Legally married a year before the wedding?

posted 3 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 31
775 posts
Busy bee

My husband and I got legally married about 2 weeks prior to our wedding because we had a destination wedding. I was worried that it would make things less special but it didn’t at all. We met our officiant in a park and got married and it was nice but it wasn’t anything special and it didn’t take away from our wedding day at all. 

Post # 32
2091 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

The keeping it a secret thing is just unnecessary. I would want to proudly say I am married, not pretend like the marriage did not happen when it did, especially a year out. As a guest, I would happily attend whether the hosts were married or not. But, I would be upset about the dishonesty; it would make me feel as though I were manipulated. In my former marriage, we married at the courthouse. That was it. That was the day that the marriage took place. It is the real thing and it feels like the real thing when it is happening.

Why do you have to wait a year to celebrate? You can have a simple wedding and a nice dinner afterward. The whole huge wedding and spending a ton of money is not at all necessary, either. Those weddings are not more romantic, magical, or exciting. I also do not think that your wedding is as special when you are already technically married. Good luck with whatever you decide, though.

Post # 33
5109 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

I feel like after a year of being married the warm and fuzzies about “omg we’re married” will have worn off and trying to pretend to have an actual ceremony at that point would be less special, even if you try to keep the whole thing a secret. Yes, some people get married a couple weeks before a destination wedding and it’s just as special, but there’s a big difference between a couple weeks and a year of being secretly married. I just don’t know why you would want to go through the expense of what is essentially a big, fancy, vow renewal, especially since it seems like finances are an issue. Now, if someone else is paying for the “wedding” that’s a whole new can of worms where you’re making someone pay for a wedding without telling them that it’s really not a wedding. 

Post # 34
663 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

To some people, you already being legally married (and keeping it a secret) might not be a big deal, but to others (like your parents or any siblings you have, for example) it could cause issues. I would feel really shitty if someone I loved made the huge step of getting married and didn’t tell me for a whole year. I think you have very practical, loving reasons for wanting to get legally married right now, but don’t risk making your loved ones feel unimportant or distanced by keeping unnecessary secrets. SithLady also makes a good point, are you and your Fiance paying for the wedding or someone else? If it’s someone else, your complete honesty and transparency about getting married now is absolutely necessary.

As others have said, just frame your wedding day as a celebration of marriage. It’s the same thing, without having to be secretive and try and put on some charade. 

As for whether or not it will be less special, probably, in certain ways. It won’t be the day everything feels “official” anymore, but it will still be a fun time to celebrate with friends and family. It will still have meaning, but maybe not the same meaning. 

At the same time, though, I think keeping it a secret could take away from the meaningfulness of your wedding day as well because you may feel guilty or stressed about keeping up appearances.

ETA: I can’t even imagine having to watch what I say and be careful not to call my Fiance my husband for a whole year. I would at least tell those closest to you.

Post # 35
12 posts

Please don’t lie to your loved ones. They will find out. They will be upset. This is one the most important things you’ll ever do. Be proud of it and share it with people. I feel like if you lie about it/keep it a secret, that will make your day a year later less special. Being honest might save you from that. People are more understanding than you might expect. 

Post # 37
234 posts
Helper bee

Honestly I don’t see anything wrong with this, even if people did know or find out, at least they there for the wedding celebration and they should feel just as happy for you. I’m sure it will be just as special too because this time around you will be surrounded by loved ones and actually celebrating your marriage. 

Post # 41
105 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2017

we were married in court 11 yrs ago before we got married in Church, the Church does not see it as renewing your vows since we never got married in Church.  we did not have to do the paperwork for the county, I dont see any problem doing this a lot of people do this.  You always have to think its your wedding it does not matter what other people think, do what is best for you guys.

Post # 44
9097 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

It’ll totally have the same magic.

Post # 45
3396 posts
Sugar bee

I understand the reasons for doing this but keeping it a secret for year sounds like a giant, royal, pain in the ass. I guess I’m terrible with keeping secrets.

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