Post # 17
Agree with others who say it’s fine to have a committment ceremony type thing, but when you tell people you’re getting married, it’s assumed you’re taking on a certain legal status. As long as your guests know, do what makes you happy.
Post # 18
Personally I have no issue with it. My fiance knows the only reason why I’m marrying him is because I’d rather get married to him than go through life without him. I don’t consider marrying him a sacrafice because it just never mattered to me while it means a great deal to him.
I understand having a ceremony and party but I wouldn’t call each other husband and wife. People will be confused since you wont be actually be married. Some might also consider it an offensive lie. Just say the party is to announce your agreement to stay together forever without the paper work.
Personally I don’t think not having the paper work would make your relationship lesser than if you legally got married. Sure divorce isn’t normally easy but neither is moving out when you have bought a house together or are renting together.
Post # 19
I also don’t think you need to tell your guests that you’re not legally married. It’s really none of their business- PPs have stated that guests might do not like participating in this type of ceremony, but I don’t understand why they would really care.
Post # 20
AND…while we’re talking legal benefits, unless you are his wife in a legal sense, there are some rights and privileges that you just won’t have.
In emergency situations I’ve had doctors ask to look at my ID and verify that I am legally Mrs. 99 because of the patient protection act, they could get in HUGE trouble for talking to someone that didn’t have the right legal status about another’s medical situation, no matter what.
You may get tagged on taxes, but you get discounts on insurance, and the added plus of being a legally joined financial force, which gives you more power and greater benefit as far as credit, loans, investing and savings…can’t do that to the fullest extent if you wanna keep that line there.
I think if you’re being held up on money, you need to broaden the picture, there’s more moving parts than just the open hand of Uncle Sam, you’ll find the perks of marriage in a financial sense are good ones.
Post # 21
Here’s the thing…
Marriage means different things to different people…
It can be religious, legal, and social.
You say you aren’t interested in the religious or the legal side, so that leaves the social side. However, you are currently living together, socially, as a husband and wife, with the tacit permission of those you love.
In that case, why have a ceremony, especially considering the expense and the stress of it all? I’ve said before that if we weren’t religious, we would probably have just eloped and saved the hassle. I suppose I just don’t understand why you want the stress and expense of a wedding, without much of a tangible benefit afterwards?
Why not just have a fun party for everyone instead? Much cheaper.
Post # 22
@rosegardener: I’ve had friends have a wedding ceremony and reception, with the intention of getting legally married in a few years, due to financial issues. They keep pretty quiet about it. We also got legally married months ago, before our wedding this June. We are happy to disclose our marrital status to anyone who has asked, but so far, no one has -except my benefits person at work! So obviously, the legal process of getting married is separate in my mind from the family/friend public vows party. We want to make vows publicly, before our community of family and friends, to be together as a couple until we die. We want to celebrate our choice to be together with those that love and support us and we think that’s a pretty good reason to have a party! I’m sure people practice different religions have another layer of feelings about this. It’s not a part of my life, but I respect the beliefs of those who do have religion in their life.
In considering all the legal aspect of marriage, I think a lot of couples (us included) wonder ‘why is the government involved?” Especially with all that’s going on with DOMA in the courts. I think many people in our generation are thinking more and more “why be legally married in the first place?.”
But there are important legal and financial implications of being legally married (“having the government involved”) to be aware of and many of these things young couples (young as in under 40) may not have thought about. All this stuff might vary depending on where you live and everyone should talk to a financiall planner/lawyer if you want to know how this might apply to you, but legal marriage gives a married couple tax benefits, government benefits (Social Security is a big one! Along with Medicare, disability, other public benefits.), hospital visitation rights, death benefits, family benefits (equitable division of property and/or child support stuff if you divorce), and better rates on insurance plans. There are also a number of benefits to being legally married if you had a crime happen to you or your spouse. As of now, all this stuff is handled by the government, so that’s why it keeps track of who is married!
There had to be a reason why same-sex couples are fighting to get married, right? I see a huge value in all these benefits. You might or you might not. Either way, no one is alone in having opinions about it.
Post # 23
If you asked my dad, he’d say file all the paperwork you want- if you don’t get married inside a Catholic church you aren’t really married. So it’s all just a matter of perspective anyway.
If having the government acknowledge your union is not important to you, don’t do it. Have whatever ceremony you want. And I don’t think you have to make sure people know it isn’t a “real wedding”, either. Most of my cousins got married at the court house and then had a “fake wedding” after with someone officiating that wasn’t legally able to marry them. No one needed to know they weren’t witnessing the actual, legal part. Divorce is only one more piece of paper. If you’re going to do things like buy houses together and change your wills anyway, you’re going to have to do a LOT of that if you want to break up.
Post # 24
How does your ID necessarily prove you’re married? I am still torn if I’m changing my name, but if I don’t I can still be legally married and have my maiden name. It’s not like my license says “wife of Mr. Classy”…
In the same respect, I have friends who couldn’t get married (gay in a state with a constitutional ban) who managed to change their names to hypen one name-other name.
ID proves nothing. OP could even go change her name to her partner’s and that will be that. It will cost money, unlike when you get married, but still doable.
OP: I think you should do what you want except:
1) realize that should your relationship break up, you won’t be protected from marital laws regarding property (this also goes if you die, hence the windsor case right now but I digress). Definitely consult a lawyer to get a… hmm…non-nupt (as opposed to a prenup? sorry I fail at being creative) about property. It won’t do any good with regards to death taxes though. Also realize that there are implications about either of you giving each other money (gift taxes). Keep things seaprate…
2) Don’t mislead your guests. Don’t call your ceremony a wedding…you’re not getting married. Call it a commitment ceremony. Etiquette says you need to let your guests know what is going on. If you feel strongly about not getting married, don’t, and don’t let others think you are.
Post # 25
I personally think a “real” marriage is a full package deal — both the personal vows you make to each other about forever and yatta yatta together with the legal status with the government.
This is not to say that any non-married domestic relationship is any more or less committed than married couples… but they just aren’t married. There are lots of people who live their lives together as a social unit and choose to never get married for whatever reasons of their own, and anyone who thinks less of a couple because of that choice is a douche bag.
But to answer your question… I think that whatever you choose to do, you need to be honest and forthcoming with your guests about what you’re actually doing. I don’t think it’s right to pretend that you are getting married when you actually are not getting a marriage license (like everybody else) and doing what everyone else does to be married. Again, you be making the same PERSONAL commitments, but at the end of the day you are not making the same LEGAL commitments… and that’s a big difference. You want all the perks of being married (the party, the attention, the recognition), but you don’t want the cons of paying more taxes. That seems unfair (IMHO). ETA: as PP’s have indicated, there are many government benefits to being married as well beyond taxes.
You can rationalize that marriage has been around before the government, but this is marriage TODAY, and if you want people TODAY to recognize you as married, then you need to be married by today’s standards (IMHO). If you want to submit to what marriage was in the old days prior to that, also remember that women were property and treated with about the same dignity as a house cat.
Post # 26
I get that, and the hyphen still gets it done, Mr. 99 and I have the same last name, which saves some time…if we didn’t he would either have to sign a release stating that I was allowed to speak with the Dr.’s about what was happening to him…if he’s unconscious, legally, they would need to see the marriage certificate before I could do anything for him…and they’re not being jerks, it’s the law and the penalties for violating it suck!
And in Colorado, they won’t change your ID without proof that you changed it on your social security number and around these parts you do that by either getting adopted or married…at least that’s how it was 5 years ago….
Post # 27
The medical staff at a hospital have to do what they can in order to, basically, cover their asses. If you don’t change your last name and then find yourself in the situation Nona outlined, the doctor might not let you see your husband NOT because married people have to have the same last name BUT because he can’t risk that you’re lying and therefore getting the hospital in legal trouble.
@MexiPino: I agree that nobody “needs” to know if people have a non-legal-part wedding. However, OP can already see from this thread that people definitely have strong feelings about this. There have also been previous threads where people stated they would feel angry/hurt/etc. at “being lied to” by the couple. Is it rational? No, but we’re talking about emotions anyway. I think OP would really need to consider her potential guests and consider whether each person can be that laid back about it. If not, it might just sour her day.
Post # 28
Wow, so many different opinions on this! I really appreciate all the input.
I am not willing to call it something besides a wedding, and I would absolutely consider myself married. For me, marriage is more than legal status. But it looks like a lot of people disagree with that!
Post # 29
Real Love…and respect for one another.
ETA just finished reading this thread, OP, a commitment is a commitment as long as you both feel comfortable, I wouldn’t be concerned how others view your union.
Post # 30
Yeah, you’re right. I have seen a lot of posts like that. I guess I have family that tends to mind their own business or at least keep it to themselves and maybe that’s not as common as I think. If I made this decision and someone said something it would be so out of character for my family that I think I’d just look at them like they were insane and tell them they can do what they want in their own relationship and leave mine alone.
Post # 31
“I am not willing to call it something besides a wedding, and I would absolutely consider myself married. For me, marriage is more than legal status. But it looks like a lot of people disagree with that!”
You are absolutely correct that marriage is MORE than a legal status.
But it is also inclusive of a legal status, and MORE than a personal ceremony/commmitment.