(Closed) Getting legally married before the wedding–do you like/dislike the idea?

posted 10 years ago in Traditions
  • poll: Have you or do you plan to get legally married before your wedding day?

    Yes

    No

    Possibly

  • Post # 48
    Member
    7 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    I have a friend who was legally married before the ceremony. She and her husband are still both in school and did this to obtain married status for the FAFSA (federal student aid) so they could achieve independent status. Their family was very upset about this, but they’re Christian and the couple didn’t think of themselves already being married anyways. They still had their ceremony and reception later as planned.

    I think if it works for a couple legally (and perhaps spiritually), then I think it’s whatever floats their boat ๐Ÿ˜›

    Post # 49
    Member
    1935 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I think it’s a good idea if there’s a good reason for it.  I’ve had friends who needed to get officially married before their larger weddings for military benefits or things or that nature.  So that is a-ok in my book.  I would think it would be strange if there wasn’t a reason like that though. 

    Post # 50
    Member
    700 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    We contemplated it last week when we were at the courthouse getting our license and the guy asked us if we wanted to get married.  haha. 

    Post # 51
    Member
    632 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    If I do a destination wedding in Mexico, I would def be getting married right before we flew down.  Otherwise, to get legally married in Mexico, you have to take a blood test, can’t personalize your vows, and need to be in the country for days before the ceremony – which is just too much time and hassle.  We aren’t exchanging vows or rings so to me the “real” wedding will be when we do the whole shebang in front of family. 

    Post # 52
    Member
    198 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    My fiancee (yes, he is still thought of that way) and I were legally married last July at the courthouse. Our wedding is September 1, 2012. We had to do this because his work visa had been extended the maximum amount of time, and he would have had to leave the country (he works for a company that has offices all over the world, so he could have kept his job).

    I admit, after hovering the bee after a while, I get frustrated when people call it a gift grab, or “just a big party.” The courthouse appointment was over in 15 minutes, we didn’t exchange rings, and there were no personal/religious vows exchanged. It’s what we had to do at the time. If you’ve never been in a situation like mine, you don’t know what it’s like, and I think it’s rude to immediately dismiss other peoples situations and choices just because it’s not right for you.

    Obviously, I would have loved to wait until our actual wedding day to be officially married, but that’s just not how it worked out. Also, his family and friends are coming from a different country and couldn’t just leave at the drop of a hat to come to a courthouse ceremony. It’s still our wedding day, when we will truly be married, and we get to have all of our friends and family in the same space (something that will likely never happen again). We’ve asked people NOT to bring gifts as we just want their company. We couldn’t care less about a blender or some pots and pans, or even money, we just want to spend the day with our loved ones and have them witness our declaration of love for one another while saying vows that are personal, special, and meaningful to us. THAT’S a wedding to me.

    Post # 53
    Member
    940 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Rosehill Community Center

    I, like a lot of you, would probably prefer to wait until the “WEDDING DAY” to actually get legally married, but the idea of doing it early has occasionally krept into my mind. My Fiance for some reason thought I could get on his health insurance now that we are living together and engaged, crazy boy, but there may come a time that I just up and quit my job and will need to get on to his insurance, and the simplest way to do that would to just get the legal part of the marriage done, but still wait for the wedding ceremony to be the official date.  

    I was also thinking – what if something got screwed up on your wedding day and you couldn’t sign the papers or anything, so your official legal marriage date was after the wedding?  Would that be the end of the world?  You’d still be married (even if it was a day or two later than expected).  What date would you celebrate?  Probably still the wedding date, right?  I feel like the legal part is just a piece of the puzzle.

    Post # 54
    Member
    126 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    We did it. Possible deployments and not knowing was not an option for me. I didn’t do it for the “benefits” of military. I already had health insurance, a house, etc.

    @lunathea:  +1!

    View original reply
    @blueskies7:  +1!

    Post # 55
    Member
    299 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I just had a weird thought about the whole, “Don’t call it a wedding if you didn’t get legally married on the day thing…” Anybody ever celebrate a birthday not on the day of? Did you tell your guests it wasn’t a “real” birthday party? Because your birthday was earlier? Also my family celebrates Christmas on any day that works for all people to come between early December and the end of January… So is it not a “real” Christmas party because it wasn’t on December 25th?

    Anyways… just thinking. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Post # 56
    Member
    2059 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    my fiance is in the military, so it would have been easier and more convenient for us to get legally married first, and then have our church ceremony and big reception later, but i just could not get excited about that idea. i want one wedding and i want it to be the real thing. i feel like i’d be saying, “i did” instead of “i do.”

    i don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just not for me.

    the thing that would bother me is if someone had a secret courthouse wedding and then tried to pass off the “real” wedding as the one and only.

    i just found out that one of my cousins got married secretly a few years ago. didn’t tell anyone, not their friends, not family (not even their parents). and now they’re upset because people are starting to find out and it would “ruin” the big wedding they wanted to have one day. but if you were going to pretend you weren’t married and you weren’t going to tell anyone you were married….then why did you get married? it just doesn’t make sense to me.

    anyway, that’s the only thing that doesn’t sit well with me. as long as you’re not lying about anything, do whatever works for you ๐Ÿ™‚

    Post # 57
    Member
    253 posts
    Helper bee

    If I had to have a ceremony ahead of time, I’d skip the “big wedding” and just have a reception/party later on. I don’t think I’d feel right walking down the aisle and exchanging rings with a dude I’m already married to – it would feel kind of fake to me.

    HOWEVER, I’m an atheist. If you’re religious, then I guess it might make sense to have a second ceremony in your place of worship, so that you can celebrate that aspect of your marriage. I know a lot of people would not be comfortable without a “church wedding,” and in that case, I think family and friends would totally understand why you’re having two ceremonies – one to make it legal, and one to fulfill your spiritual needs.

    Post # 58
    Member
    486 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2014

    So weird to me that people say you would need to reveal to the guests that you got legally married before the date or else you’re a liar? Is that for real? I’ve never heard such strange and insulting opinions on this topic until I came to weddingbee. We considered gettingmarried early for immigration reasons, but decided it would be fine if we waited. However, if we had done this, it would absolutely not be any of my guests businesses and we would MOST CERTAINLY be having the big, elaborate wedding that were currently planning with no changes or rewording to reflect that it was just a celebration. For us, getting legally married at a courthouse if we had chosen to do that, would have been a logistical and practical thing, done out of necessity and nothing more. Our wedding day would have been the day we solemnly promised ourselves to each other in front of our friends and family and the higher powers that be. And if any of our guests did know about our courthouse proceedings,they would feel no less happy and excited about our actual weddiNg day. And if they didn’t feel that way (although I literally know no one who wouldn’t feel overjoyed at our wedding), well they would not be on our guest list in the first place. 

    Post # 59
    Member
    23 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    My wedding is scheduled for September, but we got legally married almost 2 months ago.  We did so for immigration purposes, and it took a small bit of time for our parents to get used to the issue.  But this is how I see it…

    I think ‘getting married’ actually has three distinct aspects: social convention, a legally binding contract, and a religious sacrament.  And I think the couple can pick and choose which ones are meaningful to them, and I hope that someday all couples (regardless of sexuality) are able to execute any/all of the three.  Those who are religious, or at least raised in a religious belief structure, place special importance on a religious ceremony performed by a religious officiant, possibly in a church.  Personally, my Fiance and I are both atheist, so we’ve decided to drop the religious sacrament part.

    So that leaves our marriage to be both a social and legal commitment.  The legal aspect has huge logistical significance, but really, it’s just about a piece of paper.  That’s why Fiance and I had no qualms about going to the town hall and having a signature party with a Justice of the Peace.  No ceremony, no words, my parents were there, but turns out we didn’t need witnesses.  It took 25 min, and then we went to sushi, Social Security, and met up with my parents again for dinner.

    The social commitment is what is really important to us.  We’ve planned a wedding for September where we will, for the first time, exchange vows and rings in front of our closest friends and family.  Then we will be fully married. I don’t think it’s deceitful to have signed the paperwork for Uncle Sam on a different day.  Normally guests don’t see this anyway!  And we’ve told everyone, in fact, I just wrote about it on our (non-bee) blog. 

    My Future Mother-In-Law is still having trouble coping with it.  ‘What will people think?’  She asked my Fiance if he had seen the blog, and what he thought of it.  I don’t think she realizes that we talk to each other everyday and that we talk about everything.  Hopefully she’ll try to understand us one day.

    Post # 60
    Member
    260 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    @RhubarbPie:  +1

    Along the lines of what I wrote ๐Ÿ™‚

    Post # 61
    Member
    298 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @RhubarbPie:  Exactly.

     

    View original reply
    @Eois:   This is exactly how I think of the separation of it as well :).

     

    I would be extremely confused if one of our guests was offended that we had to get legally married early but considered our actual wedding day the day we say our vows in front of them.  We’re basically telling them we consider their blessing and witness of our vows to be our official marriage, that they hold a significance to us that signing a piece of paper never could, why would they be angry?

    Sorry if that wording is confusing, I’m incredibly tired lol.

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