Legally married a year before the wedding?

posted 3 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 16
939 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Keeping it a secret from all the guests and family who think you are getting married that day when you already are is 100% lying.

This is just silly, you have a kid together and your Fiance has no job and instead your spending your money on a party? Idiotic.

Post # 17
4498 posts
Honey bee

Fact of life: People love parties.  They hate liars.

Go ahead and do it, but be prepared for your loved ones to be upset that you are lying to them when they do eventually find out  (marriage records are generally public information in most places).  Having upset friends and family is a sure fire way to make your pretend one later feel less special.  There is the chance they will be upset twice – first at you withholding information for a year and essentially lying about your status. And they’ll be upset to find out the ceremony they witnessed wasn’t when you actually married.

Why not just own your decision, be honest, and throw a celebration of marriage party and renew your vows if you must.  Still special, no lies, and people love a good party.


On a personal note, I always find it super insulting when people have fought years for even the right to marry and some willingly choose a courthouse marriage for their own reasons that some act like it isn’t a real wedding.  It is.  It’s that thing that gives you rights like medical authority and insurance and it is a pretty big f’ing deal to treat it so casually and like it isn’t real or significant because it didnt have a party attached.  And when you lie to make sure your “real” one later isn’t tarnished that is exactly how you are treating it.

Post # 18
1815 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

emsc123 :  my lesbian sister in law and her partner had a ceremony that was kind of a blessing of their relationship because marrying wasn’t legal at the time. You could ask for a blessing ceremony instead of legal ceremony. I’m sure it’s pretty much the same except for the paperwork you file with the government. 

Post # 19
1412 posts
Bumble bee

Why not have the wedding & reception now? That way you’re not lying to anyone (keeping a secret is in fact lying by omission) and you hubby can get on your insurance?

Also, if he can’t afford high insurance premiums, and is therefore not working, why are you throwing a big party?

Post # 20
995 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

It’s not hard to pull off at all. You’ll have to tell your officiant too since they won’t be doing anything “official” lol.

We did this, we got “legally married” a week before our wedding. Our wedding was out of state and it wasn’t possible for us to get a marriage license in that state’s time frame. So we just pulled the trigger beforehand and then had our wedding like anyone else. Our officiant knew and he did the wedding just as planned, he just didn’t have to sign anything that day. Our wedding day wasn’t any less special at all – that’s our anniversary. I don’t even remember our “legal” marriage date lol. We got married the day we vowed before God, family, and friends… not the day we signed a piece of paper.

If people asked, we told them…and no one was offended or even cared. We didn’t change our whole wedding to a “marriage celebration”… that’s a little ridiculous.

Post # 21
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

I went to a wedding like this.  They were already married, they had had something very small with just family earlier.

The wedding with the guests was no different — there were speeches, the bride and groom came out with the dress and tux and they did a dance.  There were songs sung by the family members and a slideshow.  It was in the fanciest hotel in the city and there was dinner and snack bars and desserts, cake cutting.  The whole nine yards. 

The ONLY thing that was missing was the vows/I do’s.  I honestly didn’t even notice, the groom told me later that they were actually already married (I just assumed they went to a church earlier or something).  It was wonderful, best wedding I’ve been to and nothing was taken away by not having the vows there.  That said, they did say some promises to each other and the groom said some promises to his stepdaughter, so even if it’s not official, you can still incorporate the sentimentalism.

I would do what makes sense for you two and have the time of your life.

In a way, we are doing the same thing.  We had a very small wedding, no reception, with close family only (more than just city hall though) a few months ago, but we haven’t bought our house together yet.  We also have a baby on the way.  So we are going to have a reception/housewarming/see the baby (if he’s up to it!) later on with guests etc. when we’re all settled in and I’ve figured out how to be a mother.  I couldn’t care less what people think.  They are invited to celebrate our new life together and it will be 9 months after the “real” wedding but who cares?  I might even wear a white dress again. 

You only live once, do it your way is what I say!!!



Post # 22
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

emsc123 :  Guess what – if you put it on a public forum, I can answer!  You’re obviously just looking for validation of your terrible idea, so whatever.  I hope you find it.

Also, lying by omission is a thing.

Post # 23
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

PS Just want to say I’m surprised by some of the negativity on here.  She asked a question and if you think she’s wrong, there are nicer ways to say it.  Can’t we just disagree respectfully? 

Post # 24
2181 posts
Buzzing bee

emsc123 :  I personally hate the term ‘pretty princess day’ and I avoid using ‘tacky’ at all costs. Ultimately you have to make the decision that’s best for the two of you. That said, I just don’t see the point of hiding your marriage and I think you will set yourselves up for a lot of unecessary conflict later down the line. I see a lot to lose here, but what do you think you have to gain?

Some people may not care at all but some people might care a whole lot that you’ve been deliberately dishonest about this milestone in your lives. I think you should be upfront that you are getting married sooner than planned because ensuring healthcare for your partner ASAP is the most pragmatic and loving option for you. It’s important shit and no one is going to begrudge you that! You can make it clear that you are still planning on hosting a celebration later in honor of your commitment–and the community that made it possible. You can have the best of both worlds without hurting anyone. 

Post # 25
9098 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Not quite as long, but we were married 6 months before we had our wedding ceremony. We didn’t exactly scream it from the rooftops and personally e-mail every single one of our guests that we were already married. No one said anything to us, and no one cared come wedding ceremony time. Or, if they did, they didn’t say anything to us.

IMO, you do you. You’re the only one living your life and lots of people will pass judgements and tell you what they would do in your shoes. Well, they’re not living your life, so take their “advice” with a grain of salt.

I wouldn’t be offended if someone was already married at their wedding, and I don’t really think 90% of the women on this site would be too, despite what they say. It’s such a silly thing to get upset about.

Post # 26
6663 posts
Bee Keeper

emsc123 :  I didn’t do this but I have two friends who did, both for health insurance. One was honest about it and one wasn’t. Both already had their weddings planned before they decide to marry in advance. Both said the wedding party day wasn’t as important to them because they were already married. The couple who was honest about it had a great party and nobody cared. The couple who lied about it had a great wedding as well. But people found out. (People always find out.) And some of them were PISSED.

You know your friends and families better than we do. If money is an issue why not just scale back the wedding and have it sooner? Or just take an amazing vacation and get married on a beach somewhere? Either way you still have memories and pictures to look back on. 

Post # 27
6167 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

As soon as I saw your post I wanted to come and tell you that people have some seriously stank attitudes about this. I’m not sure why, but a lot of respondents on these kinds of threads act like you suggested that you plan to rob a bank and throw your baby at the cops while making your getaway.

I have a friend who married legally before her wedding (which is still a REAL ceremony and ritual no matter how far apart you do it from the legal process). No drama ensued. I know a woman who chose to legally divorce her partner for financial reasons but they are still in a committed relationship.

How you choose to explain it (or not) is your choice. Clearly, from the responses here, some people are going to be upset if they find out you did the legal thing at a different time from the ceremonial thing. I’m not sure why that is or why it makes people so frothy with rage. I’ve seen people do it and nothing happened. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to celebrate your relationship with a party even though you’ve had to make another choice about your legal business.

Post # 28
13590 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I would be annoyed to spend time and money going to a vow renewal ceremony billed as a wedding.  I would be upset by my friend or family member lying to me about it — and before you say it, lying by omission is still lying.

You can have a lovely celebration following your courthouse ceremony and avoid all the awkward lying.

Post # 29
3311 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I had a friend do this. When I googled her name and Fiance to find their registry the county they were married in had posted it online. 

If you keep it a secret it is like lying and why would you want to hide the fact you’re married.

Post # 30
2694 posts
Sugar bee

Why do you want to hide it?

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors