(Closed) legally married this year,wedding next year…

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Please read below then answer...

    get Legally Married this year, tell everyone

    get Legally Married this year, keep it a secret....shhhh...

    Wait till till next year and hope you don't get sick/hospitalized again.

  • Post # 3
    79 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I am doing the same thing. We want to get legally married in January (due to various reasons, including that our actual wedding date which was originally supposed to be January, got pushed back), and doing the whole wedding reception/party thing in May next year.

    Whenever I’ve mentioned it to any of my close friends they have been totally cool with it, and havent even blinked an eye. They are happy to do a bachelorette party before my legally married date (January), so that makes things easy. Bridal shower – I dont know about that part yet.

    Some bees on here suggested to call the later ‘wedding reception’ a wedding ‘CELEBRATION’ instead. I wouldnt get too hung up on what to call these events.. But its your call.

    Basically, if you+your fiance are okay with it, and your close friends and family are also on board with your idea – then go for it. 🙂

    Post # 4
    2683 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I hate to tell you this, but it’s fairly unlikely that family and friends will throw you a wedding shower when you’re already married. I think what you’re planning is fine (since everyone wil know you’re already married), but significantly post dated receptions tend to be more pared down and less gift-y affairs. 


    It’s not that you’re getting “gyped” (which by the way, is basically an anti-roma racial slur. I wouldn’t recommend using it on a public forum), out of things. It’s that you’re already married and I think a lot of people would see a bridal shower, etc as gift grabby. After all, once you’re married, you’re not exactly a bride anymore. Personally, I think the notion of gift grabby is a little dumb since receptions and weddings nearly  always cost more than just buying things yourself. 


    I will say though, that we did ours as a very overt “no gifts, seriously!” Anniversary Party (I wore blue!) after getting married just the two of us the year before. We still got quite a few envelopes with cash and checks in them which was totally unexpected. 


    Good luck! 


    Post # 5
    7225 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    If you want these things, why does being married beforehand mean you can’t have them?


    I was legally married Justice of the Peace style on December 9th. I had my big white wedding on June 15th.


    I had a bachelorette party, but I didn’t have any other parties. I don’t say you’ll get “jipped” out of anything because you’re not entitled to any of those parties regardless of your martial status. Saying “I want new things” is very gift grabby to me, but if that’s what you want, that’s what you want.


    Have someone throw you a shower. If they don’t want to, or they feel like you are being gift grabby, well.. that’s just the way things are.




    We didn’t tell everyone we were already married. It wasn’t really their business and those who were important to us knew (Mostly because they were invited), but we didn’t go out of our way to say “Hey! We’re already married!” because… why? Who cares? It doesn’t make any difference. Tell people if you want, or don’t. I really don’t see the point but if you want to, then go for it.




    We had two registries, but mostly we got checks and cash. For my husband and I, the wedding was a destination wedding (We flew back home to California for it) so a lot of people knew we were flying and opted to not buy us physical items instead, which was good. Register if you want, or don’t. It’s up to you.


    Post # 6
    3107 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I think it’s really weird to have a bridal shower or a bachelorette party if you’re already legally married.

    Post # 7
    20 posts
    • Wedding: April 2012

    I actually did this. I planned a wedding and two months before the big day my husband got deployment orders to go to afghanistan. We decided we wanted to be married before he left. It was just me and him no friends or family.. (we were long distance at the time so I had to fly out to see him). We decided we wanted to share with everyone that we were married so we sent out a marriage announcement. Then we had are traditional wedding a year later. We didn’t expect gifts or anything. We did not do the bridal shower but thats mostly because we live in Cali and the wedding was in Illinois but I had a ton of people offer to throw us one. We flew in the week of the wedding so there was not time for extra stuff.


    My SIL did the opposite. She married her husband (hes in the army) so that she could live with him and move around with him. They did not tell anyone except immediate family. To this day none of the extended family knows they were married before there “wedding” She did the shower and the bachelorette party.


    It really is up to you what you want to do. I’ve seen it work out well both ways.

    Post # 8
    1875 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @AndysCraftsNmore:  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting legally married then having a celebration/blessing/whatever later as long as you tell everyone.  Some people don’t think it’s any one else’s business if you’re already married or not, but when you invite them to celebrate and “witness” said marriage, it sort of does become their business.  Some people won’t care and others (myself included) would be offended that you lied.  So I’d err on the side of caution and just let everyone know.  I’m sure they’d understand and want to celebrate with you! 

    As far as the parties go, a traditional shower and bachelorette might be inappropriate.  A shower is meant to shower the bride and groom with gifts that will help them start their new lives together.  If you are already married, there’s really not much point to a shower.  Same logic applies to a bachelorette.  It’s supposed to be your one last hurrah before you are married – so if you’re married then there’s no need. 

    Now, I totally understand wanting to have these parties – I mean who doesn’t like to get presents and spend the night partying with your best friends?  So here’s what I suggest – have a bacehlorette before you are legally married.  Or you can have girls’ night before the second wedding celebration thing in October.  If you do the latter though, it should be indicated that you plan to pay your own way and don’t expect gifts.

    For the shower, if someone offers to throw you one, I’d try and keep it simple.  A traditional shower with a large registry/larger presents would probably appear pretty gift-grabby – sort of like you want to have your cake and eat it too.  But I don’t see why you couldn’t have a recipe or stock the bar shower or something similar where the gifts are much smaller.

    Speaking of registries – it’s totally ok to have one as long as you don’t advertise it (much like you would any other wedding).  I’m sure people will still want to get you gifts so it’d be helpful to have one.  And if people ask, feel free to let them know you have one.


    Post # 9
    2253 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    @AndysCraftsNmore:  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting legally married now, and then having all of your festivities later! I wouldn’t necessarily call certain things as they are for traditional weddings. Like I would maybe call a bachelorette party a pre-wedding girl’s night/weekend. Something to that effect. 

    It’s very common to do things like this in the military, and actually my best friend is doing pretty much the same thing. No one has even thought twice about what they’re doing. 

    Do what makes you guys happy! But I would heir on the side of caution and would focus more on having the parties more for the experience and spending the time with your friends and family versus just being able to have the gift side. Enjoy yourself! People who want to get you something, will, parties or not. 🙂

    Post # 11
    2037 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    I don’t understand it at all when people do this. I voted to wait until the wedding you had planned.

    Post # 12
    5879 posts
    Bee Keeper

    As long as folks are honest, I don’t see the big deal. Although, I personally wouldn’t see the need for shower but hey do what you want. I like the suggestion of perhaps doing the shower before your legal ceremony. 

    Post # 13
    5879 posts
    Bee Keeper

    @AndysCraftsNmore:  Never knew about the history of about gyped either till now. It was regularly used by my circle to. Who knew…

    Post # 14
    6386 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    Honestly, I think it depends on how “judgey” your friends and family are.  Obviously, based on the responses, different individuals view this in various ways.  I personally understand why someone might need to get the legal paperwork done first (international visa, military, health insurance, etc) and I see the wedding as something separate.  Many people choose to have the wedding and paperwork done at the same time, and might not understand why someone else would want to do it differently.  I feel that as long as you don’t make a big deal out of the legal/courthouse part, you should be free to have your wedding whenever you want.

    Post # 15
    2163 posts
    Buzzing bee

    You can celebrate anything, any time.   Celebrating a marriage is as good a reason as any to have a party.

    Lying to your guests however is impolite.  It is totally your business until you invite other people to witness it.  Once you invite people you make it their business, and no one likes being lied to. 

    Also what is to be gained by lying? I honestly cannot think of one benefit that isn’t gift related that would be a reason for deceiving those nearest and dearest to you, in this case.


    Post # 16
    253 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2013



    wow,same happend to me,i had no insurance,got sick and had to have 2 surgies,(all before 2 and 3 months before my wedding)we had wedding planning in process,things paid.we went to the court house and got married and had our wedding 2 months later.i did not tell anyone besides my dad and grandpa,they were witnesses and our children and a few close friends.its not like we kept it a huge secret,if we were asked we would tell them,but to be honest i didnt want anyone to know.i couldnt help i got sick and had to get married 2 months before our planned wedding day,i wanted my planned day to be the one that mattered the one we would celerbrate with our loved ones,i wanted to feel like other brides get to feel on their wedding day and i didnt deserve to feel any less because i got married 2 months before because i got sick,shit i waited 20 years to marry this man 🙂


    do what you feel,if you want it kept between you and your husband then do so,you are not wrong.many will disagree and thats ok.but i get how you feel,do what you feel is right♥

    ETA,you still deserve to have a shower a bach party,every girl does if she wants it,why should you be denied?because you got sick,because you needed health insurance?bull shit,have one if you want one.

    i told my MOH’s before i got sick that they did not need to spend money on me to be my Maid/Matron of Honor and have partys for me,but my daughter  and BFF did anyway,they were planned after my legal marriage that they both knew about

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