Post # 1
First of all, I’m so sorry to all brides dealing with this nightmare situation currently.
We are postponing our end of March wedding. I’ve seen quite a few brides say they are postponing, but are still going to get legally married on their intended date. Could someone please explain what the logistics of this are? Does this mean you are foregoing the ceremony, and just having a reception for your guests on your new date?
I am not a bridezilla but I still want the experience of walking down the aisle in my white dress to my husband. I don’t want to forego that experience if I can help it. But if you are already legally married and you are still planning on doing the walk-down-the-aisle thing and having the ceremony, what does that entail exactly? Is it just for show, so to speak?
Btw, I’m not judging anyone for any decision they make. I just truly am trying to understand what the best options are here. For us, it would potentially make sense to get legally married before our new date, mostly for insurance reasons, but at the same time, will that rob me of the authentic experience of walking down the aisle later? Doesn’t that make the new date technically a “vow renewal”? Or does it not?
Post # 2
I think what they mean is – getting married with very few people (the couple, celebrant and a few witnesses), they will still say “I Do” on the intended day, and celebrate with “ceremony” (of sorts) and reception later in the year.
It’s what I would do, in this situation.
Post # 3
Where I am from, it is common/customary to register your marriage at the registry office legally before your wedding ceremony. Does it take away from the experience of walking down the aisle? Not at all. In fact, I was legally married a year before my wedding ceremony due to the fact that I had to move to a different country.
Post # 4
I think it makes it whatever you feel it is. How you and your fiance treat it is what really matters. If you consider it your real wedding despite being legally married already, that’s great. If you call it a vow renewal, that’s great too. Everyone is just trying to live their lives and lose as little as possible given the current circumstances. No one needs outside judgment on top of what’s going on. Watching your wedding plans go out the window is devastating enough already.
We are legally marrying on our planned date, no matter what happens. It’s already our anniversary, and we’re not giving that up. Since we will consider that date to be our wedding anniversary, we will likely do our handfasting ceremony on that day as well. Our reception will probably be delayed until next year if necessary. We might livestream the wedding for nonlocal guests, or just record it and play it at our delayed reception. I still want the walking down the aisle experience, but I hope we’ll be able to keep our ceremony venue with limited guests so we can do that. Of course there’s still the possibility that this will be over in time for our wedding. We’re hoping for that, but trying to minimize damage if that’s not what happens.
Do whatever you think is best for you and your fiance. If that means a courthouse wedding and then the full wedding experience later, go for it. You don’t have to give up your wedding for unforeseen events like this.
Post # 5
You can still have a reception of your choice, wear a white dress, walk anywhere and any way you like, make speeches, dance, and serve a big cake. The one and only thing you can’t do is pretend you aren’t already legally married.
Post # 6
This is so common in so many countries to have a legal marriage prior to a wedding day – in many countries you can’t get a legal part of signing paper at the venue of your choice, or speech during legal ceremony is very strandard and dry and couple wants to have a more romantic ceremony during their wedding day, etc. How you will feel during your wedding day ceremony is entrily up to how you really feel about it and what it means to you. I don’t think that the fact that you signed the paper earlier should take away from the wedding day ceremony at all!
Post # 7
If my venue has to close they’ll be rescheduling weddings. If that happens will get legally married on our date and then celebrate later. I’m not letting my beautiful dress go to waste.
Post # 8
You need to do what feels best for your situation. If you think getting married legally now and then having a separate ceremony with your loved ones later will feel inauthentic, then don’t do that. If you think it’d still be meaningful then you should do it and I’m sure your loved ones will he happy to celebrate with you. I’m really not sure what I would have done in this situation, but I think I wouldn’t have wanted to delay our marriage. I really feel for you bee and all the couples in this horrible predicament ❤️
Relatedly, can we stop the judgment for those who do choose to go that route (court house legal wedding with separate symbolic ceremony and reception later)? Not talking to you OP but the WB etiquette police who has a conniption over this every damn time it comes up. Even in normal (non pandemic) times I would never question a couple who chose to separate the legal part from the public ceremony, but surely with everything going on, we can rise above and just support the couples who are having to make these tough decisions — without judgement?
Post # 9
I’m with you. I think it’s a person decision… if you can delegate the two events, that’s awesome! I’m afraid I’ll have lost the excitement of the day if we are already married. Right now, it doesn’t seem like the right decision for me. If we have to postpone, we will just enjoy the engagement stage a little longer!
Post # 10
Early April bride here we have 3 contingent plans in place. Worst case we want to keep the day and we’ll marry in our backyard – in which case I am unsure if I’ll put on my dress and such or not. I have thought that maybe to yes and then when we can schedule a reception I would have the ability to wear it again (silverlining? Getting to wear the gown more than once?) The other two options would still allow for that walk down the aisle moment unless whatever the state and federal government decide. Right now I am watching what the world is doing and hoping to make an assessment on Friday by following up with all guests and seeing what we may be dealing with at that time.
Post # 11
In my country that’s pretty common. Most people get married legally and the religious wedding and reception afterwards.
I have my legal wedding scheduled for mid July followed by a dinner for about 50 persosn, I’m being optimistic that this plan will continue, but there’s the possibility that it won’t be possible, either way I’ll get married even if is just my fiance and parents, mainly for insurance reasons.
Post # 12
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
Absolutely nothing wrong with getting married now and having a ceremony and reception later. There is no way anyone who has a wedding coming up could have anticipated all that’s going on right now. I’d encourage you not to hide the fact that you’re legally married from friends and family, but when this is all said and done, go have the biggest blowout wedding that you can (or small and intimate if that’s your preferred style).
Post # 13
- Wedding: April 2020 - City, State
We are legally getting married on our date. I didn’t love the idea at first as I would have preferred to do it all in the same day. However, we are getting legally married mostly because of all the benefits we would get from, well, as legal standpoint (car insurance, health insurance, etc.).
I am originally from France and like many bees mentioned, it was customary to get legally married before having a religious ceremony– the religious ceremony equating your typical American wedding.
So while we are going to be married on paper, I will not consider us *officially* married until we have our ceremony and reception later on. And to answer your last question OP, yes we plan on doing both a ceremony and reception later. I am not considering it just for show — we still intend of signing a Ketubah (he’s jewish), exchange our vows and complete a unity ritual.
We are lucky that in PA they still offer self/quaker marriages that don’t require the exchange of vows, just the signing of a marriage license– which may help preserve the authentic experience we will have with our postponed ceremony and reception
Post # 14
I think this is absolutely unprecendented times. I am usually an eye-roller at performative ceremonies after the fact but this is a global pandemic that is taking choice away from couples who have otherwise been spending time and money in planning their wedding. I’d say nearly 100% of guests would be please to see a vow exchange after the fact in the wake of COVID-19 cancellations.
Post # 15
This is a time for compassion, empathy and understanding. Every couple is in a different situation financially, emotionally, and spiritually. Those that love you and want the best for you will be happy to celebrate your wedding with you in whatever way you choose.
My fiance and I are going to get legally married this year as planned for health insurance reasons. I don’t want to give up my moment of walking down the aisle wearing my white dress, accompanied by my dad, and I don’t feel that I should have to. Any guest that wants to ask about our legal marriage status is welcome to do so, but I am not going to be broadcasting or announcing it when it happens. We will make it clear to guests this is going to be a wedding celebration next year, and when the day finally comes we hope that everyone will want to celebrate and come together with us after a terrible and tragic year behind us.