Post # 1
My situation is kind of complicated, so I am going to skip the details and get right to the point. My fiance is Spanish and I’m North American. I live in Spain with him and have been working here illegally for 4.5 years. At the end of last year I lost my job of 4 years due to my illegal status and am now at another academy. The thing is, we were trying to make me legal and were so sure that it’d work and then the plan just backfired. Now it seems we’ll have to get married for me to be legal, which is OF COURSE fine, but I don’t know how to go about it.
I have been planning for our wedding to be in August of 2010. We haven’t got the money to do it this summer, but if worse comes to worse could save like crazy, cut the guest list in half and attempt a super budget wedding. The other option is to just go and sign the marriage papers and be "married" but have the celebration, etc. in August of 2010 as planned. We wouldn’t even tell anyone (except parents) and act as though we are just "engaged". I know that that’s the EASIEST thing to do and will make our lives a lot more stressfree, but it’s not how I wanted to get married, even if it’d just be for my legal status and we’d try to keep it as much of a secret as possible. I know other mixed nationality couples who have done that. Should we? Or shall we scrap together money and have a budget wedding in upstate NY, and HOW does one have a budget wedding?
Thanks ahead of time for the advice!
Post # 3
I would have a civil marriage (secret or not) and go ahead with plans for the big celebration in 2010.
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2018 - Oakland Manor
wow, I’m sorry for your situation! My future husband is british and I’m american, so I can understand your pain. We’re currently residing in the US (with him on the visa waiver for 90 days for the 2nd time this year). We considered going the get married now in the courthouse, and answer USCIS later. But, that isn’t really the wedding I imagined either.
So, even though it’s costing us a TON of money to go the true I 129 F, K-1, legal route we decided to get our paperwork first then get married. We did this for many reasons, but we didn’t want the hassle that our friends went through (though he is argentinian and she is american, so it could be different).
It may be MUCH more of a hassle, but I’d go the "wait and do it fully legally" route, because this will make things much easier for you in the future. I imagine that US marriages are recogmized by spain and vice versa, but I’d check the costs for visas etc in each country and cost out which country you should get married in. Ex. if US visas are cheaper (approx $455) or if Spain’s fiance visas are less and then I’m assuming you’ve both decided to live in Spain, so add Spain’s perm resident/legal alien cost in. Then decide which country to get the papers and get married in.
Plus you need to think about who will attend and who is most important to you to attend. We decided to get married in the US because of the exchange rate, the size of my family, and my ailing grandparents.
As for a budget wedding, I probably have about a million and a half ideas on how to have one, feel free to message me if you need any ideas
Post # 5
Let’s assume everything is ok. Let’s assume you are legal in Spain. If you want a budget wedding- since you have lived there for 4+ yrs why not just have a simple ceremony now? You have friends in Spain too right? I don’t know where you live in Spain- but there are so many lovely things you can do for a budget wedding… I have been to Cordoba, Valencia, Alicante, Granada, Segovia, Sevilla and Madrid. All of which I can picture a simple yet fun gathering. I think you just need to be creative. See if your friends can come out for a spring wedding- get a sun/summer dress, find a nice place to host thirty or so people. And when you come back to the states when you are financially more stable, have a ceremony including your extended fam/friends who were unable to come the first time around. It is just a thought without knowing what other circumstances you have to deal with.
Post # 6
My fiance is British and we are nearing the end of the application process (which, by the time it’s done, we expect to cost upwards of $1500 for government fees alone, not to mention plane tickets, etc.). We are having a legal ceremony for immigration reasons in January and a semi-budget wedding in upstate NY this summer.
We made the decision to move to the US from China, where we both lived previously, based on employment prospects for both of us. I work for a non-profit and it appeared when we were looking into jobs that it would be much harder for me to find anything in the UK than in my home country, but not as difficult for him to find something here.
Based on personal experience, I would not be secretive about your legal wedding, if you end up having one. We have been very straightforward about the reasons for the legal ceremony with everyone who will be attending what we will consider our ‘real’ wedding in July. My guess is that if I did not tell my friends and family, and they found out later on, they would be quite hurt and upset. This is complicated by the fact that we will have to apply for a ton of changes in health insurance and benefits in the 30 days immediately following the legal wedding, which will notify the business manager in my office and by default most of my colleagues–there are only 11 of them!
Everyone I know and have talked to about our situation has been completely understanding of what we plan to do. It is obviously not the situation that most people dream about, but it is what works for us. If having a legal wedding to obtain legal status in Spain and having another ceremony later on works for you, then by all means do it. My personal feeling is that if you have a ceremony with your friends and family there, it makes it no less ‘real’ than a ceremony where you sign the papers because the government requires you to do so.
I hope everything works out for you and wish you the best of luck!
Post # 7
Hey Girls! I am sorry about your situation. I was helping my sister out with her wedding planning for next year, and she is also tight for money and looking to save money where she can. I found this website called http://www.eventvalues.com and we filled out the form and within a couple of weeks we received some pretty good deals on banquet halls. Check it out and maybe it will help you too. Good luck to all of you !!!
Post # 8
Thanks for all the advice! MsUsUk: your friend who married an Argentinian doesn’t happen to be named Jenny with her hubby David?
Post # 9
- Wedding: August 2018 - Oakland Manor
Haha, no, but but a small world it would be! Chelsea and Nico
Post # 10
The first thing you ought to do is consult a lawer. Immigration is a tricky, nasty process sometimes, and if you’ve been in the country illegally and leave, it might be very difficult for you to get back in, for instance.
This actually happened to relatives of mine. They ended up going with a private civil ceremony followed by a church wedding later, when they had had some time to save up and plan a wedding.
Post # 11
OH I have been going back and forth between Spain and the USA for 4 years and 8 months and never have had any problems (knock on wood). I’ll be fine as far as that’s concerned. I was more worried/disappoionted about getting married now when I really wanted to do it just once and exactly as I’ve always imagined as we’ve been planning for the summer o ’10. I do have friends who married just for the papers and later down the line did an actual wedding and ceremony. We’ll probably have to do that because unless we find a super cheap way to do it this summer, this is the only way.
Post # 12
Just wondering how budget is budget? Some people consider $10K budget, some people think more along the lines of $2K. My wedding is going to end up costing roughly $2500, rings and honeymoon included. Quick adivce:
Invitations — Simple simple simple DIY invitations. Nice quality paper, your computer’s printer, all text with maybe a nice logo. Boom, you’re done. Maybe $100 with the price of toner used. US Craft stores and even Wal-Mart or Target now sell DIY box sets that are attractive and affordable.
Dress — find something simple & easy — maybe a white or ivory evening gown or bridesmaid dress? This is difficult, as it so much depends on personal taste, but if you don’t have to have the poofy Cinderella look, you can get by on much less.
Flowers — if you have anyone in your family or friends who is talented at flower arranging, either buy fresh in bulk and have them do that, or buy silk (wait for the 50-70% off sales) and ask them to do that as their wedding gift.
Food — this is obvious, but hor d’ouerves over dinner. Cake and punch is also completely acceptable if you’re ok with that!
All in all, just think about what you simply can’t live without for your wedding.. and dump everything else. 🙂
Post # 13
Thanks December that’s great advice! Budget would depend on how much we could save before August! I just wish I could cut my guest list in half, but it’s impossible because my family is so big. I would definitely say "This is an adult affair! or something similar on the invites to try to filter out the many kids. I’ll keep your advice in mind! Out of curiosity December: how many people will go to your wedding and what kind of venue are you using?
Post # 14
Caitlin — probably 150 guests, and it’s an afternoon hor d’ouerves reception at our church’s hall. Since we are members, we are getting use of the church and the hall for a deposit which we’ll receive back after the wedding. Obviously, this is one of our biggest savings and not as easily replicated. Hope this helps.
Post # 15
Though it may not be ideal, I have plenty of friends who have done the quickie civil ceremony to get the papers sorted out and then the "real" wedding later.
I think the question you have to ask yourself is this: Will I be happy knowing that I had a tiny, inexpensive ceremony with fewer people and limited food, flowers, etc. just to know that we did it the expected way.
If you are completely happy with remembering your celebration as a simple, budget affair (which can also be exceedingly beautiful and meaningful) then I say go for it.
Second question: Are you two mentally prepared to make the changes in your life to be all the way married now. The option of doing a civil ceremony now and waiting for the real deal later gives you some extra mental prep time if you need it. Now, frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction. For all intents and purposes you’d be married… but friends who have done it this way tell me that they felt something change after the big celebration with friends and family. I would leave it to them to tell you more about the psychology of that.
All in all, only you can decide… but I think you do have a ton to think about. You’ll see what feels right for you.
I wish you the best!
Post # 16
Thanks. Yes, I think in the end I’ll probably just do a civil union to get my papers and continue with my original plan for August of 2010. As far as we’ll be concerned we’ll just be "engaged" until August of 2010. And we aren’t going to do any sort of celebration or anything for the first one because we don’t want to celebrate that one, we want the big bash we’ve been planning on in less than two years. I appreciate you all taking the time to read my circumstance and give good advice. Cheers!