(Closed) Should I be keeping the legal ceremony on the down low?

posted 3 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
5268 posts
Bee Keeper

mscuppycake: This is such a controversial topic on here, you are likely to get many different responses.

I, personally, wouldn’t care. How far in advance are you getting legally married? I don’t think this is a big deal right before a DW. Isn’t it a given that most people get legally married in the states right before a DW? I think if you wait until after the DW to tell people about it though, some people may be really offended, especially if you are exchanging vows and inviting families and treating it as your wedding day. Then it makes your DW in Mexico technically a wedding celebration.



Post # 4
12629 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I don’t like being lied to by people, so I have an issue with people secretly getting married and then pretending that the second ceremony is their real ceremony.  If I spent all the money to come to your DW, I’d be a little put off to know that it wasn’t actually your wedding ceremony (because to me, the ceremony is when the marriage is legally conducted, which, in your scenario, is when the papers are signed).

I had a cousin do the secret marriage thing and then the big wedding party after, and when people found out, they were upset about being lied to.  Deception is uncool. Lying by omission is still lying, in my book.

If you’re having the ceremony in advance, own it.

Post # 5
1616 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I wouldn’t hide that you did the legal part before leaving. You don’t have to be posting photos all over facebook or anything but I would let people know through word of mouth. I know I wouldn’t care but I can’t speak for others. Just be honest.

And I agree that you will be varying opinions so be prepared.

Post # 6
554 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I did exactly the same thing for my DW in Mexico. We got married legally at home (literally in our house with the parents as witness two weeks before). We didn’t really tell anyone except close friends and didn’t wear our wedding rings except for the day of marriage.  There were no dinners, receptions, etc

In Mexico, we invited people and exchanged rings again and had thr symbolic ceremony. We wear our rings now.  

we wanted the Mexican wedding to be special and we saw the paper signing as a means to an end.  I didn’t want there to be two receptions and friends and family going to the legal ceremony at home because then what would be the point of a wedding in Mexico?

Hope that helps. 


Edit: everyone knew this was a symbolic ceremony in Mexico and we were not trying to hide anything. 

Post # 7
8469 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

mscuppycake:  I personally wouldn’t care one way or the other, but then again I don’t think of the ceremony and the legal aspect being the same thing.  To me, it’d be like saying a baby doesn’t exist until there’s a birth certificate/social security card.

Post # 9
5268 posts
Bee Keeper

mscuppycake:  Without exchanging vows and rings, this doesn’t sound like getting married, it sounds like paperwork that is a good time for both parents to meet. 

There have been a few posts where people got married and then kept it hush-hush because they didn’t want people to treat their “big” wedding differently, even though they already exchanged vows and rings and treated it like a wedding day. That is when people get irritated, when they are purposely being deceived. 

If anyone asks, I’d just tell them the truth, because of all the hoop jumping you have to do in Mexico to get legally married, you did the paperwork so your marriage in Mexico would already be legal when you exchange vows down there. 

Post # 10
2724 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I personally wouldn’t care. I understand that there are SO many reasons why legal paperwork needs to get done at some point other than when you celebrate your marriage…DWs being one of them. Religious ceremonies are another one of those “things.” Military weddings sometimes. Financial concerns… Whatever, as a guest, member of your wedding party, etc I wouldn’t be the least bit offended, deceived, peeved, bothered, put out or whatever at not witnessing the “real” deal. The only real thing I’d concern myself as a guest is that you cared enough to invite me to what YOU consider YOUR wedding. 

Post # 11
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

mscuppycake:  I would definitely let people know! As PPs have said, most people will be absolutely fine with attending a symbolic ceremony, whereas many people would NOT be fine attending what they thought was a legal wedding ceremony and finding out later through the grapevine that this was not the case. Though I’m not sure the best way to go about it at this point, as Facebook seems a little impersonal. I’d have recommended wording your invitations to reflect the nature of the situation (i.e. “mscuppycake and mrcuppycake invite you to celebrate their marriage” rather than “…at the marriage of mscuppycake and mrcuppycake”), but since it’s a DW in August I’m assuming your invitations have already gone out. Since you have about a month between your legal wedding and your symbolic ceremony, maybe you could send a cute wedding announcement to all of your invited guests, letting them know that you’ve tied the knot and you can’t wait to repeat your vows and party it up with all of your loved ones in Mexico!

Post # 12
1260 posts
Bumble bee

mscuppycake:  Please help me understand why you’d want to keep the first ceremony a secret.

Post # 14
5708 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

mscuppycake:  Yes, keep it on the low down.  I also did a DW in Mexico and this is what essentially everyone who does a Mexico wedding has to do.  You don’t necessarily need to keep it a secret, but I’d keep it very low key to not take away from the importance of the real wedding for all those people who choose to travel to be with you.  For example, I would not post pics on social media, woudl not bring it up with anyone (unless it comes up), etc.

We had a quick civil ceremony before our wedding in Mexico, but we consider the big wedding in Mexico to be our “real” wedding and anniversary. 

Post # 15
5708 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

housebee:  “I don’t think of the ceremony and the legal aspect being the same thing.  To me, it’d be like saying a baby doesn’t exist until there’s a birth certificate/social security card.”

Oh my god I LOVE this analogy!  

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