(Closed) We might just be running off to the Registry Office…

posted 3 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
462 posts
Helper bee

I haven’t done this but have to say that I think you are doing the best thing.  From what I have heard things could be difficult for you to behave in your unmarried relationship the way you are used to.  It would be simpler and safer to be man and wife.

But don’t be upset about missing out on a wedding.  You can have a beautiful vow renewal at any time and make it as much like a wedding as you want.  People will be there to celebrate your love for each other despite the fact that you already have that legal bit of paper.

I would advise not keeping your marriage a secret though – people will understand your reasons for doing it this way.

Post # 4
462 posts
Helper bee

Mrswebbyhopefully:  exactly!  You are just separating the various elements of a wedding and delaying parts of them.

You will still make those important vows and will actually have time to savour that part before having your celebration with guests.  I think the only time people are offended by something like this us if the couple pretend they aren’t married and people feel duped or if the couple have a renewal very soon after a big wedding for no apparent reason and people feel obliged to go through the expense again.

I don’t know if you have ever been to a vow renewal but the one I attended was hardly any different to a ‘normal’ wedding – some of the wording was just changed slightly.  I will say though that everybody did know the couple was already married and didn’t care!

Post # 5
8122 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Mrswebbyhopefully:  I think it is a good decision given the country you are moving to. My dad worked in the UAE when I was a teenager and we were sent to boarding school instead of going. My mum only lasted a month before she came home (this was int he 80’s when things were much stricter).

I say don’t just dismiss the registry office wedding. Make it special and then have a great wedding at a later date celebrating with everyone. Why does one have to be clinical?

But what I don’t understand is the need to keep it a secretlie/lie/lieby obmission about it? It just plays into the notion of “I know this is something wrong so I am hiding it”. There is nothing wrong with having a valid reason to get married early and then having a wedding later. If people stopped lying and concealing it then society would move forward in accepting it.

Post # 7
26 posts

Just wanted to give my two cents as we are in a similar situation. Firstly, as PP’s have mentioned – yes, you are making the right decision considering where you are moving. This is about your safety and quality of life. Secondly, no need to keep it a secret! Just like j_jaye said There is nothing wrong with having a valid reason to get married early and then having a wedding later. If people stopped lying and concealing it then society would move forward in accepting it.

<br /><br />We are having our legal wedding – which we refer to as our “paper wedding” – this coming September in my FI’s hometown. There will be 10 ppl (parents, siblings, two friends) and we will take everyone for lunch after. The timing of this is to ensure certain older family members are able witness our nuptials and because we live overseas this will be the only time we are “home” this year. 

<br />Then, next May (nine whole months later, gasp!), we are hosting a our “love ceremony” in Paris where we will exchange our vows and wedding rings (we wont exchange rings at the original ceremony). These festivities will be attended by about 35 of our friends and family and will include a white dress, veil, new suit for the hubby, amazing photographer, champagne, delicious food – everything a wedding might have. BUT everyone will already know about the paper ceremony that will have occured in September – no secrets necessary amongst friends and family. 

<br /><br />I think j_jaye makes another great point when she/he says to not just dismiss the registry wedding. I had to give myself permission to be equally excited for both ceremonies and not feel like I had to diminish the importance of one in order to increase the significance of the other. As though we didn’t deserve the two celebrations or as though we were doing something wrong. (forums such as this one have on more than one occassion reinforced that negative notion in me so I’ve had to work hard to move past it) I will be wearing white for both and carrying a small bouquet for both and hey, that’s ok!<br /><br /><br />(We are actually attending a friend’s wedding about a week after our “paper wedding” so in order not to steal anyone’s thunder we wont be sharing the news of our paper ceremony with that specific friend group until a couple of weeks after the fact – but that has more to do with respecting our friends than anything else.) 


  • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by  .
  • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by  . Reason: Edited for weird spacing
  • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by  . Reason: Edited for weird spacing
Post # 8
26 posts

side note: if anyone can explain to me how to not have (<br /><br />) in my posts while still allowing for seperate paragraphs – it would be greatly appreciated! I tried many different things and all seem to have failed. 

Post # 9
497 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

Mrswebbyhopefully:  I have no idea on the rules or anything for UAE, but this sounds really lovely! 

I think you’re right with what you’ve said earlier, it can be the vows and not a big fluffy wedding.

Like PPs have said, I wouldn’t keep it a secret. Just let everyone know that you are sure your SO is the man you want to be with, and this is the way to start your next chapter together. 

Then when you’re back for holiday or whatever, have a ‘wedding’/celebration/vow renewal.

Congratulations and good luck.


MaryMacMerry:  I just press ‘return’, but I did try to do small breaks which was Shift Return which made my posts have that <br></br> thing.

Post # 10
958 posts
Busy bee

Mrswebbyhopefully:  A dear friend and ex-flatmate of mine and his wife had already gotten the legal bit taken care of at a registry office before their traditional Catholic ceremony and reception in Poland. I think they decided to do it that way to make things simpler as the groom wasn’t Catholic and they were living in London at the time, so making sure it was legally valid would apparently have been more trouble than they wanted to get into.

We all had a lovely time at their wedding, and the fact that they were already legally married didn’t detract fromt he loveliness of the church service (I couldn’t understand a word of the Polish, though) or their reception.

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by  Laululintu.

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