Post # 1
For those of you who got legally married before your wedding, how did that go?
Which date do you consider to be your anniversary? How did you treat the legal marriage – did you call each other husband/wife, did you feel married? Who did you tell? Did you dress up and head to the courthouse and celebrate the day you got legally married, or did you just sign the papers? Did you tone down the wedding since you were already legally married – still have white dress, big guest list, flowers, venue, etc.? Did you simply treat the wedding as a vow renewal? Did you only have a reception and no ceremony?
Lots of questions, I know, but I just want an idea of how you worked it out.
I’m realizing it really makes sense for us to get legally married ahead of time and get my name changed and visa paperwork done. That way when we have our wedding I don’t have to stress about submitting the application and anxiously waiting to hear back. But then I am unsure as to whether I should treat the wedding months later as a real wedding, or if I should just treat it as though we are throwing an expensive going away party since I’ll be moving right afterward.
Thoughts? Please tell me about your experiences with this!
Post # 3
I’m commenting so I can follow this post. My Fiance and I might have to do this so I can be on his insurance as I may have to have surgery before our wedding date. I don’t like the idea of it but I like it better than paying for an insane hospital bill that I didn’t expect.
Post # 4
I know a lot of people get married before their ceremony if they are having a Destination Wedding to avoid the hoops they would otherwise have to jump through to get legally married in a different country. It sounds like Mexico is particuarly awful, they require some sort of medical info and blood test? Don’t know the whole story, just from what people have posted on here.
I don’t know if this will help, but here’s a thread that I’ve kind of been following out of curiosity on getting legally married before a Destination Wedding. There’s some good info on here and some bees who have shared their experiences with being legally married before their ceremony.
Post # 5
Commenting to follow as well. We are having our Catholic ceremony in Mexico and trying to figure out whether to do our civil ceremony before or after the trip.
Post # 6
We’re also considering this.
To be honest, I’d like to keep it a secret from everyone except our parents and probably 2 of my bridesmaids .
To our parents, we’d be considered married in the eyes of the government, but not in the eyes of God.
So.. technically we WOULD be actually getting married the day of the wedding. It’s just that we got all the paperwork out of the way.
I’d probably celebrate the second date as the anniversary. We chose a date that I like and I’m not really a big fan of the number 3, so 2013 was out.
Post # 7
I got legally married in december of last year, we are having our “wedding” June 22, 2013.
My now husband is in the military. We needed to become legally married for several reasons because of this. The official day we went to the courthouse wasn’t a big deal…we dressed up, then went to subway and went Christmas shopping 🙂 But we kissed at 11:11 am which I thought was really neat!
No one knows except our parents and step parents.
We are having a typical big white wedding. I missed out on many life events (Proms, graduations, etc..) and my husband feels that I need to a day to be a princess (he is so sweet!). We still are doing the flowers, big guest list, venue, etc..
Treat the wedding how you want to treat it! If you have always looked forward to a big beautiful wedding, make it that! Its your special day 🙂
Post # 8
@LilliePad: Yes, I know a lot of Destination Wedding brides get married before the wedding. Thanks for the link!
Thanks for your reply! Very helpful.
Post # 9
I’ve discussed this a bit with my Fiance now, and he worries that no one in his family will want to come out for our January wedding if we were to get legally married this summer. They are all in England, so it is a long 5,000 mile flight for them.
This isn’t something I would want to keep a secret either. That just feels icky to me. It may not be something I announce to the world, but I would tell those close to me.
Did anyone have issues with people not wanting to come to your wedding since you were already legally married? Was anyone offended? Do tell!
Post # 10
I am legally married and currently planning, what I call, the big party on APril 20th.
I think it will be nice to commemorate both days because they are so vastly different from one another. The legal ceremony was very small and plan free, we focused on ourselves mostly. But from what I hear, the traditional weddings are such a wirl wind and they go so fast; friends and family to talk to etc etc.
Post # 11
My husband and I got married in September of 2011. We are having a wedding this spring/summer. I recently started a thread on being already married and having a wedding and all of the celebrating that comes with it, and a lot of people resonded.Here it is in case you’d like to take a look.
My husband and I got dressed up for the civil ceremony. My family and his cousin and one of his friends came (his family lives abroad — we got married for immigration reasons). We consider ourselves married (as does everyone else), refer to each other as husband and wife, and are glad we got married when we did (in fact, he often says he wishes he could have met me sooner and married me a long time ago, lol).
Now we are planning a party to celebrate our marriage. I will have a wedding dress, but I’m debating going full bridal or having something a little more toned down (for various reasons, my personal style AND the fact that we’re already married have something to do with it). We will probably have some modified version of a ceremony (right now I’m thinking of it as “having a moment” where we might exchange vows, have a reading of a poem, recognize that we’re so incredibly in love, and be on with it. We’re having dinner (or a cocktail party), a photographer, a dj and dancing, all of the fixings of a wedding.
I do not think we will have any showers, and I’m sad to miss out on that, but the general consensus is that it’s a no-no having been married already. I’ll just have to have a great shower whenever our baby time comes.
Lastly, I would recommend going ahead and recognizing the marriage, and not keeping it a secret. We considered keeping it hush-hush, but it seems so complicated, and people would have been upset (they were upset that they weren’t involved in our original ceremony) and it just avoids a lot of heartache.
Post # 12
@multinational: hi ! we got married earlier too =) for immigration and health insurance reason ;p
Post # 13
@karineh: Yay for international relationships. 🙂 Pretty hard, but so worth it!
Post # 14
I will also be legally married before our wedding due to religious reasons. His family would like us to be religously and legally married before we move in, we will have the wedding later this year which I am hoping will include a non religious but traditional ceremony for my side of the family and a big reception. I just don’t know how to go about it either and how the second ceremony would work.
Post # 15
@karineh: I agree about commemorating both days. I hate the thought of just brushing one off!
Ah, this is very helpful! You’re coming from a more similar situation, which is great to hear. Thanks for your perspective!
Post # 16
@bowsergirl: No problem. Any time you have any questions or any ideas, please feel free to bounce them off of me (work them out together, because I may be having the same issues!!). Anytime. Anything.
And “just because”, here are some photos of our civil ceremony day.