Military Brides

Need some opinions please!!

OK so here is some back round information. My fiance and I are planning a June 2012 wedding. We have everything set in place for it to happen and I'm super excited for it all!!!

 We recently moved into our first apartment together. He is active guard reserves so we have no on base housing. I'm a student and working part-time and we are just making enough money to pay the bills. So my fiance asked me if I would be willing to do a JOP and then do the whole big wedding thing in June like we originally planned. Because we would make almost $600 more a month being married. 

I don't know what to do though. On one hand it would be nice to have that extra money and we could get caught up on all our bills and then we could go on an awesome honeymoon. But I'm worried that our wedding won't be as special. We'll already be married.Plus I don't know how people would look at our wedding since we'd already be married.

I don't want to give up any aspect of my "dream" wedding. I'm already giving up a lot because of our money situation. So I guess I'm looking for opinions and some advice on all of this. Please give me some help.
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Re: Need some opinions please!!

  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited December 2011
    There are mixed opinions on this. I refused to get married for BAH, regardless of what bills it caught us up on, or how it helped our housing situation (FI has been in 10 years and has on-base housing that takes his entire single rate BAH, in a development where junior enlisted get refunds from their BAH), etc. I think if you feel like it'll make your wedding less special, then it will. For some people the religious aspect of being married matters most, but you will be his wife, not his fiancee. Just know that everyone your H works with will call you his wife, because you will in fact legally be his wife. 

    If you do go this route, do not lie to people and call him your fiance. He will be your husband. Have a vow renewal if you choose, but your marriage begins when you sign those papers.

    I hate Dave Ramsey
  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Need some opinions please!!:
    OK so here is some back round information. My fiance and I are planning a June 2012 wedding. We have everything set in place for it to happen and I'm super excited for it all!!!  We recently moved into our first apartment together. He is active guard reserves so we have no on base housing. I'm a student and working part-time and we are just making enough money to pay the bills. So my fiance asked me if I would be willing to do a JOP and then do the whole big wedding thing in June like we originally planned. Because we would make almost $600 more a month being married.  I don't know what to do though. On one hand it would be nice to have that extra money and we could get caught up on all our bills and then we could go on an awesome honeymoon. But I'm worried that our wedding won't be as special. We'll already be married.Plus I don't know how people would look at our wedding since we'd already be married. I don't want to give up any aspect of my "dream" wedding. I'm already giving up a lot because of our money situation. So I guess I'm looking for opinions and some advice on all of this. Please give me some help.
    Posted by DoubleE2012
    Getting married to make money is a horrible reason to get married.  That BAH money is to go toward housing and food, not paying for a wedding.  

    I know of 2 people IRL who have done this secretive JOP wedding for the benefits.  One was my brother's friend from high school, who was unfortunately killed while overseas.  People didn't know he was married until it was revealed that he had a widow, and his family and friends were very upset that they never knew he was married.

    The other one is my good friend here who I didn't meet until after all of this.  They decided to get married so he could move off base and they could live together, and they chose not to tell anyone.  Her parents figured it out almost 9 months later, and are still upset with her to this day that they missed their daughters wedding.  

    Just don't do it.  Please.  
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  • edited December 2011
    I was in a wedding where the military couple got a paper wedding first. I don't think anyone knew, either, aside from a few close friends. Honestly it didn't bother me, but I think the families would be upset if they found out.
  • Sammy0709Sammy0709
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    edited December 2011
    I know of several people (friends and couples from DH's old batallion) who have had a JOP and then a religious ceremony later with all their familiy but all the people I know have been honest and up front, making sure everyone knew they were already married.  If you do this just be honest with people, lies usually come back to haunt you in the end.
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  • edited December 2011
    What if you did the JOP ceremony just the two of you? Maybe even keep it a secret from you families- like a little elopement (my mom did this w her first marriage, she said it made the wedding day really romantic) because then you could have that little quiet bond btwn the 2 of you, just for you, and it would allow you to put $ away for your honeymoon.

    I think you have to follow your heart, and just do whatever feels right. There are pros and cons to both options- but remember, the military is such a unique situation and being legally married when one of you is in the military can offer a lot of legal benefits that civilian marriage doesn't, so don't let people judge you or talk you out of anything. Good luck! I'm sure whatever you decide, your "dream wedding" will still be beautiful:)
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  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
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    edited December 2011
    A) Lying is not romantic. It's just lying.
    B) Getting married for the benefits is a bad reason to get married.
    I hate Dave Ramsey
  • Sammy0709Sammy0709
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Need some opinions please!!:
    A) Lying is not romantic. It's just lying. B) Getting married for the benefits is a bad reason to get married.
    Posted by WishIcouldbeinthe'stan
    I second this.
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  • edited December 2011
    I do agree with jackieandbilly that OP should be true to herself and her man, but this is a situation where she has to really consider WHY they are making this choice.

    If it just comes down to money, then maybe that is a really bad idea. You don't want to set the tone for your life together with a start rooted in ca$h money, yo.
  • edited December 2011
    DoubleE, just wanted to let you know-I was just watching an old re-run of Say Yes to the Dress (of course) and there was an episode on "second-time brides" who had done small little eloping ceremonies and 2 of the 3 featured were military brides. The other was for a UK visa issue. No one was judging them or saying they were marrying for the money or the legal issues because they chose to have a small, private ceremony and then have a grander dream wedding. Wedding was the word being used, not vow renewal. They were saying "husband" and "wedding", so the two clearly aren't mutually exclusive.
    Obviously, the decision is between you and your fiance, and I hope you two are happy with whatever decision works best for you:) The military makes lots of aspects of wedding planning and marriage hard, and I hope you have a fabulous celebration and all your dreams come true.
    Nimi and Little Bite Photobucket
  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    Those people on SYTTD also work on commission, and if they are anything but falling all over the bride it likely won't result in a sale.  So they will say whatever they need to in order to get a sale.  
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  • edited December 2011
    Oh, do they ever omg! I was actually talking about the families who were with the brides-  their moms, sisters, friends were all there and still excited for the big "wedding" and the whole "bride" experience even though she was already married. Just something to keep in mind!

    It's insane on the show- and I hate how they always make the girls fall in love w dresses they can't afford:( they don't work w price points no matter what it is!


    Nimi and Little Bite Photobucket
  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    A lot of friends and family won't care as long as you are completely honest with them about it.  The people who do a secret JOP ceremony and hide it from their family and friends are the ones that have problems usually, because someone ALWAYS finds out, and then there are very hurt feelngs.  


    Personally, I don't ever see a valid reason for a JOP wedding, then a big PPD down the road.  Of course it would be easier on just about everyone in the world to be married sooner, whether it be for money, insurance, religious reasons, etc.  It really boils down to your morals and beliefs.  If you think there is nothing wrong with doing a secret ceremony just so you can collect extra BAH or the benefits, then you probably don't give a crap what people think of you.  But all i can say is that people ALWAYS find out, and there are very real and very hurt feelings.  To me, no amount of money would be worth taking that feeling away from my parents of them seeing their only daughter get married.  

    I know I have a very strong opinion about this topic, as most people do.  I really don't mind as much when people are completely honest with everyone about what they are doing.  But when people lie to everyone and cheat the system (which presenting yourself as a single person to everyone except the miitary is), then I honestly have no respect for those people.  
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  • Sammy0709Sammy0709
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    edited December 2011
    A valid reason...you're going officer and your fi is enlisted.  Gotta be married before you go officer.
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  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Need some opinions please!!:
    A valid reason...you're going officer and your fi is enlisted.  Gotta be married before you go officer.
    Posted by Sammy0709
    But you would also know that you were going officer, and could plan a wedding in time.  We have friends that were in the same situatiuon, and got engaged and planned their wedding before it would happen.  
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  • Sammy0709Sammy0709
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    edited December 2011
    I disagree...my husband and planned our wedding for 2011 based on the fact that he was deploying again to Afghanistan and I was finishing my degree and he wanted to get situated back to his life in America before we got married..  I decided to go officer, and would have found out if I was going officer 3 months before OCS, also 1 month after he returned from deployment.  If I had gotten picked up we would have done a JOP wedding because 3 months is not ample time to plan.  We ended up doing a JOP wedding anyway because it was just what we decided we wanted.
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  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    Everyone is entitled to do the wedding they want.  There are people who plan weddings within 2 months, it's just a matter of what envision for your wedding, and you might have to adjust a few things to do it in time.  We planned our wedding in 5 months, and honestly we could have done it in 2.  I completely understand that not everyone has the means or money to have a big wedding on such short notice, but it is possible to do.  
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  • kyrgyzstankyrgyzstan
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Need some opinions please!!:
    A valid reason...you're going officer and your fi is enlisted.  Gotta be married before you go officer.
    Posted by Sammy0709
    People can have whatever kind of marriage ceremony they want. But trying to join as an O is not a valid reason to rush a wedding. And that's the difference, you and your H were not rushing a wedding so you could join, you had the wedding you wanted and now are able to join if you so choose. FI knew the sort of wedding I want, and he knew that we were either going to be married by a year after I graduated, orwe would have to break up in order for me to join. We'll have been together 3 years when we get married, and he proposed at about 2.5 years. We're neither rushing anything nor ignoring the UCMJ (which I would never do anyway, as much as I love FI, I would never ignore the law for him). I know you weren't either, and that's the point. There's never, ever an excuse to rush any kind of wedding, jop or traditional. ETA: And when I say rush, I mean have a wedding you're not actually ready for. I'm only having a 7 month engagement. All the vendors are horrified!

    I will say I'd rather have someone rush a wedding than break the law though. One only affects two people, the other slaps the UCMJ right in the face, and that affects everyone around them, and even just those who know of them.
    I hate Dave Ramsey
  • calindicalindi
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    edited December 2011
    My BF and I know without a shadow of a doubt that we will get married after he graduates law school.  We will get married in Aug/Sept 2012 before he gets his orders to report to TBS.

    He is going to Parris Island this summer for work, and if we were married, we'd get BAH so it would be an extra $1600 per month.  For just the 3 months he's there, we would get $4800.  That's a LOT of cash!  So I do understand, and we've certainly said to one another, "Wow, it would be nice if we were already married because that would be a lot of money to be able to put in savings or towards a great honeymoon!"  But there's a big difference between thinking that and getting married in secret so you can get that money.  Does it feel wrong to you?  Because it certainly does to me!

    Now, if for whatever reason that money is a huge enough deal, push your wedding up.  If you really want to do a JOP and then have a reception later, then cool, I won't judge, but some people will and you are making a choice - no one is forcing you to get married earlier.  Just be honest and up front that he is your "husband" and not your "fiance".  If you're married and accepting tangible benefits as a married couple, then present yourselves as a married couple because pretending you're not yet married is fraud.

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  • alijo0185alijo0185
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    edited December 2011
    I completely understand where you're coming from. This is a huge fear of mine as well! We are having a JOP ceremony before he deploys this fall with very close family and friends (about 10 people). He does not want this to be our only ceremony, as we both would like a big wedding to include all of our friends and family (about 200) when he returns. He doesn't want to tell our friends and fam who aren't invited to the JOP ceremony that we're married beforehand, but I don't see the point in keeping it a secret. Both sets of our parents and siblings have been very supportive and understand why we're doing it. The people who matter will understand and support you, the people who will judge you need not make you worry.
  • Beachy730Beachy730
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Need some opinions please!!:
    I completely understand where you're coming from. This is a huge fear of mine as well! We are having a JOP ceremony before he deploys this fall with very close family and friends (about 10 people). He does not want this to be our only ceremony, as we both would like a big wedding to include all of our friends and family (about 200) when he returns. He doesn't want to tell our friends and fam who aren't invited to the JOP ceremony that we're married beforehand, but I don't see the point in keeping it a secret. Both sets of our parents and siblings have been very supportive and understand why we're doing it. The people who matter will understand and support you, the people who will judge you need not make you worry.
    Posted by alijo0185
    Honestly, this is bad advice.  Because his branch of service should definitely matter since that is his job and possibly career, and they highly discourage keeping it a secret, and it could result in consequences for him.

    Everyone is going to do what they want to do, regardless of what we tell them.  But I can tell you,as i already stated, that I know 2 people who did this, and everyone was hurt by being lied to, including their friends.  Most people will fully understand if you tell them you get married first for whatever reasons and are doing the reception later to celebrate with everyone.  But fooling someone into believing that they are witnessing your wedding is very rude, and there will be people who find out and have very hurt feelings.  I really think you need to convince your FI to be open and honest with everyone, not just the close family members. 
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Need some opinions please!!:
    OK so here is some back round information. My fiance and I are planning a June 2012 wedding. We have everything set in place for it to happen and I'm super excited for it all!!!  We recently moved into our first apartment together. He is active guard reserves so we have no on base housing. I'm a student and working part-time and we are just making enough money to pay the bills. So my fiance asked me if I would be willing to do a JOP and then do the whole big wedding thing in June like we originally planned. Because we would make almost $600 more a month being married.  I don't know what to do though. On one hand it would be nice to have that extra money and we could get caught up on all our bills and then we could go on an awesome honeymoon. But I'm worried that our wedding won't be as special. We'll already be married.Plus I don't know how people would look at our wedding since we'd already be married. I don't want to give up any aspect of my "dream" wedding. I'm already giving up a lot because of our money situation. So I guess I'm looking for opinions and some advice on all of this. Please give me some help.
    Posted by DoubleE2012
    This pisses me off more than you will ever know. I can't even go on to comment on this because I'm so disgusted that you would consider this.
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  • edited December 2011
    Have a real wedding. You will regret it if you don't. My sister missed out on hers.
  • DoubleE2012DoubleE2012
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    edited December 2011
    Honestly I had never even thought about the whole JOP thing, he brought it up to me. And I wasn't really feeling it so. SO I was just seeing what other peoples thoughts were. I already told him no to the JOP and that I want to keep going with our original wedding plans. I wanted to move our wedding up originally but with my school schedule its just not possible. So I'm just going to give up on sleep and pick up more hours and try to make it work. And we'll just have to go on our honeymoon in a few years when we can afford it.
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  • edited December 2011
    A) Thank you for deciding not to lie to your friends and family.  B) I totally understand the temptation, because if my FI and I got married I'd have a much better chance of getting a gov't job (they give preferrential points to Vets and spouses) which would be a whole lot more than $600 a month.  I just graduated with my bachelor's in December and I am having trouble finding a job, so the income would be awesome. C) Don't be too down on the honeymoon thing.  Maybe a short road trip to a cozy in could be within your budget, you just have to be creative.  Also, not that you should expect it but friends of mine have mentioned that wedding gifts are trending more and more towards checks or cash because people like to contribute to the honeymoon and usually don't have a better way to do it. D) Our honeymoon won't be until 4 months after our wedding because of deployments, it doesn't have to be immediately after the wedding.  It'll give you some time to save!

    Good Luck!
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  • DoubleE2012DoubleE2012
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    edited December 2011
    We were never going to lie to our friends or family about it. It just wasn't something I wanted to do. I thought that if we were already married then our "wedding day" wouldn't really be as special. And since I'm already giving up so much of the stuff I'd love to do (like actually have a florist and printed invitations instead of me doing it all by hand). Oh well, We'll already have been engaged for 3 years by the time we get married so I'm willing to sacrifice to be his wife :)
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