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Just Said Yes December 2017

Having the ceremony after getting legally married

Amanda, on October 19, 2017 at 5:00 AM Posted in Community Conversations 1 78
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We are planning on getting married at the beginning of November, but we aren't having the wedding until March. We want to have the ceremony and reception with all our family and friends in the spring, but want to be married pretty much right away. Has anyone done this? How do we do invitations for this situation? Any advice on what to do? Thanks!

78 Comments

Latest activity by Liana, on April 21, 2021 at 11:59 AM
  • FutureMrs.L
    Master September 2018
    FutureMrs.L ·
    • Flag

    Many have done this. It's called a vow renewal. Smiley smile

    Your courthouse ceremony is your wedding, your March event is a vow renewal, or celebration of marriage.

    Will you be telling your family and friends that you got married at the courthouse? Why not wait for the March wedding, it's 4 months...

    You can say: "Please join us in our celebration of marriage on...."

    Or

    "Please join us as we renew our vows and love for one another on..."

    • Reply
  • Alforev
    VIP August 2018
    Alforev ·
    • Flag

    @hisbeauty is right. You should make sure people know you are getting married in November and refer to the Springtime event as a vow renewal or celebration of marriage. If you want the additional ceremony then I would recommend calling it a vow renewal otherwise some of your guests may be confused.

    • Reply
  • mataDC
    Devoted September 2017
    mataDC ·
    • Flag

    I went to the wedding of someone who got married in December although she had already had her ceremony and reception scheduled for the following spring. To me, it was disingenuous (they wanted to get married earlier for financial reasons), but I couldn't talk the couple out of it. I would not recommend it because we had to keep the actual wedding a secret, which was an uncomfortable situation. She invited a couple people to the actual wedding by phone, but sent out mail invitations for the spring events.

    • Reply
  • Munchkin9218
    Master September 2018
    Munchkin9218 ·
    • Flag

    Your wedding = When you say your vows and sign your marriage certificate. Your November courthouse ceremony is your wedding.

    You are perfectly able (and encouraged!) to invite your friends and family to a vowel renewal and reception at a later date to celebrate your marriage. However, you need to be upfront and honest that it is a vow renewal/celebration of marriage. You should not plan for any pre-wedding activites, so no bridal shower or bachelorette party. You are no longer a bride or a bechelorette (because you will have already been married for close to 6 months at that point) and it will look gift grabby.

    I think its perfectly fine to celebrate your marriage with family and friends at a later date, but you need to be honest with them about already being married. And claiming your wedding at the courthouse was "not real" is rude and dismissive to all the brides who proudly choose to have a small intimate courthouse ceremony.

    • Reply
  • JigglyPoof
    Expert August 2017
    JigglyPoof ·
    • Flag

    Your "wedding" day should be whatever day you want it to be. I don't get why folks here are so focused on the day you sign the piece of paper when marriage is so much more than a piece of paper. It's different for every couple and which day is the meaningful day to them. I did the courthouse marriage a month before our wedding celebration and we still had a ceremony then. It wasn't a secret to anyone. I don't think your 5 month gap is so big you should worry about what you call it especially if you're not hiding the fact you're already legally married. Outside of WeddingWire, I honestly never hear anyone talk about this as I know so many couples who have done it this way.

    I don't think anyone ever intends to knock courthouse weddings. It's just different for every couple's situation.

    • Reply
  • Rosered
    Devoted January 2019
    Rosered ·
    • Flag

    @Eileen: Most people object to it being kept a secret since that seems disingenuous. You did not keep it a secret, which makes a big difference. Everyone attending your wedding knew that you were technically already married.

    • Reply
  • FutureMrs.L
    Master September 2018
    FutureMrs.L ·
    • Flag

    Eileen, did you miss the fact that none of us knocked a courthouse wedding? We’re merely stating to let guests know you’re married, not hide it. I’m all for vow renewals, and celebration of marriage, but be honest with it.

    • Reply
  • Melarocks
    Dedicated August 2018
    Melarocks ·
    • Flag

    We are doing the paperwork at home a couple weeks before our wedding so our grandparents can be the witnesses and we can manage it in our home legal system. The wedding will look and feel exactly like any other, minus the paperwork. We've already been together 5 years, engaged 1.5 so this isn't news to any one. FH actually bought a silicon ring this week to get used to wearing a ring at home though our ceremony isn't until June next year.

    Why does any of it matter to anyone else? Do the paperwork when you want/need to, have everyone celebrate with you when it works to do so!

    Edit to add - I would never think to ask the couple at a wedding I was invited to if they were already married. Who does that?

    • Reply
  • Hannah
    Super August 2017
    Hannah ·
    • Flag

    Yes people do that. I don’t personally see the point. To me the whole point of getting married at the courthouse is to bypass the whole traditional wedding shebang but whatever floats your boat!

    • Reply
  • JigglyPoof
    Expert August 2017
    JigglyPoof ·
    • Flag

    @rosered no, many seem to object to what it's called too (vow renewal vs wedding)

    @hisbeauty wasn't saying anyone was knocking it but that's usually where this conversation always goes and munchkin had made the preemptive comment about not calling a courthouse wedding real.

    And I don't dislike the WW community but if you don't like different opinions and just want this place to be an echo chamber, then why even have a forum? I post on many other types of topics and frankly like the decor and diy posts more. But sure, police what others want to say.

    • Reply
  • Trevor
    Savvy January 2019
    Trevor ·
    • Flag

    @Eileen I couldn't agree with you more! Everyone close to me knows that I will be legally married months before my wedding, it's a legal requirement in my case. Yet they still refer to my wedding as a wedding. They are not offended and actually honoured that we are going to invite them as many assumed that with our legal requirements we wouldn't bother!

    • Reply
  • Munchkin9218
    Master September 2018
    Munchkin9218 ·
    • Flag

    @Eileen - I said it because OP in her post wrote they are "getting married at the beginning of November, but we aren't having the wedding until March"

    I was pointing out that to phrase it like that is incorrect. Your courthouse ceremony IS your wedding. Anything after that is a celebration of marriage or vow renewal. Which is fine, and to reiterate what I said earlier, should be encouraged. There is no shame in doing it that way. However, it is rude to imply that your courthouse ceremony was not real when you really sign the marriage certificate and really got married.

    As you say - everyone is allowed to state my opinions. Which is all I did. I didn't discourage anyone from having a reception or vow renewal. I just pointed out that the courthouse ceremony is a real wedding and that OP should be up front with her guests about the march event being a celebration of marriage/vow renewal.

    • Reply
  • K
    Expert October 2015
    Kaitlyn ·
    • Flag

    It isn't a wedding if you are already married, it is a vow renewal. There is nothing wrong with going to the courthouse then having a vow renewal or marriage celebration party at a later date as long as people are honest with their guests and don't make their party look like a full blown wedding. @Melarocks marriage licenses are a matter of public record and since I was once burned and wasted thousands of dollars going to a fake wedding I do make sure the event I am going to is a ACTUAL wedding.

    • Reply
  • Trevor
    Savvy January 2019
    Trevor ·
    • Flag

    OP never said she was going to keep it a secret

    • Reply
  • FutureMrs.L
    Master September 2018
    FutureMrs.L ·
    • Flag

    Eileen, how the hell was i policing anything? I asked a question, I wasn't rude, I wasn't condescending. I also made the statement to please let guests know. Again, how is that policing anything?

    I've never seen a courthouse wedding knocked, the only times was when they were hiding the fact, which is deceitful and wrong. We've discussed marrying at the courthouse, many choose to do so, it's not any less of a wedding. We merely state a wedding is the exchange of vows. No one knows them.

    Pretty sure I've repeatedly said we don't knock them, we merely state to be honest. But hey if that's what you call policing...

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    I don't understand the fixation with this either. Yes, the day you sign the paper is the date of the marriage and those papers are hard won in many cases, but that is no one's business but yours. In many countries, you would HAVE to have a court marriage before your church wedding and celebration.

    I think you do what you want for reasons that are yours alone. You don't need to explain anything to anyone (but I always tell people to let their parents know; in many cases the parents have been witnesses and it's really sweet). IMHO, with close to 2000 weddings including me and my other officiants, literally one person has ever asked me if the couple actually got married that day. No one has ever asked to see the license, and if they did? I'd decline.

    And for people who actually care about that stuff, they can call you and ask if that REALLY is the day, and if you tell them you got married already, they can jolly well stay home. Is it not a celebration unless they know the license was signed that day? You know, not THAT long ago, proof of prior virginity was proudly displayed too....

    There are MANY reasons to get married early; health insurance, visas, military, adoption, even awkward waiting periods in some states. I'm a bit more warm on those reasons than simply "we want to get married".

    As for the invites? Just do what you would do unless you DO decide to tell everyone, then it would be called a 'celebration of marriage."

    • Reply
  • JigglyPoof
    Expert August 2017
    JigglyPoof ·
    • Flag

    I think you are misreading what I'm saying. I'm not saying you or anyone is knocking courthouse weddings. I'm saying that many will immediately react to some posters as them knocking courthouse weddings (when they say they'll have a "real" wedding later) when all I was trying to say is I don't believe they mean it in that way. I'm pretty sure I said the same thing about not keeping it a secret

    And yes, it was pretty condescending to suggest I only post to argue when I'm just stating my opinion which sometimes differs from the majority here. And to also ask why I stay here.

    • Reply
  • @brd2be
    Expert April 2018
    @brd2be ·
    • Flag

    I would still call it a wedding on the invite. I am not advocating for being dishonest with your guests about the fact that you are already married but I don't understand getting butt hurt over the invite saying 'wedding'. A vow renewal to me is like a 10, 20, 30 year anniversary. And a celebration of marriage is the same fucking thing as a wedding. dont get hung up on the semantics.

    • Reply
  • @brd2be
    Expert April 2018
    @brd2be ·
    • Flag

    And @celia said everything i wanted to say much more eloquently haha.

    • Reply
  • JigglyPoof
    Expert August 2017
    JigglyPoof ·
    • Flag

    @brd2be and I like how short and sweet your answer was.

    • Reply

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