Post # 1
My wonderful FI and I are getting married next summer!! (Insert silly grins and giggles here.) Right now we’re trying to decide where we will live after and where to have the wedding. As there are a lot of factors in deciding where we will live, I thought I’d ask some Bees and readers for opinions on the wedding location.
My FI is from a very small family – mother, father, one brother with a wife and 4 kids. He’s got a small circle of close friends, and that’s about all. He’s a hermit, what can I say? I’m from a much larger family – with 20+ at every family gathering, plus widespread friends in many states. I’ve been married before but never had an actual wedding.
If we have the wedding in the UK, most of my family will not be able to attend. If we have the wedding here, his parents would definitely fly over, and there’s a slight possibility of his brother, but I don’t know about the brother’s family, and I know his friends wouldn’t be able to attend.
There is the option of having a second reception so friends and fam can attend after-the-fact. I’d rather have as many there as possible though.
What would you do?
Post # 3
Are you currently living in the same place?
I know that was a factor in our decision where to have the wedding – it’s easier to plan when you’re living in the actual location. It means that not as many people from his side of the family can come, but we had to make a decision one way or the other as well.
What about putting budget into your pro/con list? I would imagine that a UK wedding would end up being way more expensive than Oklahoma, if only because of the exchange rate.
And having a reception in the other location is a fun compromise! Even if the close family members can travel, it means that you can celebrate with the friends who couldn’t make it to the wedding. And plus – you could wear your wedding dress twice!!
Post # 4
We’re in a similar situation. We’re having 2 receptions, one in Vancouver, Canada & one in Owensboro, Kentucky.
We chose to do this because my FI (from KY) has a huge family & most of them have never left the state… traveling to Canada would require a passport and we really didn’t want to inconvenience anyone or make them feel bad!
I wish I could suggest what to do– but its up to you and your FI. If he has such a small circle of friends & family it might be a better idea to actually marry in his territory & have only your closest friends and family attend that wedding… then you could have a massive party in the US?
You’re deciding where to live? Are you dealing with immigration at all because this could really affect your wedding plans…. each country has their own set of rules in regards to marriage & immigration. Is he a landed immigrant or on a Visa of some sort (or vice versa)?
Post # 5
Have the big celebration in whichever country you’re living in. You’re gonna do most of the planning, so make it easier on yourself.
Then have a second party (something inexpensive and informal) in the other country.
Post # 6
First, congrats! YAY!
Now, the nitty gritty. You need to decide where you’re going to live first. If it’s England, you have a lot more freedom in choosing your location as their marriage/residency requirements are a lot more lax.
If it’s the US, you should marry in the US after getting the K-1 visa. If you marry, then apply, you have to get the K-3 visa. I’m not 100% sure (as it’s been a while since my lawyer explained it to me), but you will have to be separated (you in US, he in Engalnd), even though you’re married, while the visa is processed. That’s not fun.
I know that people say just get married and come to the US and apply for the green card. That’s technically illegal. So the fear FH being deported by the US government stops me from doing that.
Once you decide, I agree with everyone about having a reception in the other location. Make it fun, wear your dress again. Who doesn’t like multiple celebrations? =)
Post # 7
Right now we’re apart for 8 months. He left this evening after being here for 3 weeks and I’m completely torn up. He’ll be back for Christmas, but that seems like a really long time tonight.
He’s still living in the UK and I’m still in the US, so it’s back to long distance for the time being. We wont’ be living together until we’re married.
I didn’t realize it was illegal to get married and then apply for the green card, so thanks for the heads up! I’ll definitely look into the K-1 for him. I’m really new at all of this, so I’m learning as I go. Luckily we have a year, so we’ve got plenty of time.
I do like the second reception plan, and that may be the way to go. We might just have to get married here and go there for a reception. And yes…. wearing the dress twice would be a big plus!! Why spend all that money on a dress and only show it off once??? YAY for second receptions!!
Thank you all for your help. I’m still working on the plans, and I think the planning is going to help keep me from being so lonely without him.
Post # 8
I’m in the same exact situation, I live in the US he in the UK; we’ve been long distance most of our time, we planned to move to the UK first because I had to take 7 months to get my papers since I work as a doctor, I don’t want to go thru with it again if he moves here and decides he wants to go back
When we wed we plan to petition each other, which will take 3 to 6 months in the meantime I’m taking time off and taking a long vacation til I can join him
we spoke to one similar couple, they can work no problem with work permit, it’s just petitioning.
we’re having 2 weddings, the first and "real one" here, he said since I’m the bride we should marry here, I have 13 immediate family members, he has only 3 plus best friend so we’re covreing their hotel expenses so they can all afford to come
but we’re also having a second ceremony in England for alll the family friends who couldnt come
Post # 9
With regards to the K-1 Visa, it takes about 9 months to process so if you are going that route, you’ll need factor that time frame in. I’m from the US and FI is an Aussie. We decided to get married in Hawaii because it’s midway for both families. Not sure how a midway point would work for US/UK – maybe Greenland, Bermuda?! 🙂
Logistics-wise it sounds like the better decision is for you guys to get married in the US. Less people would have to travel and you will be local for all the planning. But definately think about having something in the UK as well if his family and friends can make the trip. A celebration dinner or wedding/engagement BBQ. We had a backyard engagement party in AU so that people who can’t make it to Hawaii (or we aren’t planning to invite) would have a chance to celebrate with us.
Post # 10
Definitely sounds easier logistics-wise for you to get married in the US, then have a reception a bit later in the UK. That way, everyone gets to enjoy.
I know a year sounds like plenty of time, but I’d get started on it as soon as possible, if I were you. You can read from Miss d-Orsay’s posts how stressful the visa process was for her– you don’t want to add a mad rush on top of all the last-minute wedding preparations. I believe once the K-1 visa is issued, he will have 6 months to enter the US, and then you’ll need to get married within 90 days of his entry.
Here are a couple of immigration sites and forums that I’ve found very helpful, to educate me for when we go through the immigration process. http://forum.diveintoamerica.com/ and http://visajourney.com. The expat forums are also useful, for additional information.
I’m a US citizen and he’s a UK citizen; we currently live in the UK, but will be flying back together for our wedding in the US in October. We return to the UK shortly afterwards, as we have no immediate plans to move to the US.
Post # 11
We’re thinking that moving to the UK after the wedding might be the best route for us to take. I can finish law school much faster there, and for a lot less money, and do an apprenticiship with a Solicitor’s office, rather than the next 7 years of my life being eaten up by school here. I basically started over in college 2 years ago and am going part time while I work so I can afford it. He’s got an established business there that would help us while I’m in school and working part time. That’s a better plan, I think.
So we’re thinking a US wedding next June sounds like the right idea, and his parents and brother will fly over for it, as well as having a small reception when we get to the UK for his friends who can’t make it here. This isn’t written in stone, and could change several times before the end of the year, but for now, this is what sounds the most reasonable. Personally, I’d have been perfectly fine with a tiny, intimate ceremony at an 18th century chapel in Scotland with just his immediate family and my mother and a few close friends, not more than 10 to 15 guests total, and a dinner reception at a local restaurant before settling down to life in the UK, but I’m open to anything! I’m just happy I get to spend the rest of my life with the man of my dreams!!!! (Yes, I’m soppy in love!)
Post # 12
Like Aloweha my fi is an aussie and we live in Aus. We made the decision to have the wedding at home for ME since I live away from all my family and friends. I know that’s a different situation from you, but I would ahve loved to plan locally rather than do most of it through email. Generally (i think) the bride has a hometown wedding.
It is bumming us out that now most of our aussie friends cannot come becasue of economy (eventhough we gave those slackers 2 years to save up) but we are having a welcome home/Fiance’s 30th birtday about 3 weeks after we get back.
Post # 13
I had the same issues. Except he has more friends and family than I do. He lived in Kent, England and I live in San Diego. Originally I LOVED the idea of being married in England, I had visions of a old castle or manor house and rolling green hills, the works! Most of my family said they would attend, so it sounded like the perfect option! Plus those brits know how to party 🙂 But when I actually sat down and thought about all the extra planning, and everything that was out of my control (its not like I could fly over to look at flowers and cakes) then we decided to have it in San Diego, where we live. Yes, most of his friends won’t be able to make it. Most of his family is coming over, and the friends that really care about us are making the trek too. They get a pretty great CA holiday, plus a wedding! So they are all excited.
Post # 14
I said that I’d do it in Oklahoma bc I am in a similar boat, my bf’s Spanish and I’m American and we’re going to get married in NY. I am sure that his family wants to visit the USA, and that way your family can be there.
Post # 15
If he does not have a green card, and you plan to live in the US after marriage, you definitely need to talk with an immigration attorney. It is my understanding that getting a fiance visa is reasonably quick, but that you must then get married within 90 days or he will lose the visa. This can obviously complicate wedding planning. However, if you get married abroad, he would have to apply for a spousal visa, which could take a couple of years to be issued. And while you were waiting for it to come through, he would likely not even be admitted to the US on a visitor’s visa. If he comes to the US on a visitor’s visa to get married, he would need to leave the country immediately after the wedding, in order to avoid having the immigration authorities accusing him of fraud in entering the country on a temporary visa with the intent of staying permanently. Again, he could probably not reenter the country for a couple of years after the wedding.
The US immigration laws are incredibly complicated and frustrating. You really need legal advice before the wedding in order to avoid complications and heartache afterward.