Post # 1
My fiance and I have a very “traditional” wedding scheduled for later this year – rehearsal dinner, church ceremony, big reception, bachelor/bachelorette parties beforehand, etc. But it’s important to his parents that we also have a (very small, low-key) ceremony in their own religious affiliation. My fiance and I are totally fine with this. The way it works out with our work schedules, it’s much easier to do this small ceremony before our big traditional wedding. We are afraid to publicize this small ceremony, though, because legally we’ll be married afterward and we’re afraid that this will be a buzzkill for all of our traditional wedding guests later this year (even though it should be no hurt feelings because only our parents and siblings are attending the small ceremony, period, no attendants or anyone else). Like, my fiance wondered if we should even wear our wedding bands until the traditional wedding. Any thoughts?
FYI: I’ve already told my MOH/bridesmaids, because I could never lie/keep anything from them, and our religious official for the traditional wedding later on knows and says it’s fine.
Post # 2
Whichever ceremony is “legal” depends on when you sign the paperwork, so the earlier ceremony would not necessarily have to be the legal one; it all depends on what you want. You could very easily make the earlier one “for show” by not signing any legal paperwork, and then you wouldn’t need to worry about what other people thought or what your legal marriage date would be.
Post # 3
I had 3 weddings. I can’t imagine why anyone would feel offended by this. Enjoy your weddings!
Edited to add: We didn’t do this simply because we are “extra” lol. We had ceremonies in our home countries (DH and I are from different countries) because we had family that would not be able to travel, and one ceremony in country we actually live, where most of our friends are. But again, I can’t imagine why this would be offensive to anyone, whatever your reasoning for having multiple ceremonies.
Post # 4
zebra10 : I’ve seen many threads like this where the bride gets panned for having 2 ceremonies and being told “but you only have one wedding day”. I have never ever known of a wedding guest no longer talking to the couple because they found out they had a previous ceremony. Honestly, just do it. Only you know what works best for you and not your wedding guests nor strangers in the internet.
Post # 5
zebra10 : we’re doing something similar, but not getting married legally/civilly until the second ceremony at our big wedding. The first one is only religious (his family’s religion, not mine) and family and at home. Nobody i know so far thinks anything is wrong w it, but I got some thoughts here – http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/religious-ceremony-months-before-wedding-and-signing-legal-papers/#post-10483601
you could always choose to wait to get legally married til the 2nd ceremony. And, you could do the ceremonies at the same time or within a day or two of each other.
Post # 6
Such nonsense. You have as many weddings as you need to deal with your personal circumstances.
Strictly your business.
Blessings and Joy however you decide!
Post # 7
Which one are you treating as your actual wedding? (So, which date will you use for your anniversary, etc.?) If it’s the second I wouldn’t wear my wedding band until then.
It also sounds to me like your two ceremonies are fairly close together, or as close enough as your schedules permit. Normally I’m against it when there’s a legal marriage months before the actual celebration (with exceptions for circumstances like immigration or military issues) but I’d be fine with this. I’m assuming there’s no way to get around signing the legal papers at the first religious ceremony (I know if it’s Catholic it’s required).
Post # 8
bayoubee : The two ceremonies are actually several months apart because his family’s religious ceremony involves us traveling completely across the country, so I needed a week off from work and I couldn’t do that – followed closely by another week for the big wedding as well as other days off for shower, bachelorette party, wedding prep all within a tight time frame.
i appreciate people’s responses. I just worried that if people found out we were already legally married (required by the religious official at the first ceremony), they’d feel like it somehow diminished what was special about our big wedding.
Post # 9
- Wedding: August 2018 - Parklands, Quendon Hall
We are doing something similar. We found out that we can’t have a religious ceremony at our venue so on ‘the big day’ we will be having a civil ceremony and registry (legally binding), and then a week later a church ‘conversion’ ceremony. We decided to do the church one afterwards rather than before as we wanted the first one (with the photographer etc etc) to be the real one if that makes sense. It’s all about what’s right for you two!
Post # 10
We’ve been struggling with the 2 ceremonies as well. My Fiance and I aren’t all that religious, but our families are very very traditional Roman Catholic. It broke their hearts and caused a lot of tears/tension when they found out we were planning an outdoor at our venue. We went back and forth between doing a small, family-only church ceremony afterwards, but it was a hassle when it came to timing and we didn’t want to get our families all dressed up again a week or 2 after our outdoor ceremony and reception with all our guests. We finally decided on a church ceremony the morning of our civil wedding. In NJ, if a civil and religious ceremony are performed on the same day, you only need 1 marriage license and they just make 2 copies of it (A&B). This will work out the best for our situation, so don’t you worry about what anyone else thinks or says. Do what you have to do to stay sane! Good luck!
Post # 11
Thanks, everyone! We ended up doing the small wedding months ahead of our big, traditional ceremony. We both wear our rings and never hide it if asked, but we say how much we (truly are!) looking forward to our big wedding coming up with all our guests. Am I a little weird, having a bachelorette party, shower, etc when I’m technically already legally married? Yes, I think so. But my husband(!) and I don’t regret it at all- it feels so great just to be married and to not have publicized the first, intimate ceremony on social media or wherever, like we were just concentrating on us and what truly matters. It actually felt kinda like eloping, then later on having formal/religious ceremony bc the marriage wouldn’t really be complete without that.