@javababy87: I have a slighty similar situation to this actually.
My dad had cancer for 6 years. He always seemed to buy time with surgeries, chemo and radiation.
Then in January 2012, all that was not working for the tumors any more so he decided to stop everything and just let it take him. It was mestatisized into his lungs too. The doctors said that the cancer would take his life in 4-6 months to their guess – other doctors would not even say a time frame though. And guess what? Our wedding was set to be in 5 months. Nearly all paid for, everything was booked too.
So we ended up cancelling the wedding and getting our money back – well most of it. For the next 5 months I made it my mission to fly home often to see my dad. I flew home 4 times in that time frame, with the 4th trip being the day he died. I got to be at his bedside for 5 hours before he passed. It was 45 days before the planned wedding we had. So we were glad we cancelled it.
This board had so many votes to go ahead and have a small wedding while dad is still here. The logic being that during this sad time a wedding will bring joy and happiness to a family. Nice idea in theory.
Well, my sisters told me that is the worst thing I could do at that time. They said, “Don’t make us put on fake happy smiles for your wedding when we all know what is happening.” My mom was already a wreck and was very uninterested in a wedding. My dying father was the priority and a wedding was the least of his worries. My dad did not really have any desire to be there. He already knew my FI (now H) and loved him, and that was all he needed to know. Plus I did not want to make H’s family fly to my dad. It was not what we envisioned either, plus no one wanted it on their plates.
I was married before and I made a few new rules for myself for the next time I got married (which is this time 2012). Note – these were for ME (which may not apply to others). Firstly, don’t get married due to circumstances. Let it be the absolute right time for us both – not to speedy, hurry things along for anything, not to get health insurance, not to save money, etc. (my dad even said don’t change our plans on account of us, but I really did not want a funeral and wedding in the same MONTH).
In my first marriage (12 years ago), we did a quick courthouse thing with goals of redoing it much nicer for family. That never happened. So our day came and went without any hoopla or recognition really. We did do the celebration party route months later, but it was low key – we were so poor. With that said, you just get one wedding day so make sure to make it be what you wanted (or somewhat close, we don’t always get what we want!). This is speaking from my own personal experience.
With that said, since your soon to be courthouse wedding will have family and a bridal party, it would not be right to have a second wedding with bridal party and everything else. I would not lead people to believe that it was a wedding in October either. I think your courthouse wedding sounds very lovely and intimate (if everyone is all on board for that idea – it did not work for my family).
For October, maybe call it a vow renewal (but having a bridal party would be unnecessary to me). Vow renewals under one year don’t make sense to me though. More like a 10 year or 20 year thing perhaps.
Or just have a good old celebration party using the services you’ve already booked – make it as nice as you want, but it won’t be a wedding. It will be a celebration party. I’d wear the wedding dress again, normally you do not at celebration parties, but I think people would understand. I just don’t think you NEED to put on a vow show for relatives honestly.
Or just call it good and make the soon to be courthouse wedding THE WEDDING. Take a risk with the desposits. It’s not going to ruin other peoples’ year if they don’t party with you. Trust me!