Post # 1
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Hey bees, I’m wondering if anyone has, or is considering, getting legally married well before their actual wedding.
My fiance has a medical condition that needs some fairly pricey tests but he’s currently not covered for it, as a “pre-existing condition”. (Such BS. Can’t wait til Obamacare kicks in!) So we’re considering getting legally married sometime soon, so he can get on my health insurance, even though our actual wedding isn’t until August. The tests don’t NEED to be done asap but it would be a good idea and would help put his mind to rest. This isn’t anything life-threatening or super duper serious.
We would try to keep it as much of a secret as possible, although we’d have to tell his parents and my boss as they are involved in his/my health insurance. Since his parents would find out, we would also tell my parents but instruct both sets to keep it 100% a secret. We feel strongly that our wedding guests should think that they are witnessing the actual legal marriage as that would be the most meaningful, even though it’s a little deceptive of us.
So my question is, has anyone else had an experience like this? Were you able to keep the fact that you were already married a secret? Anyone thought about this but decided against it? Thank you for any insight you can share!
And sure, I’ll throw in a poll.
Post # 3
I wouldn’t keep it a secret…. but I’m sorta against lying.
I would get married at the JOP, and then do a vow-renewal on my 1 year anniversary where I have the “party” that you are dreaming of.
Post # 4
My Future Sister-In-Law and her husband got married like that for medical reasons. They didn’t do it secretly though. They did a JOP wedding and invited their closest family and friends (I think like, twenty people showed up). then about seven months or so later they had their actual wedding where they invited everyone and everyone partied. It turned out fantastic.
I’d be careful about marrying for medical reasons and doing so in secret. I’m not sure what individual laws say about this situation but if you got married and didn’t tell anyone and then he signed up for your healthcare the argument could be made that you are scamming the system. I’m not saying you are, believe me I think its a good idea based on his condition, but if I was a corporation and didn’t want to pay for it I might make that argument.
Are you sure you have to keep it a complete secret? I would be deeply offended as a guest to discover that the bride and groom were lying to everyone during the ceremony and the secret will get out eventually.
Post # 5
I’m not sure what the big deal is. People do this all the time according to their circumstances.
You’re marrying to get him needed healthcare, sometimes people marry earlier than they want to so they can be together faster for immigration reasons..same thing. Once all the practical legal necessary stuff is done, you can start planning for the symbolic wedding of your dreams.
One of my friends had a wedding reception in her home country (with no signing of papers), then the real JOP ceremony, and then another orthodox greek church ceremony 6 months later.
My boss went back to his country and had a big wedding. Then came back to the states and went to the JOP.
You can do whatever you want. Get married in a secret JOP ceremony and get him onto your health insurance. He needs this, this is important. Then go throw yourself a huge wedding if you want, noone will ever have to know.
This is not really lying at all, its doing what is needed and then getting your dream wedding later.
Not sure how this is scamming the system. They’re married, they have the papers to prove it to the corporation. He totally has a right to get onto her health insurance. They’re just having the ritual ceremony and reception later. Noone has to know they are married until they’re ready to tell their friends and family they’re married.
Post # 6
- Wedding: May 2013 - Walt Disney World
I would do it, but I don’t think I would keep it a secret. I also wouldn’t make it known (just telling only the parties that need to be directly involved). FI and I are in a similar situation but not for health reasons (well, that may be a partial reason). We haven’t decided if we will make it legal earlier or not yet, but if we do, I only plan on telling my mom (I already intimated this to her and I know she wouldn’t tell anyone else). I’m sure he may bring it up with his parents (actually, most likely not)…basically if you do it, I don’t think you have to lie about it.
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Thanks for the responses, ladies. I guess I wouldn’t explicitly LIE about it, but I also probably woudln’t go around calling him my husband and wearing my wedding ring yet. I should note that we’ve been together for a LOOONG time (like 10+ years) and own a house together. Our friends and family very much consider us a permanent, lifelong pair already. I don’t know how / if that changes things, but it seems relevant.
Do you think it would make guests less excited to go to a wedding if the couple is already legally married?
My sister got married this past summer but because it was destination-ish, they didn’t get *legally* married until they were home the following week. They didn’t proclaim that to anyone but they didn’t explicitly lie about it either, and I think it was better that way. I think only my parents and I knew. I guess the situation was a little different than this, though….
Post # 8
@lolot: Honestly, I think some guests would be less excited. It is what it is. I still think you should do what’s best for you two as a couple. But, if people ask you explicitly, or are close family members, don’t lie about what’s going on. People close to you will support you, regardless.
Post # 9
@lolot: I dont think guest will be less excited if they know you are already married. If somehow they figure it out though they will be very upset (they will notice in the ceremony that whoever is performing it, will use different words than orginal vows). I would just let people know.
Think of it this way- do you think guest are less excited about someone’s second marriage/wedding. No, they understand life happens and are happy for you regardless.
Post # 10
I am all for you getting married before the party, but not for the secret. First, it will come out in your vows (you will use vow renewal vows, not original vows). Second, it is rude to your guest– you are not getting married, you are celebrating your marriage. Your guests will understand if you are upfront the whole time. They won’t be if they find out later. Third, people will find out. It will come out and keeping secrets like this generally do any good.
Post # 11
So many people act like this is some huge betrayal but I don’t see why it matters. The wedding, the celebration of that commitment, is what’s really important. Who cares about the legal stuff (in terms of being excited for a couple)? Do it whenever is right for you. If you think it’ll bother people, it’s not lying to not tell them, it’s just your private choice and really none of their business.
Not sure why people are saying you need to use renewal vows. Just use original vows. Go to the courthouse, do what you have to do, then have the same wedding you’d have if you didn’t do that, the only difference is you don’t sign anything at the end. You can have *anyone you want* officiate at that point, so that’s nice too.
It’s also not scamming the system, it’s just working within the system. The state doesn’t require you to have a $20,000 party to get on someone’s health insurance. Getting married in the eyes of the state with no fuss and telling no one is still getting married in the eyes of the state.
Post # 12
@Bebealways: +1 Excellent post.
Post # 13
I think I’d just have a courthouse wedding and then a reception for friends and family later.
Post # 14
Can you not get him on your insurance without being married? Darling Husband and I had been on each other’s plans at various points before we were married.
Post # 15
I don’t have any issue with you getting married early for health insurance reasons, but don’t keep it a secret. It’s rude to your friends and family. You can still have a wedding ceremony for everyone if you’re already married.
Post # 16
Me and SO are getting married in January before he deploys at the JOP and then having our vow renewals when he gets back, for benefits, but more importantly so I can receive information while he’s gone. At first I thought about keeping it on the DL, but then we talked about it and decided…why should we have to? Originally I had planned on just telling immediate family, but I didn’t want to be dishonest. And really, I would be too excited to keep it to myself!
I think people will understand the circumstances and not be judgemental at all. If they are all, fuck ’em. In my case, I don’t get to live with my husband before he leaves. We’re still going to go through the motions of planning a wedding, registering for gifts, having groomsmen/bridesmaids…and if people aren’t excited for us and the fact that we at that point just overcame a deployment, they don’t have to show up.
He’s going to be your spouse, and his health is important!! But I wouldn’t keep it a secret.