(Closed) Civil Ceremony before deployment and then Traditional Celebration later

posted 7 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
16191 posts
Honey Beekeeper

We just had a very close friend do this exact same thing, and although I was only a guest, I didn’t feel that it took away from their wedding celebration at all. It felt like a “normal” event to me. They did a vow renewal and then reception and it was lovely!

Post # 4
3314 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

My husband and I aren’t military, but we had to do this for immigration reasons last year.  We were married by civil ceremony in April and had our wedding in October.  Like you, I always wanted the ‘normal’ wedding celebration from beginning to end and never in my wildest dreams expected to be married 2x’s but that’s what happened!  Having just one ceremony would have meant that my husbands family was left out entirely (the airfare to fly from the Netherlands to California was just too high at the time the visa was approved) and that wasn’t something that either of us were willing to do.

To me, both ceremonies were so special and neither one took away from the other!  The civil ceremony was so much more then I expected and was a lovely service in which I legally wed my best friend.  The wedding was a joining of our friends and family to celebrate and for us, that was what completed things!  While we were very up front with everyone about the fact that we would be married already at the time of our wedding, we did have a traditional wedding with poofy white dress, etc.  All of our friends and family were happy to be a part of it and it truely was an amazing day!

I loved this comment from my Father-In-Law: “We saw the video and pictures from the civil ceremony and it was nice, but it didn’t feel real.  We are so glad that we get to be here to see you two get married, even if it’s a bit delayed from the legal part!” 

Post # 5
187 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@Vegasvixen: Lots of people in the military do this—my Fiance is also an active duty officer and we got legally married this summer and are having a wedding this spring.  I had reservations at first, but it’s really not a big deal.  The military benefits are amazing and since I’m a student, I now get in-stat tuition which has already saved us thousands of dollars.  To make yourself feel better, you don’t have to tell anyone—we haven’t, not even our parents.  And we don’t refer to ourselves as husband and wife to anyone and won’t until our wedding day.  I’ve read some things on the topic where people believe it’s being disingenuous to do it like this… I believe that people have their own timelines for their own reasons and being a military couple requires you to make appropriate adjustments to accomodate the sacrifices you already have to make.  Many civilians don’t get this and because I don’t want anything taking away from our wedding day, which is the day that we publicly declare our vows, we’re keeping mum and it works fine for us… good luck!

Post # 6
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

A girl I went to high school with, and still have many mutual friends with, got married three years ago, has a one year old, and talks a lot about their wedding they’re planning in two years. And when they’re not around…our mutual friends definitely say they think it’s weird and don’t get why they’re having a wedding. At first they thought it was cool, when it was taking place six months or so after the actual marriage…but they keep pushing it back further and further. At this point they’re having the big fancy wedding, which she insists must be better than any of their friends’ weddings that have taken place during the inbetween period.

I guess the lesson of my story is that if you’re going to do this, do it sooner rather than later! But I completely understand your feelings of it taking away from the wedding day, I feel the same way and would never want to of been legally wed before our wedding day.

Post # 7
1697 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

My sister did this. I think it is a great idea. I know how you feel though. In the end i just couldnt do it myself. We both really wanted to do it all like you said. We found a way to make it happen. But you gotta set yourselves up for success! get that housing allowance! ah, a military bride. bless your heart.

Post # 8
29 posts
  • Wedding: October 2012

I feel you on this one, Mr. Carmine said the same thing and I had the same reaction! It’s very difficult for me to feel okay with it. I probably will do what @fembride045 did if it comes down to it.

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