Military Brides

You'll get a kick out of this. Civilian spouses don't understand.

This was posted in the chit-chat board. --> --> Am I right to be offended? From: DancinPrinzess Date: 10/28/2009 at 9:53 AM I work with a woman who's young daughter got married to her military boyfriend in July in a very small ceremony, and now they are having a big wedding next May. We just got the invite to her bridal shower, and I am slightly offended that we are expected to buy them gifts when they are already married. Do you think it's ok to throw a big wedding and ask for gifts when you have been married for almost a year?Yeah. Can I punch someone? Lol. Her post wasn't even bad, but some of the replies were just oh so classic. GRR!   Here's the link to the board (I think) if you want to put in your 2 cents...I sure did.http://talk.theknot.com/boards/main_frame.aspx?page=ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=14
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Re: You'll get a kick out of this. Civilian spouses don't understand.

  • edited December 2011
    it bugs me when people think like this! they dont get it! cilivan brides are a lot different then us! they dont get we want a wedding, the dress, first dance, and father daughter dance, just as much as the next bride!
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  • hegrigsbyhegrigsby
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    edited December 2011
    Y'all are not going to like my view but here it is...I think they are right. You either get a wedding/reception or you don't. If you want to marry before a deployment that's great, but that IS your wedding. A wedding does not have to be a "pretty princess day". If you want to have a vow renewal -- and fore go the showers and b-parties -- that is so okay. I personally, am choosing to have wait until after training to have my wedding. I did not want a JOP and my FI's schedule worked out pretty perfectly to get what we both want. IMO, it depends on what your priorities are.I'm sorry if I offend anyone...I really didn't mean to. I just agree with most "civilian brides".
  • kaynix21kaynix21
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    edited December 2011
    Wow...you should see some of these replies. Asking why they can't just wait and have a long engagement....If FI deploys, I'm scrapping the wedding and we'll get married before he goes. That's that.They don't get it. And they think we're stupid.Someone else go post and tell them what's what!
  • kaynix21kaynix21
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    edited December 2011
    Oh, and I think the bridal shower is a bit much too. But that's just me.
  • DoubleE2012DoubleE2012
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    edited December 2011
    I'm engaged to my FI who is in the AF he's been to Iraq once before we were together, and there is talk of them maybe going to Afghanistan. Him and I decided if he was going to get deployed we would have a small ceremony so we could be married before he's gone. I don't think I'd have another ceremony when he got back but I'd still want a nice reception. I mean think about it if you're hubby gets deployed right after you're married its not like you guys have had this nice happily married experience. So I can understand wanting the bridal shower and the traditional bridal experience. I don't think you should have to miss out on having you "big day" because you FI is serving the country.
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  • edited December 2011
    I don't think the bridal shower is necessarily too much but the fact that its her co workers daughter.  I think having a shower with just like family and a few close friends would be ok.
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  • bintmejnunabintmejnuna
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    edited December 2011
    I think you get one wedding. I could be married to my FI right now, but we wanted a church wedding, so he went back to Iraq, I'm about to go to Iraq, and we're waiting until we're both home to have our wedding. You have to pick what's important. If you want the big wedding, wait till you can have it. If you want to be married now, go ahead. If you want both, at least call the big party later a vow renewal. You're already married. You can't always have it all.
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  • hegrigsbyhegrigsby
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    edited December 2011
    bint said it much more elegantly than I did. :)
  • meltoinemeltoine
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    edited December 2011
    I agree with Heg and Bink. to JOP earlier would have been more convenient for us too, since I've yet to find a job. We are living 1,000 miles apart and I will lose my health insurance in January and be uninsured until we are married, but that's life. We planned the wedding for April, and we will be married in April. I think you can't have it both ways, either you get the benefits of the earlier marriage and forgo those of the big wedding, or you don't.
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  • edited December 2011
    I also agree with Heg and Bint, and I'm also sorry if I've offended anyone in saying so. :-\ I certainly believe everyone deserves their wedding day, and of course those serving the country deserve it! I'm just wondering why it's necessary to do a JOP wedding before your FI deploys. Why not wait and then do it up big and have that one wedding every couple deserves? If it is necessary, then that's your wedding. FI is serving overseas right now (home soon though!!!), and we chose to wait it out because we wanted to do it once and do it how we always wanted. It's definitely inconvenient at times, but totally worth it, IMO. We practically act like a married couple anyway, and aside from benefits or money, the dynamic of our relationship wouldn't change depending on whether we get married before of after a big move. I guess if there are more reasons behind doing it than "I just want to be married before you deploy", then I can understand. Every situation is different, and if your reasons delve deeper than that, cool beans. For everyone else that just wants to "be married" before your SO leaves... that's perfectly fine too, but I guess I just don't understand doing it and then expecting a second wedding. Call it a vow renewal and celebrate big -- no need for the extra parties or gifts. Maybe that's just me. :-\
  • edited December 2011
    and Mel -- your situation is very similar to mine. :P I'm also without insurance until the wedding, or until I can find a job at his new assignment location at the end of this year. Good luck and stay healthy! :P
  • meltoinemeltoine
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    edited December 2011
    Thanks, Alko! You too :-)
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  • edited December 2011
    I tend to agree with pp's heg, mel, alko, and bint. You get ONE wedding. When they did the JOP, that was their wedding. Call it a vow renewal or have a party, but its not really a reception nor is it a gift giving occasion. When you JOPed you lost all claim to a pretty princess day, shower, b-party, everything but the joy of being married to your DH. After all, a wedding is about the joining of 2 people, NOT about gimme presents.
  • MrsWilson0611MrsWilson0611
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    edited December 2011
    I agree with the previous posters.  Hosting a vow renewal and reception after a JOP is a great way to celebrate your marriage.  However, it will not be treated the same way as a traditional wedding.  I want a princess wedding with showers, parties and the whole nine yards.  For this to happen with FI's military career we will have a two year engagement.  I am already on his contact list and I am a college graduate with my own income and health insurance. 
  • navybride06navybride06
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    edited December 2011
    I stop in every so often and read this post and the one on Chit Chat. EVERYONE has different opinions. I did the JOP, we hid it from most people. Did the JOP for BAH and insurance only. Flame away I don't care. We used the BAH money and threw our WEDDING 10 months later. I had a shower and everything thrown by my mom & MIL and BP. We did it because it worked for us. What worked for us may not work for the next. My JOP had NO rings, we wore street clothes and treated it as an errand as we ran to the bank, post office, DMV afterwards.
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  • mabar2mabar2
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    edited December 2011
    I can't believe no one has brought this up yet...what about 2 people in the military and PCS??? My FI and I are both serving in Afghanistan right now. He will be eligible for PCS when we get back, and I will not. The military does not recognize an engagement, only marriage, and unless I want to go through 2 years apart and possibly another deployment, we will have to get married as soon as we get back just so I can be stationed with him. I had already planned for our wedding next summer when I realized this, and I don't intend on not having every memory of a wedding I want just because "you either get a wedding or you don't". In many countries (France for example) you MUST be married twice because Church weddings don't count. I could care less about presents, but I would hope that my friends and family would understand that I don't want to miss out on something that I have dreamed about forever just because it is bad timing for Uncle Sam.
  • bintmejnunabintmejnuna
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    edited December 2011
    It's your call obviously, but I'm in the same boat. FI and I are both active duty in different services and our deployment schedule is just about as badly timed as it could possibly get. We are stationed in different countries and will continue to be so until we can have our wedding and either I go Palace Chase, or one of us PCSs. I wouldn't feel right JOPing and then having a big do later with a wedding dress and all. It seems fake to me. But that's me. If you're ok with it go for it. I don't think you should keep it from your family tho. Starting a marriage by lying to the people you love doesn't seem like a good idea to me. Also, not calling the JOP ceremony a wedding sort of cheapens it for people who only have a JOP ceremony. There are obviously benefits to getting married sooner rather than later in the military. I personally feel that this is why so many military marriages fail. Now I'm rambling and I've probably offended people so I'm going to shut up now.
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  • edited December 2011
    My fiance and I got lucky enough that he would be out of rotation during our wedding and honeymoon. We're both in the military and I agree that some people just don't understand what a couple is going through when they want to get married, but find out that one or the other is deploying. I know some get marrie before a deployment so that they can collect that tiny bit of family sep allowance. My fiance was constantly asked why we didn't just do that. I definately wouldn't do that again.I'm a bride who has been married before to another military member. We "thought" he was getting deployed so we had a quickie wedding. Needless to say...the quickie wedding lead to a quickie marriage which in turn lead to a quickie divorce. Unfortunately the whole gift giving thing for a couple who is already married is just something they'll have to consider. Of course it's the tightwads that don't understand the reasoning and will complain about it.
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with some people but not with others. My husband and I got the JOP marriage when he was home from Iraq just before I finished school. We were supposed to wait until next June to have the big wedding but now that isn't going to happen it got moved up to March instead because he has to go for training in June. I have to say that I agree that even if you go to the JOP you're still a bride and you still want the larger wedding with friends and family. Very few of my family have any military experience or know what its like to date someone in the military. They just don't care if you're with someone. You're married or you're single and thats the line. So when the parents ended up disappointed that we were already married our immediate families stepped in to help us with a larger wedding. As a surprise because we were just starting out my Aunt threw me a bridal shower. Now I didn't agree with it but my stepmom made the invites and used the wording, "Before the Miss Becomes a Mrs." Which, needless to say, confused a lot of people and actually offended a lot of people who came to the shower. Though I was unaware the invites said this until someone from my husband's side pointed this out. I was very embarassed. Luckily, those offended were understanding toward the faux paus and let it slide (I think). Many people hold that if you're already married then you shouldn't get gifts. I think it depends. My husband and I were only married for a few months before the shower and got a lot of things we didn't have, which pretty much was everything since we had nothing to speak of. Bottom line, every bride gets her day and big or small they deserve that one day to turn out the way they want it to. Trust me no bride thought anything other than practicality with the JOP. I see that as the legal side of things taken care of the same way you'd get your license or other important documents. Marriage is a legal binding contract. But its also a time for celebration. Its life that gets in the way sometimes and if you want a bigger wedding go for it. As for the showers its up to the family and what the couple need. Some couples like us just started out and had nothing to speak of until after the shower. Just make sure family that surprises you doesn't "forget" that you're already married!
  • edited December 2011
    I can see both sides of the argument. Say you're engaged to a military member, you've been together for 5 years and have never lived together, and that person gets deployed during the time your wedding was supposed to occur. So, you choose to do a JOP ceremony so that in case, God forbid, something happens to him while he's away, then you'll have spousal benefits such as SGLI ($400K life insurance) and SBP (covers funeral costs, etc). I don't see anything wrong with having a big celebration later as you had originally planned. I don't think it should be called a "vow renewal", because those are typically reserved for couples who are celebrating large milestones, like 10- or 20-year anniversaries. You've never resided together, so it's not like you have all the living necessities you'd register for for a traditional ceremony, so why should you miss out on all that? And if you're Catholic/Jewish/Etc, you're only married on paper, not in the church/sinagogue, so you'd like to have your marriage recognized by your religion. I don't think you should have to sacrifice your big celebration just because your FI deploys, especially if you've already been planning it for a long time and have put in deposits for your florist, photographer etc. (FYI, this is the exact situation I'm in with my FI, so I've given it a lot of thought).However, on the flip side of the coin, I can see how people can't see the gray areas to this type of situation; how they say either you're married or you're not. Especially if you already live together and are acting like married folks anyway. My FI and I have never lived together, and he'll be deployed so much between now and our wedding in October that it'll feel like we're "starting from scratch" even though we'll be seeing the JOP here in the next few months, depending on when he returns from this deployment.
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  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
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    edited December 2011
    I'm not going to get involved in this debate, but to the poster who said to get married for the life insurance, you really don't have to. He can put your name to receive even if you're not married. And he can put you on the casualty notification list even if you're not married. I was on both as just a gf. Just wanted to add that. Happy JOPs/weddings/VRs to anyone who wants them.
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  • nievesreyesnievesreyes
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    edited December 2011
    I honestly can not believe what some of you military brides have to say about this. this is some really hard judging going on. i am forced to POV now in about a month, and definatly not because i choose to, because i was totally opposed to ME doing it when my FI first brought it up. but you have to know there are way bigger reasons than just better pay and health insurance, like the ones i have but wont mention because are too personal. so just because i am in a situation that forces me into this i should never have a wedding like i always dreamed of? thats crap. everyone deserves anything they want, regardless of how they get it. not everyone has to like it, but you dont have to get all judgmental about it either. about the actual thing the post is addressing that is the giving a gift part i find completely ridiculous. i mean, i thought the point of giving a gift was to help the couple out in the start of their new life TOGETHER. so even if the couple has married before, if they havent lived together like it is my case and many other's, then giving a gift shouldnt be a problem. i would be more offended to give a gift to a couple who have lived together for like the past 10 years. have like 4 kids, and then im suppose to help u out with the "start" of ur life. idk, i guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but there is no need to judge. as far as i know God is the only one allow to do that, so who are you to decide what a person deserves or not.
  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
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    edited December 2011
    There is no situation that forces a JOP. None. Not health insurance, not living situations, nothing. I convinced myself once that I had to JOP once too, but I sure as heck didn't HAVE to. But I was young and dumb. And as far as not judging goes, major eyeroll. Really? Only God's allowed to judge? So, you don't judge anything? Riiiight. The original post was judging those who disagreed with her, and pretty harshly. No one's allowed to agree with opinions on another board, we HAVE to agree because we're all MBs? Faulty logic there.
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  • juniegirl18juniegirl18
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    edited December 2011
    my husband and I got married while I was home between basic and my first assignment.  it was just a court house marriage and we are planning a vow renewal for Feb 2011. Due to the fact that we didn't have a "real" wedding many of my relatives refuse to consider us married.  This being said we never recieved wedding gifts or anything else to help us start our lives together.  Honestly this made our first year kinda hard.  We were living off of an A1C's paygrade with my husband working part time on base.  It would've been nice to have the gifts to help us through.I am all for having a second wedding if your first was rushed and incomplete.  We're not having bachlor/ette parties or a bridal shower.  We just want to have a ceremony in a church and a reception with our families.
  • edited December 2011
    I think 'stan put it very well -- I personally also don't think it's ever absolutely necessary, as in have-no-choice-forced-to-JOP. Also, I don't think that any of the posters on this thread that didn't agree with the OP were being judgmental of the individuals (though I also believe it's human nature to judge at times). Sharing opinions doesn't mean being judgmental, IMO, and no one called anyone a bad person for agreeing or disagreeing with the OP. Honestly, if someone feels it completely necessary to JOP for any reason, I can respect that. I also think if they want a pretty princess day, that it's also perfectly fine -- it's still technically a vow renewal because you already said your vows once before. I just think that the truth no matter how you slice it is that you had your wedding when you JOP'd. There are couples that are and aren't military that JOP -- no big ceremony or reception, and they consider themselves to be married because that was their wedding. Then again, maybe it's all about a disagreement with the term "wedding" and how it's defined, as well as others' apparent dislike of the word "vow renewal". And hey, if it's about gifts -- those that want to get you a gift at your VR will because they know you're in need of things, and those that don't probably won't even if you call it a wedding because they also believe you already had one (unless you've kept it a secret... which ultimately means they'd be offended too). I think the pp was valid in saying that a couple living together for 10 years probably doesn't need gifts to "start their new lives" together, and most of the time, you'll find those couples are the ones that say they don't want gifts at their wedding.
  • edited December 2011
    The only way I can see a forced JOP situation is if both are active duty and one gets PCS orders and the other doesn't. By marrying, the service is more likely to issue co-location orders, but they don't HAVE to. It just helps the assignment officer see that you two should be stationed together.
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  • edited December 2011
    So I was reading thru some of these responses and just a quick admin note: I don't know about other services, but with the Army if both service members are active duty and are married, they have to do Married Army Couple Program AND Joint Domicile paperwork that allows them to be stationed together... they can't be more than 50 miles apart, other than for deployments of course.  But yes, planning a wedding in the military is diffcult, even more when BOTH are in the military! Happy planning to all! :)
  • edited December 2011
       I'm glad that everyone posting here is at least military in some way, that helps since everyone knows what they're talking about... but honestly i was in this same boat until just the other day.
     
       My FI was recently stationed in Colorado and i'm still in Louisiana. I just saw him for the first time in two months for Thanksgiving. I'm new to the army wife life so being away from him for those two months was torture... but trust me i am prepared for being separated a lot because of deployments, schools, training, etc... With that being said... we had a big december 2010 wedding in the works, then because i was losing my mind missing him we decided to have a VERY small ceremony and party this New Year's Eve and move me out to Colorado then still plan our BIG wedding for next year. Everyone was onboard and no one complained about gifts or such cause they knew that, yes we were going to be living together for a year,but we couldn't afford the things we would really need to start our lives together the right way. We would be living off of yard sale and thrift store things and my leftover college furniture and things until we got wedding gifts.

       Honestly, civilians don't understand many things that we go through even trying to plan anything with the military involved because they have  the perfect ways to ruin all your plans and make you settle for things that civilians get no problem, like the big princess day and the gift and parties. For that reason, because they army has stepped in and changed our plans for us, we are now having just the one big wedding in september, planning it apart cause he is in colorado, like i said earlier... Its not what either of us wanted, but its what we have to do to get what we want in the end. We're both just glad that we do get our big day surrounded by everyone we love and we get all the gifts and parties either way.

    P.S. The main reason military brides ask for the gifts the second time around is because they can't afford them on their own( you girls should know this unless your FI/Hubby is a high ranking officer--pay is not the greatest) and like others have said here, they haven't been living together at all and so they haven't actually "started" any life together!!!


    Sorry so lengthy...i'm kinda wordy and i had a lot on my chest LOL
  • akjulianaakjuliana
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    edited December 2011
    Wow! It's great to see so much emotion and opinion, which is what every wedding should be, emotional and personal.  As both an Air Force spouse and wedding and events planner for 10+ years, doesn't every couple at the end of the day, be able to look back and say that they wouldn't change a THING?!?!

    There are so many reasons to get married, each one no less valid than the other reasons which surround the decision.  Maybe the only thing that I feel strongly about is deception.  By hiding or not being entirely forthright about the wedding, is not a great way to start a life together.  In the end, everyone always finds out the truth and then not only do they feel as if they were not included, but also deceived, though generally not the intention.  I helped one bride with the JOP and then their "fairy tale wedding" one year later after his deployment.  It was a Night in Shining Armor theme with sabres and all.  Maybe it was a bit more over the top than a traditional wedding, but it clearly communicated that they were already married, but waiting for her prince to return.  Instead of the pre-wedding showers, they had a fun "Welcome Home, New Home" bar-b-que.  It was great because they received some of the necessary gifts that make a new life together a bit more comfortable and the groom walked away with a great grill as a joint gift from many of the guys in the squadron.  Needless to say they are hosting the next summer party!

    Sometimes it is better to not ask for an opinion, if you are not open to considering all of the valid reasons that others express.  There might be just a little hint of compassion hidden as a jewel from someone that has walked in your slippers.  Enjoy the Big Day as much as the planning of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • mkippomkippo
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    edited December 2011
    yes you have every right to be offended!! when i was planning my wedding ,before i saw the military bride chat most brides bashed me. My husband and i JOP before he got deployed. He wanted to be assured that god forbid anything happened to him i was taken care of. that summer we had the big traddional wedding. I still has a bridal shower and everything. I can understand some people saying you get one day and you do. Just about every military wife i know went the same direction we did i think its the norm in the military and like you said civilians just dont get it
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