Post # 1
There would be somewhat substantial financial benefit to my FI and I to get married fairly immediately. To put it into perspective, it is not a down payment on a house that we are talking, but we are talking five figures of savings within the next year.
However, our “wedding day/ not so secret elopement” on the beach is scheduled for a year from now. I am so excited for that day. BUT: Money does not line up to push the wedding day up to this spring/summer.
Would being quietyly married half a year prior compeltely rob the wedding day of that indescribeable “specialness?” And is that “Specialness” worth the potential money we could save by being married much sooner? Would the specialness of the wedding day be preserved if we signed papers at town hall secretly? or is that situation not worth the risk of someone finding out and getting upset?
Thank you guys for your thoughts on this.
Post # 2
I had a similar opportunity. FI joined the military, and had we gotten married prior to him leaving for basic training, we would have made an extra $20,000 in 7 months that would have been much appreciated. But we both wanted that dream wedding with all of our friends and family and decided that no amount of money was worth that moment. So we decided to wait and I’m happy that we did. I know it will be worth it when I am walking down the aisle to become his wife. But you have to make the decision that is right for you.
Post # 3
freshflowers: Are you prepared to be honest with your guests and invite them to a vow renewal rather than a wedding?
Post # 4
6 months after my sisters ‘wedding’ my parents and I found out she had been legally married for 14 months (for immigration reasons). my parents were so incredibly hurt, i can’t even begin to explain the permanent harm it did to their relationship.
Whatever you decide to do, just be honest with your family and guests. They will understand if your legal ceremomy was several months earlier.
Post # 5
If you hide this from your guests, there will be a LOT of hurt feelings.
Post # 6
We are having an elopement. There won’t actually be any guests besides my fiance’s daughter. However it was not going to be a big secret run away elopement. Family was going to know leading up.
Post # 7
If you are eloping anyway I wouldn’t see any harm in doing a city hall wedding before hand!
Post # 8
freshflowers: I think if it is a not-secret elopement ceremony that you are planning, it’s up to your FI and you to decide. I think it will still be special even if you are legally married, but again that is a personal decision.
Is the date next year set yet? Maybe you could get legally married this year then turn that into a vow renewal for your one year anniversary.
Post # 9
There are many cultures where this is kind of the norm! In a lot of places in Europe you actually have to do the legal part first which is typically like what you might imagine a courthouse wedding to be, and a lot of people just have the ceremonial part whenever they can make it work which can be like a year later. I don’t get this thing about people being upset when they think they are just witnessing a “vow renewal” but I guess it’s due to the legal differences in different countries as to what is binding…
Anyway yes I agree with CityBearBride that if you weren’t going to have a big wedding anyway you should do it 🙂 The amount of money you’re talking about is no joke and there is nothing wrong with being practical and valuing that. You could always do something nice with your family after getting legally married, like a nice family dinner, to make sure they’re on the same page and there’s no surprises when you have your beach ceremony later 🙂
Post # 10
If it is honestly just going to be the three of you anyways I would to get married, the 3 of you, and then have a “honeymoon” at your location next year.
Post # 11
Well if you get married “by the state” first, sign the papers and then get a religious ceremony + reception later, I think you’re still “getting married” on that day… So it doesn’t change much because it’s more the religious wedding that matters to me! For example, FI and I might get married sooner “on paper” for visa reasons maybe, but we will still wait for a bigger reception/church wedding when we have the money for it. So it depends what kind of ceremony you’re having!
Post # 12
You won’t be able to go to the court house twice, so I wonder how the “planned elopement” is going to be different than your “secret elopement”?.
Why can’t you just move up your wedding date 6 months?
ETA: re-read about money. It sounds like the planned elopement is very simple (no guests, beach, no reception, etc), so I’m curious as to what is so cost prohibitive that you can’t do it in the next few months?
I don’t think I’d see the point of having two ceremonies in your situation, since they’re both elopements. Honestly, I would do the court house now and have a nice dinner event or something to commemorate your first anniversary (and not reinact the ceremony).
Post # 13
freshflowers: It makes sense to do this. To save on translation costs and all the hassles of sorting out our documents for our destination wedding, me and my partner are having our legal signing of vows at a registry office locally to where we live and our wedding day with wedding blessing at our destination.
To keep your wedding day so special you really need to make this not much more than the legal signing i.e. you can wear a dress but not a bridal gown, you can go out for a meal afterwards but not have a reception e.t.c you basically have to save all your special things for your wedding day abroad. Also maybe dont wear your rings yet
Just be truthful, if you dont want people there for the legal signing just say that you dont want to make it a proper wedding by inviting people as your wedding day will be at your destination venue, as obviously if you invite just a few people more will want to attend and then you’ll have to provide food and dress in a wedding gows and wear suits e.t.c and then it turns into a wedding.
Post # 14
Would you be telling people from the date you sign the papers that you were married?
If you are then no problems have your wedding party/celebration whenever you want, even a year later.
But if you are not going to be saying publically you are married but willing to publically claim the benefits of being married (like taxes) then I think that is all kinds of wrong. Making adult decisions means being an adult. Hiding and lying are not adult choices.
The only time these things go wrong is when couples lie.
Post # 15
freshflowers: I really don’t get why so many folks on here seem to get all up in arms over this issue. To me, there are two separate aspects to getting married–the legal part, which is the paperwork, and the social part, which is the ceremony/reception/whatever. Just because a couple chooses to take care of the paperwork before their ceremony doesn’t make their ceremony a fraud. It’s not a vowel renewal, either; it’s your wedding. If I were invited to a wedding where the couple had gotten legally married weeks or even months beforehand I wouldn’t be angry or feel deceived. I would treat it like any other wedding because that’s what it would be–a wedding. My sister did this for immigration purposes and nobody batted an eye. If you feel it would be best to go ahead and get legally married, do it! I would, especially if there’s that much money involved.