(Closed) If you have a common-law marriage, can you still have a wedding…

posted 5 years ago in Traditions
  • poll: Can you still have a wedding if you're common-law married?
    Yes : (80 votes)
    94 %
    No : (5 votes)
    6 %
    Other - Explain : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    Member
    3238 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    @Feeling_Awkward:  yes! As a matter of fact, my religion requires that. For us, if we  live in a place that happens to have common law marriage and we wish for it to be recognized in the congregational community, we must formally take vows before an accredited officiant. The person needn’t be a religious officer, but there must be a legal marriage document. Apparently in some locales, you can get your common law marriage “certified” and join a formal registry (and possibly receive a certificate) in exchange for paying a fee and signing a form.  That would be just as good.

    Post # 4
    Member
    9074 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    I am a huge advocate that if you want a wedding, have a wedding. It doesn’t need to be a vow renewal and don’t let anyone tell you it has to be. What you do with your relationship is your business and your business alone.

    Post # 5
    Member
    4313 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    You can definitely have a wedding.

    Post # 6
    Member
    4803 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I am one of those annoying people who feels like you only get one wedding and that if a couple goes to a courthouse to get married and then throws another ceremony later…yeah, sorry, I don’t think that second one is really a wedding, you already got married. I’ve had a million people try to change my mind, it doesn’t take, my opinion stands pretty firm on it. (and for those of you who disagree, let’s not make this thread about that, I’m just saying this so that she knows this is an opinion from someone that does feel strongly about the whole multiple wedding ceremony thing.)

     

    However, I absolutely DO NOT feel that way about common law – like you said, you’ve never signed any paperwork, you’ve never said vows…I see it the same exact way I would any other wedding ceremony. =)

    Post # 7
    Member
    137 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    @Feeling_Awkward:   I dont understand this question. Is it that you are making the common-law union a legal marriage? Because if thats the case I dont see why you cant have a wedding. But if you’re just throwing a party to celebrate your union I dont think you can really call it a wedding or a vow renewal.

    Post # 8
    Member
    1018 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    Of course you can!

    Post # 10
    Member
    9955 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Common Law is just a fancy name for living together

    At least that is what I’ve always thought (and seems to be the social point of view for most folks I know)

    Some countries (outside of the USA) it is true tho that the legal rights of being married are bestowed on a couple once they’ve lived together for a certain period of time (varies by jurisdiction… here in Ontario it is 3 Years OR have a child together, whichever comes first)

    That is the case here in Canada where for the most part Common Law Married = Legally Married in the eyes of the law

    What that means is one is regarded by the Government to be married when it comes to “some” rights… and not being able to be treated differently by others.

    So Common Law Married = Married for things like Taxation, Health Care, Insurances etc.

    So those who are living together cannot be denied rights by others (such as Employers etc)

    *NOTE – The Province of Quebec doesn’t recognize Common Law Marriage, despite the fact that it is the area of Canada where Marriage is declining the most, and where most couples choose to live together without being legally married.

    BUT at the same time, not the same as being actually married when it comes to things like the Breakdown of the Relationship itself… such as Division of Property, or “Spousal” Support

    So with all that in the mix…

    Being Legally Married by the State (and recognized by society) is quite different.  Hence, why I’d say

    YES… One can have a Marriage Ceremony when they make that Commitment (not a Vow Renewal… as no vows are ever taken before anyone to live Common Law… certainly not Before God or the Government)

    Mr TTR and I went from Canadian Common Law to Married.

    And we had a Wedding (Elopement) followed by a Back Home Reception for Friends & Family. 

    And we KNEW that there was a “shift” in our long term relationship with being married vs just living together.  Being married means a more serious commitment, with more legal responsibilities for the two spouses (where the Government gets involved in your Legal Marriage)

    And so did our Loved Ones… they were thrilled for us, and there were lots of good natured kidding about FINALLY making it legal, making an honest woman of me… and my catching a husband !!

    All taken in good fun.

    But ya, as someone in my life who’ve been it all…

    Single – Dating – Engaged – Married – Seperated – Divorced

    Single again – Dating – Common Law – Engaged… and now Married again

    I can say each stage is different from the one before it and after it.

    Hope this helps,

    Lol, being married This Time Round… ROCKS !!

     

    Post # 11
    Member
    137 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    @Feeling_Awkward:  Well if you’re making it legal totally have a wedding! its the one time you get to do it! And lots of people live together before they get married and still have a wedding so why cant you?

    Post # 13
    Hostess
    12057 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I’m in Ontario, we are legally common-law.  We are, in theory, married.  I have all the rights of his wife and the government sure taxes me like we’re married!  We’re finally actually getting married, having a ceremony, he bought me a ring etc etc.  You can totally have a wedding!

    Post # 14
    Member
    5192 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: February 2013

    @Feeling_Awkward:  confuses me to be honest. What do you mean by wedding? A wedding is when you sign a marriage certificate. If you don’t have one you’re not legally married. Therefore it’s not a wedding. You can exchange vows, though it won’t be legally recognized (I have a homosexual cousin who exchanged vows and rings with his partner, lovely ceremony but not legal). You can also have a reception.

    Post # 15
    Member
    720 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    I disagree with the last poster – my wedding had nothing to do with signing the certificate, which we did beforehand and the officiant finalized the next day on her own and sent off to the courthouse. I think the wedding is all about the vows and making it official in front of your family and friends (and God, if you’re religious), and then a big party to celebrate the whole thing, neither of which you’ve done. But really, it has nothing to do with what I consider a wedding or any other poster considers, it’s what YOU consider it. Figure out what it means to you, how you differentiate a wedding vs a marriage, and then you should have your answer.

    Otherwise, just remember what a good excuse for a fun party it is!

    Post # 16
    Member
    720 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    I disagree with the last poster – my wedding had nothing to do with signing the certificate, which we did beforehand and the officiant finalized the next day on her own and sent off to the courthouse. I think the wedding is all about the vows and making it official in front of your family and friends (and God, if you’re religious), and then a big party to celebrate the whole thing, neither of which you’ve done. But really, it has nothing to do with what I consider a wedding or any other poster considers, it’s what YOU consider it. Figure out what it means to you, how you differentiate a wedding vs a marriage, and then you should have your answer.

    Otherwise, just remember what a good excuse for a fun party it is even if you’ve got the legal part over with!

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