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Tati
Beginner June 2021

Considering a civil union or elopement prior to our wedding date

Tati, on April 20, 2021 at 8:51 AM Posted in Wedding Ceremony 2 51
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Hi guys! I need some advice.


My fiancé and I are devoutly religious but are struggling keeping our hands off each other.
Due to 1 Corinthians 7:9, we are considering a civil union to solve our passionate issue at hand. We are under 2 months before the wedding but neither of us are ok with premarital sex. Has anyone considered a civil union prior to a wedding ceremony/reception with the church? Is a civil union the solution to premarital sex?
I wish we could just move our date up! But that’s not possible Smiley sad I know many don’t share our convictions, but I was still hoping for some advice! I guess this would be an elopement with a celebration later?
Our wedding is super small... immediate family only and my pastor. We plan on keeping it short and sweet (no dancing, no alcohol, etc.) with a short exchange of vows and a meal at a restaurant pretty much, all at the restaurant location.
Alternatively, I could stay in a different state in the interim, but neither of us wants to be apart from the other. 😅
If we were to go this route, and make sex not a sin for us... what do we need to tell others? We know we want to marry each other and it’s just a maddening matter of when!

51 Comments

Latest activity by Donnaly, on April 27, 2021 at 5:01 AM
  • Tati
    Beginner June 2021
    Tati ·
    • Flag
    Sorry meant to clarify! By civil union... I mean just going to the courthouse and getting legally married! I’m not familiar with all the terminology and can’t seem to go back and update
    • Reply
  • T
    Super April 2021
    Tiger Bride ·
    • Flag
    As a fellow believer I don't think this is the solution to your problem...you are still unmarried in the eyes of God right?


    You only have 2 months to go...use this season of engagement to grow in temperance and self control. I don't mean to sound harsh I just think you have a good opportunity to grow in spiritual discipline.
    • Reply
  • Kimberly
    Super March 2021
    Kimberly ·
    • Flag
    I don’t share your religious views but my understanding is that a civil union would not satisfy your marriage as a true union for having sex. In religion you aren’t truly married until married in the church. I’d have assumed you would have known that.
    • Reply
  • Tati
    Beginner June 2021
    Tati ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    I guess we differ in beliefs. In my view, a legal marriage at a courthouse stands before God, church blessing or not!
    • Reply
  • Tati
    Beginner June 2021
    Tati ·
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    If we have the papers, that’s a marriage before God in my opinion. Otherwise, most people wouldn’t be married and we all know that’s not the case! I’m surprised people here think God doesn’t see a legal marriage as a marriage as that is something I had no doubts about. I think people of other religions too are married before Gods eyes, despite it not being a Christian wedding in the church.
    • Reply
  • Nicole
    Devoted August 2022
    Nicole ·
    • Flag
    As others have said, your civil marriage is not recognized by the Church, so it depends on your personal views whether this is a solution for you or not. Are you OK with premarital sex if you're not married in the eyes of God? If not, youll simply have to wait another 2 months.
    • Reply
  • Tati
    Beginner June 2021
    Tati ·
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    A courthouse marriage and a marriage license IS a marriage before God to me. Can someone please chime in with something helpful other than telling me that being legally married is still “unmarried” in Gods eyes? Thanks for your opinion, but that’s not what I believe.
    • Reply
  • T
    Super April 2021
    Tiger Bride ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    This entirely depends on your belief system and what your religion requires of its believers. In my DH's faith, for example, a court wedding is not recognized as a valid marriage if you are a member of that faith. I also don't see the point of a church ceremony if you consider yourself married already. What does it solemnize, that is not solemnized before?

    This is just my opinion, but since you are concerned about morality, I don't think signing the papers so you can have sex immediately is the most moral or prudent way to handle this issue. Use the time to grow in patience and self control. Offer your suffering as a sacrifice of faith. Jmho.

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  • Samantha
    Expert October 2021
    Samantha ·
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    You are correct. In fact there is no definitive definition of what constitutes a wedding or the exact moment when 2 people are considered married. If you look to Romans 13: 1-7. As there is no other authority, but God, the governing bodies are servants of God and must be obeyed. This leads us to conclude that a marriage performed by court is legal in the eyes of God because they are serving God (abridged version).
    As for your issue, I am not religious, so the fact that you are committed to one another is enough for me. However, I understand that you may not feel this way. You have waited this long and now it's less than 2 months away. If you marry now, it makes me wonder why you didn't just get married right away to begin with. You have the rest of your lives to have sex and if you spent all this time not having sex then what was the purpose? Enjoy the flirtation, the mystery and the suspense of it all. It's a very unique time in your lives and you may regret rushing things later down the road.
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  • Kimberly
    Super March 2021
    Kimberly ·
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    You asked a question, I answered. If you believe that the civil union/courthouse marriage is the same as the church marriage then what exactly are you asking?
    And just so you know, I 100% believe a courthouse, civil, church, any kind of marriage is all the same. I just don’t believe in your god.
    Good luck to you.
    • Reply
  • Givemeallthepups
    Expert February 2020
    Givemeallthepups ·
    • Flag
    It seems like you came here to find people to validate your beliefs. Beliefs are immensely personal and it doesn’t really matter is random people on an Internet forum share your personal beliefs.


    If you feel a courthouse marriage makes you married in God’s view—then do it. However, if you get married prior, you should 100% tell your guests. I wouldn’t lie to your guests (which I assume you wouldn’t since you’re concerned about sin) about if you’re already married. Also, you priest might not perform a ceremony at your actual wedding since you would be already married.
    If it were me, I would wait. I don’t believe that you should move up your wedding for the sole purpose of having sex. That seems like a loophole for sin (in my opinion).
    • Reply
  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    Have you spoken to your pastor about this? I know as a Catholic, you aren’t considered married until you’re married in the church and the church has a completely separate process for couples who have already legally wed than those who are getting married in the church first and individual priests don’t have to agree to bless your marriage if you’ve already married.
    • Reply
  • Samantha
    VIP October 2022
    Samantha ·
    • Flag
    For me it would depend on which sect/denomination and the core beliefs of marriage.
    Fun Fact - in the US, the Puritan early settlers get a really bad rap regarding sex. The truth is, a large amount of large “early” babies were born 6 or 7 months after marriage if you get my drift. They also were very “earthy” in their humor and had large families. Puritans weren’t so much against sex, they were against children not being provided for, and once married, against extramarital sex.
    So hey, you’re in good company if you are chomping at the bit ;-)
    • Reply
  • JA
    Expert March 2022
    JA ·
    • Flag
    It may not be your intent, but the question definitely makes it seem like you just want to have sex, and are looking for validation, which it seems you aren't getting from this forum. I agree with the other commentary, getting legally married now is just serving as a loophole to have sex sooner. It's only 2 months away, my personal opinion is that getting married just to have sex is a bad reason to get married. The wedding day should be focused on love and commitment to your partner, and if you get married now, the wedding day will mean less because it was only about sex.
    • Reply
  • Tati
    Beginner June 2021
    Tati ·
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    I’m just being realistic. We tried waiting and can go 2 or 3 weeks until there’s an event and he has a few drinks. And I tend to give in bc I hate denying the person I love something. Its not an ideal situation and I get that. I am more pragmatic than he is in that I recognize the patterns. I will try moving out and see if that helps. It’s just that when one of us moves out, the other just sleeps over bc it got super late or they are too drunk to drive home etc. I’m just tired of living a pretense and “trying” but failing. I’m having a call with my pastor tonight but thought I’d crowdsource some ideas first. I don’t see a legal marriage contract as a loophole but an honest alternative. We have a long distance relationship and I’m selling my house.. I can’t go back to our long distance relationship anymore and this whole living together thing is impossible when it comes to abstinence. I’m just done sugar coating things and living with hopes of a future that won’t happen. I’m tempted to just get married now than live a life in sin.
    • Reply
  • Tati
    Beginner June 2021
    Tati ·
    • Flag
    My question was if I were to get married now, but not cancel our reception later... what do I need to tell others? Obviously the pastor would be in the know, but how much “details” do others need? We’re practically married now Imo, but I’m not sure how to navigate this? I don’t intend on doing wedding invitations, etc. but I would like to just have a family/church blessing event. We were planning on another fall reception anyway for his family in his home country. We have already planned two “weddings”. Does it matter when we legally marry and when we have our two receptions? I would prefer to do the legal marriage before the other two weddings for religious reasons, and not living a farce
    • Reply
  • Samantha
    VIP October 2022
    Samantha ·
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    This is causing you a lot of pain, I can tell. If you were my daughter (I am assuming you are young enough to be my daughter) I would tell you to go to the courthouse and get married. It doesn’t matter what anyone else would do, this is something that is causing you to feel shame, and it can easily be fixed.
    • Reply
  • M
    VIP January 2019
    Maggie ·
    • Flag

    None of your logic is the same as my logic (and I am not religious, so I really can't relate to your dilemma), but I will answer your question about what you should tell people: the truth. If you want to get married outside of your church so you can have sex, then wouldn't your family members need to know you are already married so they understand that your having sex for the next two months is "ok"? I don't see any advantage to you to keep your marriage a secret between now and your church blessing in two months.

    But also I would definitely seek religious counsel now before you make your decision because your church may not agree with performing an official blessing two months after you are legally married (obviously, I don't know because I don't belong to your church, but it's certainly worth asking!).

    • Reply
  • Tati
    Beginner June 2021
    Tati ·
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    Those are good points. The only reason I’m even considering it is bc my sis had premarital sex, and my pastor and parents made them have a shotgun wedding. They ended up getting divorced as it was just a one night stand pretty much. But in our case, we are intending to marry. I tend to not lose my resolve and am not as impulsive as my fiancé due to other convictions (drunkenness isn’t godly). But he is from a culture where binge drinking is more normal than in my culture. And when that happens, other things happen. I am a people pleaser so that doesn’t help. I’m just being realistic at this point. I don’t know how else to keep our hands off each other. If it was something once or twice, I’d still have hope. But at this point, I’d be crazy to think something would miraculously change. I don’t care what others think but more so of having a clear conscious during my devotionals etc. I don’t like living with the cognitive dissonance and I don’t know how to fix it.
    • Reply
  • Tera
    Dedicated June 2020
    Tera ·
    • Flag
    You could have a private ceremony with a pastor/ reverend that way it would be both a legal and religious marriage. And your later celebration would just be a reception for family and friends.
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