(Closed) Is a hurried civil marriage with a big wedding a year later the way to go?

posted 9 years ago in Military
Post # 3
Member
145 posts
Blushing bee

It doesn’t seem like there’s a compelling reason to get married right now (like if you needed his benefits or something), so I would say to wait.  I understand that with being separated like that, you’d both want the extra connection of being married.  However, you might feel a little cheated or like you’re "faking" if you get married now then hold a big wedding later.  Plus, it sounds like marriage has just come up between the two of you within the last couple months.  Big things are on the horizon that are going to drastically change life for both of you, so you really want to take your time and be absolutely sure that the two of you are right for each other. 

Post # 4
Member
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I agree with Rhiannon – especially if you just started talking about it in the last couples months and assuming there is no strong need for you to be officially recognized by the military yet.

 As background, my fiance will graduate from West Point in about a year, and I will also graduate from college then. Until he graduates, we’re not allowed to be married (rule for Wedding Party cadets), so we didn’t face the same kind of choice, but at the same time, it’s right for us to wait. We are using his either 30 or 60 day break after graduation to get married and go on a honeymoon so we can do the wedding and the legal marriage at the same time. And we decided/started talking about marriage this past September and got engaged in December, after over 4 years together. 

That said, many military couples do get legally married in the face of a deployment and have a celebration wedding later – and I totally understand this and the reasons why it happens. But to me, your situation sounds like there is no rush. I know of a West Point fiancee whose fiance is in Korea now, graduated West Point last year, and they’re getting married in early 2010 after he returns. I know it will be hard with him in Korea, but you can be just as close emotionally as an engaged couple without rushing into marriage at such a frantic pace. I guess I just wanted to say don’t let the military rush the timeline you are comfortable with – I’ve taken so many months to let this marriage thing sink in and really examine my decision, and I think that’s so important!

 Good luck, let us know how things turn out. 

Post # 5
Member
39 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2009

For me the jury is out on this one. My Fiance proposed to me last October and suggeted we get a court marriage in december and then we can have a big wedding later on. It made practical sense. Afterall, we both live in the same state, our parents live far away, and neither of the parents would let us live together unless we were married. I think it would’ve been great to be married legally and live together, and then take my time planning  the perfect wedding. Instead, I said I want to do the wedding and marriage at the same time. There were the usual reasons. I felt the wedding would be a little "deflated" if we were already married. Also we might keep putting it off. This way, we <span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-style: italic”>want to get married/celebrate with a wedding. He still feels we could’ve just married 6 months ago and celebrated later on. But being a month away from the wedding, I can tell you that I’m so excited–its not only going to be a great wedding celebration, but I’m going to become someone’s wife. I think a wedding day has 2 excitations–the celebration itself, and the idea of coming into a life-long contract of love with someone. I didn’t want one of those two things to already have happened. But that’s an emotional reason. If you are a more practical person, then go for the legal marriage, and celebrate whenever you want. 

Post # 6
Member
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Well, I can definitely give you some personal experience. My Fiance and I floated this idea before his deployment. We decided to wait and have our big ole wedding when he came home as a big hurrah. We felt that having a civil ceremony before would take the zeal out of planning a big wedding later. I’m the kind of girl who’d go "what’s the point now?" and scale back considerably.

How long is he going to be in Korea? A good friend of mine had dated this guy for about 3 years when he got sent to South Korea. They kept dating–no rush to get married, right?–and he proposed over Christmas break. Now they are getting married! He’s coming home in a few months. He was there for about 2 years. But it wasn’t a big deal to them whether or not they got married because it didn’t change anything except some money in the bank account. She had her own job and was independent of him.

I have lots of friends who got married before their guys deployed, though. For lots of various reasons. But if you aren’t THRILLED to be doing it, then don’t. It sounds like this is suddenly popping into your head and you’re panicking. Unless you’re moving to Korea to be with him, I don’t really see the point. Money and insurance are the biggies but don’t use that as a sole basis for rushing into a marriage. You’ll still be together (and while he’s over there he can save up quite a chunk to buy you a really pretty ring! ha….my Fiance told me if i waited for my ring he’d use all his tax-free savings to buy me whatever i wanted! Being a diamond fanatic i waited….*grin*) Besides, long distance relationships have a HUGE affect on you.  Lots of them crumble, but lots of them do survive for the better, but you don’t want to rush into it and make a mistake and go "aw man, hindsight’s 20/20". I really do hate bringing that up, but I know some girls who got married before with plans for a big wedding later and things just fell apart. Anyways, good luck!

Having been in the same boat as you, I advise waiting. We waited, and I cannot tell you how RIDICULOUSLY THRILLED I am that we’re *really* getting married in 3 weeks. As in, the whole shebang. It’s like a reward for being patient for so many years while he served his country, lol . Being married doesn’t make the distance any easier. You can be just as committed and loved without the ring despite all the miles between

Post # 7
Member
424 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

On a very personal note, I’m actually doing a courthouse wedding next week, and then a big church wedding and reception in January. The ONLY reason we’re doing this is because I quit my job this year to spend more time with my kids, so I’m only working part time and I do not have medical benefits available to myself or my younger daughter (my older daughter has special needs, so she’s covered under her disabilty). His benefits are excellent, and FREE!! Plus, since I’m only making about 30% of what I made last year, my tax return for the year would be pretty sad, but he if he can claim Head of Household, and claim my two girls, we’ll get a pretty decent return right after the wedding. When he suggested this, I pouted for a few weeks, and said NO WAY!!!!! over and over, and then he reminded me that last year I broke my foot, and that we had a pregnancy scare earlier this year, and he just doesn’t feel comfortable with me not having any medical insurance, since his is free, and basically if something happened, an injury or illness, we’d be screwed out of the wedding, because we would have to pay medical bills, etc, etc, etc…. My fiance is veeeerry practical!

We’re doing it in secret, and not telling anyone, so I guess it’s kind of romantic. I’m not religious, but he is, so getting married in the eyes of God is important to him, and for both of us, it’s important to include my daughters in the celebration. And since we’ve been already palnning the big reception, it doesn’t take any of the excitement away for us. It does, however, give him peace of mind that my daughter and I are covered if anything happens to us.

I do have to say, however, if it weren’t for this particular situation, I would not go this route. My parents and my little sister went this route (and actually, so did I for my first marriage, but that was bc my boyfriends visa was expiring), and that big celebration never came to fruition, because life gets in the way. I know that they both have regrets. So, I would say ONLY do this if you are going to get evrything you want from the situation, and THINK IT OVER several times!

Good Luck!

Post # 8
Member
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I remember my grandparents telling me how many of their friends back in the early 1940’s got married in a courthouse with WWII looming in the air.  She told me of many times they went to the courthouse and had a real ceremony though, with maybe one or two bridesmaids (wearing short dresses) and the bride wearing of course white.

My grandparents married in a courthouse almost 70 years ago and they also did the romantic "secret" thing.  Neither of them told their families they were married for six months and they lived apart, it was so he could save up money.  They were desperately in love and to them, getting married sooner rather than later was what their hearts desired.

70 years later, I think they were right.  They still hold hands.

Do what your heart says to do.         

Post # 9
Member
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

If you really want the ceremony to be your legal marriage, then wait. If, however, you don’t mind…I’d get legally married now. =/ There’s so much that can happen while you’re in the army, and I personally wouldn’t want to take the risk (though chances are lower in Korea).

=) Either way, congratulations! 

Post # 10
Member
424 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

@ bellenga… What a great love story! What a testament to love!

Post # 11
Member
156 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

As with Miss Starlet, I am secretly married as well.  My FI/husband and i decided to get married before he left for deployment.  With him being gone at the moment, I have no regrets about doing it.  It has completely put me at ease and I’m able to get information I need from the military without no problem.  We are having our big wedding in September pending he returns from deployment on time.  Honestly speaking it has also put me at east in planning our wedding while he is gone.  It hasn’t undermine my planning or excitement for the wedding.  I think unless you are in a similar situation, its difficult to truly get a feel for the decision you are planning on.   This is something that you really have to think about.  Only you can decide upon this.  I wish you much luck with whatever decision you make.

Post # 12
Member
1245 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

That’s what i’m doing. We’re just not in that situation.

My opinion, you may want to hold off and do it when he comes back to make sure that you two still love and want to spend the rest of your lives together.  Or go with him to Korea. I’ve heard of too many couples splitting after the other was sent to another country.

But I agree with everyone when they say this is your decision, you do what your heart tells you to do.

Best of wishes!!!

Post # 13
Member
29 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2010

My experience with the military is you are either in, or you are out. We got married in a courthouse and are having a religious ceremony later because my hubby got stationed in Germany and I wanted to go too. If you are not married, the military won’t give you information on deployments or schedules or anything. I think its much better to be in the loop, and our friends are still excited because a reception is a good time to party!

Post # 14
Member
375 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Well here is my thought, I am active duty as is my Fiance, I have been in for 6 years now. And in this time I have had a LOT of friends go both ways, I see a lot who do the court way and then plan to have one later on, and it NEVER happens, I mean I have one friend who has been married going on 7 years now, who did that, and was going to have a big wedding, and still says she wants to, but I really dont see it happening. However, I do have another friend who had a court marriage that I was there for, who IS finally having her “big” wedding even though its two years later. Honestly, I see more that DONT end up having it later on like they orig planned. I was married before and did the same thing, had a court marriage, did not tell ANYONE because we “were” going to have a big one later anyways, none the less it did NOT work out, I was PISSED because it was dumb, and we rushed into it with both being active duty and trying to do it early before he deployedand. Now being where I am today I see that as a horrible reason to get married, the wait IS worth it! So ya,I REALLY dont think its something to do for just that reason, especially if its just become something of more recent talk. Yes I understand that he will be far away for a year, and it is easier said then done, but that year WILL go by fast. If its something you are questioning already as far as doing or not doing, then I think you already have an idea. best of luck

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