(Closed) Is the Ceremony Less Special if We're Already Legally Married?

posted 5 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
1058 posts
Bumble bee

My cousin eloped and my aunt was really upset about not being invited so they had a reception at home as well.

We just called it a wedding and that’s how it went down in our family’s collective memory.

Sort of different example, but my short answer is “no, it is absolutely not less special”

You made a responsible decision to go to school and will have a wedding when it is more convenient for you.

Post # 3
9437 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

I guess it depends on the person. There are frequently posts here from women who got married at the courthouse and don’t view that ceremony as special at all and place all the importance on a second ceremony with family and friends.

I think it can be a different kind of special. Obviously, it can never be your actual wedding. You are married, you made those vows. I don’t know if you can re-capture that emotion. However, it could be special in a different way to share it with family and friends. If you are considering whether it’s worth the money or not I think you need to think about who you are doing it for. Are you doing a second ceremony because it’s important to you and your husband to have a chance to celebrate with family and friends or are you doing it for your family and friends who are disappointed they weren’t at your elopement. If it’s the latter, I think there is the possibility that it won’t feel like it’s worth the money. But really only you and your husband can decide that.

Oh and I think technically you would probably call it a vow renewal.

Post # 4
1746 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

A vow renewal is not special like a wedding because your already married. Friends family may not take off work and you don’t get same gifts for a do over.

Post # 5
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

Hmm, I think it depends on your circle. My opinion would be the sooner you do it the better. I think the further away from your date it gets the more the ceremony will seem like a ‘look at me’ thing. Of course theres nothing wrong with even changing it to a vow renewal! Its pretty much what you’re looking for.

Anyway, congratulations bee!

Post # 8
7555 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

View original reply
rae718 :  I am one of the people that think what is the point and I won’t prioritise someones vow renewal (unless it is a significant milestone one like a 50th anniversary) over a first time event (like a significant birthday party, an actual wedding, engagement party etc). If I have nothing conflicting then sure I will come to your party, well unless you do the huge ppd wedding redo thing because I really don’t see the point and those that I have seen/read about seem more concerned with other things (like missing out on gifts) than the marriage. But there are exceptions to this rule and for me military weddings are one just because it can be years to make a celebration happen when the military are involved in a conflict. Getting leave is just not the same for military personal as it is for 80% of the population.

I think you are going about this in all the right ways. You haven’t lied to anyone, everyone knows you are already married and can therefore decide for themselves if they want to attend your vow renewal. 

Post # 9
62 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

You could call it a wedding celebration or vow affirmation or something along those lines and have it on the one year anniversary. I feel like the people who love and support you will understand and still be happy to celebrate, and its becoming more and more common these days for couples to have a civil ceremony for practical reasons and then have the more traditional wedding later.

Post # 10
124 posts
Blushing bee

Speaking from personal experience.  My ex-husband & I eloped and had a big wedding 6 months later.  For me, it was a waste of money and the vowel-renewal seemed unimportant.  I wished we would have just kept the money in savings.

Post # 12
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’d call it a marriage celebration. 

Post # 13
894 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

View original reply
rae718 :  I think since it’s going to be a while before you actually have it, maybe just have a wedding party to celebrate. If you re-do the vows there, most people won’t understand it, but if you tell people you eloped and you want to have a party for all of your family to celebrate, they would probably be more happy and understanding about it. You can still wear a beautiful dress but if it’s not that important to you and DH to re-do those vows, and you mostly just want to get your families together, I just wouldn’t do the ceremony part and only do the reception. 

Post # 14
211 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

My Fiance and I are getting married in marquee in a field,  in the beautiful countryside. Since it’s not a licensed venue and humanist ceremonies aren’t recognised as legal in England , we’re quietly going to a registry office with our parents the day before. But the day in the marquee is definitely what I consider my wedding! That’s where I’ll wear my white dress, walk down the aisle with my dad and say my vows, and dance with my friends. The way we’re looking at it is the registry office is the legal paperwork we have to do in order to have our ourdoor wedding. It doesn’t make the day any less special even though technically we’ll have already been legally married for 24 hours.

Post # 15
5648 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
littlered3 :  exactly what we did. Humanist celebrant too!  It was a tipi instead of a marquee but otherwise the same. 

What helped keep it extra special for us was we did the latest ‘legal’ bit at the registry office as late as we could on the Friday. We took two witness but that’s it. No music or faff just the lines and signed the paperwork. We then went our seperate ways and don’t see each other again until I walked down the isle the next day. That kept it really special.

i have to say though, I found the legal bit surprisingly emotional!  


Sorry to hijack your thread OP – it was just nice to find a bee doing what we did 🙂


to help you out though as long as you’re being honest with guests I’d be tempted to call it a wedding blessing or celebration of marriage or similar and maybe try not to replicate a legal ceremony but have your own elements like friends reading poems that are meaningful to you or maybe doing a ring blessing like we did for example. Place the value of your friends and family being part of your coming together.

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