Post # 1
So here we are, engaged, in love and living and North Dakota. My Fiance is Canadian and I’m American. Unfortunately, Fiance’s company he works for isn’t doing so hot. We’re planning to leave for a long trip to his hometown and see if he can’t find a new job up there.
The thing is, if we do move to Canada it might mean we have to get married for me to get residency (I can’t work there unless I’m a resident). I understand you can apply as a common-law partner but we haven’t been living together for a year yet.
So we may be forced to do a courthouse wedding just to get the paper work through. The good news is I’d be a resident pretty much immediately but the bad news is we wouldn’t get the wedding I’ve started to really look forward to.
Fiance says we should just do the courthouse thing quietly and then celebrate ‘for real’ our wedding early Fall 2010. He suggested not even wearing our rings until the wedding party. I think this would take out the fun of the wedding and we should just have closest family and friends if they can join then have a big blowout 1 year anniversary party.
What do you guys think?! It’s so stressful! I don’t want to hide getting married from my parents for a full year (or at the very least not invite them to our courthouse wedding). I also don’t want to be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary and have it really be our 51st! Help!
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2021 - Oakland Manor
Honestly? If I could go back and do it all again? We’d have done the “OMG we were so overcome with passion and love and just got married at a pretty courthouse” and payed a photographer cash and had a cute little elopment and filed our papers. Then we could have gotten “wedding’ed” now.
At this point however, we’ve already gone through the fiance visa process, we’ve already payed over $1,000 for the stupid K1 (and are about to pay another $1,000 for the AOS) and we’ve gone through the months and months of stress and heartache to do it. I kept saying ” I want to do it the most legal way possible” “I want both our families to be there”. I think our wedding still would be special as a wedding, b/c to me, it’s to celebrate our union and commitiment with those we love around us and that wouldn’t have changed.
That said, we’re not already married yet, so maybe things will feel different, but I like to think it’s the ceremony, ritual and celebration of it vs. the legality.
It is super duper stressful and I know nothing of Canadian immigration. Maybe Mrs. Gingerbread has posts about it?
Post # 4
first it’s important to get things in perspective. what’s most important to you both? being together? then go and get married. the union and committment of two people should be about what you feel in your hearts and your spirits. the piece of paper is there for legal documentation and legal matters. don’t worry about what you think you’re going to feel 50 years from now because you two decided to celebrate your love more than once (if that’s the route you choose to take). and if you’re uncomfortable about telling your parents, then why not tell them? just try to remember what’s most important to you both and take it from there. good luck!
Post # 5
I’m in a similar position – I’m an American living in London and my visa expires before our wedding, so we’ll have to have a civil ceremony about 8 months before our wedding next August. I am also worried it will take away from our wedding ceremony, but we are going to view it simply as signing a sheet of paper just to complete forms and hopefully will have no emotional attachment to it whatsoever – we won’t wear rings, refer to each other as husband/wife – for all intents & purposes, we’ll still be engaged. Our wedding ceremony will be Jewish, so for us its no official until we sign our Jewish marriage certificate as well.
I know how you feel and I hope you can resolve it — I think if you view this immigration this as purely administrative, then you won’t feel cheated at all with your big wedding next fall.
Hope This Helps xoxo
Post # 6
I have an American friend who married a Swiss man here and they treated the civil ceremony (a year before the “white dress” wedding) as an engagement contract. They didn’t wear rings and weren’t quite sure what to call each other, which made for some awkward moments. Then when they had the whole shebang they started saying husband and wife etc. You can go that route, say that you will say “fiance” and not wear your rings. It can work.
As for me and my husband, we got civilly married in January and had a party with all his family and friends here in Switzerland, and are having our “white dress” wedding with another symbolic ceremony next month. We have been calling each other husband and wife for 7 months and wearing our rings. I think it did “take away” from my wedding coming up in that I don’t have those fluttery feelings now obviously, but maybe it just “changed” it. On Sept 5, we will reaffirm, in front of my family and friends, what we said here in Switzerland 7 months ago – this, to me, is as special as what we did in January. (Plus, two weddings, come on I couldn’t be luckier 😉 ) I think it also took away a lot of the stress – planning everything and making sure it goes right is so stressful, added to that you have to think about what marriage actually means, it’s a huge change. So in that way I’m happy.
I think it’s all in your mind and whatever you set yourself up for, you can be happy with if you reconcile yourself with it and have your partner’s support. The above are just two experiences, but I know you and your fiance will decide what’s right for you.
Good luck and congratulations!