(Closed) Probably the weirdest wedding situation EVER. Anyone else in my boat??

posted 8 years ago in Legal
Post # 32
Member
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I am sooo confused.

But, from what I have gathered.. What is wrong with legally getting married? When you already have all the perks, are wanting to change your name, and are actually hosting something you are calling a wedding?

I’m sorry, I may have missed the point. But if a little piece of paper that gets logged in a court somewhere makes your situation a lot easier, what’s the big deal about legalising?

 

 

Post # 33
Member
2930 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Let me preface by saying I believe that you are completely free to do whatever you want to do in terms of your ceremony and lifestyle choice. This post isn’t about that.

I’m confused as to why you’d be willing to go through so much extra legal wrangling to get all of the LEGAL benefits of being married just to avoid being legally married. It seems like a whole lot of extra trouble and fees down the road for something that can be done in one fell swoop.

In terms of the hospital visitations and whatnot, that’s all well and good for the times when you or your SO are conscious and can make decisions about who gets to visit. What about in times of serious accidents? You may not be allowed to see him or find out ANYTHING about his status if you haven’t done the power of attorney or don’t have proof of it. In fact, since your family are all out of the country, it actually affects him more than you since his family would be able to tell the medical authorities that you’re “allowed.” You just stated you don’t have anybody that can do that. If you’re in an accident or medical situation that requires some quick decisions, your SO would not be in a position to legally do so. Just some food for thought.

View original reply
@Mrs. Fireworks:  +1. Please stop calling it just a piece of paper. It was just a little over 40 years ago that I would not have been able to marry my Fiance because I’m not white, and he is. Even without that added consciousness, it’s meaningful to many people anyway. How would you like it if I called your ceremony a “meaningless party”? Again, food for thought.

Post # 34
Member
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

View original reply
@littlemisssally:  +1…

Why not just get married then (i’m talking legally)? 

OP – your entire argument is basically saying that you do not really need to get married because you are essentially living as a married couple. So my question is, if that is the case then why not just sign the piece of paper? Why exactly are you so against legalising your union?

Your situation is the complete opposite of so many brides on these boards. Many brides are willing to forgo all the celebration and tradition to “just get that piece of paper.”

 

Post # 35
Member
577 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

So, let me preface this by saying that I totally get the idea of not wanting to be legally married. My parents have been together for over 25 years, my entire life span and then some, without ever getting married. My father at one time proposed to my mother, but they both came from families with really terrible divorces and my mother really felt that she did not ever want to get married. Now that they are getting a little bit older and have had some health scares, my mom is considering getting married to assure that there are the proper legal protections in place. But their situation is a bit different from yours in that there are many immediate family members around to vouch that they should be able to see each other in the event of an emergency.

I guess what really throws me off about this is that my mom really was coming from a place of paranoia when she made this decision, and so there are legal reasons why she doesn’t really want to get married. For one, she was concerned about her children being taken away from her. My father is not on my birth certificate and has no legal rights over me or my siblings. However, in your situation, it seems like you are willing to go out of your way to have all of the legal rammifications of marriage without actually getting married.

I guess I’m just trying to understand, because from my perspective, I can totally understand that you don’t need a marriage license to have a committed, lifelong relationship. And I understand if you don’t want to get married because you are concerned about the legal rammifications of doing so. However, it seems the only reason you don’t want to get legally married is because of the potential situation of divorce.

What bothers me is this sense that you are trying to have your cake and eat it too, pardon the cliche. You are free to make your own choices, but unless you can’t legally enter into a marriage, which is not your situation, I just don’t really see the point of having a wedding that is not in any way legally or spiritually binding. If you don’t want to be married, then don’t be married. But if you want to be married, then be married. I also don’t see what having this big ceremony would change. You’ve said yourself that you’re living essentially as a married couple, so literally nothing will change by having this wedding.

I just really think you should save yourself the time and effort. I feel like a lot of guests, especially those who give gifts, might be really hurt and confused when you try to explain the situation to them. It’s kind of like if you were invited to a birthday party and you brought a really nice present, but then you find it out wasn’t even the person’s birthday, they just wanted to throw themselves a party.

So kind of working through my thoughts here, I guess that’s the conclusion that I come to. Without any legal, spiritual, or social change associated with getting married, I just kind of feel like this comes across as being kind of self-centered. “Well, we don’t really want to be married or have a legal commitment, because that might be inconvenient down the line, but it was a handy excuse to throw ourselves an extravagant party.”

I understand that this is totally unsolicited, but I just wanted to try to maybe provide perspective of how others might perceive this event. I thought it might be helpful to hear from someone who really has grown up with the perspective that marriage is not necessary for a long and lasting relationship. I don’t have the reaction of, “OMG why WOULDN’T you want to get MARRIED?!” But I still don’t really “get” your situation.

Post # 36
Member
5155 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

View original reply
@lochnessy:  I respectfully disagree I am confusing a wedding and marriage at all. A wedding is a ceremony where couples are united in the institution of marriage and it has nothing to do with a party. It does not matter if it is with a justice of the peace and two guests and no party, or with 1,000 guests and a five-day long party. The party portion is the wedding reception, not the actual wedding ceremony and not at all necessary. A big party is not necessary at all to be married, nor is a big party necessary at all to have a wedding. If you elope, that is still your wedding. You are still married. The marriage is the actual living out of those promises to each other. 

As I said, I don’t care if you get married or not. My mother and stepfather were together 25 years without marriage (then they did get married and have a small wedding ceremony and have been married since, but I grew up without that at all). They were, and are, best friends, and there for each other through it all. My mother did not want to get married after a bad divorce. However, they were, and are, also protected in part after some years when legislation came in by common law provisions. They got married when they found out it was easier to deal with retirement issues if they were (obviously married not just for that but it was the instigator).  I never considered marriage a goal or necessary for my life. And definitely not a big wedding (as it is, mine was teeny!).

Ultimately you are going to do what you choose and that is your perogative. Of course I think you should be able to say “You are cordially invited to celebrate the promising of two hearts to one another”. What I disagree with is calling it a wedding and presenting it as such. Again, if you feel so comfortable with NOT getting legally married, why not be honest about it? Call it a celebration, a commitment ceremony, a handfasting, a reception in honour of your relationship, whatever else. If you are so against being legally married, I just wonder why not be proud of that choice then and be upfront with all about it. To me it seems in reading your posts like you actually DO want all the legal protections of marriage, and common trappings of a big wedding, and other common traditions some choose like a proposal and a name change but not in actuality. If you fear a divorce or whatever and do not want to actually get married fine, but then it makes little sense to call it nothing but a piece of paper when you are putting on the presentation of getting that piece of paper!

 

 

Post # 37
Member
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

If you fear a divorce, get a pre-nup.

all this cloak-and-daggers nonsense leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. If you have to try this hard to pool people into thinking you’re married, then you should know right there that it’s a bad idea.

if you’re trying to avoid an increase in taxes or an end to your alimony from a previous marriage, it’s not going to work, at least not over time, as the fake wedding plus the name change would never stand up in court against allegations of you being married.

have your wedding but do it the right way. Don’t be so dishonest. It’s a really bad example for your kids, and just generally not nice. 

Post # 38
Member
2334 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

We are pretty much doing everything that a married couple does in every way except for signing a piece of paper and telling the court that it’s official

Nope.  “Signing a piece of paper” is what tells the court that it’s official, that’s what makes you married in the US.  Doing each other’s taxes and vacuuming doesn’t make you married.  Changing your name to Lochnessy Hislastname doesn’t make you married and won’t get you any tax/insurance benefits if you do that.  You need to have a marriage license to be legally married.

ETA: I have changed my last name before and needed a lawyer to do it.  This part isn’t hard, but it seems like you’re trying to change your last name so you trick the government into thinking you’re married, and therefore getting the tax benefits of being married.

Post # 39
Member
923 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I’ve never changed my name other than after getting married/divorced, so I can’t help you out there.  I would assume that wanting the same name as your children would be a sufficiant explination in most cases if worded diplomatically.  I can say, though, that I understand that there are circumstances in which it is better, legally, to not get married.  My grandfather could never marry the girlfriend he met after my grandmother died (thank God for that, I can’t imagine being “related” to that woman).  It would have meant a lot of unintended consequences financially and neither one of them could afford it.  Now, these circumstances probably don’t apply to you, but there is obviously something going on and that’s your business.

As far as telling your guests, that’s also your business.  I wouldn’t care if it’s a “real” wedding or not.  Despite what other people think, this is no different from a same-sex wedding in states that don’t recognize it.  I know this is not a popular opinion around here, but a wedding is just a big party that may (or may not) involve a legal process.  Hell, up until we got the marriage certificate back we weren’t entirely sure that our marriage was legal.  Our officiant was ordained online which is tough to do in our state.  We still went on with the party and if the application was rejected that we’d just have the judge do it on our next day off. 

Post # 40
Member
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

View original reply
@Sugaree:  “As far as telling your guests, that’s also your business.  I wouldn’t care if it’s a “real” wedding or not.  Despite what other pepole think, this is no different from a same-sex wedding in states that don’t recognize it.”


I have to respectfully disagree, because the OP’s intent is quite different to the intent of a same-sex couple uniting in a state that does not allow same-sex weddings.  If questioned, I’d reckon those same-sex couples would be forthcoming about the state not legally recognizing their marriage— assuming they even hid this fact from their guests. By comparison, the OP is going to great lengths to conceal her true marital status, going so far as to change her name and make legal agreements regarding end-of-life decisions. The same-sex couple in your example is, in the vast majority of cases, not hiding anything; the OP’s efforts to obscure the facts can be interpreted as an intent to mislead, and any same-sex couple who made similar efforts to conceal their intent and true marital status would be acting just as shady, at least in my opinion.

Whether or not you truly wish to decieve your friends, loved ones, and the courts is irrelevant, because once you’ve given that impression, the damage is done.

Post # 41
Member
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I don’t see what the problem is here, OP.  I was the maid of honor in a wedding in November where the couple had already gotten married in a courthouse a few weeks before the ceremony.  They were getting married out of state, and due to the waiting period for a marriage license, would have had to make a special trip just to get the paperwork.  Instead, they “legally” married in their home state before the wedding.  It didn’t make the wedding any less beautiful or special.  For all I know, this could have been the case at every wedding I’ve been to in my life – I pay a lot more attention to the emotional vows the couple recites to each other than making sure all the legal documents are in order. I just wouldn’t go around telling people “JK, we’re not really married!”  In that case I might feel a bit taken in. 

Post # 42
Member
10 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2010

It’s your right to do as you please, but I feel as if there is a lot more to this story. Not intended to be snarky, it just doesn’t seem to add up.

Post # 43
Member
5155 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

View original reply
@fishbone:  Exactly. 

I think there is more going on to this story exactly because they are going to great lengths to put on the appearance of being legally married. 

 

Post # 44
Member
5155 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2010

View original reply
@PetraArkanian:  And apparently you knew that the couple had been married a few months prior. The couple were not pretending to be legally married when they weren’t. Quite a few people do legal AND religious ceremonies separately, or may choose to get legally married at home and exchange non-legal vows at a destination venue, or be a same-sex couple who come across the Canadian border for a legal marriage, and has another ceremony back at home for family, as examples, so I don’t really see that as the same thing.  Particularly as of couples I know who have done this have not actually mislead their family or guests. 

The OP, on the other hand, is going to great lengths to avoid any of her guests (and possibly family) knowing what the deal is.  

 

Post # 45
Member
9126 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

I didn’t read all 40-some of these posts, but has anyone mentioned the tax benefits of being married?  That is definitely one reason we’re doing it legally.  We’ve been together for over a decade but were perpetual students accumulating handfuls of degrees, etc.  Now I’m about to pay *real* taxes for the first time and damn, I’m wishing we were already married cause I’d get about $2500 extra back!

Then again, you probably know that if you’ve been married already.

If you do have a wedding without getting married, I would call it a “committment celebration” or something like that.  When you’re asking all your friends and family to join you and witness your union and commit to supporting the two of you in marriage etc, but you’re not actually unionizing in the way everyone assumes, it seems a little shady.

Post # 46
Member
3942 posts
Honey bee

Ya, I agree that we are missing a piece of this story. You are going through a lot of work to be legally tied together but NOT legally mearried. Why is that?

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