(Closed) Getting married before the wedding day/secret marriage

posted 4 years ago in Elopement
Post # 61
Member
742 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

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weddingbae :  we actually did this. We got married on 12/22. 6 people know. Our witnesses, my mom, my oldest friend and HR at both our jobs. Our ceremony is 9/9. There were about 12 reasons we decided to do this, which really isn’t anyone’s business but ours. 

We decided to keep it secret because our witnesses had a horrible fallout with their family and even a year later when they had their ceremony they had family not talking to them. Theirs was also for medical reasons. They got married, told everyone about it directly after and I’m pretty sure everyone heard the fireworks from it. They weren’t even planning on having a big ceremony, but ended up caving because of how angry everyone was. 

I say do it. We don’t regret it for one min. My anxiety had been cut in half, and in turn my debilitating Gastro issues are also in control. I’ve lost all the weight I gained from the Gastro issues as well. 

Does your hair get worse with stress? Just wondering if it would stop falling out if the legal part was taken out of the equation (like mine). 

Neither of us regret it and we have a lot of fun being married with so few people knowing. I don’t know why more people don’t do this! We don’t feel like we’re keeping things from anyone or telling a lie. If someone asked we would tell them. But his mom is the biggest drama queen I have ever met and we decided to not start world war 3 intentionally. We also already had everything paid for for September when we realized we should get married in 2016. So we would have lost about $20K. I’m not willing to waste that kind of money and anger everyone in the process. 

Post # 64
Member
454 posts
Helper bee

I think the line for me to be annoyed is if you consider yourself married after you do the legal bit – ie, going forward that will that be an anniversary you celebrate, will you consider yourselves husband and wife in the months in between the legal bit and the big ceremony, etc. At that point, I think it’s clear that this was the turning point in your relationship that a wedding is there to celebrate and that’s the point where I would like to be told of what’s gone on in your life. If I’m important enough to be at your wedding, then I’m important enough to be told this, imo. I think a good litmus test is who are going to be your witnesses – just some randos at the clerk’s office or are you going to specifically schedule this so that family/friends will be available to witness. If it’s the latter, it implies that it hold some special importance to you which means it will also hold some special importance to your guests.

Personally, I think it’s disingenuous when people insist that the legal signing of the license trumps everything else and that you’re automatically lying to people if you don’t always diclose to everyone that this has take place. For instance, my dad’s side of the family are all devout Catholics. If one day there was an option to go without the legal side of the marriage, I don’t think it would matter to most of them because to them the being married part only happens when it’s before God/within the church. If it’s literally nothing more than signing a piece of paper that will allow you to get financial benefits, then no I don’t feel like I’m entitled to be informed any more than I would feel entitled to know when you signed with a new health insurance plan or whatever.

Post # 65
Member
742 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

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weddingbae :  I hear you 1000%. This place is bonkers. And don’t try to explain to someone why their advice doesn’t apply, won’t work, or that you already did it, mentioned it in your OP and it backfired. Haha. 

When I read your OP I didn’t realize you were in the U.K., I think that’s even more reason to go ahead and do it. It’s more common there (though here in the US it is common but because of all the negative Nancy’s people don’t tell others).

People on here have said the same thing to me about being gift grabby etc. We’re strictly requesting no gifts of any kind, and if people still feel the need to please donate to the rescue I got my handicapable puppy from who recently passed away. When I pointed that out, this on woman was like oh, well I guess your situation is okay. Like it’s her place to judge my life, or anyone else’s and what is or isn’t okay! Who made her the boss?!?!? 

Don’t see your marriage in a negative light! Don’t let people who have nothing better to do than hide behind a keyboard and call people they don’t know liars! They don’t know you, they don’t know your situation! 

Just know that you will only remember the wonderful bits about the day you get married, all the negative stuff falls away! Fiance and I had a terrible fight the day we got married and I don’t even remember what it was about, all I remember is the feeling I had standing there facing him and telling him he was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with in front of our couple best friends. You won’t remember what the horrid people on here have to say, you won’t remember what they called you, or the fact that they have 0 compassion for another human being and their health!

I mean really, who has time to do public record searches for every wedding they go to? I sure as heck don’t! I have done one for us several times and it never pops up. In our city you have to physically go to the recorder of deeds and file a request for the information.  

Post # 66
Member
742 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

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amiryana :  FYI some places (every place and officiant we looked into did) require you to provide witnesses. Which is why we brought our couple best friends with us. 

Post # 68
Member
1298 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2021 - City, State

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weddingbae :  consecutive advice? Don’t lie. Simple.

youre not telling people you’re married, you’re lying, long and short of it.

 

you can not like what I, or others have said about this, but you yourself said you’re not going to tell people, you’re not wearing your wedding band, you’re being dishonest for no reason. 

 

If you want to do the legal part first, go for it, but tell every single person that the next bit is a party and don’t say it’s a wedding when it’s not. 

Post # 70
Member
742 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I want to know if all the people with their panties in a twist about “lying” tell their kids Santa is real or not? The Easter Bunny? Tooth fairy? Do you hide veggies in their food? Cause if you do you’re all lying to your own kids. You put presents under the tree from Santer every year. Take their teeth and put money under their pillows.

Do you tell them they’re going to use what they learn in school, but won’t necessarily learn everything they need to in the classroom? If you aren’t you’re lying to them.

Do you tell your spouse every single thing you do every second of every day? If not by these standards you’re lying to them.

Post # 71
Member
742 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

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whoswho :  I was unaware that ALL married people wear wedding bands. In fact that’s really only a thing in a few cultures. I don’t wear my engagement ring to work cause I’m not about to get poop on it (or scratch someone while wiping their bum), doesn’t mean I’m lying to everyone I come across. It means I actually treasure my ring and I’m responsible. 

Post # 72
Member
454 posts
Helper bee

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whoami :  Just based on my sole experience with a courthouse wedding (a friend’s elopement), yes the requirment is to provide witnesses, but from what my friend told me it was the norm at the government office there to just gather up people in the area to provide witnesses if you didn’t come with them. So from my perspective, if someone went out of their way to coordinate it so that their witnesses were all people with a special relationship to them – making sure the important people could be there, coordinating schedules between all of them, etc – that to me would imply that this moment had more than just legal significance to the couple and was indeed their wedding. Again, this is just my perspective so I’m not trying to pass moral judgment or anything, but say one of my best friends who lives across the country from me was getting married. If she invited me to watch her get married – as in, in her eyes, witness the moment where she and her SO transition from fiances to spouses and she wants me there to see this momentous moment in her life – I would move heaven and earth to make sure I could be there because (1) that is indeed a pivotal moment in her life and (2) she’s specifically reaching out for me to be there.

On the other hand, if she got the legal bit done 8 months before, considered herself to be married all this time, called her SO her husband/wife, then I would see the ceremony + reception as a celebration of their marriage and while that’s still great, I can celebrate their marriage with them the next time we’re naturally in the same place and have it mean the exact same thing so I’m not above and beyond to spend money I don’t have rushing to their side in that moment. She’s allowed to have different priorities than me and it’s her life so she can do what she wants when she wants, but if she didn’t let me know something crucial like “hey I’m married” at that 8 month mark, then yeah I’m not going to be happy that (1)she didn’t share that she had taken this huge life step and (2)that she didn’t respect my right to prioritize my life in the same way she gets to prioritize hers (in the case, deciding whether I could afford to fly across the country for a wedding vs for a celebration of her marriage and the guilt that I would have to carry if I missed the former if I couldn’t make it work).

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weddingbae :  Yeah, so personally I think you’d be fine. Again, that’s just my personal opinion. To me, this sounds more like trying to get insurance companies to recognize/treat you as married preemptively so you can get medical care rather than you “getting married”. And I think most people in your real life, people who know you and love you as a person rather than those who see you as a collection of words on the internet, if you tell them/if they ever hear that the legal date differed from the ceremony date, would be sympathetic and respectful of your decision as one of “For urgent medical reasons, I needed to be on FI’s health insurance ASAP but we had already committed ourselves to our ceremony’s date when my medical issue asserted itself, so we signed the government paper so I could receive my medical treatments while we waited until we could be married for real on our ceremony date in front of family and friends” type of thing. I wouldn’t at all even miss a single step over that.

People are all different, though. The only way to absolutely avoid hurt feelings of people feeling “”tricked”” by your wedding would be to announce to all your prospective guests that for medical reasons you’re getting married legally now but in your eyes your real wedding will be the one with the people you love there and you hope they can make it. Unfortunately, there’s just no easy answer here. As you can see from this forum, there’s no universal opinion on the matter so there’s just no way to make everyone happy. Just look into your heart and do what you think is best for your life. As long as you can say to yourself, “I’ve been kind and honest to everyone, including myself” I’m sure you’ll be happy with your choice. Hugs. I know this can’t be an easy place to be.

Post # 73
Member
742 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

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amiryana :  that’s not even your personal experience. That’s second hand from one person, for one courthouse on one day. 

So in your opinion…Everyone who gets legally married before their actual ceremony for medical reason needs to disclose to everyone invited that 1. They got legally married and 2. That it was for medical reasons? That is spoken by someone who truly has 0 medical issues to deal with and has never had to deal with the absolutely horrible experience of having to deal with the thousands of questions that will follow or having to go into details about medical history and problems. You also aren’t letting her decide which part of her marriage and wedding to share and which to keep private. All I hear is ME, ME, ME!!!!! Stomp foot. 

Your reasons all just add up to being nosy and only thinking of yourself and not your friend or family member plain and simple. I can tell that you truly think you are being so nice and understanding. But honestly, you aren’t. 

You’re attempting to dictate what part of someone’s marriage is important enough to share with friends and family for them. I mean all this information you want shared, medical, insurance etc. it’s not your business. It’s not anyone’s business.

And from my experience family is far less understanding. Our friends got legally married and told everyone the same day and 2 years later have family STILL not talking to them. He needed a procedure not covered by his employer provided insurance but it was covered by hers. So they got married. They had been together for 10 years and living together for 6. Were engaged and had a date set. 

Can you say that you have been “kind and honest”? I mean really? You want to tell someone which is the important part of their relationship and marriage. You want people to disclose personal information and insurance information before deciding if it’s okay the way was best for them to do something. That is not kind. 

Post # 74
Member
325 posts
Helper bee

I’m with you on this OP. For those who calling her wedding a cash grab, look yourselves in the mirror as youre planning your 200 guest, 15K wedding…Quite sure you are all expecting gifts. Not sure why some people think they’re “better” for getting married the “right” way. You do not know her friends or families and honestly, being nasty towards her is just really gross. You don’t agree with her, cool. Calling her wedding a sham and a cash grab? What?! Just stop. It’s not okay.  

Post # 75
Member
9183 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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whoami :  Well by your logic it is ok for a husband to lie about sleeping with another women because you know he considers it none of his wifes business. Or hiding the fact that you have stopped using birth cntrol from your partner because you think it is time for a baby. Or putting weightloss pills in an overweight spouses meals because you think they need it. A lie is a lie is a lie. When you lie you hurt people. When you take away peoples choice because you think you are right then you are being an ass.

We all make choices in life. As adults we need to live with those choices. If we are secure in our choice and know they are not shady then we don’t need to hide them.

 

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weddingbae :  I think you should tell people so they get to make the choice for themselves. Also been to many  UK weddings and zero have been legally wed beforehand.

Also the majority of responders have said it would annoy them to find out afterwards that a couple was already legally married and they would feel lied to. They have answered your question, the majority would feel lied to if you didn’t say it was a vow renewal/marriage celebration. 

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