Post # 1
My fiance and I are deeply considering a justice of the peace or elopment wedding soon for military purposes, I want to be able to join him while he is at school and receive benefits. We don’t have much time left, he waited way too long to propose! (We’ve been together 6 years).
I still desperately want a real wedding, but waiting on doing it that way could mean a year and a half apart and 6 months with no certainty to choose a date.
While I’m leaning towards doing the ceremony once he finishes his training and we have some leave saved up, I want to know if anyone has done this and regretted it? Or if it was a sucess? Did the celebrations mean the same? Were your friends and family supportive? I’m still very nervous, because I want this wedding badly-but I want to be with him even more now. Will I regret it? Did you?
Post # 3
@nicolemarie77: I haven’t but the thought has crossed my mind a few times. I think you should do whatever works for you. You can have the paper commitment whenever you want, and save the declaration of your commitment that you share with your guests for your wedding day! 🙂
Post # 4
@nicolemarie77: I doubt anyone will have a problem with it as long as you are honest about it. The only time that trouble seems to come about is when the couple lies about being married, throw what guests think is a wedding ceremony (as opposed to a vow renewal) and then people find out and feel betrayed.
There are a lot of brides that have done this and had great days but there are also bides who have done this and then regretted it or who got to the vow renewal/wedding and felt that it was silly since they had already been living as a married couple.
Do what feels best fro the two of you but I would advise you to be honest about your marital status.
Post # 5
We are! I canceled our original wedding because we found out that week that my grandpa was terminally ill, and my dad was stuck in Utah
I couldnt bear the thought of two of the most important men in my life not there. And I would have been a mess. We got married in the courthouse and everyone knew, and we will be having a wedding this fall on our 1 year anniversary. DHs family is sort of against the wedding since we are already married, but he knows how much it means to me to have a wedding, and all of our friends and my family are totally supportive! =)
Post # 6
Also, no regrets!! We get to be together after spending 4 years long distance. Our jop ceremony was special because it was just us, and our wedding will be special because it is on our anniversary and we get to share all the love with our family and friends. You deserve to have the beautiful wedding of your dreams. =) the military definitely makes planning difficult, so I say go for it! Get married and then plan! Congrats by the way! =)
Post # 7
Well hopefully my friends and family aren’t on here…..
my ‘fiance’ and I got married in a secret ceremony last september with only two witnesses sworn to secrecy. We are having a big wedding this september and will reveal this news to them at the reception….
We did it because we are madly in love and didn’t want logistics (money, venue availability etc…) to prevent us from being husband and wife. I wanted to be his wife the minute he asked!
I dont feel that anyone will feel betrayed, Im expecting more ‘good for you’s’ than anything. Its a nice secret to have just between us and our commitment to each other is stronger than ever. I also feel that it has helped put things in perspective (when it comes to our big wedding). At the end of the day, we are already married, we said our vows and are H+W, everhything else is just icing on the cake 🙂
Good luck and pray on it (if you are a praying kind) or just go with your gut!!
Post # 8
I’ll be getting legally married a couple months before the wedding/real marriage. I’m doing it bc my health insurance will run out & I am chronically ill and need insurance. I won’t consider us married, though. Maybe it’s because I am religious in a way, but I won’t be married until our ceremony. Government paperwork is a separate matter. Plus, I think civil marriage and religious marriage need to be separated in this country, so by happy chance I’ll be living that separation myself.
Post # 9
I got legally married two months before my wedding, because of logistics. Our wedding was in a different state, we had to travel for the wedding and couldn’t get a marriage license there with the waiting period, and where we live the courthouse doesn’t do weddings and it’s really hard to find an officiant. We didn’t consider ourselves married until the actual wedding, and we only told a couple of people that we were already legally married. (Also to note, our wedding wasn’t a “vow renewal” because there were no vows when we got legally married. It was literally just someone signing a piece of paper.)
In theory I’m all for having a real wedding separate from the legal one. It’s kind of like having your birthday party on a different day from your actual birthday. But I think there’s a chance that if you get legally married a long time before your wedding, you will get used to being husband and wife and the wedding may feel less significant to you. That kind of happened to us. We got pregnant in between our legal marriage and our real wedding, and being pregnant made us feel and act like a married couple. So now we don’t know which anniversary to celebrate, because the pregnancy eclipsed our real wedding and made it less important than it would have been.
@Feist: I’m not religious but I also agree that civil marriage and religious/spiritual marriage should be separate. I wish the U.S. was more like other countries in this regard.
Post # 10
@nicolemarie77: We had a court house ceremony in December 2010 and now we are having our actual wedding in May 2014. We also did it for military reasons and honestly, other than the ladies on this site, I have had no issues with anyone in real life thinking it was all that ‘wrong’. Everything is just as exciting (and stressful) everyone is just as excited for us! If you guys feel it is the best option for your family then do it! I don’t regret it one bit!
Post # 11
Thanks so much for all your advice. I guess I’ve just been nervous about trusting my gut, its nice to just have some reassurance.
Post # 12
- Wedding: September 2013 - Pavilion at Rocky Neck State Park
@nicolemarie77: my husband and I got married by a justice of the peace 14 days before he got deployed. It was a small ceremony with only immediate family even though I wanted a large wedding which we did have two and a half weeks from our anniversary. I don’t regret it at all. I was so happy just to call him my husband and me his wife. It may seem like a big deal now but at the end of the day you marry the man you love.
Post # 13
@nicolemarie77: I just eloped on 12/31/13 and my wedding will be 9/19/14. Given what my DH dose It sucked not being able to find out information ect when he was out and along with the BHA and stuff we both felt it was better to be “the wife” then “the girlfriend” in the eyes of the military.
Only my mom, aunt (because my mom cant keep anything to her self lol), and his best man knows we went to the JP and are married now.
I didn’t want everyone at the “wedding” to know we were married and to feel like it was “less” because we were, thats why we have kept it from family for now, but if anything happends to him and it comes out we both know no one will be suprised.
I was really not wanting to elope but he talked me into it because
1) we were getting married either way
2) there are/were so many good reasons to and few bad
as of now I dont regret it at all as I am still getting my “wedding” with all my family, big dress, ect
PS over half of the wives I’ve talked to did the same thing, it seems to be VERY common in the military
Post # 13
Edm___JJS: WOW, you are ok with lying to your loved ones about something so huge? That is a shame. I knew someone who went to a “wedding” where the couple revealed they were already married, and my coworker actually took her gift and left, and she is considering suing the couple to be reimbursed travel expenses. You are going to piss a lot of people off with your huge sense of entitlement. Lying and fraud are not very honorable for someone serving in the military.
Post # 14
Please. If we firmly uphold the value that church and state are separate, you should not be shamed into feeling like an (insert any rude explitive you feel is fitting) about the decision you have to make out of practicality’s sake. Seriously, there is difference between legality and a church ceremony. For example: If you were to get married in a Church WITHOUT the documents being sent into the state, they will not recognize your committment. Likewise, many religions and denominations will not recognize a state civil wedding. These issues are incredibly complicated, involve lots of thought, counseling, and consideration. I find it utterly ridiculous that someone would sue a couple for making a public committment.
Furthermore, it is not lying and fraud to have a civil wedding and a Church sanctioned blessing of the marriage. Isn’t that what’s important here?! Acknowledging that two people are committing their lives together, witnessed by friends and family. What is a civil wedding? It designates the couple as legally committed–it allows the state to recognize them for financial benefits–the judge could care less about how in love you are–the people who do care are your family and friends.
It’s none of anyone else’s business how you handle the legal aspects of your union. Do not feel ashamed. ESPECIALLY in military and immegration situations, there are other factors “typical” couples don’t have to consider. Please be mindful of the sensitive nature of the subject at hand and monitor hateful comments.
Post # 15
P.S. There are of course various ways of handling these complicated situations and some may not be deemed “proper” by some members of the Ettiquette Police. But, you go to a wedding to see two people joined in love. To see them commit their lives together in public. To witness the devotion. The signing of a certificate does not demonstrate that more than the exchanging of vows. If people were to constantly get their hankies in a wad over not SEEING the couple legally get married…there would be a lot more pissy people. Even when this step is completed at the public ceremony, it often occurs after the service, between the designated witnesses, the couple, and the officiant. Would that same couple show such disdain if they had come to the ceremony and didn’t witness the signing of the document and turning of the document back into the state?!?!
From a personal perspective, it’s really not anyone else’s business when the actual certificate gets signed, by whom, where, and through which means it is turned back into the state. That’s a civil/legal matter.