Jennifer G
Master September 2014

Commitment ceremony Vs. Legally married!

Jennifer G, on October 10, 2012 at 8:45 PM Posted in Community Conversations 0 72
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What are your ladies thoughts? I always told myself I would only get married once and here I am engaged I have considered a commitment ceremony instead of an actual legal ceremony has anyone on here done that or thought about it? What is everyone's thoughts? Is it just a waste of money to not actually be legally married or is it ok to have a commitment ceremony instead of a leagl marriage ceremony. I am on the fence on one hand I think well that's kind of a waste and on the other hand I feel like it's a good option because I didn't ever want to be on a "2nd marriage" and then on the other hand I think "well am I cheating myself?" What do you ladies think?

72 Comments

  • Marlena S.
    Devoted November 2016
    Marlena S. ·
    • Flag

    If your only reason for not having a legal marriage is that you never wanted to be married twice, then I think you are cheating yourself out of the joy of being married. But I'm unclear as to what the point of a commitment ceremony is. If you're committing you're lives to one another, then why not go the step to be legally married? Are there any other differences aside from documentation purposes?

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  • Jennifer G
    Master September 2014
    Jennifer G ·
    • Flag

    Not really it's just legally or not legally. I think honestly I ma just scared because my first marriage was sooooo bad he was abusive and i stayed miserably for 14 years.

    • Reply
  • Marlena S.
    Devoted November 2016
    Marlena S. ·
    • Flag

    Have you talked with your FH about it? What are his thoughts on the matter? And perhaps you could use the commitment ceremony as a way to ease into this and then have the legal ceremony at your one year anniversary? I know it might sound weird, but it gives you a baby step to stand on before you have to face the scary part of it.

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  • Pan
    Master March 2012
    Pan ·
    • Flag

    I don't know. This is something no one else can really answer for you. There's a lot of people who only marry for legal purposes and lots of people who just have commitment ceremonies because they see the legalities as a negative. In your case it doesn't sound really fundamental to your beliefs, so it depends on a lot of other things. Like have you guys decided what you are going to do for legal purposes in case of emergency? I think maybe baby steps and really communicating and exploring why you feel the way you do about getting married a second time would be good for deciding.

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  • Jennifer G
    Master September 2014
    Jennifer G ·
    • Flag

    Well I got really sick two years ago and I signed a power of attorney over to my mom and honestly I plan to leave it that way legally married or not that's just who I want to make my final decisons. So there's really no difference there.

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  • Carrie
    Master December 2011
    Carrie ·
    • Flag

    You might want to check the laws of your state to see if this is even possible. In some states officiants can't perform a ceremony without a marriage license. They can even be fined.

    Solemnization without license unlawful.

    No minister, officer, or any other person authorized to solemnize a marriage under the laws of this State shall perform a ceremony of marriage between a man and woman, or shall declare them to be husband and wife, until there is delivered to that person a license for the marriage of the said persons, signed by the register of deeds of the county in which the marriage license was issued or by a lawful deputy or assistant.

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  • Jennifer G
    Master September 2014
    Jennifer G ·
    • Flag

    No what they do is pronounce you "united in love" and that's how they get around it Smiley smile

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  • 2d Bride
    Champion October 2009
    2d Bride ·
    • Flag

    If you're not prepared to make the full legal commitment, why have a ceremony? If I were invited to such a thing (except in the case of a same-sex couple who couldn't legally get married where they live), I would decline.

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  • Carrie
    Master December 2011
    Carrie ·
    • Flag

    Not really. It may not be an issue in your particular state but I would not be so sure until you follow up. I follow a few officiants blogs, they have canceled the ceremony because the couple did not get the marriage license. No one wants get fined or lose their authority HTH...

    • Reply
  • Mrs V (Roe)
    Master August 2013
    Mrs V (Roe) ·
    • Flag

    All good advice here but I'm going to run the risk of getting flamed but (maybe I missed something) I'm wondering why even have the question. What I mean is, you sound like you already have one foot out the door by looking at marriage to your FH as possibly being temporary. What would concern me, were I your partner, is why you feel such distrust in our relationship to be leery of making it legally binding AND to also not want to risk my having to make decisions for you if you were unable to do so. All the times in my life I have thought a relationship might not go the distance, I have been right. Maybe the question you should be asking is not should you do a commitment ceremony instead of a wedding but should you be considering anything but evaluating why FH is not the person you feel you can depend on for longevity or to make legal decisions (even w/your mom's input) about you if you can't. IJS

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  • Kathy
    Master July 2010
    Kathy ·
    • Flag

    Honestly, I do not understand this. If you can legally marry, why not legally marry?

    If you are doubting your relationship, with your FH, you should truly search your soul. You said that your first marriage was bad. You stayed longer than you should have. Do you feel that way now? Is this relationship better than your last one, or are you seeing red flags?

    Only you can answer that.

    Until then, I vote, no ceremony.

    • Reply
  • Jennifer G
    Master September 2014
    Jennifer G ·
    • Flag

    No I never said i was doubting our relationship sometimes that's what makes me mad on WW people just assume that something is wrong. No there are no red flags and no it's not that i don't trust him or want to make the full commitment all i am saying is the first relationship was bad and to me if you are commited then you are commited we have been living as husband and wife for almost three years now. I have no intentions of being with anyone else ever all I am saying is that there is really no official reason such as final decsions, taxes or anything else to be "legally" married just as there there is not a reason not to. either but being that a commitment ceremony is an option and I think a great one for people Either way we are commited and love eachother very much the reason i choose to have my mom handle things is because I know my Fh wouldn't be able to cope with all the stress and she would wind up making the arrangement anyways.

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  • Jennifer G
    Master September 2014
    Jennifer G ·
    • Flag

    Sorry for the typos...I just think it's a nice option to have for people that could care less about the piece of paper such as myself.

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  • Jennifer G
    Master September 2014
    Jennifer G ·
    • Flag

    As I clearly stated in my first post i was just never one of those people that wanted to be married twice or be on their "second marriage".

    • Reply
  • Mrs V (Roe)
    Master August 2013
    Mrs V (Roe) ·
    • Flag

    My post wasn't meant to upset you, which is why I added "maybe I missed something" and now I have a better picture of what you meant. All it takes sometimes is one person breaking it down and the other person reading it through. Now that having been said, if you discuss it with FH, the legalities aren't important or don't matter and find that you are comfortable with it and he is comfortable with it, go for it

    • Reply
  • Kathy
    Master July 2010
    Kathy ·
    • Flag

    Jennifer, if you do not care about the piece of paper, then I say, go for the commitment ceremony, if that is what you want to do.

    As you said, you have already been living as husband and wife. That is cool, if it is what both of you truly want.

    Now, that being said, if you have been living together as husband and wife for three years, do you need the "non-official ceremony"?

    I am not judging, I am simply asking a question.

    • Reply
  • Nadz
    Savvy June 2015
    Nadz ·
    • Flag

    Best wishes to you.

    • Reply
  • Jennifer G
    Master September 2014
    Jennifer G ·
    • Flag

    Kathy~ no i don't "need" it but I feel like I would like to have some sort of formal ceremony to announce to everyone that we are in a committed relationship a lot of people treat you differently if your "just living together" as they say.

    Rowena~ Thank you i appreciate that. I am sorry if I took offense it's been kind of a long day and stressful too and I have to be up at 5:30 am so I apologize. It's just you get a lot of negativity sometimes on WW and I think people need to be a little more open minded.

    • Reply
  • Nicole
    Dedicated October 2012
    Nicole ·
    • Flag

    It sounds like you have made your mind up already and figured out which decision is going to make you more happy. Smiley smile If you ever want to make it legal for whatever reason, you can always go down to the courthouse to get the license and still count your commitment ceremony as your anniversary. Like you said, it really is just a piece of paper.

    • Reply
  • tiedaknot™
    Master March 2013
    tiedaknot™ ·
    • Flag

    I was one of those who stated "never EVER again!" I fought for 15 years to keep a rotten marriage together, got beaten multiple times and almost died on more than one occassion. I finally got the courage to end it. I then said "never again" and though I dated, I meant what I said. Then I met FH, I can't imagine my life without him. I would have just lived with him for the rest of my life but he asked me to marry him-this relationship is completely different than my first marriage and I am now proud to say "I'm getting married". Yes, it's my second marriage but s**t happens, I survived the first one and married or not married, I am commited to this man for the remainder of my life. If you are commited and you both know this then do what you feel you need to do =) I will say that you should not feel bad about a "second marriage" especially if the first one was abusive...please hold you head high and be proud that you survived the first one and that you have a second chance at life

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