(Closed) Getting Married before/after actual wedding….

posted 10 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

My Fiance and I are actually doing this, though we did not initally intend to.  We are having a Destination Wedding in Jamaica.  At first we were ok with the legal requirements but as we thought more about it (and heard scary identity theft stories) we decided that we were not comfortable mailing copies of our passports and birth certificates to a stranger we’ve never met.  However, the plans were already set to get married in Jamaica so we’ve decided to get our marriage license stateside before our Jamaica ceremony but just sit on it so that “technically” we could be married now.  Then, we will have our symbolic ceremony in Jamaica and honeymoon right afterwards and then as soon as we get back we will hit the Justice of the Peace stateside and make it “official”.

At first I felt bad not telling our guests that we won’t actually be married, but the truth is you have to keep your best interests at heart.  The fact is we won’t be married before they see us take our “vows” so I don’t feel it’s too deceptive.  We will still celebrate our anniversary on the date we had our symbolic ceremony and we are confident it will feel “real”.  We are looking at the Justice of the Peace part as just “filing the paperwork” and not the actual wedding.

I rambled a lot but I hope this makes sense.  Good luck!

Post # 4
3974 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

We had to get legally married 5 days before our actual wedding because our wedding was in Quebec and our pastor could not get a temporary license to marry in Quebec (He could get one for every other province, but not Quebec for some reason). We left Ontario 4 days before our wedding to prepare some final details, so we had to sign the papers the day before.

We didn’t tell people about it, and no one seemed to notice that we didn’t have a signing during the ceremony (At least no one made a comment about it, not even a loud mouth family friend who is usually first to point out stuff like that). Everyone loved our ceremony, people said it was their favorite part of the whole day! I don’t think it’s really a problem at all.

Post # 5
362 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

We’re doing this as well due to a few setbacks in the immigration process (k1 visa). We planned on delays, but it just got ridiculous! We’re still having our ‘wedding’ with an officiant and everything, but won’t actually be married legally until the consulate approves everything. Then we’ll go to city hall and have the JOP marry us. We’ll celebrate our ‘wedding’ date though! It’s tough and not exactly how we planned it, but that’s life, right? The most important thing is that we’re committed and we’re almost done with the process so we’re hanging in there. If you think you’ll really feel different on your wedding day because you were married at JOP, then maybe do the opposite of what you’re proposing? Have your friend do the ceremony and then go to the JOP soon after?

Post # 7
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

It would feel the same for most.

best of luck




Post # 8
972 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

We debated doing this for a bit but ultimately it became a logistical (and financial) nightmare. Since we would basically be having two ceremonies that meant that I’d need to have my hair and make-up done twice, we’d have to get DH’s suite cleaned again, we would’ve had to pay for extra hours with our photographer, etc. It wasn’t worth it in the end. 

If none of the things I mentioned are that big of a deal (like if you’re doing your own make-up and hair) than I think it’s a good idea for saving money!

Post # 9
295 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

It’s still the same, we will be getting married a few months before our actual wedding.  If we didn’t they would send him back because he will be arriving more than 3 months before the day of our wedding XD  All it means is you will get to marry the love of your life twice, I would marry him over again every day of every year and each time would still be special (I won’t but, you get the idea lol)

Post # 10
6 posts
  • Wedding: September 2012

We’re doing this… mostly as a job requirement.  We’ll be doing the official deed done in about a month… as foreign service officers, in order to bid together and get assigned to our next overseas post together, we have to be officially married.  The Fiance bids in June, so we have to be married by then… but our big wedding is in September.  So we’re just going to go to the courthouse and do the paperwork.  We aren’t considering it our wedding, we won’t think of it as our anniversary date… we just see it as a paperwork step.  In fact, we’re trying to keep it from most of our guests b/c we don’t want them to think they’re at a fake wedding in September.  Definitely not planning on wearing somehting fancy or doing anythign special for hair or makeup.  One caveat is that I will start the name change process after the first wedding, mostly b/c my personal passport will expire in May and I’ll need a new one anyway.  Anyone experience changing their name on just one document before the others??

Post # 11
440 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@bluebirdhill:  Oh Department of State…. the “Cupid” among all the departments! (We’re with DOS too, just had to extend some empathy!) 

Post # 12
50 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

@bluebirdhill:  We’re in the same boat!  We’re also in the Foreign Service–FI already had his assignment.  I’m trying to get assigned with him so we don’t have to do long distance for another two years 🙂 Our civil ceremony was actually really special and memorable for both of us.  I think it helps, though, that our real wedding will be in a church, so I didn’t really feel “married” after the civil ceremony.  We were open with our families about it, because I was worried they’d find out anyway and be upset.

Post # 13
7519 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

We didn’t- in the end I felt really really bad asking guests to come to our Destination Wedding and effectively be lying to them. I was worried about how people would react if they found out and unfortunately from reading other peoples posts guests tend to find out. I thought about how I would feel if the shoe was on the other foot and I wouldn’t appreciate spending that kind of money and finding out that the B&G lied about being married. So we just sucked it up and dealt witht he extra paperwork and costs.

Post # 14
37 posts
  • Wedding: June 2013

Our wedding isn’t for another YEAR, but we got married last month for insurance reasons. Small ceremony in a judge’s chambers with DH’s best friend and my coworkers present. Very, very casual. I’m having a church wedding- and we arent technically married now in the eyes of the church. I wouldn’t have cared even if that wasn’t the case. It’s not how I envisioned things happening, but honey sometimes LIFE happens and you just have to roll with it! My wedding day will mean so much more to me because that is they day we commit ourselves between family, friends and God! Last month, we just “signed a contract”

Post # 15
3153 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We are getting married in a catholic church with just immediate family and a priest the day before our big wedding because Fiance is catholic and wants the marriage to be recognized by the church. The next day we are having out big outdoor winery wedding that I’ve always wanted with all our friends and family. At first I was opposed to this because I thought it may take away from the big day, but it is very important to Fiance (our kids wouldn’t be able to be baptized catholic, etc. If the wedding was not held in a catholic church). I actually think it works out better now though because:

1. I got two dresses (I know, i know)

2. The catholic wedding will be for traditional vows, whereas we will write our vows and make the big ceremony more personal

3. We can have our good friend “officiate” our big wedding and they don’t have to be ordained or anything because it isn’t an actual wedding ceremony as we will already be married.

4. We are both happy and are getting exactly what we want 🙂

Post # 16
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

We are considering getting married at home before leaving for our Destination Wedding. The friend who introduced us is actually my former youth pastor and FI’s best friend. We really think it would be appropriate for him to marry us considering the huge part he’s played in our lives. However, he’s not licensed to perform marriages in Florida. So, we are considering getting married here the week before we leave and then our pastor friend can do the ‘real’ ceremony.

The added bonus to this is that I’m hoping my dad would come and witness the ceremony here. He and my mom went through a messy divorce about 4 years ago and dad is considering not coming to the ‘real’ ceremony to avoid dealing with mom and the rest of the family.

The topic ‘Getting Married before/after actual wedding….’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors