Post # 1
There are two friends of mine who have married “in secret” and then held the big, traditional ceremony at a much later date – usually about a year later. One did it because her husband is in the military and was about to be deployed. Another did it because they already lived together and for insurance purposes.
I guess the thing that weirds me out about it is that both couples pretended to be engaged for a year. I know to each their own, and I’m not judging because every couple’s situation is different, but I’m curious as to how common this is. One girl told me that it’s become “quite common.”
What’s the verdict? How many people do you bees know that have done this, for any variety of reasons? Or have you done it? If so, what were the circumstances?
EDIT: I’m not talking about engaged couples who have things planned and then just can’t wait anymore and run to the courthouse in secret; a co-worker of mine did that and I think it’s wonderfully romantic. I’m wondering about couples who plan to make it legal and then have the ceremony at a much later date. How common is it?
Post # 3
There are a few people on here who have done it. We didn’t do it.
Post # 4
MY BFF in HS did it. Her hubby was in the military and they got legally married in 2006 and planned the whole show and tell ceremony and reception in 2007. Very few people knew they were already married at the fanfare.
Post # 5
I did it. For us it was about health insurance. We were already engaged, he was paying about $400/month in private insurance when my company offers a great plan for free. It just seemed silly to keep paying all of that money – especially because we are paying for the wedding ourselves! – so we got hitched in a lovely little Vegas ceremony and kept it to ourselves. We have all the money we need to not go in debt for our May wedding and he has great health insurance.
I know it’s not for everyone, but for us, it was a logical decision and we can’t wait to stand up in front of all of our friends and family and publically re-commit. For us, our wedding is our wedding and the fact that we took care of the legalities beforehand doesn’t change that for us.
Some of our best friends did the same thing for immigration. Small civil service followed by a huge wedding and reception 6 months later.
Post # 6
i’m doing it tomorrow!! i wondered if this post came about because of mine.. lol
Post # 7
@KBsquared – lol, yes ma’am it did congratulations and have a beautiful and amazing day tomorrow!
Post # 8
I know of at least 10 people who have done this…all for military reasons. I have absolutley no problem with this and wouldn’t mind having done this either…less stress in my opinion!
Post # 9
I grew up on a military base so I know tons of people who’ve done this. The ones I know did it in secret because they don’t want their families to feel like they’re witnessing a “fake wedding” at their larger celebration.
Post # 10
We almost did it for insurance reasons when Fiance was unemployed last year. In fact, my friends and family were encouraging it! I think it’s alot more common than people believe. We were still going to have our religious ceremony and reception a year later. Fiance ended up getting a job, so didn’t do a civil afterall.
Post # 11
oooh ooooh mistah cottah!!! ::raises hand emphatically:: (lol)
yup – we did this. we HAD to because of insurance. my husband and i got married on april 13, 2009 (woohoo, almost one year!) i’ve told our story on the boards a few times. my husband was born with scoliosis and has two steel rods in his back – got them put in when he was about 10 years old. he’s now 36 – and about a year after we met, his back started giving him issues – and one of them actually started to push out of his back…so obviously he needed surgery. so we got engaged and it kept bothering him – finally got to the point he couldn’t just “deal” with it anymore…he absolutely NEEDED surgery. he didn’t have insurance and I have awesome insurance. So I suggested we get married – but not tell anyone and still plan the wedding.
so we got married on April 13, 2009 and our wedding will be June 26, 2010. The only people that know in real life are – my parents, his mom, my moh and her husband (they were witnesses), and the minister who did our ceremony as well as the minister who will be performing our wedding.
Everyone else still thinks we are “engaged”. We did this for many reasons – mainly because we really want to have the big wedding and just didn’t want anyone to know we are already married.
i know one thing is i can’t WAIT til our wedding so i can finally call him my “husband” out in public! also can’t wait to change my name!
honestly we wouldn’t have done it if he wasn’t in dire need of surgery – but we figured, we were getting married already and planning the wedding – it’s just a legality. 🙂
Post # 12
@ Junebride- congrats on celebrating your 1 year!!
We got married last December, and will have our actual wedding this coming October. No one knows we are married except my mom, she was our witness. We did it for insurance reasons. I was paying over $500/month for insurance, and my…fiance… gets a great benefits pkg with his work. So we did it to save money. We figure we will let everyone know a couple months after the wedding. 🙂
Post # 13
I know someone who had to get legally married quickly because he was coming to the country on a fiance visa and had only 90 days to tie the knot… good ole’ government! They held a small family dinner after the courthouse wedding and are planning the big schindig in a church next month. I don’t think they sent out any announcements at the legal marriage, and the bride is still using her maiden last name on her invitations and such. Everyone understands when you have to work around extraordinary legal circumstances like that.
As far as getting insurance benefits, I wouldn’t exactly count that as extraordinary legal circumstances. Just my two cents.
Post # 14
Maybe I should add that I had the potential to do this myself. My FI’s immigration status is such that we have to file for his permanent residency after we’re married. The immigration lawyer gave us the option of getting legally married right away so his residency would be squared away by the time the “real” wedding came around. I turned it down because I wouldn’t know whether to think of myself as married or not after the civil wedding. For most people that wouldn’t be a big deal, but to me it is, because we’re not living together until we’re married for moral and religious reasons, and I wouldn’t want to be tempted to break with my commitment before the marriage. If that means I’ll have a slightly harder time legally, then so be it.
Post # 15
Clearly I’m in the minority, but I just can’t get behind concealing a marriage from family and friends… it’s deceptive.
If you want to have a big party to celebrate your already-existing marriage, that’s fine. But why not be up front with people? I’ll bet that they’d still be happy to celebrate with you.
Post # 15
ladyox: Hello, I am in a similar situation. How exactly did you do it? Did you apply for a marriage license in Vegas, and then in the state for the later ceremony as well? I am confused about this..can you help…