(Closed) Ceremony after marriage…tacky?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 32
484 posts
Helper bee

DH and I did the same thing, got legally married Sept 2012 and had our big church wedding June 2013. And I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. It was a surprisingly emotional day and a really lovely little event but we kept the vows to the absolute minimum and didn’t exchange rings, it only took about 48 hours to feel like everything was back to pre-ceremony state. In the grand scheme of things it really was just a legal part of the visa application process. We didn’t lie about it, we didn’t broadcast it on facebook. Most people knew about it and were totally fine.

Planning a wedding, searching for jobs and communiting to see eachother (he was working in a different city at the time) was stressfull enough, if we’d also have had to put him on the plane back to Canada in the hopes he’d be back in time for the wedding and not be sent back afterwards to wait for a visa I think we both would have buckled under the strain. 

Don’t worry about what other people might think, it’s none of their business. If you’re still having a wedding you’re paying for a party, food, drinks etc for your guests. In addition they will see you walk around in a big white dress, exchange vows and enter marriage emotionally. If they still feel entitled to complain despite all that they are just narrow-minded whingers who enjoy raining on other peoples parades. Who cares you already put a signature on a piece of paper? It’s nothing compared to the big emotional commitment you’ll make on your wedding day which your guests will have the privilige of sharing in.

Post # 33
1427 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - parent\'s backyard

@summer1216:  I also don’t think of it as deceit. like some PPs said, you have perfectly legit reasons and it’s nobodys business how you handle it.

personally I think it’s rude and tacky to judge the method in which other people choose to carry out their wedding. 

we were in the same boat and did the same thing you are planning. we only told a few people (including our officiant). they were not hurt at all and completely understood why we did it this way. their reactions were more along the line of amused and happy for us. as for the other guests: we were worried they would ask us about the paperwork signing part of the wedding day. we were prepared to tell them that we took care of it ahead of time and were going to be really vague about it. technically that would not have been a lie, but fortunately nobody even asked about it. 

Post # 34
1092 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I would never miss a wedding just because you two happened to sign the official paperwork a few months before you are celebrating everything. Just go for it! 

If someone doesn’t attend because they claim you are being deceitful and it hurts their feelings then perhaps it is for the best. For you, it is the first time you are presenting yourself to your friends and family as a married couple and you want people there who will support you without judgment.

Post # 35
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I’m getting “legally” married 3 days before my actual wedding! 🙂

we’re not saying vows, we’re not giving rings, we’re not saying anything other than “we agree to marry in the eyes of the law” (or the legal minimum). So to us, we will not be married, as we won’t of have a wedding yet. Or made promises to eachother.

We’re doing this so we can have the ceremony we want (not by a registra, but with a celebrant. It’s much more personal and romantic than the registra).

Do whatever YOU want, and what YOU guys feel is right. 🙂

it’s YOUR wedding!


Post # 36
815 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Not tacky or rude at all.

 International “stuff” makes getting married really complicated. I have a friend going through this exact thing right now and they going to the courthouse for visa reasons and then a wedding later.

Fine. Totally fine.

If you don’t want to tell anyone before hand, that’s your business and your choice.

Post # 37
1768 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 1997

@summer1216:  “Would it be tacky if we went to the courthouse, signed the papers, and only told  the “need-to-knows” about our marriage (parents, siblings)? And just let  everyone else believe that we are engaged and planning a wedding to be held  later this year or next summer?

Not tacky but most definitely deceitful.. lyiing by omission. You can still have a renewal of vows/blessing and wear the gown, have the whole shindig/party.  What are you afraid will happen (or not happen) if you are honest with everyone??  I suspect you won’t answer this because it would not reflect well….

Best wishes.

Post # 38
1987 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
@This Time Round:  Hi Mrs. TTR! 🙂 Long time since I wrote you hehe. Most of your post is right on spot. However, convalidations at most Catholics churches are handled as your real wedding only the license part is ommited for obvious reasons.  You will still get to say your vows and will be asked if you accept your Fiance as husband and he’ll be asked if he accepts you as his wife and then priest will proceed to declare you husband and wife. This is because the church, although in some countries deals with the marriage license, they do not accept the legal part as the marriage. In their eyes, you are only married when you do it by the church. And since you got the legal part but did not involve the church, you ARE getting married to them. The church not recognizing the legal aspect of marriage is also seen in its stance on divorce. You cannot get married more than once because the church does not believe in divorce and simply won’t recognize the legal divorce the same way they won’t consider a marrige licence as a marriage Unless it’s been also a wedding at the church.  Since the church does not recognize divorce, you are married for life and therefore you simply can’t marry two people.

This part sucks really bad for some people that find themselves in really awful situations in their marriage. Only way to dissolve the marriage is through an annulment and it’s a painful, long and frustrating process that almost always gets denied, unless the marriage was never consumated in the first place. 

Post # 39
616 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

View original reply
@gemgirl6:  I don’t think that’s why she doesn’t want to tell everyone. I think it’s because she doesn’t want to feel like it’s some inferior celebration just because the legal paper-signing had to be done beforehand.



Post # 40
1241 posts
Bumble bee

@summer1216:  Yeah. That would be tacky, and ridiculously deceitful. Instead, I vote you have two weddings. One wedding would be the JOP or elope, then the other would be a more traditional affair when you have the luxury of time to do so. Or you could elope now then have your reception later without redoing your vows.


Post # 41
1798 posts
Buzzing bee

I would go for a JOP wedding or elopement, but I wouldn’t hide it from everyone or lie about it. I would announce to parents, siblings, close friends, etc. that you guys are married. You don’t have to tell them to keep it a secret or anything, but I also don’t think you need to send out some kind of an announcement before your big ceremony and reception later. If someone asks just be honest with them. It’s not a big deal!

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