(Closed) “secret” ceremony before the wedding?

posted 7 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
466 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Maybe try to organize a really nice dinner or something? Sort of a nice send off for your brother, and see if your family can come in (but not make it mandatory)? I would be really devestated too if my little brother couldn’t be at my wedding, but if it’s going to break you guys financially, just try to scale it back. 

Good luck!

Post # 4
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I know you’ll probably get a lot of responses from people who would be offended if they found out that you were already married but I’m not one of them.  I say do what makes you and your family happy.  Now, I wouldn’t lie about it if anyone asks but honestly, I know most people who do destination weddings have to do the courthouse wedding b/c it’s really hard to legalize a marriage done outside the country.

Post # 5
3378 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I know some people feel really strongly about the idea that being legally married ahead of time takes away from your wedding being “real,” but I don’t buy that and think you should do what works for you.  I see no problem in having a small ceremony for your immediate family before your brother leaves, and knowing your family circumstances I would find it hard to believe that many of your guests wouldn’t understand.

The way I see it, a marriage is not only a legal relationship, but it is a social institution as well.  We’ll be getting married at the courthouse the Saturday before our wedding because my father is no longer ordained and it was important for us to have him officiate, and I don’t think it takes away from our formal celebration at all because for us it is important to make our vows in the presence of and with the support of our family and friends.  We’re not keeping it a secret, if it comes up we’re telling people, but we also don’t see our formal wedding as a charade or something simply because we’re already legally married.

In short – do what works for you.  I think having a small ceremony in order to be able to include your brother would probably be more meaningful to you than necessarily having your destination wedding be the legal bit.

Post # 6
2638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2006

I don’t think, as a guest, I would feel slighted. Honestly, if it weren’t a Destination Wedding I’d feel differently maybe but when I commit to a Destination Wedding I am also looking forward to the vacation (let’s face it).

I think this is sweet and considerate and, if at all possible, you should go for it.

Post # 7
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’d try to make the secret wedding work. Life is short and for those of us in combat boots, it can sometimes be even shorter, and family is important, he’s not just your brother, but you FI’s Future brother aswell. Good luck hun.

Post # 8
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I think it sounds like a great idea! Maybe talk to your family members and see how they feel about coming together for a quiet, small ceremony? Maybe just parents and siblings or something? It’s great that you want to do this for your brother. As a guest, I wouldn’t care that you were already married! I think someone posted this above but a lot of people do legalize it here first anyway. Good luck!

Post # 9
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Personally, I don’t like the idea of lying to your guests, since they would have taken time off and spent money to be there with you the day of. 

Since you are military family though, I’m sure your guests would understand your need to have the ceremony early.  In fact would it be possible to record it and perhaps replay it at your Destination Wedding site when you make your promises again so that ALL of your family and friends can see how he was included?

Post # 10
1 posts
  • Wedding: August 2013


I dont think a secret ceremony is a bad idea. My fiance and I are doing a secret ceremony more than a year before our actual wedding day. Since we are christian we dont want to live together and not be married and since we can not really afford to live seperate and dont have family we can live with we decided to do it that way. THe only people who will know will be our immediate family and then we plan on telling our guests at the reception next year. I was worried that people may see it as being rude but we have to do what works for us and is best for us.

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