Post # 1
Just out of curiosity … any bees ever pull a Jim & Pam (The Office) and have a big wedding for family and friends but secretly get married beforehand just the two of you?
Fiance and I both like the idea and we’re seriously considering doing this due to many factors. We would keep this to ourselves and no one else would know obviously. Anyone do this? And if so, would you recommend?
Post # 2
greeneyedgal13 : I don’t really understand the point. If you’re going to have the “big family wedding” anyways, why not actually get married at it? If you want to run away and get married secretly then elope. Your family and friends are traveling and paying to be at your wedding (in the form of time, travel potentially, gift most likely) and to fool them is really deceptive.
Post # 3
I think there is nothing at all wrong with this, and do not feel it is deceptive. I honestly don’t understand why people do feel that way. But I know I am in the minority on that on this site.
I wouldn’t care one bit if I found out a couple got legally married prior to the ceremony I was a witness to, it literally doesn’t affect my life at all and I still got to see the couple exchange vows, express their love to each other, and that is the point to me.
Post # 4
seems like extra money to me.
Post # 5
greeneyedgal13 : Jim and Pam’s secret wedding wasn’t planned though. The whole point was that everyone around them was being so selfish and absurd that they spontaneously decided to run away and do this secret thing for themselves. They didn’t deliberately plan to trick everyone.
Any time you feel the need to lie to people, it is always because either you know you’re doing something wrong, or because you’re too afraid to stand up for what you know is right. Except in extreme cases, like abuse or death threats or something, this is always true. When you know you’re right, and you’re not afraid to stand up for it, you tell the truth. It’s that simple. “But it’s nobody’s business!” or “Why should they care?!” — Well when you invited them, you made it their business. And if they shouldn’t care, then neither should you, so don’t try to trick them.
Post # 6
My mother and step father did this. They had a massive wedding planned for January 2009, but my mom was so stressed out about it that they went and got married at the court house in December 2008 because it made her feel better. This allowed for my uncle, who is a pastor just not ordained, to do the ceremony. Although he’s not very smart and threw them under the bus and told everyone during the ceremony that they had gotten married more than a month prior haha
Post # 7
My husband suggested this because we were going to elope but his mom stepped in. She always and still does get her way. We fought about the wedding constantly because even though I didn’t want to have it, the expectation was that I was going to be the one to plan it. I did not end up planning it. I told him that we could do that, but we would then have to cancel the wedding otherwise.
Post # 8
greeneyedgal13 : I don’t know any couples that did it because of wedding stress, but I know of three couples that had an undisclosed quickie courthouse ceremony to get health insurance! Big weddings came 9 months to a year later.
Post # 9
I just don’t like the idea of lying to people you supposedly love – your friends and family. If you want to do a quickie wedding for whatever reason, cool, but at least be honest and own your reasoning.
Post # 10
I have close friends who did this. They legally got married in their living room about a 9 months prior to the wedding for insurance issues. They then had the big wedding as planned. Some close friends knew, but that’s about it. Fiance and I have considered doing this because I have great health insurance, but we’re at the point where we are close enough to our wedding that it doesn’t make a huge difference.
Post # 11
- Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY
greeneyedgal13 : What are the factors in your decision? I know plenty of people who openly had small or justice of the peace weddings when marrying due to benefits or a surprise pregnancy who later went on to have a larger celebration when timing and the finances were more ideal. No one judged them for it, life happens. I’m not really seeing the point of having a “secret” wedding followed by a cermony for friends and family that isn’t really authentically marrying you. Would you celebrate your real anniversary or the anniversary of the ceremony? We got so many first anniversary cards and gifts last year. That would be a reminder of your dishonesty. To play along with The Office references: “Secrets secrets are no fun. Secrets secrets hurt someone.” – Stripper
Post # 12
I agree I don’t really see the point. I know some people do a small courthouse wedding for various reasons, and then a bigger ceremony with friends and family so that its more meaningful to them, but if the “meaningful” ceremony is the private one with just you two, why bother with the big ceremony? To get presents?
Post # 13
babygrandmabee : The reason I feel this way (and I don’t speak for all bees obviously) is because your family and friends are invited to a wedding. If you run away and get married beforehand, a marriage is no longer happening at the big celebration. If people are open about it and tell people it’s a non issue but to me hiding it is lying. I just don’t understand why you’d elope and then go ahead and have the big family wedding anyways…why not just get married at the big family wedding you’re having anyways??? It makes no sense to me.
And yes, Jim and Pam’s situation was different and it was also TV, that made for a good episode plot. This is real life.
Post # 14
There are many legitimate reasons for going to a courthouse to sign papers. I intend on doing this with my fiance. When I had picked a date, and a venue, I was working full time and had health insurance. So not at all a big deal when I decided to get married in October of 2018. But come the very next month I was let go from my job. I was able to to collect unemployment and then return to my old job on a part time basis, now I still only work part time BUT it’s 5 days a week and I have another gig I work at part time also. Plus my hourly pay was cut by a dollar an hour by my old job, and I do still contribute to a 401k. I have looked into healthplans from the marketplace and they’re outrageous, I cannot give 50% of my salary with going to school, to cover “health insurance” just for the sake of “being married” at the exact time I am celebrating it. I do not think there is anything deceptive about this practice, it is about being practical not ‘decepting’ people. All weddings are celebrations, why is it a big deal if someone doesn’t sign the paper that day? The marriage cannot be legit anyway until the next business day anyway. A wedding is a party, and everyone is entitled to have the one they want and can afford, with or without judgement from those who they love. You want to say it’s “lying” go ahead but I don’t go around telling people I collected unemployment either, am I being deceptive? So yes, pulling a Jim and Pam. It’s fine. It’s practical, it’s life. I don’t tell people what I pay for doctor’s visits or healthcare, because it’s personal. My finances are personal too, am I being deceptive because I don’t want to share how much I make an hour? I am not sorry for feeling like this, and would 100% agree with this practice.
Post # 15
Our officiant specifically warned us that if she found out we had secretly already gotten legally married she could not speak the words of a legal marriage ceremony at our family celebration! Like, she would happily do a vow renewal non-legal second ceremony, but she would not lie to our friends and family and pretend to conduct a legal ceremony. This is someone who conducts non-religious ceremonies so it wasn’t a religious thing, it was literally about the legal implications and her professional code of conduct. She said a couple pulled this on her once and she was pretty upset that they were basically trying to rope her into conducting a fraudulent ceremony. So just be wary of that, and i’d suggest being honest and talking it through with your wedding day officiant ahead of time.