(Closed) Ceremony after marriage…tacky?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
Member
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We did something very similar, and it was perfect. 

EXCEPT

We did not do a change of status, and instead did a fiancee visa. It was long, painful, and stressful. September would be an optimistic timeline. It took us nearly 10 months to get our visa in hand from when we sent in our application, and my husband was from a country that has a highly functioning consulate (England has notoriously long wait times for interviews). Just waiting for approval of our forms in the US took 8 months. We also had an immigration lawyer, whose timeline was off by nearly 3 months; she is an incredible lawyer, just could not anticipate the delays by the US field office since there is little-to-no transparancy when they have delays. 

We went to the courthouse the day after he arrived to get the paperwork started for change of status, and had our big wedding after. We didn’t LIE to anyone, but we didn’t go around advertising it either. 

In any case, even if you feel the need to tell everyone about the legal aspect of your marriage, my experience would tell me that you should really not go the fiancee visa route…it was really awful to be apart from him for so long and not get to plan anything because you have no idea when all the paperwork will be processed. 

Post # 18
Member
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@summer1216:  you should read my rant on this topic haha. I am in a very similar position to You. Granted, we are signing the papers only 5 days before the wedding, but to me that part isn’t even getting married. Do what you want/need to do. It’s nobody’s business but your own!

Post # 19
Member
1347 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I wouldn’t fake that he’s not your husband. If I knew that and was invited to a “wedding” I wouldn’t go because you lied. Hopefully, the people you want to share in your big day are all need to know anyway and will understand your situation. 

Feel free to throw yourself a big celebration (belated reception). I wouldn’t want to say my vows again or sist through a re-do as a guest. Make your actual court house vows as special as you can. Your belated reception can feature plenty of toasts, readings, and even a glam dress doesn’t have to be white!

Post # 20
Member
1347 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@NurseAllie85:  because it’s inauthentic. Being married and getting married is not about having a wedding or getting gifts.  If you are pretending to still be engaged so you can have a wedding then you already know you what you’re doing is off putting. Just don’t pretend. 

Post # 21
Member
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@NurseAllie85:  thank you! I love voices of reason. The reason why she shouldn’t have to go around telling everyone is because t hey shouldn’t have to feel like their wedding is less than special just because of a legal issue. 

Post # 22
Member
582 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

i wouldn’t lie and why not call it a vow renewal? that way its exactly like a wedding but you are already married

Post # 23
Member
1883 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Get married already!!!! It is not a lie! You must do what is best for the two of you… Everyone does not need to know. Have you heard of the saying what you don’t know won’t hurt you?!I think that it is truly petty for your friends and family not to support you, even if you did tell them. I am willing to bet there will be closed minds on this issue, just like there are all over the bee.

At the end of the day, none of those folks who are against it have to go through what you have to go through. It is not their business. That is like getting pregnant shortly before the wedding. You don’t have to tell anyone as they won’t know the difference. If you did tell them they would make assumptions like, “she is getting married just because she is pregnant.”

My Fiance literally said to me last night that he would like to get married legally before the wedding. I asked him why and he said that he just wants to be married to me already Laughing. He said we could keep it a secret just between the two of us. To me, this would be very romantic. We do not have to get married early except for the desire to do so. I said we should wait so I won’t be confused over when to celebrate the anniversary, haha (I know we could just celebrate the wedding date and not the marriage date). I would be so excited that I would almost burst, haha! It would certainly take away from the stress of the wedding!

Post # 24
Member
1589 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

@summer1216:  You can absolutely still have a celebration of your dreams- I know I wouldn’t want to give that up and go to Vegas to elope if I had been wanting a big wedding. But it is tacky, rude, and deceitful to not be open about it. That’s a very valid reason to get legally married ahead of time- you don’t have anything to hide, so why not just be honest? Also, depending on who marries you, they may only do a vow renewal or marriage blessing so the ceremony will look a little different and be obvious anyway. OP, is there a certain reason you would want to keep it a secret?

 

Post # 25
Member
1094 posts
Bumble bee

There’s a meme established on wedding-magazine message boards, that weddings must take place all on the same day that the legal requirements are executed, because the legal dimension of marriage is the only thing that matters.

And that is nonsense.

If legality were all etiquette and good manners were concerned with, there really would be etiquette police, and manners and etiquette would get all involved with how and where you pay your parking tickets or sign your lease agreements. Etiquette is about how people interact, and how society recognizes the important relationships between people. Marriage has a legal aspect — true; but it also has religious, financial, and social aspects. Back in the sixties when the new sexual morality was being defined and couples first started openly moving in together without the benefit of marriage, my generation proclaimed defensively to our parents “I don’t need a piece of paper from the man to make my marriage real!” It is ironic for me now, to hear girls arguing that a piece of paper from the man is the only thing that does matter!

The reality is, that if one gets one’s nose out of the mutually-reinforcing clique behaviour of pointing at other girls’ weddings and decrying them as “Pretty Princess Days”, and look at the real world, one finds that the sociological definition of marriage is something along the lines of “a socially sanctioned union for purposes of establishing a household, entering into sexual relations, procreating and providing care of the offspring, which in some societies requires legal sanction” (cultural anthropology on the subject of marriage offers some fascinating reading if you are interested in pursuing this further.) It seems completely inexplicable for a bunch of brides to want to reduce marriage to a cold legal formality. But when you look at their perspective, it all becomes clear:

They want to feel entitled and justified to act like a pretty princess for one day. But they have already established their households (witness the number of brides who don’t want wedding presents because they are already running well-stocked homes), they have already claimed social sanction for their relationships (witness the spurious claim that “anyone who considers themselves in a relationship is entitled to a plus-one”), they have already entered into sexual relations, often they have already procreated and are already caring for offspring (witness the number of brides incorporating their own children into their wedding parties) and if they are smart have already written wills and powers of attorney that ensure the mutual care will continue even past illness or death — but they want all their acquaintances to feel obliged to celebrate their “new” marriage that has only one “new thing about it: the marriage certificate.

Back in the days of the sexual revolution, girls who did move in with their lover and had children or just got pregnant, and then decided to join the establishment and get married, were told they were “not entitled” to a big wedding. They got married quietly and privately, and their disappointed mamas told them it served them right. But the mean girls of today’s wedding boards don’t want quiet and private weddings, so they make a big deal of the one change left to them: the legalities. And to build their claim up, they knock everyone else’s wedding as being a “pretty princess day”. All so that they can feel entitled to their own “pretty princess day”.

Whew. I’m glad I got that off my chest!

So. According to real etiquette, (not wedding-magazine website made-up etiquette:

Anything that is offensive or rude is offensive or rude regardless of whether or not you happened to complete your wedding legalities that same day; and anything that you can properly do at a wedding reception you can properly do at any other kind of reception.

And one thing that people should NOT do at social affairs, is flaunt their private legal or financial business.

So, @summer1216:  what is really going to happen on June 21? Are you going to be one of those rare brides, who has not yet set up her marital household and is not already claiming the social privileges of a wife, who on her wedding day actually moves in with her husband and begins their marital life together? If so, that is far more your wedding day than is the mere legal proceedings, and you should proceed just as any other bride proceeds. There’s no lying involved, because you don’t need to talk about your private legal matters but even if you do, anyone can see for themselves how “real” your wedding is in terms of the real changes to your life.

Or, are you like 95% of modern brides, already living together as husband and wife and your celebratory party, nor your legal change of state for that matter, is going to make no difference whatsoever in your living arrangements and your social status? In that case, you are in exactly the same position as nearly every other bride far as society and etiquette are concerned, and can proceed in exactly the same manner. With no lying involved, because your legal affairs are nobody else’s business but your own.

Post # 26
Member
572 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@summer1216:  I say get  married now!  But I do think it is the height of tackiness to pretend that you are not married and maintain and elaborate ruse.  I would be just as happy to attend and celebrate a belated reception, but I would find it bizarre and hurtful to find out the couple had been lying for some reason. 

Also, because of your complicated immigration issues, if you don’t tell the truth it will be hard to avoid getting sucked into an increasingly tangled web of lies – my friends with foreign spouses or fiances often trade tips and stories, so it would be clear that something fishy is going on.  You might even get in legal trouble if a friend or family member is contacted by immigration and they have no idea that you are married – it could raise read flags.

Post # 27
Member
3954 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Nope, we did that! Don’t worry what all the judgmental people say, just do what you and your Fiance have to do. That’s what a marriage is about.

Post # 29
Member
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I don’t think it’s tacky to have a civil ceromony, and then a family/friends ceremony.  It is very tacky and just wrong to lie about the civil ceremony.

Post # 30
Member
3162 posts
Sugar bee

@summer1216:  I think it is fine to get married now and have a reception/vow renewal later. Personally, I would be honest with people about the situation. If they care about you, they will understand.

Post # 31
Member
1066 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I see no issue in this what so ever. 

We basically did the same thing but in reverse. We had a destination wedding in Mexico that was symbolic(the process to have a legal wedding there was too much of a headache)and when we got back we had a JOP come to our place and do the legal ceremony – which to us was just the legal paper work.

As far as we’re concerned our wedding was in Mexico and thats the date we will celebrate. (None of our guests felt ripped off or upset that it wasnt legal in Mx – that was still our wedding and they were happy to be there) =)

If I was in your shoes, I would just do the legal marriage now and have your wedding at a later date (you could even have your big wedding on or around the same date of th following year), it seems like less cost  and headache to take care of that now.

 

As for who you tell, thats really up to you guys. I’d probably tell the parents and leave it at that. If someone asked about it I would tell them but I wouldnt advertise it – it’s really no ones business but yours

 

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