Courthouse wedding w/close friends & family, then wedding w/ reception later?

posted 2 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
Member
1742 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I wouldn’t do 2 actual wedding ceremonies,  but the more parties,  the better as long as you can afford it. I’m sure it’ll go well. 

Post # 3
Member
6928 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I think getting married at the courthouse with 14 of your friends/family and going out for a nice dinner is lovely. If you DO hold a party later, I just wouldn’t do the speches or dances or pretend its a wedding. Just a celebration of your marriage! 

I would not a Destination Wedding and ask people to pay to attend some sort of psuedo wedding though. 

Post # 5
Member
2829 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I would do the courthouse and then host a bigger (local) celebration shortly after. Agree with PP that I would never attend a destination “wedding” for a couple who is already married, I wouldn’t really see the point.

Post # 6
Member
6928 posts
Busy Beekeeper

futuremrs2020 :  I don’t think its weird to do your courthouse wedding and then host a local party later. If you are buying a house you could even do a combined house warming/meet the newlyweds BBQ or something. 

Post # 7
Member
3004 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

it’s fine to have a party later but I wouldn’t call it a wedding reception (“celebration”is nice) or expect everyone will prioritize attending, or even gift etc as you are already married. …

Post # 8
Member
504 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Here’s my story:

My husband and I got engaged in Jan 2016. Shortly after, he was accepted into a grad program that required him to leave his job. My husband is not a US citizen, so not being a green card holder was going to make our lives complicated. By getting married it would ensure that upon his graduation he’d have a green card and likely have more job opportunities as a permanent resident. In addition to this we saved over 25k as he could be considered as an instate student. Long story short he and I decided it was the responsible decision to go to the courthouse in March of 2016 and make it legal. In June 2017 we decided to have another ceremony with family and friends. My dad was the officiant, we wrote our own vows, I wore a white dress, I had my first dance, I had speeches, I had the reception, we had our dream wedding.

Some individuals on this site will try to take away from what I did and be offended by it, that’s fine. All I’m saying is that life happens. Was it the way I dreamed I’d get married? No. Do I think I should have to sacrifice a day I’ve dreamed of my entire life because I made an adult decision? No. I did what I had to do and I personally don’t see anything wrong with it. Why deprive our families of having a ceremony and party? Bottom line, it is 2018 and you can do what you want.

Post # 9
Member
814 posts
Busy bee

Do what you want.

A LOT of people on this site have sticks up their asses about the whole “you get one day” bull. If you want to have a courthouse ceremony and another ceremony and reception later on, go for it. It’s your life, and anyone who has a problem with what you do doesn’t need to be a part of it. I guarantee you’re not inviting anyone from this site, so naysayers honestly don’t matter. 

Post # 10
Member
1390 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

Due to certain circumstances, we got married earlier than planned, with our immediate family (siblings, parents, grandparents) in attendance. For our legal ceremony, we told everyone not to bring gifts, had a ten minute ceremony followed by lunch, and called it a day.

Now we’re planning the wedding we always wanted, now that we can afford it, which is taking place two and a half years after the original one! We’re still having a ceremony (might be formatted more like a vow renewal), I’m wearing a white dress, there’ll be areception, etc., for our “big” wedding. Everyone we’re inviting already knows we’re married. If anyone we invited didn’t want to put forth the effort of attending or doesn’t approve since it’s not our “real” wedding, they don’t have to come. I’d rather not pay to feed and entertain them if they felt that way.

So do what you want. If you want a destination wedding after the legal one, go for it. Most destination weddings come after the legal ceremony anyway due to the trickiness of marriage liscenses in different countries anyway. You want to have a big local reception months/years after the legal one? Go for it! Those who truly care and support you will be there for you. Those who don’t need not come.

futuremrs2020 :  

Post # 11
Member
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2018 - City hall & Home

I think its sound good congratulations!! Here’s my story..

We’re planning to make it legal in the courthouse (in Germany you need to do this in the courthouse only,before having any wedding) we  have 12guests only ,we will celebrate and eat at home ,then we will go to some beer garden or bowling afterwards.

And next year if we still want to ,we will throw a party without any religious ceremony ,just going to book a nice bar ,decorate a bit and invite good friends over ๐Ÿ™‚

I think you should do what makes you happy, your friends and family that care about you will understand ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 12
Member
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

My fiance and I are getting married at City Hall. At first it was going to be just us and my son, but then we invited our parents. Then we invited my sisters, so that’s a total of 9. We were looking into having a large dinner party with other relatives and friends, but didn’t want to deal with the hassle. Instead, the 9 of us will have brunch together and he and I will take professional pictures with my son. In a few months, we will have individual dinners with our friends in the city we live in and then go to his home state and have a picnic with his family and celebrate with them. It seemed like an easy way to incorporate everyone we care about without dropping a lot of money, even though we could afford a wedding and reception.

Post # 13
Member
1016 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

Have whatever parties you want and can afford, but I urge you not to lie to your friends and family by calling a party a “wedding” if you are already married. (Also, of course, don’t have wedding frills–big white dress, wedding party, bouquet toss, first dance, etc.–if you are already married.) You get one wedding; you get as many parties as you want and can pay for.

Post # 15
Member
4229 posts
Honey bee

futuremrs2020 :  Go do your courthouse ceremony and I would wait til you both are financially ready to host a second ceremony followed by a reception that you want in front of family and friends. I say this because I am not bothered if couples do a courthouse ceremony first and have a second ceremony later on.

Many people in this website are bothered and deeply offended but I care less. This is just how it is done outside of the US. I have tried to explain this in several threads but still a lot of people don’t understand and insist “you only get one wedding”. And it’s perhaps because many US bees are unfamiliar with this practice. Basically nearly all countries in Asia, Latin America and Europe, couples MUST be married first in the courthouse by a government appointed employee. No if’s and’s or but’s about it. You GOTTA do it in the courthouse first, NO EXCEPTIONS.

Then, the couple will have a separate second ceremony (usually by a religious officiant or sometimes by a theologist) with the typical large guest list, white dress, flowers, dancing, wedding cake, etc. that we are all familiar with on a later date. It could be anywhere from a few days later, or months later or even a year later (on rarer occasions) from the courthouse date. NO ONE gets mad at the couple for not being invited to the earlier courthouse wedding.

Just do what works best for you but that’s what I would do. And if anyone has a problem with it, no one is forcing them to attend.

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