Military Brides

My Only Wedding

So, it's the 24th and I haven't been on here since the 16th.  To a little bit of surprise, the same conversation I had commented on then was still going strong.  I really don't want to start an entirely new thread about the same thing.  Instead, I wanted to share that my FI and I are not getting married by a JOP prior to our real wedding.
I am a full-time student and I graduate in December, so until now I haven't had a job since grants paid part of my living expenses.  My FI and I have lived together for 2.5 years and he had to take on the bulk of the bills.  Somehow, we have managed to save up money (on enlisted pay) to put towards our wedding and my parents are happy to take care of the rest (which we are extremely thankful for).  I don't have health insurance after I graduate, because my health insurance was TRICARE provided to my family following my dad's retirement after 22 years of service in the Navy, and I would get preferential points (for being a spouse) for the government jobs I am applying for if we were already married, but I don't feel comfortable with that. 
I have been fortunate in my wedding planning to find discounted rates on a venue by booking it on a Friday night, and planning an off-season wedding.  Of course, the vendors have asked what we both do for a living and when they find out my FI is military they usually thank him for his service.  Some have also been kind enough to offer us discounts in appreciation.  It has actually been quite touching to see the kindness of people who recognize the value of our servicemen and women.  My biggest accomplishment in wedding planning was paying the deposit on my dress (which I got a discount on through a promotion at the bridal salon) using the spare change I had been saving since we moved in together.  We have quit smoking and reduced our spending so that we can pay for the wedding we want.  It is absolutely amazing how far you can make money go if you look for good deals and alternatives that allow you to still have your dream wedding but on a budget.
The point of this post, is that it is possible to have a wedding on a budget and you don't actually need to have the added BAH in order to pay for it all.  All you need to do is be responsible about your spending and plan adequately for the expense of a wedding, which is kind of a life lesson for all couples to learn to prevent debt and possible bankruptcy from overspending and poor financial planning.

This isn't a lecture.  You all willingly chose to click on this post and read it this far, so any comments should be appropriate to that fact.  I wanted to share a positive story of a couple who planned thoughtfully and saved their money without being devious. 
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Re: My Only Wedding

  • kara811kara811
    2500 Comments Third Anniversary
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    edited December 2011
    Really like the post! 
  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited December 2011
    Thumbs up. 


    I hate Dave Ramsey
  • edited December 2011
    Love! :) This is 100% the truth, there are ways
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  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    Ditto all PPs. 
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  • MrsWilson0611MrsWilson0611
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    edited December 2011
    Thank you so much for posting this!  It's good to know that there are other military brides like me out there.
  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011

    I think everyone who has agreed to this post is like you.  And calindi, she probably just hasn't seen it yet.

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  • edited December 2011

    I'm glad you shared your story. It is nice to hear :)  

    Everytime I see a JOP post I tell myself that people are already set on the idea and nothing I or anyone else says will change their mind. So I just move right along down the posts (or try my best too) LoL

  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: My Only Wedding:
    I'm glad you shared your story. It is nice to hear :)   Everytime I see a JOP post I tell myself that people are already set on the idea and nothing I or anyone else says will change their mind. So I just move right along down the posts (or try my best too) LoL
    Posted by shan87
    I've seriously been getting to that point.  Its like arguing with a wall, and they never seem to think they are doing anything wrong.  I got told several times in the one post that I need to get off my high horse.  I don't consider it being on a high horse, I just consider it doing the right thing.   But whatever, its a fight that would literally go on forever, so I am basically giving up.
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  • kara811kara811
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: My Only Wedding:
    In Response to Re: My Only Wedding : I've seriously been getting to that point.  Its like arguing with a wall, and they never seem to think they are doing anything wrong.  I got told several times in the one post that I need to get off my high horse.  I don't consider it being on a high horse, I just consider it doing the right thing.   But whatever, its a fight that would literally go on forever, so I am basically giving up.
    Posted by dnbeach12
    Ditto. I posted maybe twice on that one post, then it just got so out of hand that I didn't want to say anything anymore. I don't want to go take the time of my day and try to explain things to people who are immature and closed minded. 
  • edited December 2011
    Good for you! It can definitely be done.
  • calindicalindi
    5000 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    edited December 2011
    Congratulations on your engagement, and best wishes!  You (and people like dnbeach, Sam&Luke, and a few others) give me hope that I won't hate absolutely everyone on base when we get married and he goes active duty (he's inactive reserves while in law school).  So thanks! 

     This post made me smile, and all the girls who said they agree but didn't comment on the crazy post made my day. Such a nice relief from the head-desk banging that's been going on!  Seriously, if everyone turns out to be the type of 18-year-old self-entitled princesses who *stomp, hair toss* DESERVE to have their dream pretty princess day, regardless of who is paying for it or whether they're already legally married, I might pull my hair out.

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  • edited December 2011
    Aww!! Cate!! I know in my heart that one day our Marines will be stationed together and we can be Marine Corps Wives together!!
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  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: My Only Wedding:
    Aww!! Cate!! I know in my heart that one day our Marines will be stationed together and we can be Marine Corps Wives together!!
    Posted by Luke&Sam625
    Are you married now?  Or is it next week?
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  • edited December 2011
    Not next week. December 18th. I'll be so glad to get my Handsome Marine in my arms again!!!
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  • edited December 2011
    THANK YOU!!! For posting this thoughtful, mature, adult story; it really restores my faith! Congratulations to you and best of luck!!!
  • edited December 2011
    Hey all!
    I've been travelling all week to visit family for the holidays, but I wanted to get back on here and say thank you for the great response!  I really just wanted to share that not all military brides are in it for the insurance and BAH.  I grew up in the Navy and the one thing I've found is that there are two types of military wives: classy ones and trashy ones.  If they want to be trashy, we can't stop them and getting into arguements on these boards isn't going to help.  Just remember there are good military brides out there, with similar values as the rest of you.  We just have to stick together.
    So ladies, ignore the redundant JP posts and don't stoop to their level.  Keep it classy!
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  • edited December 2011
    TriSaratops, I LOOVVEEE your snow picture!! Weren't you freezing?! I'm hoping to get a picture just like it!! or.. close.. hehe
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks!! It was an unexpected snowstorm on our big day - haha we got married in Minneapolis on Nov 13 - and it happened to be the first snowstorm of the year.

    I truly don't really remember being cold! All of that adrenaline/excitement really came in handy :) I hope you get your snowy picture!! It was a blast!

    TriSaratops, I LOOVVEEE your snow picture!! Weren't you freezing?! I'm hoping to get a picture just like it!! or.. close.. hehe
    Posted by Luke&Sam625
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with this post.  However, I will say that some who do "2" weddings have legit reasons for doing so.  A good friend of mine got married 2 years ago to her Marine after they had planned their wedding and he got orders to deploy during their planned wedding.  So they got married by a JOP before he left,and well, through many twists and turns and more surprise deployments, they've moved their "real" wedding 3 more times.
    Now he's home, and they are having their big wedding for everyone else (basically just a celebration of their marriage) next fall.  When it happens like that, I don't have a problem with it at all.

    For those who marry for the extra money?  I only have one thing to say: you're marrying for the wrong reasons, and those marriages aren't known to last
  • Epic07032011Epic07032011
    10 Comments
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    edited December 2011
    1. Super congratulations!
    And I'm proud of all the work that you put in to make it work and do everything the traditional way and the way that you and your family wanted.

    2. Not everyone who gets legally married does it to be "devious" or for the money. There are many many reasons to be legally married.

    3. Since when did this become such a heated topic? I don't understand why people are so hateful to those that want to host a party or have a religious ceremony after a legal one. Does it make me a princess that I would like to invite my family and friends to celebrate with my husband and myself? I mean, honestly, it's a lot of work to put together a big wedding, and I could just as well not do that work. It will be a lot of fun for me, but that is not the reason I am doing it. And if everyone was so against it, then why would anyone come to our wedding?

    There is so much hate on this whole site towards those who get legally married and have a party later. To me, that is really quite sad.
  • calindicalindi
    5000 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    edited December 2011
    Ooooh Epic... did you realize the date of the last post is in early December?  Just let dead dogs lie.  Typically if a post is more than a few days or a week old, it's best to just not respond to it.

    People have a variety of opinions on the subject, but the biggest issue (in my opinion, anyway) is the lying, devious aspect.  When and how you get married is totally up to you, and what you call it is up to you, too.  How you celebrate that is your call as well - some girls can judge you for having a party later that resembles a wedding, but ultimately all that matters is what your family and friends think.  However, when someone gets married in secret and keeps it from their family and friends, letting them believe that what is technically a vow renewal is their actual wedding (by definition, when they go from single people to a married couple), it can cause some serious hurt feelings when people find out.  And they do usually find out. 

    And if the couple is accepting real tangible financial benefits from the military for being married (DEERS, BAH, Tricare, separation pay, etc.) yet not representing themselves as a married couple publically,the soldier CAN be brought up on fraud charges and demoted or even kicked out of the military.  It's not likely, as it's hard to prove, but it's a pretty shady move that's definitely a "gray zone" in the law.  It's like saying you're unemployed and homeless to accept welfare and unemployment from the government, meanwhile you're living for free at a friend's place and working for cash as a nanny.  It's fraud.  If you're married, be married.

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  • edited December 2011
    @Epic- The point of this post was to share that a young military couple is capable of having a wedding without lying to friends or family by getting legally married before what we call our official wedding day.  I have absolutely no problem with people getting married in private ceremonies and then having a big party later, or even doing a religious vow renewal followed by a party.  In fact, even with the "big" wedding, I will be having a second ceremony so that our marriage can be blessed in the Catholic church.
    The issue that routinely pops up on this board is that women want to get married so they can have all the benefits generously provided by the government to soldiers and their family (dependent BAH and insurance) but they don't tell their families that they have gotten married (lying is lying even if it is by omission) and use the "extra income" to fund their big wedding.  This is taking advantage of a system that provides for us because of our spouses or parents choice to serve. 

    It is everyone's own decision to have their wedding as they wish, this was simply a bride sharing her story.  As I said at the bottom of the OP, it was your choice to read it and comments on it should be appropriate to that fact.  This is not the post for you to take a stand on the issue and I am asking that if you have any more input on this matter that you start your own thread.  Thank you!
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