(Closed) …to tell the guests or not to tell….

posted 9 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 32
4765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas

I’m not quite sure I understand what the problem would be about just getting legally married beforehand and having your wedding day still be what you consider “official”. I don’t see why people would be offended by that! 

It’s not “putting on a show” to have a traditional ceremony after you’re legally married, because in this situation the wedding ceremony where you say your vows to one another in front of your friends and family is the REAL wedding. Going to the courthouse just covers the legality of the marriage. 

Maybe I just have a different way of looking at it, but I definitely don’t think it’s a big deal!

Post # 33
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

I don’t think it is deceitful to be married before your wedding.  Cheeses.  Get married beforehand!  It’s really no one’s business to judge you anyway.  My bestie had a JOP ceremony and her wedding will be next year.  They aren’t hiding it, but the “celebration” with family and friends will be the wedding!  I don’t see why you need to call it anything different.  It’s not pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes (unless you specifically pretend to NOT be married).  I wouldn’t mention it beforehand unless you want people showing up to the JOP ceremony (probably uninvited).  If you tell people you are getting married at the courthouse on [whatever] date, they will try to attend.  So if you wanted to keep that private, I would make the announcement afterwards.  (Maybe something informal like FB.)  Then continue to plan your wedding!

Post # 34
686 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I actually believe that in most countries you have to get legally married before your “real” ceremony. Just throwing that out there ๐Ÿ˜›

Post # 35
1560 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

i am saying this WITHOUT reading anyone’s thoughts.

you will (and probably did) get some responses saying that it’s “wrong” to lie to people and get married BEFORE your wedding. i say “whatever” to that (no offense to anyone, just my own personal opionion…) because we did! we had to get legally married so that he could be immediately put on my insurance to have surgery. we were married in april of ’09 and our wedding was june of 2010. i told a lot of people AT the wedding that we’d already been married over a year and of course got a lot of shocked responses – but everyone understood and was happy for us! no one was pissed and, if they were – that’s their own issue. but yes, for a year and a few months, only a handful of people knew – my parents, his mother & brother (his dad didn’t know) and our best friends (my Maid/Matron of Honor and her husband).

I DO understand the thought that a lot of people have that you are “misleading” your friends and family – but honestly it doesn’t matter. And it will be your WEDDING. we had our “legal ceremony” in april of 09 but we had our incredible wedding in june of 2010.

if you want to – go for it. in the grand scheme of things, no one will care.

i wish you luck and love and a WONDERFUL marriage and wedding!!!

Post # 36
175 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

If I was a guest at your wedding and found out you were “pre-married” I would have zero problem with that.  If you explained the reasoning, I would probably congratulate you on finding a creative solution.  Your legal wedding will not be that far in advance of the public wedding, and if people ask, you can say that you don’t consider yourself married until you say your vows in front of your loved ones.  I don’t see the big deal.  However, only you know your friends and family and if they are likely to be offended.  Maybe talk it over with a few people who know your group and see what they think the response will be.

Post # 37
877 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

@ab33arch: We’re in the same boat as you!  I thought it would be much more meaningful if someone we knew officated our wedding.  Here, temporary licenses for marriage commissioners aren’t granted so we can’t have a friend get ordained for us for the day.  What we’ll be doing is just going to a marriage commissioner’s house with our 2 witnesses before our wedding date to sign the paperwork.  We’re not even going to exchange rings or anything that day.  Then on the actual day of the wedding reception, our friend will perform an actual ceremony for us.  If guests ask about anything, then we’ll tell them.  If not, then so be it!  Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 38
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

It shouldn’t be a big deal either way. My sister had a JOP marriage before her fiance got deployed. They are not telling the extended family that they did this because it was strictly for any worst case scenarios that could happen while he was deployed. As far as all of our friends and extended family are concerned she is only engaged. They will celebrate their anniversary on the day they exchange vows in front of the family.

I don’t think that it is a big deal for her to “lie” about not being married. There isn’t a difference in her actions between married and engaged. It’s a personal decision, and I don’t think people need to be concerned about when the certificate was signed.

Post # 39
35 posts
  • Wedding: October 2010

My FI/Husband and I did this because now was the time to buy a house and we couldn’t do so without being married because of the type of loan we got (VA). Plus, I’d lost my job and when I found a new one it didn’t have health insurance and FI/Husband was terrified that I would get sick or hurt and not be able to pay for it. A handful of our friends and family know, but we consider our big wedding date to be our wedding, and will be celebrating our anniversary on that date. Basically, we consider last February to be the time that we had our papers signed. We do not feel like we are “lying” to anyone. This is merely the way that it worked out for us, and it has worked out very well.

Post # 40
311 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I would tell the truth.  That way no one finds out and thinks your hiding something.  Less to worry about.

Post # 41
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Maybe this is a stupid question or maybe I just had too much ADD and missed the answer.. but why not just use the judge or person you want to marry you for your party and skip the double ceremony?  That way youre not having to keep people inthe dark about anything AND you have someone you want to marry you… I dont think i understand the situation….

Post # 42
351 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

My husband and I did this, although we actually did it on the same day.  It added a little crunch and stress to our timeline, but we wanted to know in the future that the day we felt we got married was the same day our wedding certificate would show that we were married.  We had the same reasons . . . we’re both non-religious and my husband was adamant about not by a minister; however, we wanted to be married outside and not just at the courthouse (and in our state, only magistrates and licensed ministers can marry people, and the magistrates will only do it at the courthouse).  We also didn’t want to have someone “ordained” over the internet as (1) in our eyes, it would then become a religious ceremony, and (2) I’ve heard too many horror stories about people who did this and found out years later that they weren’t legally married.  So, on the morning of our wedding ceremony, we went to the courthouse with our parents and my best friend to witness the ceremony.  We didn’t hide it from anyone but we didn’t announce it either.  To any who asked, we simply explained that we needed to go to the courthouse to make it legal.  I was worried my parents would have a problem with it, but honestly, no one seemed to care at all.  Some definitely thought it was odd because they didn’t understand our religious objections, but no one thought we were being fraudulent or that our outdoor ceremony in front of our family and friends was any less special.

Do what works for you and don’t let people bother you!  The people who really love you will just be happy for you both and not care about the details.

Post # 43
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

Girl, it is totally up to you.  You don’t owe it to anyone to tell them you got legally married before.  Your wedding, your choice.  Any by no means should you call it a vow renewal when it is your wedding day!

Post # 44
374 posts
Helper bee

I am of the “do as you wish” party.  My husband and I actually knew we weren’t going to be able to swing a wedding around the time we wanted to marry, so we headed over to the courthouse and did our thing on our own.  However, we did promise our loved ones that in a few years, when the wedding of our dreams was able to be planned, we’d celebrate formally.  NO ONE scratched their head, no one was offended or made any comments.  Instead, our family lovingly congratulated our marriage, shared a nice meal with us, and is still looking forward to our wedding.  Some may look at it as a renewal, and I do sometimes refer to it as such…but in our hearts, our occasion will be OUR wedding.

I don’t think you owe an explanation to anyone.  I imagine you are inviting your closest family and friends and I find it hard to believe that you’d receive any flack.  If you choose to get married prior to your actual wedding date, I don’t think you need to advertise or explain your decision to anyone.  If the subject is brought up, you can verify that yes, you are married, but you are not obligated to further indulge.  At least that’s my opinion…  ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Best wishes and I hope you truly decide to do what *you* wish to do. 

Post # 45
4 posts
  • Wedding: May 2011

My fiance and I wanted someone we knew to marry us as well and we ended up choosing my borther. Wierd, but pretty cool. We know he would do a great job! It was fairly easy to get him ordained online. We used americanmarriageministries.com. The county we live in (in Michigan) does not requre him to register as a marriage officiant, he just needs to sign the marriage license and submit it into the county clerk’s office. Simple as that. Just chek with the state and county you live in to clarify their rules and you should be good to go. The website we used is free to get ordained, but there’s a small fee to order a notarized certificate/credentials, etc. We’ll be ordering that JUST IN CASE there should be any probems down the road, but I’m not really worried. But at least we’ll have proof of the legalities. Good luck!

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