Post # 1
Hello Bees. I’ve been stalking this website and joined today. I need real advice from brides on the outside looking in.
My FH is in the armed forces overseas. We’ve been together for quite awhile, on and off 10 years, we decided to get married. It makes sense to us because we are in love and want to spend the rest of our lives together. He would make more money so we could save up for a big wedding in the future and we would have the funds to fly me back and forth to the country of his duty station whenever we would like to be together. We would also be able to live together once papers are all set up. And if God forbid he goes to any war zone, we have already made things legal and it would be a bit easier that way. However because we’ve been so on and off and all the drama through the years, we don’t want people judging us. Maybe saying we’re jumping into things too fast. My family would most definitely COMPLETELY not approve either. We are still in our early 20s.
We decided we would get married secretly at the local courthouse and only inform my brother and sister so they could be our witnesses. FH has also told his best friend, leaving out details, to share the joy and he’s happy enough for us. I accidently told FH’s brother also because we are very close and it just slipped out. We trust who we have told and no one else knows. I hope that it stays that way. We are planning to “announce our engagement” in a year or so.
My question is that if all goes as planned, would it be okay to have a “real” wedding w. all the glitz and bridal glamor? I want the big wedding and diamond engagement ring, but under the circumstances I think right now this is what is best for us. I know that my church doesn’t recognize JOP weddings so that wouldn’t be a problem to get married there even after this whole thing. I want to be married to the love of my life today, but I don’t want the rest of the world to know until I’m ready. At times I feel unbelievably selfish and it does make me heartsick. I think I just need some words of wisdom.
Post # 3
@lostfuturemrs: My question is that if all goes as planned, would it be okay to have a “real” wedding w. all the glitz and bridal glamor?
You had a real wedding already. No matter what fancy party you have later, it will not be a wedding. A wedding takes two single people, eligible to be married, and joins them together.
If you are adult enough to be married, then you should be able to weather whatever opinions your family have about the topic. Will it be easy, no. But that is part of being an adult.
I also do not support the secrecy. As upset as your family may be now about getting married, they will be infintely more upset later to know that you lied to them for years about your true wedding. And the truth will get out. Several people know, and it will slip out. Probably by accident, but they will find out.
Also any officiant legally able to marry people, will not be able to conduct a fake ceremony that replicates a real ceremony. They cannot say “do you come freely to marry this man” “Do you take this man to be your legally wedded husband”. It will be clear to people in the audience that it is a vow renewal or a church blessing of a marriage, but not a legally binding wedding ceremony.
There is my opinion. I am sure there will other bees who tell you it is fine. But I would not think it was fine if you were my family member.
Post # 4
I am sorry but the day you to to the courthouse is actually the wedding.
You can host a celebration party with loved ones at any point afterwards (food, drink, dancing, maybe), but it’s not a wedding and it’s not a wedding reception.
I also don’t support the secrecy. I was faced with that decision once (my former marriage).
” I know that my church doesn’t recognize JOP weddings so that wouldn’t be a problem to get married there even after this whole thing.”
Legally you will be married whether your church acknowledges it or not, but sometimes people have spiritual weddings or spiritual sealings? I think it’s more common in Europe. I actually do not know how that all works.
Post # 5
What would be the issue with waiting until you can have your big fancy wedding day? I didn’t see a clear reason.
Post # 6
I am also someone who personally couldn’t pretend to be engaged, show off my ring and plan a wedding all while knowing I’m already married. If you feel strongly enough to be married I would do my very best to do the right thing and not build a marriage on lies. Be honest. Tell your family and friends and if you want to have a reception later on then go for it. But too many people already know for it to be a “secret”. Others will find out and your family will be far more hurt than if you were honest from the start.
Post # 7
I know a lot of you will disagree with me on this, but I say go for it if that’s what you want to do. Your wedding will be whatever you feel like it is. It’s always kind of sad to me to hear people telling others that their future ceremony “isn’t” a “real” wedding or whatever, or that they’re wrong for keeping secrets. Of course, I respect that everyone has an opinion! And I am glad people are honest in their reactions. IMO, I think it is a completely personal call, and totally depends on the situation.
If you do really feel selfish and heartsick, and you think you’ll feel too guilty about it down the road, then maybe it isn’t right for you. But if the two of you discuss and think about it together (thoroughly!) and decide that this is what you want to do, then I 100% say go for it and don’t look back!
(BTW, I have been in a very, very similar situation, and I have no regrets. )
Post # 8
Your legal wedding is your wedding. The party held at a later date is not a wedding and any ceremony afterwards is not a wedding…
But you can still call the party a reception (just not a wedding reception) and you can still have a beautiful vow renewal ceremony!
I am a Catholic and my church doesn’t recognize JOP weddings (for Catholics who go to the JOP anyway) and the “after the fact” ceremony we do is called a convalidation… you usually aren’t allowed to have to have a big to-do with all the trimmings, bridesmaids etc, as that’s reserved for brides who marry in the Church in the first place. But it is still considered the moment when your marriage “really” begins, and it is SO SPECIAL and beautiful!!!
I think it’s important to be honest – noone who knows you got married quietly and civilly would begrudge you having a large wonderful party to celebrate your love at a later date!! Complete with beautiful decor and a large guest list, toasts etc!
If they DON’T know you were already married, quietly, and you treat it like you are a bride-to-be or newlyweds, and they find out, I am sure they would be somewhat upset.
Post # 9
I don’t think it’s really fair to the people that you do tell to have to carry your secret with them. I think you can do what you’ve planned, but be honest about it. Be prepared for some people to not support your decision, but if you were my friends, I’d still be happy to come to a renewal ceremony and reception at a later date.
Post # 10
We played with the idea of having a secret wedding but we opted out. we had a JOP wedding with just the two of us and told everybody. My parents were kind of upset with us getting married at first but almost 2 years later, they have come around and got used to it.
We are having a big wedding in France with reception, big dress and the such because I wanted to be married in the church wedding (and the rest too, I must admit).
In France (where I am from), religious weddings are not actually legal: you have to be married legally to be allowed to be married religiously. The two are completely separate events (you can be married legally only if you don’t have any religious attachement, but you can NOT only be married in the church). Church and State are absolutely separated.
I would have the JOP wedding and treat it as an engagement, only exchange engagement rings for example, but I would not keep it secret. You will have to deal with people’s reaction anyway and your families would be really hurt if they came to find out that you were already married withiout their knowledge. since yiour church does not recognize JOP wedding, it shouldn’t be a problem having a real wedding but check with them before hand.
Post # 11
@lostfuturemrs: Welcome to the Silent Front! The wives of active duty military members. We hold down the home while they hold down the country!
That being said, I see no issue with you having a bigger reception later. Most military brides I know have done this. My friend got married at the court house and later one had a 100K wedding that was FANFREAKINGTASTIC.
Civilians do not have the worry of deployments, war zones et al.
That being said, I would not keep it secret. Let your families know. It is going to come out anyway and when it does it will not be pretty. Be honest with your families and do what works best for you.
Good luck and welcome to the HONORABLE life of a military wife!!!
Post # 12
@LuvMySailor: I meant bigger wedding!
Post # 13
I would say go to the JOP, get married, and plan a celebratory reception for a later date. I don’t think this is unheard of for a military couple. But go to the JOP and TELL PEOPLE! I strongly advise against keeping this a secret and then pretending you’re having a big wedding and aren’t married yet. You can get the diamond at any time. It isn’t a prerequisite for going to the JOP.
Post # 14
I’d strongly advise against keeping this a secret. I think it’s a recipe for disaster if you go through with it and try to keep it a secret. It will come out and then people will be more upset then you think they will be now.
I had 2 weddings and I did have the full froofy wedding 6 months after our legal wedding. I don’t care what other people think, the legal wedding was nice and yes I did consider it to BE legal, but it didn’t feel complete until we had our ‘big’ wedding with our families there and got married again before God. My husband is Dutch, and where he’s from religious ceremonies are not recognized, so if you want a religious ceremony, you have to do 2 anyway.
All of our friends and family were thrilled to be a part of our big day and not one person was anything less then supportive – 6 months later or not. Do what you want wedding wise, but please don’t keep it a secret.
Post # 15
I think it’s fine to get married with a JOP and then have a big reception later. But DO NOT lie to people about it or keep it a secret. If I went to a wedding and found out the couple was already married, I’d be really pissed. Also, keep in mind that if you do elope or go with a JOP, you really shouldn’t have any pre-wedding parties (unless they happen before you are married by a JOP).
Post # 16
I am Catholic, so I understand what you mean when you say your church doesn’t recognize civil marriage. Me and my FI thought out getting civilly married in secret because our wedding was still a year away when I got laid off and was without medical benefits…but in the end I personally just didn’t feel right about lying to everyone. That was the long and short of it….oh and also my church considers it a pretty serious sin to get married outside of the church.
That’s my two cents.