Military Brides

A sticky situation with JOP/ceremony

So I have been reading all of the other JOP/religious ceremony later posts and am getting a bit discouraged. But I feel like my FI and I have a little bit different situation.
He is leaving for marine boot camp in May, after both of our college graduations. He then has 10 days break after bootcamp, and then has to report to combat training for 1 month. After that, he has to report straight up to Washington DC, and we will not know when he will get time off again. We want to have a traditional wedding, and I do not want to move up to DC with him until we are married. We planned that we would get married in the 10 day break between camps, however it seems that marriage licences expire after 60 days (his boot camp is 91days), so if we got the licence before, it will be invalid by ceremony time. We were thinking that we could just sign marriage papers/fill out all military documentation and be legally married before he leaves for bootcamp and then be "officially" married during the 10 day period over summer. I don't think we would tell anyone that we are actually married except our parents. My uncle is going to perform the marriage and is ex military, he would understand as well. Is this still a huge problem? Do you think a church would still allow us to have a ceremony with a cert. of marriage instead of a license?

so confused...

Re: A sticky situation with JOP/ceremony

  • There's really no special circumstance. We all deal with inconvenient schedules at the hands of the military. I don't see what is terribly wrong with waiting until he's at his first duty station to do anything. Schedules change all the time and 10 days doesn't give you much room for anything whether its a VR or a wedding. Also, I certainly wouldn't keep the truth of your marriage from your guests if you choose to have a JOP and VR. It just seems ethically wrong to be married already and have them believe they're seeing you get married.
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  • I just really feel like it would be 100 times more difficult, seeing as how currently we both live in florida, our whole family/all of our friends also live in florida. Having a wedding in DC would be inconvenient for everyone(not too mention incredibly expensive!) and trying to plan everything from a distance would be difficult as well. not to mention my fiance wants to seal the deal!

    I can't say I agree with you on the ethics of the situation. As a guest at a few weddings I can say I didn't even know whether couples signed papers before or after the ceremony, and don't think I would feel "cheated" if they took care of it before hand due to time constraints.

    Don't know when he'll be able to get leave next because he's a musician and they travel a lot. None of it is ideal. I do have some qualms about making it legal before the ceremony as opposed to after, but the whole marriage license expiration date makes things annoyingly complicated. Yell
  • Actually a lot of people plan long distance, a lot of people have destination weddings. Is it ideal? No. Is it doable? Yes. Seriously, you act like no one has managed it before.
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  • manjermjmanjermj
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited January 2013
    Whatever you do, please don't lie to your family and friends about already being married! They will be very hurt if they were ever to find out. 

    I know quite a few people who got married at the JOP then had a PARTY later on when it was more convenient. That is totally acceptable to have a party to celebrate your marriage. But as soon as you sign those papers at the JOP you are married and no longer can have a ceremony/reception, because quite frankly, you had already said your vows. It would make you look really silly to your friends and family to already have been married then to pretend to get "re-married" just so you can say they were a part of your day.

    Personally, I just say to wait until there is a better time where you can just have the wedding you want at one time. My FI and I have been long distance for nearly 5 years when we will say our vows on Saturday. Life happens, the Marine Corps has moved him 6 times in the last 5 years, between training and deployments. It just made more sense for us to be patient and wait it out and now we will have the exact wedding we want on Saturday. Life isn't fair. You have to make choices and the choices we make can't be undone.

    Oh and another thing to consider is that if you plan on having your wedding on the 10 day leave after  bootcamp, you have to be prepared in case something were to happen and he doesn't graduate on time. Not saying that will happen, but it is a very real possibility. 

    And just to note: there isn't a difference between being "legally" married and "officially" married. Signing the paperwork at the JOP is being "officially AND legally" married.
  • Please, please, please don't get married on boot camp/OCS leave. Please plan for later. Plan for a holiday weekend sometime after he's completed all his training, including TBS if he's going there, or MOS school. There is so much to adjust to when you're brand new in the military. Don't complicate his adjustment as a Marine or your adjustment as a married couple by mixing them up at the same time. 
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  • ETA: And I agree with ManjerMJ. What if he gets hurt and has to recycle through part of the course? It happens, all. the. time. 
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  • My FI and I have waited 3 1/2 years to get married at a time that is perfect for both of us. If you truly want a nice wedding, don't try to cram it in. I personally do not think its a good idea to be dishonest with your guests. I hope everything works out for you
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  • The girls here are speaking from experience. If you want the best, most honest advice, this is it. It doesn't seem to be what you want to hear, but it's the reality of the situation.
  • I definitely wouldn't get married during his leave time from bootcamp to MCT. It's too risky and things can change.

    It is possible to plan a wedding the way you are describing. H and I are both from NY. We planned a wedding in Florida. I was living in NY at the time and he was living in SC. he was also deployed during part of the time AND I moved from NY to SC because I got a job, three months before the wedding. 

    I would wait until he gets to DC, finds out his schedule (ie for deployments etc) and then start planning. It doesn't take that long to plan if you know what you want already. Just have to book it all. 
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  • Your situation is not unique.  There are no special circumstances there.  People deal with it all the time.  Please do not start off your marriage by lying to your family and friends.  A good friend of mine did it and half her family, to include her grandmother, were so upset that they didn't come to the "redo" and didn't speak to her for months.  It is a lie and a very big one at that. 
    I suggest you either have the wedding you want before he leaves or wait until he is done with training and at his first duty station.  Stan is right, there is a lot to deal with when adjusting to military life.  Doing it as a newly wed couple only makes your life harder than it needs to be and puts strikes against you from the get go.  


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  • I really dgaf about the double ceremony thing I think it depends on your social group. In my social group its pretty normal so I wouldn't think anything of it if someone did it. Most people would disagree so if your social group would I would definitely rethink this. However I think you should wait to get married after he gets his orders. Im actually not a fan of getting married right before deployments or because he's leaving I think its a better idea to wait till hes done with major transitions and gets a more "stable" leave block. This really is something that happens quite frequently nothing about this lifestyle is for sure or always ideal.
  • I got married at the courthouse with my parents, grandparents, sister present last May. We are living apart due to me going to nursing school until 2014 and him being deployed. Everyone knows that I got married to him and I am planning a vow renewal in 2014.. which both his and my immediate family asked for. It won't be over the top, but I will be wearing a more informal comfy ivory dress (tried to get a blush pink one, but hubby said no lol), no veil, I'll still allow my dad and stepdad to escort me down the aisle since it wasn't possible at the courthouse. We'll have a cake and a reception in my mom's big red barn. The ceremony will be taking place on my family's island or in my Grandma's backyard.

    What it really comes down to is.. is your family and friends OK with it? If they are, go for it. If they aren't, then don't or... Get married beforethen have a reception on his leave.THEY are the ones that are going to have to deal with this, not anonymous people on the internet. 

    There are a lot of people online who REALLY frown upon this, especially online. Please keep your communication open with your family and this JOP and ceremony later thing is actually very common in the military... just do it tastefully and honestly and you'll be just fine.
  • I don't suggest to plan a wedding and invite ppl for that 10 day break. Anything can happen. He is not guaranteed to graduate on the date given. My (now ex husband) was given a grad date, was mildly injured and it pushed his grad back 2 weeks. He did nothing wrong, he just got hurt!
  • Why cant you get the license over the 10 days... are you in a county that has a waiting period? I know lee county does not, they require a counseling day or something... It seems like your stressing about something that should be a really exciting challenge. That's what life in the military is... always making it work! I agree with poster that finds it weird to pretend like youre not married when you are at your ceremony. Everyone will understand you have to work around the time constraints that the military puts on you... many people have a JOP right before a deployment and then have a huge celebration afterwards with a vow renewal.
  • Personally I don't think it's lying to anyone to legally get married prior to having a ceremony and celebration with family/friends.  Perhaps this is partly because we are not planning a religious ceremony.  I think of my formal wedding like my public declaration of commitment to my FI.  The marriage certificate is a piece of paper for the goverment.  Without the public commitment, I will not "feel" married.  Also, FI and I are not planning to wear wedding rings before our wedding and our commitment to each other in front of our loved ones.  We're not going to broadcast to everyone that we are actually legally married before the wedding because to us it doesn't change the significance of the day.

    Do what you need to do for yourself and the family you're creating.  If you try to rely too much on other people's opinions instead of what feels right to you and your FI, you will go insane!

  • You are married the day you sign those papers.  It doesn't matter if anyone sees it or not.  You can say what you want to make your self feel better about being a big fat liar, but your family will find out and they will be hurt.  


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  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    edited March 2013
    In Response to Re: A sticky situation with JOP/ceremony:
    You are married the day you sign those papers.  It doesn't matter if anyone sees it or not.  You can say what you want to make your self feel better about being a big fat liar, but your family will find out and they will be hurt.  
    Posted by iluvmytxrgr
    Yep! What don't you get about the fact that you are married, aabaum? It is truly a big fat lie.
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