(Closed) Military bees who are married well before wedding?… help!

posted 7 years ago in Military
Post # 3
Member
1370 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I think a lot of people who marry before their renewal do a courthouse or JOP ceremony. Even the DMV will marry you in some states apparently. I don’t know much about since that’s not the route I’m going so take my suggestions with a grain of salt. I’ve never heard of a friend officiating at a super small ceremony, but I’m sure it could be done. JOP might be your best bet though!

Hopefully someone who has done this will reply though!

Post # 4
Member
261 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

We were married by a judge at the courthouse in July, and then were married infront of our friends and family in October. We applied for a marriage liscense, then made an appointment with the judge at the courthouse. The judge charged us $50. Only a few people knew we were married, and my parents weren’t even present for the courthouse wedding. But really, the “marriage” at the courthouse takes about 5 minutes, and our wedding in October felt much more real than the courthouse one. 

Post # 5
Member
187 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I think it’s smart to get married before hand and really can save you tons of money.  

There’s a few different options you have as far as officiant at wedding ceremony. If you are religious, you can choose to have a spiritual leader officiate (some people think this makes the wedding ceremony more distinct and special than the legal wedding months earlier).  You can also hire a JOP (you’ll still pay them for their time, you just need to let them know they won’t actually be legally marrying you).  Or, if you are being open with everyone about it, then you can ask a friend or relative to officiate (if choosing this route, I’d go with someone who is comfortable speaking publicly). 

Good luck and congrats!

Post # 6
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I just went through this in October! My Husband is stationed in Japan right now and we got legally married in Virginia when he was sent back stateside for a course. It really does make everything easier. We just went to a courthouse in Virginia Beach, got the license, and since they don’t have a waiting period there we were in and out in under an hour. We didn’t make a big deal of it, only my parents know because I was still on their insurance. We applied for my ID the same weekend, just needed my social security card, and birth certificate. I don’t know what branch you’re with, but I can imagine that its the same in all of them.  

We’re still planning on having a religious ceremony with our friends and family in July ’13. Personally, I do feel completely married now. I know other posters have said that they consider the big ceremony/party their really wedding, but having the little ceremony with just my husband and a JOP was really nice. It was intimate, sweet, and just for us. 

Hope everything goes well for you! 

Post # 7
Member
2755 posts
Sugar bee

My best friend and her husband did a simple backyard wedding (it was actually at Halloween, so everyone came for a costume party and the wedding ceremony happened a few hours into the party) with a JOP they paid to come and officiate. Very simple. They had wanted to just go to the courthouse or whatever, but her mom decided to make it an event.

Two years later, they had a large “normal” wedding with many guests, a cake, real wedding dress, etc.

ETA: Should mention he’s Air Force

Post # 9
Member
5183 posts
Bee Keeper

We are getting married at a military chapel… apparently this happens fairly often in the military. We explained that we just want the religious ceremony and they were fine with it. 

Post # 10
Member
3 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We went to city hall and there’s an office just for wedding licenses.  We got the license, picked a date a week later (we had to wait 24 or 48 hours minimum), and off we went. They set up the rest.  My husband looked into getting married in a chapel on post, but between the chaplain’s schedule and both of us wanting to have our big wedding in a church, we went with city hall.  Check online for your state’s requirements and to see what documents you need (licence, birth certificate, etc).  Something to think about and maybe look into now as well is finding out who will perform your second ceremony.  My pastor had no problem with it as he was enlisted in the Army as a chaplain years prior and had friends in the military who he had conducted the same ceremony for.  It’s just a thought as I know not all do it:)  It’s not to disuade you, just something to keep in mind if that’s important to you.  If not, I’m sure you can find someone who will do it.  Congratulations and good luck!

Post # 11
Member
124 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We’ll be married about six months before the wedding. We got the marriage license then went to the magistrate. Cost $80. His brother (stationed here, too) and a friend of mine (also an Army wife) were witnesses. We’ve only told close friends and family. I would say look up how to get married in your area on a search engine. You can also check your local DEERS office website. Good luck!

Post # 12
Member
487 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2009 - Byodo-In Temple, Luau Reception

Hubbers and I got married at the court house a whole year before our “wedding”. We just called up the court house and asked about having a civil ceremony. They told us what judges were available on what day and that’s how we scheduled it. 

At our ceremony a year later, we contacted an officient to perform our ceremony (I did want someone who had experience), but we obviously didn’t have to work about any legal paperwork since that was taken care of at the civil ceremony.

Being military, you could always ask one of the chaplins to do it.  

Post # 13
Member
1519 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We are having a civil ceremony this May and a big wedding next year. We were going to go to the courthouse, but I found this quaint little B&B in his town where we are going to have a little ceremony with our parents and then a nice dinner. If you want to do a courthouse wedding, research the requirements for wedding licensure in your state, and contact them for details.

Post # 14
Member
26 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Almost 5 years ago, my now husband was in AIT cause he was rejoining the military and needed to go to school to learn his new MOS.  I lived in WA state and he was in AL.  I flew to AL and we got married at the courthouse for $50.  We thought he was going to be deploying right out of school and we didn’t have much money so we did that and planned to have a wedding later.  Well, one doesn’t make much in the military depending on the rank so now we have decided we can finally afford to do a ceremony of some sort.  Since we have been married almost 5 years already, we are doing a vow renewal.  It will be formal and we will do most all of the ceremonial stuff since we never got any of that.  I am being told from many that since we never had any kind of ceremony with family and friends, that it is not bad or uncommon if we go all out on this.  There are lots of ways to get married before you get married. I’ve heard of people just getting an officiant or their pastor to do a small ceremony, or a little wedding chapel and have a super small ceremony then doing the big thing later.  

Post # 15
Member
124 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

We were legally married in December and waiting for the wedding in June. To get married, I first searched “marriage” in our county. It took us to the Clerk of Deeds office. We filled out the marriage license form online (just the basic info). Went to the Deeds office in the courthouse, filled out the last bits on info (SSNs and such), paid for it, and left with it. We then went over to the magistrate and were married there. Just depends where you live where you go. My parents were married by a JOP in Wyoming. Good luck!

Post # 16
Member
3314 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’m not military, but because of immigration requirements, my husband and I were married by civil ceremony 6 months prior to the “official” wedding.  Our pastor did the “official” wedding and was happy to do it.  He knew the whole situation and had no issues at all with performing the ceremony.  Good luck!

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