Post # 1
FH and I have been engaged for 4 years and haven’t SERIOUSLY been planning our wedding until recently. We’ve both been in school and not in a hurry about it. I’m tired of being engaged and I really like Feb 29th as the date but can’t pull off what I want that quick. We always say we are going to go to the courthouse spontaneously. We decided to go on Feb 29th to get married secretly and then take our time planning a bigger wedding for all friends and family. So every 4 years we have our private anniversary and every year we have a public wedding anniversary! I’m so happy about it! Now I can have the best of both worlds!!!
Post # 4
Just a thought:
Are you telling people about the elopment prior to your wedding? I ask because I had a cousin who did this exact thing — and it got out shortly before the “wedding” that they were already married, and people were really, really upset. They were asked why they even invited guests to celebrate their “wedding” if they were already married. And it wasn’t the eloping — it was the lie about already being married that upset people to the point that some guests actually didn’t go/didn’t send gifts to the couple.
More power to you if this is what you want to do; I just wanted to share my personal experience with this particular situation.
Post # 5
We are totally thinking about doing this! It is really important to my fiance to get married in private. And it’s really important to me to have my family there. So, best of both worlds! He’s agreed to have another small ceremony at the reception so family can see the “vows” such as they will be. I guess it will be more of a vow renewal! I’m not quite sure if we’ll keep the courhouse wedding a secret or not. Our families know we want a private ceremony but I also want there to be some sort of “hey, this is a wedding” vibe at the later reception, too. Decisions decisions!
Post # 6
I think you have to have great trust to do this ans keep a secret together like best friends. I think as long as you dont feel your letting anyone down or feel you already will regret it, then do what feels right. Its romantice as well. L.
Post # 7
That’s the sweetest thing! It’s brilliant! It’s nice to share something just between the two of you. I love the awesomeness of the leap year date.
Post # 8
@Nola_bride: Congratulations!! That’s so exciting and what a fun date! We did the same thing and are secretly married! We will have our public wedding on our 1 year anniversary! If you don’t mind my asking what do you plan on doing about your name change?
abbie017 I’m so glad to hear your experience with this! We have been debating if we should tell our family/friends after our public wedding. I think we will keep this secret ours so there are no hurt feelings!
Post # 9
I don’t agree with this. I eloped with a very small group because a private ceremony was important to us as well. We had a party later on. Every person there knew we were already married. It did not make the party any less fun.
You can’t have it both ways. By marrying in secret beforehand you are knowingly deceiving your guests into thinking they are witnessing the special moment. People really shouldn’t care if you marry in private, but don’t lie to the people who are taking the time out of their lives to celebrate with you.
Post # 10
I think it’s so romantic. 🙂
Post # 11
I would just make sure you don’t tell everyone – or if you do, explain fully to everyone.
FWIW, I do know people who got married pre-wedding because he lost his job and she had a very small window of time to put him on her benefits. They told some people, not everyone. People were fine with it – that was their business.
And I mean, technically, I think Fiance and I will be married before we hit the aisle. We’re planning on signing all the paperwork ahead of time. It’s just easier if we’re going to escape town for a few days. We won’t have to worry about it – that’s my thought, anyway.
Post # 12
If I were a guest at what I thought was someone’s “wedding” and found out later that it wasn’t, I’d be PISSED. I think it’s a cute idea and as long as you’re open and honest with your guests, especially your familiy, then go for it! I just wouldn’t be dishonest or deceitful.
Post # 13
All the power to you! I don’t think you don’t need to tell anyone, if you don’t want to. I think your wedding will still be special regardless.
My Fiance and I have to sign the marriage papers a few days before our wedding due to circumstances we can’t control. It’s a little different in our case since we will not consider ourselves married until we’ve had a proper ceremony with a pastor, but we’re not telling anyone about it. Our wedding day will still be extremely special both for us and our guests, I’m sure. The papers really mean little to me.
Post # 14
@DeathByDesign: Right, and I agree with this! I think the difference is actual deceit. The situation I described with my family, they pretended that they weren’t married (they had actually gotten married much earlier than people thought), and went along with planning a wedding like they weren’t married. It was the deceit that upset people. In situations when it’s beyond your control, or medical reasons (like the insurance reason above), I think it’s fine. I think the bride and groom either have to agree to keep it 100% secret between them (and whoever their witness is) or be 100% open about it.
Post # 15
i did this. i got engaged on 2/14/2011, got impatient (also was ready to have better health ins from my SO’s job) and ran off and eloped on 4/14/2011. we chose that day because
1. it was in the spring and i always wanted a spring wedding
2. in the year of 2011, 4/14 was on a thursday. and 2012 it will fall on a saturday, the perfect day for a wedding. We always said we dont believe in having engagement longer than it takes to plan a wedding (why ask me to marry you if you are not prepared to marry as soon as possible? IMO)
we tried to keep it quiet, but with me changing my name for insurance purposes, and my excitement and happiness, it was too hard and it got out. No one was upset, we just had to promise to actually go thru with the wedding, as many people elope then get comfortable and never end up having the wedding.
i do have to note that since everyone knows that we are already married, the excitement kind of fizzled. not big time, but just a little
Post # 16
Let me get this straight: you want to get married because you are tired of being engaged and you like the date of the leap year? It looks like you’re getting married for the wrong reasons. Technically, we’re already married. We got married in December of 2010 BUT we had a good reason. Husband got deployed and he wanted to make sure if anything happened while he was gone, that I’d be taken care of. We are still having our ceremony with all the details this October and people are still psyched for it buuttttt our situation is a little different and people understood why we did it.
And keeping it secret? It will probably leak out eventually and people will be a little upset and you’ll probably be disapointed over the lack of excitement from your friends so I’m afraid you won’t be getting the best of both worlds. Don’t rush the wedding. If you’re more excited to have your anniversay on a rare date, you have some thinking to do.