Post # 1
Next month will make 1 year that my fiance and I have been engaged. He always said he never wanted to have a long engagement, but here we are! Lol. 1 year really crept up on us. We had a baby a few months ago, so I think that’s understandable. He’s been saying for a long time that he wants to be married already. And so do I, but I always thought we would do things the more traditional way? We know a couple that got married at the court house and had a ceremony/reception about 6-8 months later that we attended. He really wants to do something like that. I’m not opposed, I’m just not sure what I’d like to do. I do want to be married already, especially since we now have our daughter. But I also never really pictured myself going the route he’s been talking about. I always pictured getting married on my wedding day. I also know a couple that had an intimate cermony with their immediate family and they plan to have reception/party in about a year. We’ve dicussed it and he’s open to anything, but I’m not sure what to do. Unfortunately, since we’ve been engaged we’ve made no progress on any part of substantial wedding planning as far as a date, a venue, and the worst part- we haven’t saved any money. Obviously, having a baby impacted all of this, especially the money part. We’re hoping to start saving money again soon (if I can return back to work- another complicated matter). My main concern with going and getting married at the courthouse is that I know there are going to be a number of people that would dissapointed to miss us actually marrying and idk how many witnesses you can have there. So that makes me lean towards an intimate ceremony with a delayed reception. But then, I worry that we will have been married in front of those closest to us, and a reception just won’t happen because the important part is done. With money having been tight so far, and all of the craziness that has come with being new parents, I just don’t have a lot of faith that a reception would happen… Or at least not the one I’ve been dreaming of anyway. Also, it might be noteworthy that my fiance isn’t too big on being the center of attention. Lol. He even had a hard time at our baby shower.
I know that at some point we will be legally bound, that is a given for us, no doubt about it. But I’m getting a little anxious about everything and really feel the need to choose a direction and start working from there.
What are your thoughts bees? Did you do something similar to what I was saying (courthouse marriage, then ceremony/reception in the near future, small marriage ceremony w/reception much later on in the future, ect.)? Do you know anyone that has? What do you think about a couple already being legally married and then having a ceremony & reception?
Thank you in advance for your response!
Post # 2
I’m having a civil ceremony with a judge in the US. Then on a future date, we will have a second ceremony by a priest in my SO’s country. We might do it a year apart. Since he’s European, they look at a civil and church wedding as 2 separate things. Regarding your question, I see nothing wrong about getting legally married then having a second ceremony/celebration later on. I’d be happy to celebrate as a guest when the couple is ready and what works best for them.
Post # 3
Agree with pp. we have close friends who got married at the court house for immigration purposes. We were their only witnesses…we then had a small celebratory brunch afterwards. Then a year later they had a big, traditional religious ceremony in the bride’s home country. The two (court house ceremony and traditional wedding) don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In your position I’d want to get the legal part done ASAP since there’s a baby in the mix, but there’s really no right or wrong answer.
Perhaps since your fi isn’t big on being the center of attn you could compromise and do something smallish but still more “traditional” than just going to city hall?
Post # 4
booksandbananas : it’s common in some other parts of the world to have first the legal registration of marriage done, then the ceremony (religious or cultural) + banquet/celebration party. I’m from SE Asia, and it’s very common there. We did our civil ceremony in the UK before we moved to US. Will have our church wedding done at some point. So if it’s the best financial decision to be taken, why not? The Catholic church in US and around the world consider civil/courthouse wedding as part of the marriage, but church ceremony is a convalidation of the marriage. Part of the same union, extended.
Post # 5
So you can do something legal now and something more formal later, but I think you’re right when you are worried that saving for a party isn’t going to be a priority with a kid in the picture.
If having a ceremony is important to you then I think I’d make saving a priority and have a small wedding and reception with a photographer, dress and flowers.
Then you can have an anniversary party later if you want.
Seriously… have a backyard or park wedding. Invite close friends and family, pick a pretty dress, have food catered or go with just champagne, punch and cake, take pictures, have a string quartets for two hours or so and have your special moment. I bet if you’re trifty you could do it for 1-4K pretty easily.
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2021 - Kauai, HI
Were eloping to Hawaii in 2021. But we wanted to do something now to celebrate so we’re having a big engagement party in August. Dinner, music and a good restaurant. Even a photographer! That’s it. No parties after the weddings. Just relaxing into married life after the vacation/wedding of a lifetime.
Post # 7
We got married at the courthouse (had a photographer and flowers; our families who could make it attended and we had a nice dinner after). We’re having a more traditional wedding celebration in October. Everyone is excited to celebrate and nobody has said anything negative. I don’t think the bigger celebration will feel any less special.
Post # 8
- Wedding: May 2020 - Clarksville, VA
One of my friends had a courthouse wedding because she was pregnant. They got married on a weekday so that their one year anniversary would be on a Saturday. They then threw a wedding in their backyard and hired a food truck. It was fun and laid back.
Post # 9
We have a beautiful courthouse and we’re able to get married on the roof top so we did that with our closest friends and family present, I still wore a wedding dress and had a bouquet. We took them to a nice dinner after, then the following day we had a reception with 60-70 guests.
I would be worried to plan to have a big party months down the road because once your married, and with a young child it might not be a priority.
Post # 10
With money tight and a child in the picture you may have to reconcile yourself to the reality that a traditional reception is not a wise use of your limited funds. In your shoes it would be my very last priority. I’d get married now and have an intimate reception. If you can swing it you can do a casual and inexpensive delayed reception for friends and extended family or have a nicer anniversary party at some point.
Post # 11
We eloped locally, so that we could have the people most important to us there, we then did a luncheon reception type thing with more family and friends we had the private space of that restaurant that over looked the water so we got to decorate.. we stuck with candles and broken shells as well as whole shells in cylinder vases and then had votives alongside them.. so it was still very pretty, and then we went out to our fav neighborhood bar (it’s a classy bar.. don’t judge haha) and had even more people there, so we got to have our wedding, our mini reception, and then a bigger reception type thing. It was perfect for us and if you do some research you may find you could do something like this for a very minimal cost! We’ve been toying around with the idea of doing some sort of vow renewal on our 5 yr and making it one big party, but I’d rather take a lavish vacation!
….also we do not have children, we are just not super formal or traditional, and I didn’t see the point in spending thousands of dollars…
We spent under 2K for the day.. it was perfect. we had my cousins wife as our photographer, she was building her portfolio and didn’t charge us, she gave us the photos and flash drive as our wedding gift, so if you could find someone like that, it will save money and also we did a sheet cake rather than a tiered cake which cut cost down, but it fit our chill beach vibe!
Post # 12
A friend of mine got married at the courthouse because they were pregnant and wanted to be married before baby came. (Didn’t get married because of the pregnancy, they were engaged before that) and also so her husband could get on her health insurance. They had the whole big shebang – ceremony, reception, etc the next summer. She actually totally regrets having the party in the end because she felt like it was a huge waste of money and wishes she’d just stuck with the courthouse and not done anything else. But that’s probably not the norm.
Post # 13
There’s a chance she might have regretted it too if she did not do the bigger celebration the next summer (like she missed out on something). Oh well. mermaidbride79 :