Three weddings???

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
9692 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

Yeah, this is really excessive. I’d put my foot down on inviting people to the courthouse or skip the after party. 

I’d stick to your original plan. Talk to your fiancé and tell him how you are feeling and then tell his family no. They are entitled to thier feelings but that doesn’t mean they get to change thier plans and invite themselves to the courthouse.

Post # 3
1365 posts
Bumble bee

You get one wedding. Your wedding anniversary will be the day you go to the courthouse. I personally am against getting married at the courthouse and then having a “redo”; I’m doubly against having a full-blown party after your nupitals, then going abroad and having another (fake) ceremony and reception, and then having a third party back home. Also, if I was only invited to the wedding abroad and not to your actual wedding, I’d be very hurt.

Why can’t you get legally married abroad? Personally, I would have your legal wedding abroad and, if you absolutely want one, have a simple party to celebrate your union when you return. 

Are your Future In-Laws paying for any of this? If not, they have no say.

Post # 6
1352 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek

I think you should stick to your original plan. Do you have to get legally married here before your ceremony abroad? (I’ve never looked into or been invited to a destination wedding, so I don’t know anything about the logistics.) I think if you have to get legally married before traveling abroad, that day will be your wedding day and the one you should celebrate as your anniversary. If you’re able to just get a certificate or licence or whatever in order to get married abroad, then your wedding day will be when you get married abroad.

I do think it would be nice to have a small party at your house or a park or something after you return for family and friends who couldn’t attend your destination wedding. My sister will be doing the opposite. She’ll be getting married in the states, and then she ahd her Fiance will be traveling to France for their honeymoon and a celebration with the majoirty of his family, who live outside of Paris.

Post # 7
3306 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

Stick to the original plan. 

Post # 8
586 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017 - Nepal

My mother tried to push the same thing, over and over again. Mind you, she needs to make everything about her which may not be the case with your ILs. We got married in a private ceremony in Nepal and decided to legally marry at a courthouse after we returned. We didn’t want anyone to attend the legal ceremony for two reasons: 1 – We don’t think it would be fair if some family members were there and not others, 2 – we think it will take away from our actual ceremony we had. Our family will then feel like they witnessed our “real” wedding. 


Most importantly, how will it make you feel to have your family witness your legal ceremony followed by a celebration, then head off to do your destination wedding? 

Post # 10
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

Why not swap it up a bit. Get married abroad (the vows and a friend officiating would mean more than legal paperwork to me too), come back and have your celebration and then go to the courthouse. By then the appetite to make it a big deal will have faded and you will have celebrate so won’t really care. If you don’t want to that then stick to your original plan! 3 is excessive I agree…..too much of a good thing and alll that! 

Post # 11
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

First of all, I’ll never understand how people can be so closed about “only getting one wedding” etc. etc. which is completely erasive for the culture of the entire region of Latin America (and possibly elsewhere) where EVERYONE who gets married has a courthouse civil ceremony (generally followed by a lunch or small meal) and a larger religious ceremony and reception because that is the only way you can get married.. Also, not to mention people who are trying to figure out legal and residence and citizenship and immigration issues…

If exchanging vows is what makes you feel married, then the day you do that will be your anniversary. No one else gets to tell you what day to celebrate your anniversary!

That being said, I think that the main issue here is that you don’t want the 3 parties. You wanted the courthouse ceremony to be paperwork, which is totally and completely fine, but you and your Fiance need to get on the same page about it and stick your ground.

We are going to end up having to get married “3 times” if you want to be really strict about it, but the first is a courthouse legal thing that we did not celebrate and only did because we had to for legal and immigration reasons. My Fiance is from South America where everyone has a civil cermony and then the religious (it is illegal to have your religious ceremony without a civil ceremony first and religious officiants are unable to perform a ceremony without a civil marriage ceritficate). So we were going to get married in the US first (where I’m from) as the “civil ceremony” and then have the religious ceremony in South America where Fiance is from (and where we live). We ended up having to do a courthouse thing for immigration reasons on the advice of our immigration lawyer. What we ended up doing was going and doing it and not celebrating it, because to us we didn’t get married. For us, we basically applied for a marriage license and the day we exchange vows we will be married and will then celebrate that day as our anniversary. Government rules don’t get to force me into something I don’t want and then force me to celebrate that as my wedding anniversary, I don’t care what anyone else has to say about it.

That being said, it was really hard for Future Mother-In-Law to understand that the legal part was not our wedding and we were not celebrating it. But we stood our ground and didn’t let anyone change our plans. And it ended up being totally fine.

You and Fiance really need to come together and decide together what you want and stick to it. You can’t let anyone else take this over from you. Good luck Bee! I know this is often easier said than done… 

Post # 12
433 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - State Park

Yeah don’t do this. I completely disagree with people who have an issue with courthouse and then a “real” wedding – especially when you’re just dealing with legalities of getting married abroad. We have cousins going through exactly this – getting married in mexico, having a big get together (except with gifts and the whole deal) back here after, and late in the game realized that being legally married if the ceremony was in mexico was super complicated so they got married at the courthouse before they left. Not sure how courthouse was handled. So this must be fairly common.

My biggest insight is my brother who did a ceremony and dinner reception for the people closest to them, very intimate and nice. Then two weeks later did a big traditional reception. On the ferry over to the reception a few of us were all, “I could’ve sworn we already did this.” It was honestly annoying and old. We did the important part. I imagine those closest to you will feel very similarly.

I’d do:

1: Destination

2: Courthouse – PRIVATELY

3: Party

You’d celebrate the destination as your real anniversary, but the courthouse date would probably always be pretty special too.

Post # 13
4099 posts
Honey bee

We will be having 2 ceremonies/wedding/reception/celebration…call it however you like I care less as some here will throw a fit if you have a ceremony or celebration more than once or if you call the second ceremony a wedding. We are Having a civil ceremony by a judge in the US then a religious ceremony in Europe where my SO is from on a later date.

Outside of the US, many countries actually require you to have a civil ceremony first (legal) by a government appointed person then you can have a religious ceremony afterwards (spiritual). I have seen it numerous times. And these couples have actually verbalized that they consider the second ceremony (religious or spiritual) as their wedding anniversary (if both are totally different dates).

Post # 14
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

milkandcookies :  In my opinion you anniversary is when you are legaly married so the courthouse day… and I do think whole destination wedding is pointless I would just do a honeymoon in Europe instead… i would basically just have the wedding the day of the courthouse.. cause if the destination one is pointless why have the celebration after if you can have that same celebration on the day of the courthouse. Im so confused..

Post # 15
945 posts
Busy bee

3 sounds like overkill, and usually it’s the bride is the one who wants 3 (or for cultural reasons)! Stick to your original plan, and have a straightforward no-frills courthouse day.

I will be having two – a destination private ceremony and then a party back home. We’re rethinking having our ceremony legalised since it’s pretty complicated, but we love the privacy of the destination thing and will be treating it as our honeymoon as well. If we have our ceremony legalised locally there may be an extra courthouse day, but it may be the same day as the party.

The local party is more for my parents since I’m the only child and I know they would love to invite all their relatives and friends to my wedding, and I’m not going to rob them of the only chance just because some people on the internet think it’s “bad etiquette” to have two “celebrations”.

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