Military Brides

Getting Married now, Wedding later!

My Fiance and I are planning to get married when he gets back from his deployment in October. We are both from California but live in Washington where he is currently stationed. Since we can't afford a big wedding in California we want to go home and have a civil ceremony with just our parents and then plan a wedding for the following year, maybe a summer wedding or for our 1 year anniversary and make it a vow renewal. I know some people think it's silly to have a vow renewal for 1 year but considering our circumstances I think people would understand. I originally was planning on having a full wedding for summer 2013 after getting married at the courthouse this october. My mother is the one who is making me question it because she doesn't see why we need a wedding once were married. But I want a wedding dress, bridesmaids, beautiful picutres etc. I can't help it! Any ideas?
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Re: Getting Married now, Wedding later!

  • If you want the wedding dress, bridesmaids, beautiful pictures, etc., then have that for your wedding.  You really can only get married once - after that, you're playing dress-up, but you'll already be married.  You can do that if you want, but if that's how you've pictured getting married, you'd likely be disappointed if you short changed yourself. 

    There's lots of ways to plan a smaller, more intimate wedding that will be affordable and still have the wedding dress, bridesmaids & pictures.  Look into Brides Across America - free gowns for brides of deployed service members.  There's one big cost gone.  Then look into creative ways of cutting costs - keeping the guest list SMALL is the easiest way to cut costs.  Then think about getting married in a garden with a Justice of the Peace or something, and have a beautiful backyard reception for only your nearest & dearest - a buffet in the backyard could be stunning with some fairy lights and wildflower centerpieces, and would run only a few thousand dollars.  You could have 2-3 bridesmaids, your parents, siblings, & grandparents and a few select close friends - with a guest list under 30 people, and a free dress, I'm sure you could pull off something gorgeous for around $5000 easily.

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    Anniversary

  • Why so much rush? Why not wait and get married in Summer 2013?
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  • I can't vote because my option is to wait until next year if thats the type of wedding you want to have (like Cal said). 
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  • Yup, I can't vote either. My vote would be "Wait until summer 2013 so you can have your dream wedding".

    Why haven't you mentioned that as a choice?
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  • I'd wait until I could have the marriage and the wedding all at the same time. 2 birds-1 stone type deal.
  • Yup, I'm with pretty much everyone else. Why not just wait and have the wedding you want? 

    No matter how nice it is, after you're already married it is "playing dress-up" as Cal said. Another option would be to plan your wedding where you live. You say that you can't afford to have the wedding you want in CA, can you afford to plan the wedding you want in WA? 

    Another thing is that if you do go through with the vow renewal/big party, if your mother is already questioning it, are people who you want to travel to it going to come? People will, generally, travel for a wedding, for a vow renewal in this situation, maybe not. I just think you're better off to either plan a smaller wedding (like what Cal was talking about, it could be really pretty) either in CA or WA sooner and have that as your wedding, or wait until you can afford the wedding you want in the place you want and do that. 
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  • I love a 3-answer poll where the same answer is just re-worded 3 times.  

    I vote D, do it all at once next year.
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  • ggirl2001ggirl2001
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    member
    edited August 2012
    No beach, one is a party in the summer and the other is a party 2 months later in October. TOTES DIFFERENT! 
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  • In Response to Re: Getting Married now, Wedding later!:
    I love a 3-answer poll where the same answer is just re-worded 3 times.   I vote D, do it all at once next year.
    Posted by Beachy730
    Uh, better question, why are you online? Get off the computer and get ready! Big day! Wink
  • cnhelbertcnhelbert
    100 Comments First Anniversary
    member
    edited August 2012
    My FI and I are waiting until next summer as well and have been waiting since 2010 so I could finish my bachelor's degree. We almost did a civil service last year but realized that waiting for the wedding I really want and can afford is completely worth it. Plus it has gone by so much faster than I thought it would!
    June 2013 Sig - Shoes
    image Wedding Countdown Ticker Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In Response to Getting Married now, Wedding later!:
    My Fiance and I are planning to get married when he gets back from his deployment in October. We are both from California but live in Washington where he is currently stationed. Since we can't afford a big wedding in California we want to go home and have a civil ceremony with just our parents and then plan a wedding for the following year, maybe a summer wedding or for our 1 year anniversary and make it a vow renewal. I know some people think it's silly to have a vow renewal for 1 year but considering our circumstances I think people would understand. I originally was planning on having a full wedding for summer 2013 after getting married at the courthouse this october. My mother is the one who is making me question it because she doesn't see why we need a wedding once were married. But I want a wedding dress, bridesmaids, beautiful picutres etc. I can't help it! Any ideas?
    Posted by SimoneRose

    This is the line that gets me every time. Considering your circumstances... what, the fact that your fiance took a job that had him move to Washington state? It's life. People move to different states for tons of reasons. 
    It sounds like the bottom line here is that you don't want to wait a year to get married. Your circumstances there aren't really special circumstances. 

    Wait and have the wedding you want. If you just can't wait, then have a smaller ceremony and be happy with that, but don't blame the military if you don't get the wedding you wanted, because it's not their fault that you're impatient. Not trying to be rude, but I don't think there's another way to say it where it won't sound rude. 

    My husband and I had the ceremony we wanted and spent about 6k for our outdoor wedding with 100 guests. I did a lot of DIY, but tbh I think that made our wedding day more personalized and it felt like it really was mine. People are still coming up to me and telling me that our wedding was the prettiest wedding they've ever been to, and that we had some of the best food that they've ever had. You can do a budget wedding and still be classy. 



    wedding1 Anniversary
  • Wait until you can have your dream wedding.
  • We've been together for over 3 years and have been wanting to get married for over a year now. We've been engaged for 6 months and the only reason why we are considering getting married first and having a reception or vow renewal later is because we have no way of paying for a wedding now. If we got married now we would be able to actually save up around $10,000 for the wedding (since the military will cover our rent). Neither of our parents are able to contribute to the wedding so we're all on our own. We both want the wedding of our dreams, nothing extravagant but something that can include all our family and friends who we would love to have there. Even backyard DIY weddings can cost up to $5,000, and i'd be happy with that but we couldn't even afford that in a year. I don't know why people think we can afford something in a year, our pay checks aren't changing anytime soon so a year won't make a difference. Once we're married we will be getting $900 a month for rent which will save us a ton! So that's our reasoning.
    Oh and I don't plan on having two weddings, by getting married first I just mean going to the courthouse (just the two of us and maybe our parents as witnesses) and then having the reception later when we can afford it.

  • Because we can't afford a full wedding in 2013. My fiance will be making more money once were married and we'd be able to save up for a wedding.
    In Response to Re: Getting Married now, Wedding later!:
    Yup, I can't vote either. My vote would be "Wait until summer 2013 so you can have your dream wedding". Why haven't you mentioned that as a choice?
    Posted by LetsHikeToday
  • One was a vow renewal, one was a full on wedding, and one was maybe have a party to celebrate. I would say those are different.
    In Response to Re: Getting Married now, Wedding later!:
    I love a 3-answer poll where the same answer is just re-worded 3 times.   I vote D, do it all at once next year.
    Posted by Beachy730
  • In Response to Re: Getting Married now, Wedding later!:
    We've been together for over 3 years and have been wanting to get married for over a year now. We've been engaged for 6 months and the only reason why we are considering getting married first and having a reception or vow renewal later is because we have no way of paying for a wedding now. If we got married now we would be able to actually save up around $10,000 for the wedding (since the military will cover our rent). Neither of our parents are able to contribute to the wedding so we're all on our own. We both want the wedding of our dreams, nothing extravagant but something that can include all our family and friends who we would love to have there. Even backyard DIY weddings can cost up to $5,000, and i'd be happy with that but we couldn't even afford that in a year. I don't know why people think we can afford something in a year, our pay checks aren't changing anytime soon so a year won't make a difference. Once we're married we will be getting $900 a month for rent which will save us a ton! So that's our reasoning. Oh and I don't plan on having two weddings, by getting married first I just mean going to the courthouse (just the two of us and maybe our parents as witnesses) and then having the reception later when we can afford it.
    Posted by SimoneRose

    People every day have weddings that they can afford, and I think every single one of us have made sacrifices based on budget limitations.  In order to get the BAH (which is the word for the 'rent money' you're talking about - basic allowance for housing), you have to be married.  And the day you get married is your wedding.  A wedding is defined by two people getting married, not by a big white dress, bridesmaids, and a cake. 

    Have the wedding you can afford now or whenever you want to get married.  If you won't be able to save more money in the next year and the BAH sounds good, then go ahead and get married now in a courthouse or a garden JOP ceremony or whatever.  It sucks that you can't afford a full stereotypical wedding of your dreams, but trust me when I tell you it won't matter in the long run - there are plenty of people who have big white weddings who get divorced shortly after (*cough Kim Kardashian cough*), and there are couples who go into the courthouse at their lunch hour who are still married 30 years later (one of my co-workers was telling me this was how she and her husband got married).

    If you then want to have a big reception next year, go for it.  But having a re-do 'wedding' when you've already been married a year just seems a bit odd - you've got all the pomp without any of the circumstance.  Maybe plan for a reception where you invite your friends & family, wear a pretty white dress (but not a big gown), and ask your closest friends to give speeches (rather than be 'bridesmaids')?  I think this might be a good compromise.

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    Anniversary

  • I would be perfectly fine waiting a year to get married IF we could afford it. But we can't. I'm still in school & he hasnt gotten a raise (that would pay our rent) that would make us able to save for a wedding. If he got that raise tomorrow, I'd say let's wait till summer 2013. Once we are married he will get that raise and we will have lots of money to save. And I may have used the wrong wording by saying special cirumstances. I don't think we have any, I meant that considering we can't afford a wedding now, but we could once married. I love the idea of DIY wedding and I'm definitely planning on making my wedding one :)
    In Response to Re: Getting Married now, Wedding later!:
    In Response to Getting Married now, Wedding later! : This is the line that gets me every time. Considering your circumstances... what, the fact that your fiance took a job that had him move to Washington state? It's life. People move to different states for tons of reasons.  It sounds like the bottom line here is that you don't want to wait a year to get married. Your circumstances there aren't really special circumstances.  Wait and have the wedding you want. If you just can't wait, then have a smaller ceremony and be happy with that, but don't blame the military if you don't get the wedding you wanted, because it's not their fault that you're impatient. Not trying to be rude, but I don't think there's another way to say it where it won't sound rude.  My husband and I had the ceremony we wanted and spent about 6k for our outdoor wedding with 100 guests. I did a lot of DIY, but tbh I think that made our wedding day more personalized and it felt like it really was mine. People are still coming up to me and telling me that our wedding was the prettiest wedding they've ever been to, and that we had some of the best food that they've ever had. You can do a budget wedding and still be classy. 
    Posted by firemedicrr
  • In Response to Re: Getting Married now, Wedding later!:
    Because we can't afford a full wedding in 2013. My fiance will be making more money once were married and we'd be able to save up for a wedding.
    Posted by SimoneRose
    Don't you see how this is counter-intuitive? This concept that your wedding and the day you get married can be mutually exclusive is something I'll never understand. 

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    Anniversary

  • Thank you for the advice. I agree that we should just get married for now since that is what we want and figure the rest from the there. If we don't end up having a reception or anything then who cares, were already married. With his job he's gone so much that it would be hard to plan around his schedule anyways. But I always think what If down the road in 20 years I regret not having that special day in a beatiful white dress and pictures to show my grandkids. It's somethig I just need to think about and if we do decide to have a wedding or vow renewal later and anyone has a problem with it, then they don't have to come! If it's what I want I will just do it :)
    And  wasn't directing the majority of that to you I was just thinking outloud :)
    In Response to Re: Getting Married now, Wedding later!:
    In Response to Re: Getting Married now, Wedding later! : People every day have weddings that they can afford, and I think every single one of us have made sacrifices based on budget limitations.  In order to get the BAH (which is the word for the 'rent money' you're talking about - basic allowance for housing), you have to be married.  And the day you get married is your wedding.  A wedding is defined by two people getting married, not by a big white dress, bridesmaids, and a cake.  Have the wedding you can afford now or whenever you want to get married.  If you won't be able to save more money in the next year and the BAH sounds good, then go ahead and get married now in a courthouse or a garden JOP ceremony or whatever.  It sucks that you can't afford a full stereotypical wedding of your dreams, but trust me when I tell you it won't matter in the long run - there are plenty of people who have big white weddings who get divorced shortly after (*cough Kim Kardashian cough*), and there are couples who go into the courthouse at their lunch hour who are still married 30 years later (one of my co-workers was telling me this was how she and her husband got married). If you then want to have a big reception next year, go for it.  But having a re-do 'wedding' when you've already been married a year just seems a bit odd - you've got all the pomp without any of the circumstance.  Maybe plan for a reception where you invite your friends & family, wear a pretty white dress (but not a big gown), and ask your closest friends to give speeches (rather than be 'bridesmaids')?  I think this might be a good compromise.
    Posted by calindi
  • Check out the Brides Across America - you can probably get your dream gown for free.  Chances are your guy owns a dress uniform he can wear, or at least a suit.   Then have a small ceremony - I bet you can find a JOP willing to donate their services as your FI will be returning from a deployment (ours cut our price in half simply for my guy being in the military at all).  Then you can have a beautiful outdoor ceremony in your pretty gown for free.  Do it mid-afternoon rather than at a meal time, make yourself a bouquet out of fresh flowers from the grocery store, and serve your guests cake & punch, and you can pull off a wedding for basically anywhere up to 100 people for less than $200.  Get a friend with a good camera to take some pictures for you.  Voila!

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    Anniversary

  • ggirl2001ggirl2001
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    member
    edited August 2012
    Honestly, it sounds like financially you are not in a place to get married no matter what. If you can't afford rent without BAH, then that's a problem. I would encourage you to wait until you financially are more stable. Maybe when you're done with school and hopefully have a job in your career field? Eta: I see I misread but my advice still stand. A lot of people have long engagements to afford their weddings, they don't rush off to the JOP and have a vow renewal later. The military does not make this a special circumstance.
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  • In Response to Re:Getting Married now, Wedding later!:
    Honestly, it sounds like financially you are not in a place to get married no matter what. If you can't afford rent without BAH, then that's a problem. I would encourage you to wait until you financially are more stable.
    Posted by ggirl2001
                                                                                                         THIS, exactly. It's getting really frustrating seeing all these people come on here and obviously trying to abuse the system to just have their Pretty Princess Day. SHIIIT, if only I had the gall to do that...I would have been married long ago. Heck, isn't being married to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with enough? If you (and this is a meant as a general you) really must have your big pretty day, then work for it and wait...it'll mean that much more too, because you and your SO/FI worked for it together. Honestly, what does it matter to wait? It's not hurting anything, you'll still be together. Why rush something that is meant to be forever?
  • Just something to think about and add.

    H and I were married in a "traditional wedding" (I hate using that but I must to make my point).  We did all the paper work and everything.  Since we got married his BAH went up and since he was deploying he also recieve seperation pay.  We got married four months before he left.  We come to find out this entire year he was getting BAH for being married (still saw him as single solider) or seperation pay.  We did everything the way we should have been done.

    So the moral to this story- don't count on getting any of that right away.  The military works on their own time frame and sometimes you have to "bug" them to make things get done.  Now we are gettting back pay to again that is not going to happnen for another month or so.  Another moral to this story- if I was counting on that money to plan a wedding or buy a car or what ever I would not have it. 

  • I think I'm starting to see the light lol. I finally talked to my Fiance on the phone about everything and we decided to just wait till the summer to have our wedding (and actual marriage) I think I was feeling more rushed to get married because he wants to do it soon because of not only financial reasons but because I was recently in the hosptial thinking I might get surgery and he freaked out not being able to come home for that. But We've decided we don't need to rush we can save what we can and do a simple beach wedding next summer and maybe rent a beach house for the reception. I'm starting to see what is really important and it is silly to get married to...get married again. Why save up all that money for a big wedding when were alraedy married? Now I see how ridiculous that is and we are excited to wait a have the rest of this year to plan something that we can actually afford and what we Really want! Thanks for all the advice ladies :)
  • I feel like I've accomplished something on these boards. Simone, that plan sounds perfect. I had a beach wedding and loved it. 
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  • That sounds great! I am so happy you were able to figure it put. I know you will not be sorry. Enjoy planning. When you start planning we would love to hear color ideas, flowers, etc.
  • Best of luck in your planning! A beach wedding sounds like a good idea and budget friendly lol :)
  • In Response to Re: Getting Married now, Wedding later!:
    I think I'm starting to see the light lol. I finally talked to my Fiance on the phone about everything and we decided to just wait till the summer to have our wedding (and actual marriage) I think I was feeling more rushed to get married because he wants to do it soon because of not only financial reasons but because I was recently in the hosptial thinking I might get surgery and he freaked out not being able to come home for that. But We've decided we don't need to rush we can save what we can and do a simple beach wedding next summer and maybe rent a beach house for the reception. I'm starting to see what is really important and it is silly to get married to...get married again. Why save up all that money for a big wedding when were alraedy married? Now I see how ridiculous that is and we are excited to wait a have the rest of this year to plan something that we can actually afford and what we Really want! Thanks for all the advice ladies :)
    Posted by SimoneRose

    Thumbs up!

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  • Wow, so glad you guys came to that decision!  I don't think you'll regret waiting - if you need any help planning, TK seriously saved my butt several times.  These ladies generally rock.

    And like Geeg... I feel like I accomplished something!  Yay!

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    Anniversary

  • tortor09tortor09
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    edited August 2012
    Hello, I posted on these boards several months ago, asking the SAME question. I was in your shoes. Everyone here is going to argue that you get married ONLY once. They are right. However, I went against their word-- and got married in May at the courthouse. I invited my parents, grandparents, his parents, and my sister just happened to be home from 16 hours away that very day. It was quick, not romantic at ALL, but I did still dress in a short white dress and him in a suit. I had flowers, got my hair done, and had pictures done. I have no complaints about it, but I'll be honest I do wished that I had been able to do something bigger. I'll show pictures at the end of this post. :) 

    Now, SEVERAL family members and friends have asked me to have a RELIGIOUS blessing and vow renewal along with a giant reception afterwards. I will be unable to host such a thing until 2014, right around our 2 year anniversary- due to a combination of deployment and nursing school. It will be really great that it will be right after the deployment because they say that you should plan a vow renewal after something major happens- you can personalize it to whatever you have been through together rather than a dry traditional type of wedding vow.

    DH and I plan on paying for this ourselves. Everyone is excited to party and celebrate- everyone in my family likes to drink... haha.

    Basically what I'm saying is, talk to your family/parents- be open with them. See what they think and explain to them what the situation is. They might be more understanding than you think... mine was! 





    In Response to Getting Married now, Wedding later!:
    My Fiance and I are planning to get married when he gets back from his deployment in October. We are both from California but live in Washington where he is currently stationed. Since we can't afford a big wedding in California we want to go home and have a civil ceremony with just our parents and then plan a wedding for the following year, maybe a summer wedding or for our 1 year anniversary and make it a vow renewal. I know some people think it's silly to have a vow renewal for 1 year but considering our circumstances I think people would understand. I originally was planning on having a full wedding for summer 2013 after getting married at the courthouse this october. My mother is the one who is making me question it because she doesn't see why we need a wedding once were married. But I want a wedding dress, bridesmaids, beautiful picutres etc. I can't help it! Any ideas?
    Posted by SimoneRose
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