb questions, but this is vital to my plot.

Is anyone very familiar with the entry criteria for rehab clinics/other similar institutions? What proof, if any, must you provide of being an alcoholic or a drug addict? It seems absurd to think that you'd need it, but I'm not sure.

Basically one of my characters has reason to believe that a man he's tailing has checked into the facility. Would he be able to check himself in, masquerading as an alcoholic, in hopes of observing the guy?