Post # 1
My boyfriend and I have been thinking about having a court marriage now (no celebration etc.) and having a wedding celebration in a couple of years.
The reason for the rush is because of visas/immigration issues (Canadian/American). I’ll be graduating in a few months, and want to find a job in the US (where he lives). We want to be able to live together, and neither of us can work legally in the other country without a work/spouse visa. Being sponsored by work has proven to be near impossible. 🙁
I’m worried that the wedding celebration will feel ‘cheap’ somehow, if we’re already married. Also, I don’t want to insult our family and friends by not having them at the court marriage .. but our familes live on opposite sides of the continent (and around the world), so we wouldn’t be able to get them all together any time soon – not to metion we’re broke recent grads 😉
Has anyone had a similar experience? Is it ‘acceptable’ to have a wedding celebration after a court marriage?
Any advice would be appreciated!
Post # 3
I have a friend who married her boyfriend because of a visa/immigration issue. They got married in 2010 at a courthouse and my boyfriend and I were their witnesses. They didn’t tell anyone for a couple of months but it eventually came out. They’re planning their chur h wedding for next year and everyone is excited for them. They are religious so being married infront of God is important to them and will make their marriage more ‘real’ to them
Post # 4
I think that would be fine! Its just the legality- but this is assuming this is they guy you want to marry!
Post # 5
My husband and I went through the immigration issues as well. He’s Dutch and his family lives in the Netherlands. Our wedding was in California. There was no way financially for his family to afford to fly out within the 3 month requirement time because it happened to hit just at the start of the high season of travel. So after much talk with both of our sets of parents, we chose to get married legally in a civil ceremony in April and then have our wedding in October when his family could travel here for it.
We were very up front and honest with everyone about how things were going to happen and the fact that we were going to have been married for 6 months prior to the “official” ceremony. That didn’t stop anyone from being excited to be a part of it! Other people will tell you differently, but my opinion is to be up-front with people about the situation and why/how you are handling it. If they are truly people who love you, it won’t matter one bit!
As for it feeling ‘cheap’ – no not for me. Both ceremonies were real to me. The first was and will always be special because that was the day that my husband and I were legally married! The 2nd one was and will always be special because of the family and friends that came to be a part of our day and shower us with love and support! Both were real, but the 2nd one completed everything. It wouldn’t have felt the same without his family/our friends/God being a part of it!
Post # 6
I’ve noticed that on the bee there are a lot of people that won’t criticize you. They’re pretty nice on here. The people that are sticklers for etiquette would probably tell you it’s not okay for various reasons. I personally don’t mind it. I mean most people sign the paper for marriage a few days before their wedding anyways. And if circumstances call for you to sign a paper before you can plan an actual wedding, I think that’s fine. It happens for a lot of cases regarding immigration, location, and work circumstances (like military).
Post # 7
we are doing this same thing. 1 year before big wedding. total secret.
Post # 8
I wish we had gotten married before we got “married”
It was our initial plan but my mother basically freaked out and actually cried hearing about it. So we planned the wedding for the soonest we could giving my family enough time to save up and fly over.
It was a nice and fun wedding but it sort of made me sad because very few of my friends and family had time to save up to come over…. and practically, I could have applied for my visa extention a lot earlier and been working sooner. We got married in June and I’m still unemployed 🙁
Post # 9
I say follow your heart and do what is best for you and your SO. My Darling Husband and I married first via court (for legal reasons) with my mother present, then had a wedding celebration (church & reception) a few months later. As a girl that’s been there, done that, I say if it’s best for your situation and would only make things easier, then go for it.
Post # 10
Honestly, it may make your life easier. One, you wouldn’t have to apply for a marriage certificate after the religious ceremony. Two, it allows you to get a jump on the immigration paperwork. The USCIS and EOIR have pretty large caseloads and backlogs. The sooner you get the paperwork submitted, the faster it will get processed. Lastly, the issues resolved by your civil union won’t rear its head during the chaos of planning a religious ceremony.
Post # 11
I got a civil union to be with my now Fiance a couple of years ago to have a visa to stay in France. Legally it’s not the same thing as a marriage, but I really made sure not to make a huge deal out of it to other people because I did want a real wedding later on (we did the paperwork, and then went out for pizza with a few friends. It was the most low key thing ever!). We are getting married now, and I hope we can move to the states in the next 1 – 2 years. It’s one of the reasons I pushed for a shorter engagement, because I know going through immigration is going to be hell.
Visas are a legit reason to throw certain etiquette rules out of the window. I say do what you need to do so you two can have a life together.
Post # 12
i just did this yesterday. got married at court house and our real wedding will be a year from now. the court wedding is a complete secret.
@Au Jardin: i totally agree! this is exactly the same thoughts i have and a very similar situation.
Post # 13
Congratulations on your legal marriage. 🙂