(Closed) cancel the wedding? advice needed

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Do you still want to marry him? Your comment, "what to do with the man is a whole other issue" makes me wonder what you meant by saying that. Are you saying you basically are just so frustrated you can’t see straight, or that you are reconsidering the marriage in general?

It’s not like he meant to stay married. It sounds like an honest mistake, and guys typically procrastinate. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be seething, too. I’d have the *wedding* anyways (even if it’s not 100% legal) and not tell your guests. They don’t have to know the legal issues behind it, it’s really not that big of a deal for you to quietly and legally tie the knot later. It’s still a special day. Is there anything that can be done to get him legally divorced before the wedding? 

I’d still go if i was a guest. I’d already RSVP’ed! But like I said above, I wouldn’t go to the trouble fo telling your guests or downplaying it like it’s a committment ceremony. it’s still your wedding and you’ll sign the paperwork later. I think cancelling it will be the biggest headache ever with all your Out of Town guests. How can you possibly refund thema ll their money…plane tickets, hotel rooms, etc? Oh gosh don’t even go there in my opinion.

Where are you getting married anyways? This might play a factor….at the place i’m getting married we could wing this. But don’t churches require paperwork up front, etc? I bet your FI’s ex wife is ticked, too…isn’t she?! Im so sorry you’re in this predicament. It’s sticky for sure. At least it will all be over in a month! =]

Post # 4
1514 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

First of all, you need a huge HUG!  If you want to go through with the marriage, then i don’t think there’s anything wrong with turning it into a commitment ceremony.  You put so much work and money into this, go through with it.  Most people don’t even have to know it’s not an officail ceremony (if you have something in your ceremony that shows you signing a paper, sign a blank one, no one will know the difference) otherwise at most weddinga I’ve been to, the license is usually signed in the pastor’s office, in private and you don’t see it anyway.  I wouldn’t even mention it to people unless they already know the situation.  If they do know, then tell them that although this is a HUGE blow and you’re upset, you still want to commit your life to him and would like to go ahead with what you have planned.  They should support you in that decision.

Good luck

Post # 5
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2009

What kind of ceremony will you be having? hopefully not catholic 😛

If really love your fi and this is truly the man you want to be with for the rest of your life, divorce or no divorce, I say go ahead with the commitment ceremony. Go to city hall when this mess is taken care of and be officially married.

If you are having second thougths because he lagged on getting this done, maybe it is good idea to postpone the wedding until you can make a sound decision without the pressure of a wedding hanging over your head.

regardless the case, people will be upset but that happens at any wedding.

Trust your gut

Post # 6
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I’m so sorry this happened, and worse, so close to your wedding.

I think the first thing you need to do is make sure about your feelings about your Fiance. Was this an honest mistake and something he’s now trying his best to remedy and you’re ok with it? Or is it something that has been brewing and is making you have second thoughts about your relationship? 

Assuming you still WANT to marry him, what I’d do is go ahead with the wedding as planned, since you’ve done so much planning and your guests have as well. It would be hard to reschedule for say, 2 months down the road to make sure stuff has gone through, in my opinion. Then I’d try to push the divorce through as quickly as possible, and if it doesn’t get done by the time of the wedding, I’d go through with it exactly as if it were a wedding. No need to tell your guests that it’s a "commitment ceremony"–you can get married in your heart that day, and by law later at the courthouse when the divorce finalizes. (If you’re being married by a member of the clergy who is not OK with this, maybe have another officiant for this reason?? Not sure of your situation there).

I know not everyone would agree with this, but it’s what I’d do if it were me…Good Luck!!!

Post # 7
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I’m sorry you’re dealing with this!!  I really hope you can find a way to get past it and have happy memories.

If I were in your position, here’s what I would do:

Work like mad to get that divorce pushed through in time.

If that didn’t happen- I wouldn’t tell ANYONE about the situation except your officiant.  Go through with the wedding as planned, only it won’t be legal.  You’re still making a committment in front of your families and your friends, it can be valid and real for you- just not for the federal government.  Then when the paperwork comes though, just run to the court house and get married.

If people wonder where the marriage license is or something- just tell a white lie, "Due to all the red tape, it was easier for us to have our ceremony here and just run to the courthouse when we got back to our state to make it legal."

You don’t say what type of wedding you are having- church, civil, JoP, clergy, etc.  Hopefully your officiant will be understanding and conduct the ceremony as usual, just without the license.


Good luck!

Post # 8
778 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

So long as this hasn’t affected your relationship for the worse (i.e. reconsidering getting marriage when it would be valid), then I would have a commitment ceremony, and the party.  Then when the divorce is final, have a smaller ceremony, with close family and a few friends, with a dinner afterwards.  Ultimately this is about you and your FH and your commitment to one another in front of the people you most care about. 

I hope it all works out for you, and you shouldn’t be embarrased.  Be happy, you have found someone to love who loves you back.  This is a small set-back in the long term.

Post # 9
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

First off… ((HUGS))… I am soo sorry to hear that you are going through this, what a challenge at what should be a very exciting next 19 days…

I do not have any experienced advice for you but my opinion would be to have your wedding, just without the legal papers you need… enjoy your celebration and after all is said and done move forward with YOUR husband and help him finish the divorce papers and then have your marriage legalized…

I mean, I know it is a difficult situation to be in and I couldn’t imagine the things that would be going through my head if this was me but the point of your wedding is to celebrate the love you have for eachother and the oath the two of you have vowed with eachother… the marriage license is the LEGAL end of things…

I guess the way I am looking at it is you can be married leagally without a wedding, so why can’t you have a wedding without having it be legal??? I hope (and I don’t think) you are having second thoughts as to if this is the man you want to marry, I am sure he did not plan on this happening either, and yes he took his sweet time (9 months) to get you the paperwork but consider this your first obstacle as a married couple… with marriage comes challenges – take it on and come out above…

Good luck and best wishes… and dont be embarrased…. xoxoxoxo

Post # 10
12 posts

i couldn’t agree more with ejs4y8.  it’s an honest mistake.  it doesn’t / shouldn’t change how you two feel about each other, it’s all just paper work that needs to be taken care of and that can be done discreetly.

Post # 11
2249 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

just keep in mind- he’s not still married to you- just the state. as long as the wedding is real to you that’s all that matters.

Post # 12
271 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

It seems like a simple mistake and nothing to cancel a wedding over- I think the best thing to do is have the ceremony and make it legal later, that way you wont be disappointing your guests and you still have pretty photos. You can’t get a marriage license if the first marriage is still there but after the divorce you can just apply for the license and get married at the court house. No one but you two will ever need to know.

The divorce may be a lot faster than you think. Even without cooperation from the ex wife, a judge may see that they have nothing in common anymore as in children or property and have been apart for 8 years. There shouldn’t be anything really holding you guys up.

Post # 14
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

I wouldn’t change a thing as far as your guests go.  The legal aspect of all of this is not really important to them  Have your wedding as you planned and make it legal as soon as you can thereafter.  Assuming of course, you still want to marry your FI!

Post # 15
595 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009 - Ceremony: The Kraine Theatre, Reception: Midtown Loft & Terrace

This very same thing happened to my Mom and (now) Stepdad a few years back. And just a couple of weeks before the wedding, too. 

It was VERY stressful for all of us, but they were able to get his difficult ex-wife to sign the papers and got the divorce finalized the very day before the wedding.

It’s a very difficult situation to be in, but I’m pretty sure that you don’t want to call off the wedding, from the sounds of it. Yes, you have EVERY right to be pissed off and hurt, but I’m pretty sure it was an honest mistake that he made or else why would he wait so long to bring it up? It would’ve been a lot easier to fix months ago…

Even if you are unable to get it worked out in time, I agree with everyone who has said that you should just treat your ceremony as legitimate (since it will be to you two!) and most guests have no need to even know.

Good luck and *hugs* 
Post # 16
345 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I agree with everyone else, and I think your plan is what I would do.  Good luck getting in contact with her! *hugs*

To maybe make you feel better, here is a true story about my parents…

I (and my three brothers) are products of my parents second marriage, and they have been married for over 25 years.  Recently, my dad was going through his life insurance stuff, and realized that his ex-wife was still listed as the beneficiary if he were to die. He immediately switched it over to my mom, after a good laugh and a *whew* that we saw that before the time was too late 🙂

So! I guess what I’m trying to say is paperwork is not as important as how you feel, and the real committment you give each other.  Good luck to you! 

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