NEED ADVICE – getting married before wedding?

posted 8 months ago in Ceremony
Post # 31
885 posts
Busy bee

confusedbumble :  we’re doing the same because of easier paperwork. However everyone is aware that we did the civil registration and the wedding we’ll have next year is the church wedding. We opted not to have any “civil ceremony” just the registry office signing papers and the legal vows. Ring exchange will occur only during church wedding so that would be as real as signing the papers. It’s part of the same wedding, just stretch longer than usual.

Post # 32
13386 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

You get one wedding.  You pick if you get married at the courthouse or your big planned wedding,

Post # 33
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Location

You can do it but be open and let everyone know. I personally don’t like reenactments. Get married and have the celebration later as you planned. or whatever. just don’t lie!

Post # 34
348 posts
Helper bee

Just get married and nobody has to know. Who dafuq cares? It’s your money, your life. If it bothers Mother-In-Law so much ask her to subsidize you $13K. The marriage contract isn’t ‘the wedding’, that’s just the ‘piece of paper’ part of the marriage. the vows and the pledge of love and union is the real wedding. 

Post # 35
686 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

Get married. That’s your wedding.

Have a big party later. if you want Don’t lie about it (you’ve already told someone who’s opposed, so the cat is truly out of the bag). No way to come back from lying to all your friends and family. You’ll damage every relationship you have.

Do not have a re-enactment of your wedding at the party. No one wants to see a sham. Just have the party–no ceremony, no big white dress, no bridal party, no first dance–this is not your wedding (see above). That ship has sailed, and it saved you many thousands of dollars. You can’t have it both ways.

Post # 36
303 posts
Helper bee

malayna :  Don’t make blanket statements like that. Many people believe that the legal wedding is the real wedding. The legal part is the only part that is actually required for marriage in the US and is what allows for all the legal benefits. The ceremony and big party are just extra fluff that some people choose to have. 

 ETA: also, insinuating the legal wedding isn’t the real wedding is offensive to those who fought for the rights to have that “piece of paper” and to those who chose to have only the legal wedding. 

Post # 37
5595 posts
Bee Keeper

It’s hilarious that bees here are saying “its just a piece of paper”, and yet when a waiting bee’s partner says that ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE! If it were “just a piece of paper” no one would fucking do it. Obviously it’s a *bit* more.

This kind of hypocrisy is too much guys, LOL for reals. 

Post # 38
152 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I think save the money and don’t worry about it. I go to weddings to celebrate people’s love and commitment and I would be horrified if my ‘feelings’ played even the TINIEST role in someone paying 13k they didn’t have to!

Post # 39
7327 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Wow this website gets more and more ridic and sanctimonious about this topic everytime a new thread is posted about it. Of course the piece of paper is more than just a piece of paper – it’s a huge deal – but how many weddings do you go to where you actually see the bride & groom sign the document? I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed that at the dozens of weddings I’ve been to. At our wedding, we signed the license in private after the ceremony – no one saw it happen and no one asked about it.

Equally important to us and to MANY COUPLES as the legal component of our wedding was the act of exchanging vows in front of all our loved ones. Whether we had gotten married at city hall a month or two before or signed the papers on the same day as the ceremony with our family/friends, we still would have considered that moment of exchanging our vows in front of our loved ones to be our wedding. I don’t see why both of those components of marriage – the signing of papers and the exchange of vows in front of friends and family – have to happen on the same day. If it saves a couple a huge sum of money and a major logistical headache to do the legal part ahead of time, then they should damn well do that. Why some guests feel like they have the right to dictate the manenr in which a different couple chooses to get married is beyond me.

Also, just because someone doesn’t tell you about something they did that’s none of your business, doesn’t mean they’re lying. And just because you think something is your business, doesn’t make it so! 

Post # 40
172 posts
Blushing bee

1.  Get married and save the $13,000.  That’s a lot of money that can help you start off your married life on a solid financial foundation.


2.  Host a celebration of marriage party in October.  No ceremony, just food, drink, and a good time.  Be clear and honest with people about what it is you’re inviting them to.  There’s no need to lie and hide the fact that you made a responsible, adult decision to move up the wedding.

Post # 41
5598 posts
Bee Keeper

That’s a lot of money. Does your state recognize domestic partnership and could that be a stop-gap solution?

It seems unlikely that you would be able to keep this a secret based upon the number of people you’ve already discussed it with. Many officiants/churches will not pretend to marry you when you are already married. 

Because many are likely to know and some who don’t and find out later may feel offended it’s best to be honest. The people who want to celebrate with you will still be happy to celebrate with you. 

Post # 42
2352 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I’m not sure how this is “gift grabby”. One would assume that they’d receive gifts 2 months earlier rather than not at all by marrying earlier.

I see zero issues with this. If the date & time of signing the legal document is so important, one would assume that this would be front & center at every wedding. I’ve never been to a wedding where the documents were signed in front of every guest. Heck, it’s not actually legal until the signed documents are received back at the county recorder’s office. Since most weddings happen on weekends, the documents that legally “marry” a couple aren’t even recorded until a few days later. My documents have our wedding date & the date the marriage was recorded on them. They are different dates. 



Post # 43
45 posts

I say go for it ! $13,000 is a lot of money . And I don’t think it’s that big of a deal anyway. I thought lots of people got married through a courthouse and later had a ceremony to celebrate the marriage. 

Post # 44
253 posts
Helper bee

I got married last weekend in my official ceremony.  FI and I had to get legally married to solve some immigration issues.  (Thank goodness we did, Fiance was able to get a much higher paying job based on his changed visa status.  As a result, we stopped living paycheck to paycheck.)

My wedding didn’t feel less real, because we were already legally married.  In fact, I was just as nervous as can be.  I kept shaking, and I forgot to put the ring on his finger!  The real wedding was the one in which we professed our love in front of friends and family.  Our legal marriage was an open secret.  Most close friends and family knew we did it about 10 months before our celebration.  No one seemed to mind, and my friend and family came from several different states and countries to attend.

Don’t let people judge you (as the people on this site are doing in force.)  My cousin recently got married early for health insurance.  We all still felt her ceremony was the real ceremony.   She did too.  Save the money.  🙂  For me, the real moment was when we said I do in front of friends and family.  Because it was a Quaker ceremony, we also needed them to approve of the marriage.  🙂

Post # 45
878 posts
Busy bee

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it but you don’t get two weddings. The second “wedding” won’t be a wedding since you will already be married but it will be a celebration of your marriage. I also don’t think you should lie about it to your guests. There is NOTHING wrong with having the celebration but it is NOT a wedding and I think that is where you are struggling. You want it to be a wedding but it won’t be. You can’t have a wedding when you’re already legally married. If what you really want is a wedding it fron of everyone then I’d hold off, but if it’s not important I would get married now to save the $$ and then have a celebration with your friends/family after the fact.

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