(Closed) The function of a public wedding after an elopement–esp for MIL brides

posted 5 years ago in Emotional
  • poll: Why have just one?
    Celebrate however you want! If it matters to you, then it matters. : (65 votes)
    66 %
    Ugh, I didn't see the actual paperwork and bloody sheets, so your love is a lie and personal affront : (6 votes)
    6 %
    I still feel one's guests *should* be privy your financial and contractual history--it's etiquette : (22 votes)
    22 %
    I actually think secret marriages are romantic and sexy : (5 votes)
    5 %
  • Post # 3
    8681 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    I don’t think most people have a problem with a vowel renewal wedding after a quickie wedding, what I think people have a problem with is being lied to and decieved. Sorry but I don’t lie to people I care about. If you are not ashamed or doing something wrong why is there a need to lie? Why can you not just tell everyone that you had a civil ceremony?

    Post # 4
    862 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 2012

    @j_jaye:  my cousin got married before his wedding, and I only found out after the fact. I did not feel “lied to” or “decieved”. where’s the lie? he got married, I get to see him and his bride, it was a happy family gathering. he did not actually lie to me, he just decided not to disclose this information to everyone since it was irrelevant. and it is.

    it was NOT a vow renewal, it was his wedding!! the civil ceremony is just the official administration part, there was no celebration there. dunno why people find it so hard to separate the two.

    Post # 5
    7977 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

    @patchy:  “it was NOT a vow renewal, it was his wedding!! the civil ceremony is just the official administration part, there was no celebration there. dunno why people find it so hard to separate the two.”


    Post # 6
    9954 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    People can have as many “ceremonies” or celebrations as they like.

    But in reality you only MARRY one time.  The first time.

    So depending on where you live that could be a Govt Ceremony that binds you together – or a Religious One… or a Combo one that is recognized by BOTH the Church & Country

    The truth is the Minute you say I DO no matter how you do it… you are married, and bound together in the eyes of someone (State or Church).

    It makes sense to say, in some circumstances… I need both, and as I cannot have them at the same time, then I will have them seperate (this is particularly so for people who reside in countries where Relgion has been no creedance with the authorities)

    BUT it makes no sense to pretend to marry a multitude of times solely to keep the secret of your union from others **

    And in most jurisdictions that is also a fact…

    You cannot perpetrate the fraud to marry again… take Vows that have already been spoken / promised.  Particularly so if they were previously exchanged in a Religious Ceremony.

    In truth there is nothing wrong with a Vow Renewal…

    Be it in a short time frame following the Wedding (Days, Weeks or Months) or one that happens later as a Celebration of the Marriage at a milestone anniverary or to mark a monumental event (enduring hardship perhaps)

    And a Vow Renewal can have it all… it can be EVERYTHING that a Wedding is just not have that name / title.

    And if I was invited to a Vow Renewal… I would go, and attend it in the same way as I do a Wedding, for it is a JOYOUS Occcasion and a CELEBRATION of Love.  And that I am ALWAYS happy to attend.

    ** I don’t truly understand the whole “we kept it a secret thing” at all.  For there should be NO SHAME in a Marriage.  NO SHAME being with the Love of your life… to be a NEW Family.  There should only be Pride & Joy.

    What I do find more often than not is the whole element of wanting to keep the Original Marriage a secret lies in the fact that the Couple are wanting not just to throw a BIG Party (anyone can always do that… for a Vow Renewal or a Back Home Reception / Wedding Celebration)

    BUT in truth what is wanted more than anything else by most of these couples is their want for Gifts.  It is 99% of the time stated in these posts… although it might be loosely disguised.

    I want an Engagement Party – I want a Bridal Shower – I want a Bachelorette Party – I want to Register for Gifts.

    And therein more than anything else for me lies the problem… the deceipt centers more than anything else around deceipt in the name of greed.

    And that is what is truly wrong with these “Secret Marriages”

    They are built on lies.


    Post # 7
    709 posts
    Busy bee

    @megdali:  I totally agree with you.  

    Where I live (Munich) this is pretty standard… 

    I think I can name more friends who did their legal wedding months before their church wedding than i can name friends who did it the same day / the same weekend… 

    A current example… my friends Tom and Kathrin had their legal wedding in October (dressed up nicely, signed the paperwork, had lunch with their family) and will have a big wedding in summer 2014 with all their friends and extended family. 




    Post # 8
    862 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 2012

    @This Time Round:  if a couple is greedy, they will be greedy no matter if they get married at the same time as the wedding or prior to. people who want to keep the marriage a secret may do so for any number of reasons, and it is not anyone else’s place to judge. it is unfair to generalize like that.

    maybe they want to keep the marriage a secret BECAUSE of judgey people like those I’ve seen on these boards. in fact here is the first I’ve heard that a paper signing = a wedding, because in my culture they are completely separate things.

    I went to my cousin’s WEDDING, not his vow renewal, despite him already being legally married. I’m not sure why people keep wanting to force others to use the word ‘vow renewal’ when it is not fitting for the spirit of the occassion.

    the paper signing is just a legal procedure. the wedding is the festival ceremony with family and friends. whether or not they happen on the same day is not anyone’s business but the couple’s.

    Post # 9
    1784 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I don’t get the amount of hate this gets either (though I hear another wedding website is much worse about it than the Bee).  I’m legally married, but my ceremony isn’t until the end of this month.  That’s just how it worked out for various reasons.  I’m not keeping it a secret, and all of my guests know, but I don’t care how another couple does it.  The ceremony isn’t a vow renewal for us because we never said any vows.  We just handed over paperwork.

    Post # 10
    13248 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    What’s with all the anger, OP?

    …Clicking “Back” now…

    Post # 11
    343 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    Fiance (well, technically Darling Husband I suppose) and I have already been civilly married and won’t have our “religious” wedding until October. Our reason was because he is not a citizen (yet has been living/working in the states for 12+ years, went to high school and college here, pays taxes, etc… don’t get me started on the government!) Until he gets his permanent resident status he is unable to change jobs and/or move to where I’m located, so we went ahead with the legal marriage to get the paperwork process started. We’re hoping in the next 6 months he’ll be able to relocate to Atlanta where I am.

    Nobody except for our parents know about the marriage, not even our own siblings. Even though we are legally married neither of us will “feel” married until we have our religious ceremony in front of our friends and family. To us it is not a lie to be married again in front of our friends or families. We want to celebrate joining our lives together and we feel that the best way to do that is to have a traditional wedding… we don’t think the fact that we’re legally married will detract from our big day.

    It’s also a coincidence that our religious/traditional wedding is going to take place on the 1 year anniversay of our civil ceremony… so its kind ofg great that both of our anniversaries will be on the same day. 

    Post # 12
    2602 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    This is going to offend some people, including some posters who post things I like and agree with, but I find it really bizarre when someone refers to their SO as their Fiance for months on this site and then posts that they are already legally married but planning the “real” wedding.

    You only get one wedding. One type is just as real as the other. The celebration does not make the marriage. One thing no one mentions is that posts that mention a big wedding day after legal marriage or call their legal husband their Fiance actually imply that those who went the courthouse route have some sort of sham marriage. It’s not viewed as valid by them. Perhaps it’s subconscious, but it’s there.

    We don’t get everything in life. If distance or health insurance or finances make a big, white wedding day prohibitive, then guess what? That’s just life. A celebratory dinner later on or a party isn’t a problem. A second wedding or a do-over doesn’t make sense.

    Most people who elope don’t secretly spend the next year or two planning for their wedding day because it’s already happened.

    Post # 13
    1129 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014


    I’ve always though of that! Here is VERY common to have the legal stuff and ceremony on different days. Most people don’t consider themselves “oficially” married until the ceremony, because that’s the meaning full part for them. I will probably have the paper work done a week or a day before the wedding, but won’t be living with Fiance until after the ceremony, because that’s what matter the most to us. I guess it is a cultural thing. I always find it weird when people feel “lied to”. 

    Although here is not THAT common having people living together before marriage.

    Post # 14
    2602 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    @AnaA:  Doing paperwork a week before for the wedding is not necessarily the same as being married for a year without telling anyone and then having your “wedding.”

    Post # 15
    1129 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @MsW-to-MrsM:  that’s actually true and I agree. Civil ceremonies are almost never a secret here, because you need at least 4 witnesses (unless you ask random people walking by lol). I do think it is sort of weird to have a full marriage before the “wedding” though. That’s why I am saving moving in until after the wedding. That’s how I see things. 

    In those scenarios a vow renewal would be more apropiate, or maybe a casual reception, dunno :/

    Post # 16
    1649 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2015

    @megdali:  I usually don’t have an issue with people getting a civil ceremony done and then having a wedding celebration at another time. My parents did that and it worked fine for them. . . but only because they were open and honest about it. They didn’t hide their marriage and they still got to have the more traditional wedding celebration later; they simply changed the wording and the ceremony to reflect that they were already legally married. Worked out just fine for them, so I have trouble understanding why some couples feel the need to conceal their marriage (unless their lives were in anyway in danger because of the marriage).


    I remember one post recently where the OP had married their Darling Husband, in secret, during the summer. She wanted a Church wedding (their families did too) and was wondering how to go about having one. The way it was worded bothered me because it seemed like she wanted to lie to the Priest in order to get the traditional ceremony, instead of the one that would have been offered (called a Convalidation Ceremony) in order to hide the fact that they were married. It just struck me as wrong to do that, but I felt that a lot of posters went too far with their comments. You can disagree with someone without being an ass about it.


    I haven’t seen any posts where it seems like the OP just wants presents and thats why the original marriage was kept secret, but I do have a huge issue with that as well. . . and it seems that the vast majority of people on this site have an issue with that too (for the record, it bothers me when anyone is pushy about gifts or greedy no matter how many wedding ceremonies they have). I would argue that most Bees agree that having a more traditional wedding celebration after a civil ceremony is perfectly acceptable, so long as it’s not just a grab for money and gifts.


    I’m sorry if you had a bad experience on this site or if someone directed nasty comments at you for some reason. That doesn’t mean everyone on this site is a bad person though. And I understand this was a rant, but you do your argument and yourself a disservice by the language you chose to use. Be angry all you want at the people who are judging you, but don’t lump all the rest of us in there as well. Doing so makes you no better then the people who judge you for your decisions.


    (And for the record, please thank your Husband for his service. And congratulations on your marriage and upcoming wedding!)


    The topic ‘The function of a public wedding after an elopement–esp for MIL brides’ is closed to new replies.

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