NEED ADVICE – getting married before wedding?

posted 8 months ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Huntsville, AL

Do it and save the money. The wedding ceremony will still be magical and a great memory. No one has to know, including Mother-In-Law. tongue-out

Post # 3
1294 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

confusedbumble :  I am in the camp that you have to do what is best for you and your family but I also wouldn’t feel right about omitting the fact that we were already married. I would personally get married and then still have the big party in October but I would let everyone know it was a marriage celebration. You know your family and friends best and if they would care whether you were already married or not.

Post # 4
3640 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

confusedbumble :  this makes no sense. whether you are “in state” or “out of state” is based on your residency, not your marital status.

Post # 5
2046 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I don’t support lying about being married when you have the celebration later. You want to get married now, fine. Whatever. But call it what it is later. A celebrating of marriage or renewal. 

Anything else sounds like you just want people to show up for gifts and to fawn over you. 

Post # 7
7327 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Effing do it bee and don’t worry 2 seconds about judgy mcjudgersons who feel entitled to this personal information. True friends and supportive family members will be happy to celebrate with you no matter what.

Post # 8
5594 posts
Bee Keeper

I don’t think you should lie to people. It bothers me that people are so willing to reap the benefits of being legally married while scoffing at the “legal” part of it. 

I would probably look at moving the wedding up, or at least changing it to a celebration. Lots of people have “at home receptions” when they do a dw or something, I would treat it as the same. Its a significant cost savings, but I do think people will be upset WHEN (not if) they find out you lied to them. 

Post # 9
733 posts
Busy bee

$13,000 is a big savings so it makes a lot of sense to sign the paperwork a couple of months early.

Just beware that feelings on this subject are very mixed. Some people will say to keep it a complete secret, others will say everyone deserves to know. There’s been some horror stories of people trying to keep it a secret and other people finding out, causing a lot of anger about the secrecy. There’s also been stories of couples being open with their friends/families and people being offended they weren’t “good enough” to be invited to the “real” wedding and not coming to the celebration. There doesn’t seem to be a right answer with how to deal with telling vs. not telling people.

Lots of drama around this topic. 

Personally I know three couples who did this (only one had a “legitimate” reason like you do) and no one cared. A couple of people were annoyed but still came to the party. If it were me, I would do it and just tell people. I’m terrible at lying and would just feel better not having to keep that a secret. I would find $13,000 worth dealing with any headaches from displeased relatives or friends.

Post # 10
431 posts
Helper bee

confusedbumble :  I would do it, and I support you keeping it a secret. That’s a lot of money. People get on such a high horse about these sort of things and nitpick so much over what you call a reception – it’s ridiculous. Save the 13K and have the wedding you want. 

Post # 11
740 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Do it and save the money, it’s a no brainier to me. That’s a massive amount of money to save, which is essential while you’re still studying.

Post # 12
8528 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

confusedbumble :  Any time you feel the need to lie, it’s for one of two reasons. Either you know what you’re doing is wrong — in which case, instead of lying you should just not do that wrong thing; or you know what you’re doing isn’t wrong but you’re worried that other people will think it is — in which case, instead of lying you should just do your thing and stand up for yourself. *

What is the consequence you’re trying to avoid by not being honest about the earlier wedding? In other words, “I don’t want to tell people because I’m afraid that…… [what?]”

(* This obviously doesn’t apply to someone lying to protect their safety. If someone tells an abusive spouse “I’m going to the store” when they’re escaping to their parents house, good for them!) 

Post # 13
5594 posts
Bee Keeper

Also, since you’ve already told people who have expressed their unhappiness, it’s very unlikely to stay a secret. 

Post # 14
634 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

It seems silly not to do it. Guests will still want to come to a wedding celebration. My friends got married in the Caribbean last fall and had a big reception a few weeks later, all of their friends and family were there and no one cared that they were already married. The key is to be honest about it.

Post # 15
1337 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

confusedbumble :  I also got legally married much earlier than our planned wedding date due to Financial Aid from college. We ended up having immediate family at the courthouse wedding, and were open about the fact since it was a full 2.5 years before our wedding date! We debated a lot on keeping it a secret, but didn’t see much benefit in staying quiet, especially with so much time until the wedding. We are however, still calling it a WEDDING, because it’s going to be our public declaration to each other. If people get their panties in a bunch over wording, they don’t have to come to the super expensive party I’m throwing for them! Simple as that.

In your situation, I can see why you’d want to keep it secret. I say go for it, if that’s what you want. Those who love you and support your relationship will understand, and ultimately not really care. You sign the marriage liscense at the county clerk’s office anyway, which no one else sees. I think the emotional and public declaration is much more substantial than filing paperwork with the government.

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