potential odd wedding situation

posted 3 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
3045 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast

I think lots of people do this. You can have a formal vow renewal.

Post # 4
83 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Timshel: Not sure what your circumstances are. Does everyone need to know you’re getting courthouse married, or is it something maybe you can just tell closest family/friends?

There’s nothing wrong with having a full wedding later. If everyone knows you’re already married you may get some judgment from people who like to judge, but who cares about them?

At least two of my friends got courthouse married almost a full year before their wedding for immigration reasons, but as far as I know, no one batted an eye when they attended their traditional “white dress and whole shebang” wedding.

No reason you can’t have your dream wedding. Good luck!

Post # 6
2700 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

My FBIL and his wife just did this. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it.

Post # 7
14750 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Timshel:  this is very common with military families. My brother did the courthouse then had a formal wedding later. I also did this, for other reasons, and I’m glad we did. Go for it. 

Post # 9
4043 posts
Honey bee

When you go to the courthouse that is when you are legally married, not when you decide to throw a big shebang, with a white dress.

I’m not 100% certain of this, but according to where you live, you might have a time limit to change your name, following the legal ceremony. I.e. if you wait until past a certain time period, you may only be able to do it through a court order.

Yes, I think people close to know should know the truth. If I was kept in the dark, and then invited to what you call your “sham” wedding, I would not be thrilled about the deceit. I’ve read the same response, time and time again, on the Bee.

Post # 10
792 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I think most everyone would understand, given the military reasoning. Have a small courthouse wedding for close family (and maybe a few good friends), and then a year later or whenever the timing works, have a ‘celebration of marriage’ or ‘vow renewal’ or ‘commitment in the presence of family and friends’ or something like that 🙂 I don’t think you have to hide it from anyone — you’re more likely to upset people if they feel deceived, whereas anyone who’s upset to know you had to get married for military reasons doesn’t deserve to be there IMO!!

Post # 12
1906 posts
Buzzing bee

Timshel:  Nothing at all odd about it and no reason for it to be referred to as a “sham”. A lovely, simple legal ceremony, then, if you wish, a second religious ceremony or a commitment ceremony with all the special touches you and your groom wish to include.

Anyone WORTH INVITING should be happy to join you to celebrate your happiness. Anyone who would consider your plans “odd” either doesn’t know anything about how “the military” operates or isn’t worth inviting in the first place.

Blessings and Best Wishes to you and your groom!

Post # 13
8982 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

My husband and I were married via JoP in our home and we had a wedding (Not a vow renewal. You can call it whatever you want.) six months later to celebrate back home with our friends & family. We’re also military. We didn’t exactly make it public knowledge, but we didn’t hide it, either. No one said a word to us — everyone was just happy we got to celebrate together.




ETA: We also live 1,200 miles away from any friend and family, so that was another driving factor for married-now-wedding-later for us.

Post # 14
792 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Timshel:  My guess is most people won’t bat an eyelash – of course they will come celebrate with you, even if it’s after you’re legally married! It may help if you already have the ‘big wedding’ date planned, so at least when people find out or ask, you can explain the whole military-necessitating-a-legal-marriage-now but going-to-have-the-wedding-to-get-married-in-front-of-everyone-you-love on such&such date. If they’re planned somewhat in tandem, it’ll be less likely to come off like you had a wedding and then later decided you wanted a big wedding (which, also, my stance is: do what you want, people who want to celebrate with you will come! those few oddballs who may be offended and decide not to come? consider them $$/person saved, haha). 

Post # 15
157 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I think the key to these situations is when you and your FI/DH believe you are married.

If you are religious, and only believe that you’re married once you have been married in the eyes of your god, then it doesn’t matter when the legal bit happens.

Or if you believe that you’ll be really married when you have all your friends and family there to witness your vows then you can decide if you want them there at the Courthouse.

Personally, I think you can do whatever you want, but I’ve seen a lot of people on the bee who think they’ve been conned because the ceremony they were at was not the actual legal marriage. (As the PPs said, you don’t want to waste too much energy worrying about these people!)

Also, remember that in France, the only place you can get legally married is at the Mairie (courthouse) so if you want a religious ceremony, you have to get married twice. So a whole country does it!

Best of luck!

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