(Closed) marriage first, then wedding?

posted 10 years ago in Relationships
Post # 17
Member
303 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

We are having two weddings! To be specific, we are eloping with just family and siblings on December 18 because he is in the military. Then in 2012 when he is back from deployment and settled in, we will have a big celebration with friends and family. It will really be renewing our vows and we’ll sign a fake marriage license just so we can get the photos.

I am still on the fence about letting everyone know. I didn’t want people to be unexcited about the wedding in 2012 and didn’t want to attend because technically we are already married, but I don’t think I’ll be able to keep it secret for so long!

With RSVP’s, there really isn’t a “maybe” answer. It’s yes or no and if it’s a maybe, you have 3 weeks to decide or you will be cut!

Post # 18
Member
3313 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

My hubby and I also had 2 weddings.  We were going through immigration (hubby is from the Netherlands and I’m a US citizen) and as Maggie stated, it just didn’t work out to have one wedding.  We decided after a lot of talking with both our families, that having 2 ceremonies was for the best.  Both families wanted to be involved and we wanted them to be involved as well!  

I made sure that I was upfront with EVERYONE about the fact that we were getting married by civil ceremony in April and then having our “official”/family/religious ceremony in October.  Everyone that I talked to about it not only completely understood, but were thrilled for us and wanted very much to be a part of it.  My pastor advised us to go ahead and use my maiden name in the ceremony because that more truely followed the spirit of what we were doing (his words not mine, though i agree).

Both our weddings are now over, and each one was very special in it’s own way.  The civil ceremony for the pure and simple fact that it joined my hubby and I together in legal and binding marriage, and the October ceremony because it brought all of our friends and family together and just made everything *complete*!  Throughout this planning, I’ve heard just about all the comments out there about fake weddings, and being gift grabby (hey ya know what?  It wasn’t ME that made weddings all about giving gifts!  I just wanted my friends and family there to help us celebrate!), and attention whores, and ‘entitled’.  In the end we had to decide what was best for us, our families, and our friends – and this was it!  I have no regrets over having 2 ceremonies.

I have to share… my father in law put it all into perspective for me about a week before the wedding by saying this:  “We all saw the video of the civil ceremony between you and Anton, and it was beautiful, but it just didn’t feel real to us.  We are so glad that we get to be a part of the wedding, even if it’s not the “legal” one!” No matter what doubts I might have had, his comment made everything so worth it!

As for the RSVP’s, it doesn’t get easier.  You just have to set a deadline and then start making calls.  I basically told people that if I didn’t have an answer by xyz date then I’d be assuming they weren’t coming and wouldn’t be able to guarantee seating or food.  I still ended up having about 8 people still on the fence the night before my wedding…

Post # 19
Member
7298 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

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@maggierose: I feel like that too!

Post # 20
Member
14 posts
Newbee

My fiance and I will be doing this. For benefits reasons as well as immigration we are getting married next month while planning our wedding for next year october. To be honest we have been together for 5 years and lived together for a year and a half. We are ready to be a married couple and ‘officially’ but want the celebration to be later when we can save more money and have a great celebration for ourselves, family and friends.

 

I won’t be changing my name until after the wedding and really consider the celebration to be the symbol of our union to our friends and family. I’m not getting re-married, just celebrating it at a later date when I can share the day with others besides if others wanted to see it as their actual marriage so what? Just as long as you have the day and marriage you like that’s all that matters 🙂

Post # 21
Member
751 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I’m always amazed at how much judgment there is when this topic comes up on the bee.  We did this for our own reasons and have zero regret and consider our big ceremony with all of our friends and family to be our “wedding” even though we had been legally wed for a year. And no, I don’t consider it a vow renewal because we didn’t really say vows when we signed our paperwork to make it legal!  It wasn’t until our actual wedding that we said our vows and had our marriage blessed in the presence of our friends and family. 

I guess for all the girls who are being so harsh to those of us who chose this, I want to know this: WHY DO YOU CARE??  Everyone has their own personal reasons for every decision they make in wedding planning and everyone has different circumstances that dictate why they make this choice.  I’ve never heard a single woman say it was just for fun, while the reasons might differ they usually seem to involve a legitimate NEED to be legally married before they can gather their friends and family together to honor and celebrate that marriage at a formal wedding. Why the judgment, girls? 

 

Post # 22
Member
35 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I did the same thing as well! A lot of other military wives I meet have done this too. We got married on Sep. 3rd 2010 and our ceremony is April 16th 2011. We did it because he is military, so we could get base housing and he could get paid all the extra money he gets for being married. So we could start establishing our house and life together. We recently got two puppies too!

I can’t see us doing it any other way, because he deploys mid May 2011….within a month of out wedding. So a month would be no time to get housing and furnish a house, get me on all his military benefits etc…

Post # 23
Member
318 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’ve thought about going to the courthouse during lunch hour and signing the paperwork. I’ve alway ALWAYS wanted to elope and I think it’d be amazing to legally marry in the courthouse, just he and I and the JOP 🙂 We’re planning a wedding 14 hours from home and to make a trip up to apply for the marriage license a couple of weeks before the wedding seems silly to me. I don’t think that making it logistically easier on us (and saving us about $1,000) will make the wedding day any less special.

Post # 24
Member
5891 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I agree with @maggierose. We had a similar situation, but in reverse. The person I wanted to officiate the ceremony wasn’t legal (Virginia is very strict and he wasn’t a county resident). So we got legally married on our Honeymoon in Las Vegas (by Elvis in front of the Las Vegas sign, I kid you not).

 I let everyone know what we were doing (except my Mom’s friends who just wouldn’t understand) and made it clear that Elvis was just a legal marriage ceremony, while the wedding was the real celebration of our union.

And if people don’t understand that and don’t come to your wedding, then it’s more food and drink for those who *do* want to celebrate with you. Tongue out

Post # 25
Member
1682 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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@lisa105: wow, talk about imposing your overpowering viewpoint on everything. Everything must be done a certain way at a certain time for you, doesn’t it?

City Hall is not a wedding. City Hall is a piece of paper that says the government acknowledges your relationship and will tax you accordingly. This is a license; it is a registration. It is not a wedding. A wedding is a gathering of family and friends to celebrate the promises made between two people. A civil ceremony is not the same thing!!

and if the couple in question feels as if they have not had their “wedding” yet despite being married, then unclench a little and let them have it. It’s quite simple really…destination brides do this all the time if they don’t want to jump through hoops in the country they’re going to. I’ve never heard of a destination bride  (or ANY, really!) who didn’t consider the wedding the actual day she married her Fiance, regardless of how long that piece of paper has been signed.

Jeez louise ay cryumba.

Post # 26
Member
7768 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

lisa105 Um, that is pretty much semantics at that point.  Maybe the OP means, “big weddng” or “wedding where my family and friends come.”

Getting married and having a wedding is up to you, and the way you do it and classify it is up to you.  I know a family that had their “wedding” 8 years after they got married and their kids were there and that is the wedding they considered to be their wedding.  Oh, and they are happily married for 40 years.  😉 

 

Post # 27
Member
3148 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I will make this short & simple – whatever you want it to be – it’s yours! Own it, own the idea and other people will vibe off of you.  It’s your day(s).  Who are we to say?  Whatever makes you happy!  Life is too short for these million “rules” : )  Because, quite frankly – there isn’t any on this!

Post # 28
Member
1986 posts
Buzzing bee

It was clearly not the popular opinion, but I agree with Lisa105. You can only get married to one man once, anything after that is a vow renewal, and insinuating that weddings at the courthouse are not “real” weddings is nothing short of insulting. Have your vow renewal and party with your family by all means, but your wedding happens when you say I Do and get legally bound.

Post # 29
Member
1986 posts
Buzzing bee

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@bebefly:“City Hall is not a wedding. City Hall is a piece of paper that says the government acknowledges your relationship and will tax you accordingly. This is a license; it is a registration. It is not a wedding.”

Uh oh, someone call Mrs. Grape quick and let her know she’s not really married and didn’t really have a wedding!!!

Post # 30
Member
242 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

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@rlsh86: I respectfully do not agree with Lisa in your case.  If you decide that your civil ceremony was not your wedding, then it wasn’t!  No one can define it otherwise.  My cousin had her civil ceremony and it was her wedding day.  They both had their parents there and had a small reception (10 people) there to celebrate with them after.  They chose to make the civil ceremony an occasion.  Others, who want the traditional ceremony will do that and call it their wedding day, even though they may have been forced into a civil ceremony prior.  It’s so common now, and you may choose to make it public if you want to…or not!  Your life!

Post # 31
Member
1682 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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@Belle2Be: ouch, belle, that was unnessecary snark. I never said Mrs. Grape can’t consider her CH ceremony a wedding if she wants, I merely said I wouldn’t consider it one if I went that route.

besides, isn’t Mrs. Grape having a recommittment ceremony/big reception type dealio at a later date, therefore kind of justifying my point anyways?

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