(Closed) Courthouse wedding before the Real wedding?

posted 6 years ago in Elopement
Post # 3
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

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
4478 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

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
2808 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

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
5075 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

a courthouse wedding IS a real wedding.  

Post # 7
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

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
1306 posts
Bumble bee

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
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

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 # 11
47 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

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
1186 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

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
1186 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

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
1269 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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
713 posts
Busy bee
  • 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
40 posts
  • Wedding: November 2013

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. 

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