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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 51

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...
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

  • Star
    Devoted October 2019
    Star ·
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    I agree. ❤️Again, at least in my opinion/religious beliefs, being married anywhere as long as it’s a legal marriage with someone who is legally obligated to perform a marriage—no matter where it is- is a marriage before God.
    Whether it’s in a church, religious institution, a field in the middle of now where, a city building, a McDonald’s 😆. Anywhere.
    Simply put because God. is. everywhere. Therefore He acknowledges weddings/ceremonies everywhere. In God’s eyes you’ll be married regardless of where/how it’s done. I say do what you believe will make you the most happy. Can’t wait until marriage to have sex but also don’t want to wait that long to be married? Go to the courthouse. Or wherever you choose to have your legal marriage. Then celebrate with the formal ceremony/reception later. There’s all kinds of ways you can go about this. Ultimately though just make sure you are happy with your choice/choices and won’t look back to regret it. Because even though a legal marriage isn’t necessarily a wedding/wedding ceremony just because of the simply facts that (especially depending on which courthouse you go to) there may not be things like what you think of/things you may look forward to. Like: walking down the aisle, certain music/music at all, decor/lighting may be off, potential lack of photo/video opps, lack of a grand exit as well as lack of first dances, meals, cake cutting etc. these were just some of the things I looked forward to and didn’t really feel okay with having a courthouse elopement when my husband and I thought about it. Now in saying all of that. I feel we would’ve enjoyed doing it that way though. (Doing the courthouse option instead of only having a church formal wedding ceremony and reception afterward)It would’ve been smaller and more special to us. Then like I said we could’ve had a formal ceremony and reception later on. And maybe could’ve saved up so much more as well as could’ve had just so many more opportunities to make it ‘how we wanted’ to instead of how everyone else was making it ‘for us’We had a lot of issues on our wedding day needless to say lol. Some I’m still coping with to this day. It’s still our best day ever though. ❤️I feel that ultimately no matter where you are or what all goes wrong: as long as you married your best friend on your wedding day. Everything went right. Then you get to spend forever with them 🥰❤️ A lot of corny and sappiness there but it is all the complete truth. Also you can even do things immediately after the courthouse elopement. Like have a nice meal at your house or at a venue nearby. Hire a photographer and videographer to capture those moments of you two and after at a roof too restaurant or wherever you decide to go. You can even have a beautiful intimate reception for just the two of you at your own home. That would be so special and amazing to be able do. I think it’s a wonderful idea and I side with you on this. Just remember (I can’t stress this enough) that you both consider all the pros and cons beforehand then choose whichever option will make you both the happiest. If it’s going to a courthouse asap. GO FOR IT Best wishes ❤️☺️
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  • W
    VIP September 2020
    Willow ·
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    Sounds like your FH should abstain from drinking for now if it's putting both of you in an uncomfortable position of temptation. That seems to be a more logical fix than getting legally married now so you feel justified in having sex 2 months sooner.
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  • T
    Super April 2021
    Tiger Bride ·
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    So this is part of why I don't think just getting married will solve your issues. Your FI is not respecting your wishes to wait if he is putting you either in a place of temptation or where you feel like you have to "give in". That isn't a healthy sexual dynamic at all.


    Your FI should respect your beliefs...if they are his stated beliefs too, then he needs to pull his own weight and help YOU be holy and chaste rather than being a stumbling block.
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  • Ajj
    Savvy May 2021
    Ajj ·
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    I would just get legally married and enjoy the next two months before the whole celebration! It’s your life! Elope and be Merrily Married!!!
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  • Tati
    Beginner June 2021
    Tati ·
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    He “tries” to respect my beliefs but let’s just say, he literally barely functions when he drinks. I wish he wouldn’t binge drink but I’m afraid to say something. I heard that tends to make people drink more. He’s not the fun type of drunk... it appears to affect him in a way that he turns emotionally volatile, and frankly dumbs him down a LOT. I don’t understand the American normalization of alcohol abuse, especially to the group of un-fun drunks. He doesn’t do it often but to me binge drinking or heavy drinking more than on New Years or once a year is too often. I prefer the one serving max a day, personally. A few of his family/acquaintances abuse alcohol in an unhealthy manner imo.


    I appreciate the perspective and will see if we can get premarital counseling. I’ve brought up counseling a number of times but I think I’ll just book the appointment! He’s also missed most Sunday services and currently not a member of a church (reasons too long to get into now). He loves to drink and watch sermons online. It’s a peculiar form of religion and spirituality for me, as they are blatantly mutually exclusive imo. Sometimes I wonder if I’m getting lip service and am too infatuated to see it. Or if I was raised in a highly legalistic background. I’m trying to keep an open mind due to our age, cultural, etc differences. I’d appreciate a 3rd party perspective like a counselor!
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  • T
    Super April 2021
    Tiger Bride ·
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    Oh girl! You should never be afraid to speak up in a relationship. This is the person you're closest to, forever - you should be able to talk about anything and everything.


    It sounds like he is an alcoholic. It's good you're looking into counseling, because this sounds like a major problem. I wish you all good things!
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  • M
    VIP January 2019
    Maggie ·
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    Everything you just wrote are reasons not to rush into marriage. I am sorry, but I agree with Tiger Bride; getting married will not solve all of these problems. The binge drinking, the poor communication, the emotional volatility, the inability to make good decisions when drinking, and the extreme differences in opinion about religion should all be sorted out before you tie yourself to him legally.

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  • J
    Dedicated June 2021
    Jessica ·
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    So I'll give you the Catholic perspective: a civil union is still a promise to fulfill the obligations of marriage. The Church believes this to be a binding marriage both in the eyes of the Church and the State. So yes, it would provide a solution to your problem.

    My personal take? It's pretty morally reprehensible of you to get civilly married just so you can mess around. I think that undermines your faith and your desire and purpose to have the wedding take place in the Church. if you choose to go this route, I'd personally just skip the religious ceremony all-together.

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  • J
    Dedicated June 2021
    Jessica ·
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    Also: you've mentioned that your husband can't function without alcohol for extended periods of time.

    Darling, there are three people in your relationship: you, your husband, and his bottle. Where do you stand on that totem pole? Know that marriage will not change him. He will remain as he is. Can you handle being second to the bottle for the rest of your life?

    I personally don't abide by the notion that someone can be a functional alcohol or an alcoholic parent. There is alcoholism and nothing else. It takes priority. There is no shame in calling off the wedding or postponing it so that you can get some help. Even if you were to start seeking counseling, not much progress can be made over the 6 or so sessions you'd have in the time prior to your wedding.

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  • W
    VIP September 2020
    Willow ·
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    Don't marry an alcoholic that doesn't share deeply held religious beliefs.


    It's also ok to say no to sex.
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  • Kim
    Savvy April 2021
    Kim ·
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    The piece of paper the judge gives you means nothing. Real marriage takes place before God. For God's sake, if you can't even wait two more months to have sex then what are you going to do when any of you get sick and can't have sex? Will you cheat? True love transcends sexual intercourse. The Christian religion has always seen marriage as a miracle, a sacrifice. You may not understand why sex before marriage is wrong, but you certainly have a reason. Be true to what you believe and sacrifice your desires until the wedding.But even if you sin, you know that God is ready to forgive you at any time.
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  • T
    Super April 2021
    Tiger Bride ·
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    Not to derail the OP, but my DH is Catholic, as is my family. My understanding is that civil marriages are considered valid as long as neither party is Catholic (because non-Catholics cannot be held to Church law). A Catholic person is bound to Church law, and must be married in the Church in order for their marriage to be valid. Invalid marriages must be convalidated in order for the Catholic party to be in full communion with the Church.


    ...This is really nuanced, and is why I said in my first comment that it depends on her belief system/religion. Without knowing that we can't know. However I 100% agree with your second paragraph; it feels like looking for a loophole.
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  • Catherine
    Expert March 2023
    Catherine ·
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    I’m just over one year sober from alcohol and before that was a pretty high functioning alcoholic but still an alcoholic. There are more issues here than wanting to rush into your marriage. Your future husband needs to seek help for his drinking before. As someone in recovery, it was tearing my life apart and I was friends with a lot of people I reg red t being friends with. You need to speak up and I also suggest premarital counseling. If he can’t respect your boundaries when he’s drunk, that’s not good
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  • Natalie
    Super November 2020
    Natalie ·
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    It seems like there are many unresolved issues and red flags that still need addressed. Have you considered actually postponing the wedding? You’ve mentioned that your sister was essentially forced to have a shot-gun wedding because she had sex, but you are trying to have a shot-gun wedding to allow yourself to have sex sooner. If you’ve been waiting your entire life to have sex, what’s another two months?!
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  • Judith
    Just Said Yes May 2022
    Judith ·
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    I got married February this year in a civil ceremony. After the ceremony we prayed together and committed our marriage to God. We were not with our family and friends when did the civil ceremony due to covid( I have family abroad) , so we have not done vows, rings, and a marriage blessing from a pastor just so they can be in person to witness that. We are planning to do the religious ceremony and reception next year again due to covid. I believe a marriage is a marriage. How I see it is you’re married in the eyes of God but you’re getting the blessing later. Marriage is a lifelong commitment and two becoming one and that’s what the Bible says too and in civil ceremony that’s what you’re committing too. Think of it as part 1, and part 2 of your wedding 😊 honestly with how the world is right now, nothing can be set in stone. I say do it! Hope this helps
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  • Star
    Devoted October 2019
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    I completely agree.
    I do apologize. I did feel there was tension within your relationship in your first/previous messages; however, did not know it was all this deep.
    Just thought it was potential/normal pre wedding stress and usual relationship conflicts.
    Y’all should get serious counseling. Then proceed to work things through. & it sounds like also, honestly evaluating everything/ doing the best to smooth out as much as you can/the best you possibly can with everything -long before you guys even think about a wedding and marriage—I know hearing that can be/is tough; however, it’s ultimately for the best for you both and especially for your relationship/potential marriage. Sounds like there are a lot of differences between you two. And even though some things can seem small/may potentially even be just opinions: you’d be surprised as to what all can cause conflict and especially what can lead to great conflict in a marriage.
    Good luck to you and sending prayers, love, and positive vibes Also hope y’all work this out and everything is done for the best for you both & will give the most happiness to you all. 💙💙💙
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Agree with this. If your personal beliefs are not in line with that of your house of worship then maybe you need to find a new one.

    That said, a wedding for countless people is the legal part, hence those who marry in s house of worship will do the legal and religious aspects all at once, as most guests are used to. What you are describing is no different from military couples who marry months before the elaborate ceremony that they pass off as the’real’ wedding to unsuspecting guests, which is disrespectful to those who choose to elope rather than have a big wedding with guests.

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  • Gabby
    Devoted October 2021
    Gabby ·
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    Speaking from experience about the alcohol (I'm not religious), hugeee 🚩🚩🚩🚩. My ex was a bad drunk and he drank too often and I was miserable. Run to counseling or run away.
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    If the license/certificate mean nothing, why bother getting married? Just have your clergy perform the ceremony and skip the legal part. But don’t be surprised when it backfires because the rest of the world doesn’t recognize a church only wedding. There are many things you cannot benefit from as a spouse without the legal documents.

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    That is a relationship no one needs to be in. Nothing you have described is normal and even your clergy would tell you to get out which is the best option. Leave now and find someone who respects you without the need to drink and other bizarre behavior and who doesn’t gaslight you.

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