Military Brides

Two Weddings??? HELP!

My soon to be finace and I are planning on getting married before he deploys in Sept 2011. At first we thought we'd have a small wedding with immediate family members and close friends and then have a big wedding (vow renewal with the reception being a big party) when he comes back from deployment. Its always been my dream to have a big wedding, but I'm wondering if by having a small wedding if the big one will be pushed to the side and just never happen. Is it smart to just go through with the small wedding and have a big one later or should we just have a medium sized wedding that way we don't have to plan two weddings. My Marine is fine with either option so I just don't know what to choose!! Any advice would be appreciated :)
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Re: Two Weddings??? HELP!

  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Two Weddings??? HELP!:
    My soon to be finace and I are planning on getting married before he deploys in Sept 2011. At first we thought we'd have a small wedding with immediate family members and close friends and then have a big wedding (vow renewal with the reception being a big party) when he comes back from deployment. Its always been my dream to have a big wedding, but I'm wondering if by having a small wedding if the big one will be pushed to the side and just never happen. Is it smart to just go through with the small wedding and have a big one later or should we just have a medium sized wedding that way we don't have to plan two weddings. My Marine is fine with either option so I just don't know what to choose!! Any advice would be appreciated :)
    Posted by nikkien9
    The bolded part is my answer.  You only get 1 wedding day.  Plan the wedding you can and want and can afford for that 1 wedding day. 
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  • iluvmytxrgriluvmytxrgr
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    edited December 2011
    I would just do the medium size wedding.  Do you really want to go through planning a small wedding and then turn around and start planning a huge renewal?  That sounds like a big PITA if you ask me. 


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  • edited December 2011
    I agree with the other two.  I think a medium wedding would be best.  It's still intimate and not as expensive, but you get to have all the people there who are most important to you.  I think if you had two weddings, the second one wouldn't feel as special since you've already had one wedding before.
  • edited December 2011

    I think asking for 2 weddings, one small one and one "big" wedding is just selfish. This question/debate goes on constantly on this board. You get 1 wedding day. Make that 1 day count. Big, Small, or Medium, THAT is your wedding day. Do it when you can, the way you can, with the money you can spend. Just my opinion.

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  • edited December 2011
    So does the one wedding 'rule' apply to those who are planning a JOP?
    Im planning on doing a JOP in March and then having a wedding in August.
  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Two Weddings??? HELP!:
    So does the one wedding 'rule' apply to those who are planning a JOP? Im planning on doing a JOP in March and then having a wedding in August.
    Posted by akahelealoha
    This is exactly what it refers to.  You are married after the JOP.  M-A-R-R-I-E-D.  So you therefore can not have a wedding 5 months later to the same man.  You only get married once. 

    ETA: A  vow renewal is different than a second wedding.  Plan your party as a vow renewal in August and let people know you're already married, and I have no problems with it. 
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  • calindicalindi
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Two Weddings??? HELP!:
    So does the one wedding 'rule' apply to those who are planning a JOP? Im planning on doing a JOP in March and then having a wedding in August.
    Posted by akahelealoha
    Legally speaking, the JOP is your wedding - it's the day you get married. If you want to have a ceremony and reception where you wear the white dress and have a cake and all that stuff, then it's legally a vow renewal. 

    There are girls who believe you should choose one or the other.  I'm not opposed to the JOP and then vow renewal as long as it's not sneaky.  If you JOP and then hide it from people and pretend you're just engaged, it looks weird.  It's also lying.  Then it makes everyone wonder if you got married to actually BE married, or for some sort of benefit (BAH, DEERS, etc.).  This particular topic is discussed to death on this board.  Personally, I don't care if you call your vow renewal your wedding, I just would like to see people who JOP give it the respect it deserves - it is the day you get legally married, not some random signing of papers.

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  • edited December 2011
    I whole-heartedly agree with dnb, wish and others...you only get ONE wedding day! If you JOP it, fine, but call a spade a spade and have a vow renewel and let people in on it...


  • mosbyj412mosbyj412
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    edited December 2011
    Me and my Fiance are having the same problem. We decided to have a very small wedding this december. I've always wanted a spring/summer outdoors wedding. so we decided to wait till he returns from deployment. I think if your serious enough you can have two weddings, however you cant expect both weddings to be "pretty" and you have to consider your budget.
  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Two Weddings??? HELP!:
    Me and my Fiance are having the same problem. We decided to have a very small wedding this december. I've always wanted a spring/summer outdoors wedding. so we decided to wait till he returns from deployment. I think if your serious enough you can have two weddings, however you cant expect both weddings to be "pretty" and you have to consider your budget.
    Posted by mosbyj412
    What the hell does this even mean?  Are you saying because I didn't have 2 weddings, a real one and a fake one, that my H and I aren't serious enough?  Did you even think before writing that sentence?  And seriously, how many times does it have to be said, YOU CAN NOT MARRY THE SAME MAN TWICE.  It's impossible, unless you get a divorce in between.
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  • edited December 2011
    Goodness...
    it is possible to marry the same person more than once... you can legally get married as many times as you would like... ask any court official

    If someone chooses to take care of paper work or even to get married due to extenuating circumstances then that is their choice. If they then choose to have a wedding to be able to share their marriage with others that are of importance there is nothing wrong with that.
    if you trace the origins of marriage back anything we do today is techincally out of line... being engaged was legally binding and taken as seriously as being married... the wedding is a chance to not only share with friends and family but where the guest are to affirm their support and state that they will help in this marriage as a family does
    this is from a Jewish history and a modern Christian view of marriage and the role of a wedding... The wedding is about the affirmation of the commitment that was supposed to have been made when you agreed to become engaged. the wedding is the time to celebrate the fulfillment of your agreement of commitment

    their is no need to be snooty or stuck up...
    if you only had one wedding good job. if you had two same to you... if you had fifity go ahead

    to fuss about tradition and breaking rules... hun what you view as set educate and rules--changes from culture to culture. there are no truly set in stone rules on this matter only what is considered standard by the majority of the population: one only marries another human who is of proper age and distanct or no relation 
     
    That being said I am a Christian and consider the institution of marriage very Sacred and important... not to be taken lightly... no matter what route someone chooses it should only come after a great deal of time, thought and consideration as to what they are entering and commiting their LIFE to... its not just dating that you can haphazardly go from one to another... It is your LIFE and a true binding commitment.
    Brittany and Matthew December 28 USAF- Proud Fianc? Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • edited December 2011

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    Brittany and Matthew December 28 USAF- Proud Fianc? Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Two Weddings??? HELP!:
    Goodness... it is possible to marry the same person more than once... you can legally get married as many times as you would like... ask any court official If someone chooses to take care of paper work or even to get married due to extenuating circumstances then that is their choice. If they then choose to have a wedding to be able to share their marriage with others that are of importance there is nothing wrong with that. if you trace the origins of marriage back anything we do today is techincally out of line... being engaged was legally binding and taken as seriously as being married... the wedding is a chance to not only share with friends and family but where the guest are to affirm their support and state that they will help in this marriage as a family does this is from a Jewish history and a modern Christian view of marriage and the role of a wedding... The wedding is about the affirmation of the commitment that was supposed to have been made when you agreed to become engaged. the wedding is the time to celebrate the fulfillment of your agreement of commitment their is no need to be snooty or stuck up... if you only had one wedding good job. if you had two same to you... if you had fifity go ahead to fuss about tradition and breaking rules... hun what you view as set educate and rules--changes from culture to culture. there are no truly set in stone rules on this matter only what is considered standard by the majority of the population: one only marries another human who is of proper age and distanct or no relation    That being said I am a Christian and consider the institution of marriage very Sacred and important... not to be taken lightly... no matter what route someone chooses it should only come after a great deal of time, thought and consideration as to what they are entering and commiting their LIFE to... its not just dating that you can haphazardly go from one to another... It is your LIFE and a true binding commitment.
    Posted by jfg4u4@yahoo.com
    Honestly I don't even understand the point of this response.  Are you trying to imply that I didn't take my marriage seriously?  And I'm sorry, but anyone who would enter into marriage only to get benefits and use those benefits to pay for a wedding is definitely taking the idea of marriage lightly. 

    ETA: Not that this poster is doing that, but there are several posters lately saying thats what they were doing.  There's been so much ridiculous talk of this lately I've been getting the threads confused.
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  • edited December 2011

    The point is simple even though it is not what you consider proper does not mean it is wrong or so gosh darn aweful as you make it out to be
    and what you state as being absolute it not always correct. take time slow down and read peoples post consider the other possibilities in life not just be stuck on your own- my way or the highway attitude.


    I never said anything at all about your own marriage. from what i have read of your posting you appear to take marriage very seriously. you simply have over generalized your standing and view point as being what is best for everyone.


    I do agree to enter into marriage simple for benifits is not what i would see as being appropriate. If someone chooses to make things legal earlier than they had originally planned then that is their buisness as long as their has been serious thought about and understanding or what they are entering into. Even if someone is simple doing an earlier JOP to get paper work through. I mean you still have to legal get divorced to end it at that point. so i can understand your frustration with those who appear to take it lightly.  

    Brittany and Matthew December 28 USAF- Proud Fianc? Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011

    People can JOP and have a vow-renewal all they want.  I don't care, that is fine.  But the people who JOP and keep their wedding a secret solely for the benefits of the marriage are just morally and ethically wrong.  And the only reason anyone would JOP and then plan a big wedding is for the benefits, and you will never convince me otherwise.  Whether its for the insurance, the higher BAH, being able to live on base, being able to live together, getting a military ID card, being the beneficiary on the life insurance, whatever it is, its for the benefits. 

    I will be the first one to say that H and I wanted to make sure we were married before he left for deployment.  I am all alone on the other side of the country from anyone I knew, and I needed a way to be on base and be in contact with other wives from the ship and what not.  But we planned our entire wedding around that.  We had to change our date, planning the whole thing in about 5 months, but we did what we had to do.  I had my wedding planned within a month, so you can't tell me its not possible to plan the wedding quickly.  And because of our wedding date, I wasn't listed on the original orders for his PCS, so I wasn't paid to move.  Big deal, our stuff got across the country, and we can sleep at night knowing we didn't cheat the military or any of our family and friends by secretly doing a JOP first, then letting them think they saw us get married.

    Bottom line is, people are going to do whatever the hell they want because many military brides feel this sense of entitlement that the world owes them everything, and should just accept whatever they want to do.  And that mentality honestly makes me sick.  There are many couples getting married who would have it easier if they did a JOP first so they could save on medical insurance, two rent payments, and whatever else.  But they don't run off and JOP just to save money, so why do so many military brides feel like we are entitled to do so? 

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  • edited December 2011
    I had read in some of your other post about your husband being deployed... i'm sorry that must be difficult especially to be so far removed from your family at the same time.

    Everyone has their own reasonings and feelings, typically very strong, about this topic as it is all over this board. having to plan a wedding unexpectedly in such little time is very difficult. I understand that far too well as that is what i am also in the process of doing.

    It has to have been hard on you especially with as I am understanding everything happening so quickly wedding, moving and an almost immediate deployment (? is this correct). i cannot imagine the difficulty and stress with this. I will keep you and your husband in my prayers through this time.
    Brittany and Matthew December 28 USAF- Proud Fianc? Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    Yes thats correct.  That all happened within about 3 months.  Thanks, it wasn't easy but its gotten a lot better now that our life has settled down a bit and I've adjusted to a routine with him gone. 

    Going through all of this is also why I get so frustrated on this topic, because I know how much easier it is to do it one way or another, but it doesn't always make it right. 

    Thanks for your kind words. 
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  • VraechelVraechel
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    edited December 2011
    I started to read this thread and then it took a turn of the nasty... 
    So forgive me if this was already covered. People have vow renewals ALL THE TIME. There is nothing wrong with celebrating your love with family and friends. If your family is supportive of having your big day then do it. If they feel it wont be special for them the second time then you may be disappointed if you plan two. It just depends on what is right for you. I had a JOP ceremony with just 2 guests in attendance. We are having our marriage blessed by the Catholic Church and a reception. I'm not going to go over the top since we are already married, however I'm still enjoying our day. A small part of me wishes that we could have waited but that wasn't how it worked out. I would just ask your family their opinion they are the ones who count.
  • mlesleevmlesleev
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    edited December 2011
    I havent read all of the responding posts except the one right before mine.  My fiance and I are in a similar situation.  Our "Big Wedding" is going to take place in Sept. 2011 but we are actually getting married in Feb. 2011 and only having 2 people be there to witness. Kind of like a Justice of the Peace type thing.  Except we are having the same Catholic priest who will be presiding our marriage ceremony in Sept also perfom the ceremony in Feb.  So basically we are getting married on the DL, not telling anyone...not even family members, and keeping it a secret until after the "big wedding" in Sept.  By keeping it a secret and not telling anyone you dont have to worry about the big wedding not feeling quite as real or special to your family and guests.  I know its going to be hard for me to keep this huge of a secret from my mom and sister...but I'm gonna do it.  Also, this way its not even a "medium sized" wedding that would possibly keep you from doing the big wedding that you've always wanted.

    Just and idea :) Anyway, just do what you think will feel right for you chicka.
  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Two Weddings??? HELP!:
    I havent read all of the responding posts except the one right before mine.  My fiance and I are in a similar situation.  Our "Big Wedding" is going to take place in Sept. 2011 but we are actually getting married in Feb. 2011 and only having 2 people be there to witness. Kind of like a Justice of the Peace type thing.  Except we are having the same Catholic priest who will be presiding our marriage ceremony in Sept also perfom the ceremony in Feb.  So basically we are getting married on the DL, not telling anyone...not even family members, and keeping it a secret until after the "big wedding" in Sept.  By keeping it a secret and not telling anyone you dont have to worry about the big wedding not feeling quite as real or special to your family and guests.  I know its going to be hard for me to keep this huge of a secret from my mom and sister...but I'm gonna do it.  Also, this way its not even a "medium sized" wedding that would possibly keep you from doing the big wedding that you've always wanted. Just and idea :) Anyway, just do what you think will feel right for you chicka.
    Posted by mlesleev
    So I assume by this you also mean you aren't telling the military either, and won't be collecting the spousal benefits.
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  • calindicalindi
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Two Weddings??? HELP!:
    I havent read all of the responding posts except the one right before mine.  My fiance and I are in a similar situation.  Our "Big Wedding" is going to take place in Sept. 2011 but we are actually getting married in Feb. 2011 and only having 2 people be there to witness. Kind of like a Justice of the Peace type thing.  Except we are having the same Catholic priest who will be presiding our marriage ceremony in Sept also perfom the ceremony in Feb.  So basically we are getting married on the DL, not telling anyone...not even family members, and keeping it a secret until after the "big wedding" in Sept.  By keeping it a secret and not telling anyone you dont have to worry about the big wedding not feeling quite as real or special to your family and guests.  I know its going to be hard for me to keep this huge of a secret from my mom and sister...but I'm gonna do it.  Also, this way its not even a "medium sized" wedding that would possibly keep you from doing the big wedding that you've always wanted. Just and idea :) Anyway, just do what you think will feel right for you chicka.
    Posted by mlesleev
    Trust me, this sort of secret gets found out.  And when it does, people will be hurt and angry.  Personally, I'd be much more understanding if the couple was up front about it from the beginning, and I believe many others would react the same way.

    Read the rest of the posts on this thread and several others on this board and try to keep an open mind.  If you still decide to get married and keep it secret (from everyone but the military), then I'm at a loss for words.

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  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Two Weddings??? HELP!:
    I havent read all of the responding posts except the one right before mine.  My fiance and I are in a similar situation.  Our "Big Wedding" is going to take place in Sept. 2011 but we are actually getting married in Feb. 2011 and only having 2 people be there to witness. Kind of like a Justice of the Peace type thing.  Except we are having the same Catholic priest who will be presiding our marriage ceremony in Sept also perfom the ceremony in Feb.  So basically we are getting married on the DL, not telling anyone...not even family members, and keeping it a secret until after the "big wedding" in Sept.  By keeping it a secret and not telling anyone you dont have to worry about the big wedding not feeling quite as real or special to your family and guests.  I know its going to be hard for me to keep this huge of a secret from my mom and sister...but I'm gonna do it.  Also, this way its not even a "medium sized" wedding that would possibly keep you from doing the big wedding that you've always wanted. Just and idea :) Anyway, just do what you think will feel right for you chicka.
    Posted by mlesleev
    Calindi's right, your family will find out. They'll find out when you have extra money, they'll find out when you use Tricare. They'll find out at your VR when his work friends mention it. Everyone in his unit will know, and your VR will be special, but it will feel different.

    I'm surprised and saddened that your priest is on board with lying to your families/friends. 
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  • mlesleevmlesleev
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    edited December 2011
    I'm a little offended at the responses to my post. I read most of the previous posts and I will be completely honest and admit that I had no idea about the fact that the big wedding would technically be a vow renewal. Of course we plan on telling the military and taking advantage of spousal benefits.  However, I don't share money information with my family so I'm not worried about them finding out that we are getting a bigger paycheck every month.  And my mom is actually the one who suggested doing the "secret" wedding JOP style.  She mentioned it months ago and I havent told her that we have decided to actually do it that way.  And my parents understand our situation and wont judge us for getting married how WE want to get married and celebrate it.  As for the rest of the guests finding out at the big wedding I dont really see how it will matter to them.  They are coming to celebrate our love and commitment to each other...and that fact will be present whether its a marriage ceremony OR vow renewal.  So I'm sticking with what I said and I dont care who is "at a loss for words".
  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Two Weddings??? HELP!:
    I'm a little offended at the responses to my post. I read most of the previous posts and I will be completely honest and admit that I had no idea about the fact that the big wedding would technically be a vow renewal. Of course we plan on telling the military and taking advantage of spousal benefits.  However, I don't share money information with my family so I'm not worried about them finding out that we are getting a bigger paycheck every month.  And my mom is actually the one who suggested doing the "secret" wedding JOP style.  She mentioned it months ago and I havent told her that we have decided to actually do it that way.  And my parents understand our situation and wont judge us for getting married how WE want to get married and celebrate it.  As for the rest of the guests finding out at the big wedding I dont really see how it will matter to them.  They are coming to celebrate our love and commitment to each other...and that fact will be present whether its a marriage ceremony OR vow renewal.  So I'm sticking with what I said and I dont care who is "at a loss for words".
    Posted by mlesleev

    I genuinely don't understand why you just don't wait until he gets back. Benefits are not a reason to get married.

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  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Two Weddings??? HELP!:
    I'm a little offended at the responses to my post. I read most of the previous posts and I will be completely honest and admit that I had no idea about the fact that the big wedding would technically be a vow renewal. Of course we plan on telling the military and taking advantage of spousal benefits.  However, I don't share money information with my family so I'm not worried about them finding out that we are getting a bigger paycheck every month.  And my mom is actually the one who suggested doing the "secret" wedding JOP style.  She mentioned it months ago and I havent told her that we have decided to actually do it that way.  And my parents understand our situation and wont judge us for getting married how WE want to get married and celebrate it.  As for the rest of the guests finding out at the big wedding I dont really see how it will matter to them.  They are coming to celebrate our love and commitment to each other...and that fact will be present whether its a marriage ceremony OR vow renewal.  So I'm sticking with what I said and I dont care who is "at a loss for words".
    Posted by mlesleev
    So what is the purpose of getting married before your fake wedding day?  Because you're making it sound like its simply to get more money.
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  • mlesleevmlesleev
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    edited December 2011
    Its not about money. Its about not bearing to go another minute NOT being married to the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.  Also because we booked our wedding day to be my birthday and in retrospect I wish I hadnt done that. 

    And its not about trickery or "lying by omission" to your family and friends in attendance.  Anyone who really loves and cares about you isnt going to give a rats ass if your technically already married when its time for the big celebration.  They are coming to celebrate you and your husband and the love and commitment you have for one another.  And frankly, if anyone does have a problem with that fact then they dont have to come.  One less person I have to worry about feeding.
  • calindicalindi
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Two Weddings??? HELP!:
    I'm a little offended at the responses to my post. I read most of the previous posts and I will be completely honest and admit that I had no idea about the fact that the big wedding would technically be a vow renewal. Of course we plan on telling the military and taking advantage of spousal benefits.  However, I don't share money information with my family so I'm not worried about them finding out that we are getting a bigger paycheck every month.  And my mom is actually the one who suggested doing the "secret" wedding JOP style.  She mentioned it months ago and I havent told her that we have decided to actually do it that way.  And my parents understand our situation and wont judge us for getting married how WE want to get married and celebrate it.  As for the rest of the guests finding out at the big wedding I dont really see how it will matter to them.  They are coming to celebrate our love and commitment to each other...and that fact will be present whether its a marriage ceremony OR vow renewal.  So I'm sticking with what I said and I dont care who is "at a loss for words".
    Posted by mlesleev

    We were nice.  You were offended by me saying that you lying to everyone (and yes, not telling them that you are married is lying - calling him your "fiance" will be lying if he's actually your husband) would leave me at a loss for words?  I'll gladly give you those words - people who steal, lie, and cheat disgust me.  And I believe that by pretending you're not married while accepting military benefits is cheating the system, stealing from the military, and lying to family and friends.

    I pay taxes.  Those taxes help fund our military.  Our military has families, and for that they receive extra money to cover their housing and are extended health benefits.

    If you want to get married in secret, then keep it secret from the military, too.  That way, no one can judge. If you aren't going to present yourselves as a married couple, then you have no right accepting benefits intended for married couples.  Because I guarantee you that there will be plenty of people both in and out of the military who will judge you.  People WILL find out that you are married.  There WILL be people who are hurt or offended that you lied to them.  And people who do this give military spouses a bad name - they are self-entitled, greedy, impatient, and ignorant.

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  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Two Weddings??? HELP!:
    Its not about money. Its about not bearing to go another minute NOT being married to the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.  Also because we booked our wedding day to be my birthday and in retrospect I wish I hadnt done that.  And its not about trickery or "lying by omission" to your family and friends in attendance.  Anyone who really loves and cares about you isnt going to give a rats ass if your technically already married when its time for the big celebration.  They are coming to celebrate you and your husband and the love and commitment you have for one another.  And frankly, if anyone does have a problem with that fact then they dont have to come.  One less person I have to worry about feeding.
    Posted by mlesleev
    Seriously?  You don't think everyone is excited about marrying their FI asap?  It doesn't mean you should have the right to go collect money for it just because you want the title of wife, and must not think being engaged is enough of a committment.  I just don't understand why people think being in the military makes it okay. 

    Ditto calindi, if all you care about is being married to him, then you wouldn't tell the military and claim the benefits.  Can you honestly say that you would be talking about doing this if there wasn't extra BAH after you got married?
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  • mlesleevmlesleev
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    edited December 2011
    I could debate this with the two of you forever. But I'm not going to.
  • calindicalindi
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Two Weddings??? HELP!:
    I could debate this with the two of you forever. But I'm not going to.
    Posted by mlesleev
    No need... but if I ever meet you, or someone who has JOP'd in secret, I'd be absolutely disgusted. And every USMC JAG Officer I've spoken to (and I know several) has told me that they'd be very disapproving of any Marine who got married in secret to accept benefits.

    The military has a policy against marriages exclusively for benefits.  Yes, you love each other also, but if you aren't publically acknowledging that you are a married couple, then there is no reason for you to accept benefits intended for married couples.  While it's a gray zone in the law, and your husband won't likely be brought up on charges, it is against the spirit of the policy and will definitely be frowned upon by his chain of command.

    So let's see... you'll lose the respect of most of the spouses of Officers, and your husband will be judged by his chain of command.  Not good, for either of you.  And all this could be avoided by simply being upfront with family and friends, so that you are NOT lying to anyone.

    Again: If you aren't going to present yourselves as a married couple, then you have no right accepting benefits intended for married couples. 

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