(Closed) Has anyone done a JOP marriage before “wedding”? *Advice needed*

posted 9 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
714 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’ll be honest, I’m a lot puzzled by the notion that a wedding is something that can be stated independently of the act of getting married.  When you get married, that is your wedding.  If you want to have a celebration after that, I think its fine, but yes, you should tell your guests that you’re already married. 

Post # 4
1927 posts
Buzzing bee

I don’t think (or I hope at least) that anyone will judge you for your decision to get married now.  Medical insurance while you’re pregnant is absolutely necessary.  That being said, you should be honest with your guests about what’s happening.  Don’t keep it a secret and pretend that your wedding is your actual your marriage.  It would technically be a vow renewl and a celebration of the marriage, and that’s perfectly fine!  You can have both your court house marriage and you’re big wedding party just don’t try to lie.

Post # 5
605 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

i think mrs. jellyfish and mrs. moonbeam both got legally married before having the “party wedding”–i think that’s totally fine. (i did too, but only by a few days) in terms of telling people to keep it hush, it’s really up to you. i would hope that your friends/family would understand and it wouldn’t matter to them that you got legally married before the big party–i mean, they still get to go to a party, right? no reason to complain!

Post # 6
160 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

it is your wedding, your way, however you’d like to do it. there is no right way, no wrong way. keep it to yourselves should you wish, shout it from the rooftops should you wish.

your marrige begins the day you say “i do.” your wedding can be celebrated however and whenever it is best for you.

congratulations for all the exciting things happening!

Post # 8
10363 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think you should do what makes YOU feel comfortable. It sounds like you feel like you might be uneasy with not telling people, so perhaps you can make it a vow renewal? I think you could do something really beautiful with including the baby once it’s born, as well :-).

This is a situation that is much more common these days, and is yet another example of how out of touch with reality etiquette rules are. Do what works best for you – it’s your celebration and your marriage. Also, CONGRATS on the baby!!

Post # 9
3314 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I had 2 ceremonies due to immigration (my husbands family couldn’t afford to travel here for the ceremony in the time frame that we were required to have it in and family to both of us is very important) and I made sure that I was very up front about it from the moment that we realized that we’d have to have 2.  Everyone involved in our 2nd wedding was there because they wanted to be there and were happy to be involved.

The civil ceremony was surprisingly nice and not at all what I had expected (we said vows, exchanged rings, did a first kiss) but the 2nd ceremony brought it all together with God, friends, and family all being there!  I felt that each ceremony was very important to me in it’s own way.  If the 2nd one felt diminished at all it was only from reading comments from wedding forums.  I had an amazing day on both days and don’t have any regrets!  πŸ™‚

As to the keep it secret or telling people part – I’d tell them.  I look at it as to how I would feel if I found out later that I’d been lied to whether by actual lie or by omission.  In my experience, my friends and family ALL supported and encouraged our decision because they knew of the situation and what our very limited options were.

My April civil ceremony:

My October ceremony:

You need to do what’s best for you, but be upfront about it with others.  πŸ™‚  Feel free to pm me if you have any questions or want a friendly ear.  πŸ™‚

Post # 10
165 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

@Engaged_With_Love: My guy and I did a marriage commissioner (my little brother) since he was being sent to Germany for his military assignment and we had to wait to have our wedding so I could get approval to join him at his new duty station. Close family know we are legally married, but we didn’t do anything special. We literally just signed paperwork on my parent’s coffee table. We don’t even feel truly married yet until our ceremony on January 1.

My advice is do what you feel is right, tell whom you think should know and if anyone asks why, give them an explanation you feel is appropriate. We told people the truth, that with having to move and get military paperwork done, we did the legal marriage first to get the process done so by January we could have a real wedding and I could go to Germany right after.

Oh, don’t feel like you are faking it. Your ceremony will have elements that a JOP won’t have, a spiritual connection, the point of you making the commitment together in front of your family and friends. You will not look bad and if someone says anything negative, they obviously don’t know how to be loving and kind.  You have a situation and you two are doing a great job in being responsible while still making an effort to have your own special day. Don’t let anyone steal your wedding day away from you my dear.

As far as me feeling bad that I am already technically married, I don’t. I have been away from my fiance for 5 months, so this wedding is a big celebration for us – it si a big deal for our families too! πŸ™‚

Anyway… Blessings and joy for you and your fiance!

Post # 11
2906 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

we’re doing this (or we are partway through)


the beautiful thing about America is the separation of church and state.


so we did the civil marriage with zero fanfare–i even wore flip flops and he wore jeans. it’s just a legal document. that is not the sacrament or religious commitment of marriage–they are really not the same thing.


just make sure you don’t lie about it. keeping it a secret will be very difficult, and people will get really angry if they “missed” it.


let them know it’s only a legal thing to you, that you don’t mean to elope. that should help.




congratulations to you on both counts–the forthcoming marriage and child. what a blessing!

Post # 12
22 posts
  • Wedding: August 2010

I did this πŸ™‚ Only our parents were there for the JOP. A few close friends knew, and also knew the complicated reasons behind it. We asked people to not spread the word, but if anyone asked or somehow heard, we didn’t lie about it – which means a fair number of people knew we were legal while we were still planning the wedding. I guess it didn’t help that my husband wanted to wear his wedding band for about a month after the JOP ceremony πŸ™‚

Despite a number of people knowing, I don’t think getting the legalities out of the way early on took away from the wedding we celebrated with our friends and family in any way. Both ceremonies were special in their own way. I was worried that people would feel they were cheated out of the “real” ceremony or something like that, but that wasn’t the case at all. The people who love and support you and your Fiance will respect your decision, and will make your wedding day just as special for you. 

If it’s hard to get all of your relatives on board – you can’t please everyone. I know I tried to make a lot of concessions while wedding-planning to make other people happy… but since it’s impossible to make everyone happy, you really have to do what’s right for you and your Fiance.

Post # 13
504 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

@Engaged_With_Love: I got married this past Monday at the Justice of the Peace office and our wedding is still planned for April 2011 as well.  Our immediate family and some friends already know. No, we didn’t send a mass email or text telling everyone but if they ask we won’t lie. We changed our Facebook status and I’m in the process of having my name changed on everything.

We chose not to share our personal vows at the civil ceremony because we wanted to save that moment for the wedding plus our kids will be involved in our April ceremony. We’re still wearing our engagement rings as well. My husband is in the military and we needed to go ahead and get legally married for paperwork purposes. We were estatic on Monday and we’re going to be even more estatic in April when all our family and friends can be there.

For me our April ceremony is going to be more emotional even though we’re already married. My dream dress, the music, the vows, the dancing, my boys in their suits…that’s what a “wedding” is all about not just having someone sign your marriage certificate.

You have to do what feels right for you and your Fiance even with your judgemental family. You have added responsibilities now and if they’re not going to step up to the plate and pay for doctor’s visits and whatever else you may need then whatever they said would fall on deaf ears to me. If you’re able to still have your wedding in April then I would definitely do it. Don’t cheat yourself and your Fiance just because you already have the same last name as you walk down the aisle.

Congrats to you and your Fiance on the baby too!!!


Post # 15
630 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Yeah you definitely dont need to make a big announcement about it. Its not really anyone elses business… its your big  day (s) ! hehe

Post # 16
32 posts
  • Wedding: September 2011

So here’s what my Fiance and I have done/are doing:

Were legally wed at JOP over the Thanksgiving holidays with only my father in attendance (because for some odd reason I thought we needed a witness). We did this for personal reasons I won’t go into here. So according to the state and for legal reasons, yes we are Mr. and Mrs.

We aren’t considering ourselves married at this point and aren’t telling anyone. To me, it’s important to have that public declaration of commitment before God (I’m semi-religious) to consider myself married. If anyone asks, I’m going to lie to them. Because most people don’t seem to understand and I really don’t want to take twenty minutes to explain to them why separation of church and state is glorious thing ;). I have enough explaining to do with other choices concerning the wedding (why don’t I have a diamond E-ring? why am I going with a buffet? why am I not having a Catholic mass?) πŸ™‚

The thing is, your wedding day is your day…your life is YOUR life. You have to do what is best for you. Not what everyone else in the world thinks is best.

And, just adding in my 2 cents as a public health person, getting health insurance is the best thing you can do for you and your baby! Congrats on the new addition! πŸ™‚

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