Post # 1
My fiance and I have been together for almost 5 years now (high school sweethearts!). We got engaged in March, but we aren’t in the best place financially. He and his family think it would be a good idea for us to go on and get married at the courthouse before our big day. If we do that I will be covered by his insurance, and we will move in together. We can then take our time saving money, and not feel rushed to have the big day. However, I’m afraid it’s going to take away from the wedding day. And many people feel like it’s not even a real wedding, well, because it’s not. I continue to go back and forth on the idea, and I’m really just not sure what to do. I just wanted to some unbiased opinions. Someone, please help! haha
Post # 3
My Fiance also wants to get married in a courthouse by next year….I asked him this question last night and he said he just wouldn’t tell anyone that we were already legally married. If they don’t know that you’re already married, then they wont even have the opportunity to form an opinion about it 🙂
Post # 4
We’re doing something similar. Our reasons were because well, we’re ready, and secondly, because if we didn’t, we’d be throwing away a lot of money in tax benefit, plus a better health insurance plan. As nice as the symbolism of everyone watching you get married is, the practical things in life come first. I don’t think it’ll take away from your wedding day; the wedding was and still will be a joyousn celebration of your union.
Post # 5
is it worth having insurance and living together? i vote insurance (as someone who can’t afford insurance/isn’t eligible for state insurance plans, i always vote the access to insurance) i say look at the big picture. saving money is always a good plan. having insurance and living together, again, is a good thing.
you can always have a “renewal” in 2013 or something. throw your big party, wear the pretty dress. whatever you want. yes, you’ll already be married. but does that really matter? i don’t think so. you’ll still have all of your family there and all of your friends. know what i mean?
Post # 6
a courthouse wedding IS a real wedding.
Post # 7
I have a friend who did this and kept it a secret from almost everyone and then had the big affair almost a year later. She told me and her best friend. Her best friend agreed to “get ordained” online (of she really didn’t bother since there was no need) and she officiated the ceremony.
The reason for their early nuptials was also insurance.
It worked out quite well, except that they are planning on celebrating their REAL wedding date…so if anyone ever gets a wiff of a June anniversary when their big affair was held in May there might be some questions…
I suppose they’ll just tell everyone they’re celebrating late though.
Post # 8
My BIL and his wife did this, for different reasons though. He was stationed overseas so they got married at the courthouse before he left. When he returned, they had their “big” wedding.
Honestly, I had a *slight* raised eyebrow, for the reasons you said – you’re technically already married, so it’s not “real” wedding, it’s just a vow renewal. That being said, I completely enjoyed myself at their (later) wedding and reception. Plus when the military/deployment is involved I COMPLETELY understand why people do this.
I think this sort of situation gets a little tricky (and dare I say it…tacky??) when the bride/groom try to have 2 parties (one after the courthouse wedding and another after the “real” wedding). THEN I’m like whaaaaat??
Post # 9
Honestly? I would get married at the courthouse and then have either a vow renewal on your one year anniversary or simply have a ‘reception’ to celebrate your marriage. In some religions you can even have your religious ceremony separate than your civil ceremony, and it would be during your “religious” ceremony when you would committ your marriage to God. You could follow up a religious ceremony or a vow renewal with a traditional reception.
What I would NOT do, is get married, keep it a secret, lie to everyone and then *pretend* to get married so I could “have my day”. I think that is extraordinarily selfish. If you were my friend and you got married at the courthouse, lied to everyone and pretended to get married…. that is a dishonesty that would probably end our friendship.
If you get married at a courthouse…… You will be married, legally. You will have a wedding. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Life is a series of choices and we make choices based on what our needs are at the time. But for EVERY choice that we make there are rewards and consequences. Adults accept the consequences of their choices.
Post # 10
My thing is, if we’re going to get married I don’t really want to keep it a secret. For one, I’m an awful secret keeper, and I’m head over heels for him. Why would I want to keep this a secret!? So, it’s going to be something that everyone knows about. I’ve always wanted a wedding where we celebrate the joining of our love and two families with everyone we love. It’s not about a huge party, but about showing our love and having a good time. I considered the renewal thing in 2013, but that makes me nervous because I’m not so sure how anyone would feel about a year later vow renewal. The thing is, if we went to the courthouse, we would not have a celebration at all. If anything, it would be a small family get together with our best friends and close family. The only legitimate celebration would be at the later “wedding.”
Another reason I’m so worried about the ceremony next year is because of my family. My older sister eloped, and I’m the only daughter left to have a wedding. It’s something that is important to my family, and I don’t want to disappoint them. I know they wouldn’t be angry with me if I went ahead and did this, but they would be sad that they missed the opportunity of seeing me in a wedding dress and having all the moments they could miss out on.
Post # 11
My opinion is that your courthouse wedding will be your “Wedding”, and you can’t have a full re-do later. Maybe in a few years you can do a vow renewal, but that means no showers or bachelorette. Those are given to brides, and after your courthouse wedding you’ll be a wife (not a bride).
Post # 12
The courthouse wedding is absolutely a “real wedding”, otherwise you wouldn’t do it. It is real enough for you to do it for the tax benefits and insurance, it appears.
I think that you only get one wedding to this man. You either wait and have the wedding you want or you do it sooner and begin your marriage.
Post # 13
I just reread your post and saw this:
“The thing is, if we went to the courthouse, we would not have a celebration at all. If anything, it would be a small family get together with our best friends and close family.”
The bolded part is something called a wedding reception.
Post # 14
My father suggested this type of thing to me and I find it hard to see the point of a ceremony later. To me, there should only be one ceremony and one time to walk down the aisle, all that, so I just feel an elopement would take away from the meaning of the “ceremonial” wedding later.
Post # 15
- Wedding: October 2012 - Watch tower lodge, Black hawk state Park Rock Island, IL
i did this the first time i got married, i was pregnant with my daughter so we got married at the courthouse and only a few people knew about it. then 6 months later we had our big wedding….we were in the process of planning the big wedding when i got pregnant…my parents felt it was the “right thing to do” was to be married when she was born….
Post # 16
I feel like a lot of bees are being super rude here! I think it is completely reasonable to do a separate legal ceremony that you don’t count as your actual wedding, and I think it is bizarre that other people are so invested on what it has to mean. A lot of what takes place in a wedding ceremony has nothing to do with the legal binding, it has a lot to do with what is meaningful for the people getting married. However, if it is something that makes you uncomfortable, what about getting a domestic partnership? My fiance and I are doing this a year before our wedding for insurance purposes. However, we may also be getting our wedding certificate before our ceremony because we are getting married in MD and aren’t sure if gay weddings will be legal there for our date.