Post # 1
My fiance and I are getting married exactly 1 year before our ceremony, for paperwork/immigration. For us it is going to be a secret except for our 2 witnesses (who we are 100% sure will not say anything to anyone). We are trying to view it as purely paperwork – just another form – so that it does not detract from the “realness” of our ceremony a year later.
However, on the other hand, it is still very real and I do take the marriage seriously. That being said, would you write your own vows for the civil ceremony since this is the REAL legal thing, or would you go with the default it f and write your vows for the ceremony in front of family and friends? Or write your vows and use the same ones for both?
As for rings, would you get rings for the civil? Even though it is just for paperwork it would still feel weird NOT to exchange rings on our legal marriage day. IT would seem so abrupt if after the vows it just ended. Because it is a secret we would not be able to wear them for a whole year until our ceremony though, so they would sit around in a box for a year.
Post # 3
Well, we just got married legally last week!!! XD… And we didn´t do a super huge thing, but we did have a small party with direct family and close friends (50 people) and our wedding is going to be on march.
I understand your concern, but well, two weddings with the man you love is better than one, right?… I wouldn´t keep it in secret, because for me it was as important as the religious one and we felt really happy for being getting married, (I mean we were getting married! you know? that we´re having “2 weddings” doesn´t make it less important) so we wanted to celebrate it. However, its up to you. Some people just make a toast. It´s all a matter of personal choice. We didn´t exchange rings, because since we are getting married in church, we decided we´d do the enchange there. I think is a little weird to keep it in secret.. :s I just don´t find any reason to keep calling your husband “boyfriend/fiance”..
About the vows, we don´t have that custom.. we just say what the priest tells us to say.. but I guess you can say something if you feel like to, it´s your wedding after all..
Post # 4
My husband and I got married at the courthouse a little over 2 years ago and we exchanged rings and did the standard vows.
Post # 5
Can you explain why it is a secret?
I feel like if you are going to keep calling him your boyfriend and act as though you aren’t married, then you might as well not exchange rings or do any particular vows.
That said, I wouldn’t want to keep it a secret and I’d feel weird lying to people about it?
Post # 6
It’s your own choice if you want to tell people about it or not. It’s obviously a personal decision and it seems you had good reasoning behind why you did this 🙂 I would skip the personal vows though to make it seem less official. If you are counting the wedding day with everyone as your real wedding then you should save the personal vows for then, IMO.
Post # 7
My bridesmaid did this – she had a secret legal wedding about 18 months ago now, and didnt tell anyone except her two witnesses. A couple of people have now found out by accident, but they are still acting as bf and gf (as in not even announced an engagement yet!!)
Anyway, they exchanged rings and had a beautiful ceremony with personalised readings and she wrote a poem for him.She cried and it was very personal and special for them.
She now wears her rings on her right hand when she is around people who dont know (I think she told work, and a couple of friends now know)
They are in the process of looking for another e-ring to wear when they annouce they are engaged, and will have a ‘real’ wedding with family and friends, and after that wedding she will swap the rings over again and wear her e-ring and wedding band from the first legal ceremony on her left hand.
Just a word of warning – it is seriously hard work keeping it secret!!!! Though she made silly mistakes like changing her name on her drivers license etc haha
Good luck!!!! 🙂 I actually love the idea of an intimate secret wedding and then sharing that with your partner for a little while, very special 🙂
Post # 8
I have to get married legally a few days before my wedding day because my Pastor can only marry us in Ontario and we’re getting hitched in Quebec. For us it is not a big deal, it’s just paperwork (we’re already common law “married” anyway). There will be no party or vows or anything. We do not personally view the government/legal marriage as important as having a proper religous ceremony under God. Therefore, our actual marriage ceremony will be the moment we consider ourselves husband and wife and that will be when we’ll say our vows and exchange rings.
I think you should say your vows and exchange rings when you feel comfortable doing so. 🙂 It’s a personal choice. Do what you and your Fiance feel is best!
Post # 9
I know that in Germany (well, not sure it’s followed 100% now but earlier in time) there was the legal wedding at the courthouse and then the huge ceremony for everyone to attend to. While they are done within a matter of days, I don’t find that odd at all, for it being a year difference.
However, are you prepared to live a ‘double-life’ so to say? You will still have to act as bf/gf and not as a married couple to your friends and family.
Post # 10
To me, two events are important and serious. Nothing to hide about, after all it’s a happy thing.
Post # 11
Just curious, which date do you celebrate as your anniversary then?
Post # 12
We got legally married about ten months before our wedding, so I could get on his health insurance. We kept it an absolute and complete secret from everyone except our two witnesses, and later we told our pastor (since he needed to know why he wasn’t going to sign a marriage certificate). It would have been a shitstorm if we’d let people know. Just look around the boards and you’ll find plenty of people who believe a wedding isn’t a real wedding if the couple is already legally married. To us, our real wedding was our only wedding. We wanted everyone around us to have that same understanding, and not mutter and grumble about it being a fake or something.
If we could have, we would have gone without vows or rings in the legal ceremony, but our state requires a ceremony. Our judge was actually really wonderful; she had written a ceremony for this purpose that we read from, which was sentimental and romantic and lovely. She asked if we had any rings and we said no, and she gave us little bendy-metal ones. But really all we wanted to do was sign a piece of paper. It was just a formality for us. The whole purpose of getting married, to us, is the religious ceremony we had at our real wedding.
We continued to live as an engaged, non-married couple for the time leading up to our wedding, and maintained the same excitement and anticipation that anyone would. We kept it special.
The only acknowledgment we ever make of our legal ceremony is this: on the anniversary of that date every year, we switch out our real wedding rings and wear the bendy cheap metal ones again. So far no one has noticed. 🙂
Post # 13
At the risk of sounding like an idiot, is there any paperwork in the future that I should be concerned about where it would ask when we got married? Anything at all? I’m just wondering because I feel like if that question came up and it needed to be the day we signed the paper work I would answer it wrong and write down our ceremony day (we have to sign the papers a few days early).
Wow I hope that made sense to anyone other than myself lol.
Post # 14
@lunathea: If you change your name legally, you’ll need to use the date of the legal wedding. So yeah, try to remember that date!