- 5 years ago
- Wedding: March 2013
I am new to posting, but I’ve been reading these boards for ages!! I now have a question that I haven’t been able to find posted anywhere else…
Have any of you had your big wedding BEFORE getting legally married??
Let me explain my situation: I am Australian, and my husband-to-be is American. We both live in Australia right now, but want to move to the US ASAP. We are supposed to be getting married in four months and we have everything planned and booked. However, we booked this before we decided to move to the US.
Our situation is complicated by the fact we really want to get to the US permanently by June. There are a few weddings and other events we need to be there for (as we are heavily involved), and it is risky to try and enter on a tourist visa or VWP when you have already registered your immigrant intent by applying for the fiance or spouse visa. If we wait until we are legally married to get the spouse visa then I may not be able to attend weddings I am a bridesmaid in, and we wouldn’t be able to move for well over a year. We also want to have kids soon, but we want to be settled first.
We have been going through all of our visa options, and the one that makes the most sense for us is to apply for the fiance visa (k1/i129-f). This would mean that we would not be able to get legally married until we arrive in the US. We explored the option of getting legally married now and applying for the spouse visa, but I don’t like this idea and the timeline will be longer (you have to register intent to marry over a month before getting married in Australia). I feel better about having our wedding and making vows and commitments to each other in front of our friends and family, and then registering legally a month or two later when we arrive in the US. I feel like this is less “fake” than being married already on my wedding day, though obviously both are fake in some way.
I feel fine about it not being legal immediately. I think that I will still feel like the wedding day marks the start of our marriage as we are making the commitment in front of everyone we care about, and it is just the legal paperwork that is being delayed. However, I feel guilty! I am afraid to tell my parents our idea as they are paying for most of the wedding day, and I don’t want them to feel differently about it. I also feel hugely guilty as we’ll be having international guests come a long way. I don’t want people to feel like they are coming over for a fake wedding.
I really want to know if anyone has done this, and what their experience was. I don’t want to offend anyone, but I also don’t want to put my life on hold for a technicality (albiet a huge one)!
Do you think our celebrant would even perform the wedding without the legal components?
Would you be offended if you found out someone was doing this?
Would it change whether or not you decided to go to the wedding?
Would you think that people who are financially contributing to the wedding would object?
Should we tell people?
How do we decide what to do??