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legally married before the wedding?

My FI is going to be start working with the state department as a foriegn service officer. This means he will be working at an embassy, domestic or foriegn.  It has been recomended to us that we get legally married when he starts this process this fall so I can get my medical clearance and all the paper work will be done so I fall under his state department medical insurance and housing allowance etc.  This way when he gets posted (possibly in a foreign country) I can A. be with him and B. don't have to go through a longer hassle if we wait for the legal documents when we have the ceramony. 

If this makes any sense haha, I know it sounds weird and complicated.  Really I don't know if I should agree and get legally married months before our actual wedding or say no I will go through the hassle of that documentation later after we have the ceremony?  Thoughts please?

Re: legally married before the wedding?

  • andee1353andee1353
    100 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    Just do it. It makes sense to be ready to go when the the wedding party is over. Get it out of the way. Consider it part of planning! You won't be less excited for the special day b/c that will have all the trimmings. Good luck deciding.
  • edited December 2011
    I did this. I have thyroid problems and I got laid off from my job and i have to have health insurance so we got legally married last june our wedding is may 22nd its not that big of a deal and really no one has to know about it just the people you want to know. :)
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  • edited December 2011
    This is such a big issue of debate on sooo many boards.  I honestly think that it is fine but be prepared for some qualms from relatives.  Honestly, I would not tell anyone if you did plan to do this except for many the presider at your formal wedding.  But, ask him not to tell anybody.  
  • edited December 2011
    We may get legally married before our actual wedding, too.  FI is a veteran, and we're buying our first house.  Unfortunately we need both of our incomes to qualify, and would really like to get a VA loan, instead of FHA.  This would save us about $7K in downpayment, and about $100 a month in PMI.  We're likely going to get married sooner, and only share that with a few people.  But I completely understand what a tough decision it is.
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  • edited December 2011
    thanks for all the support.  Yeah I was thinking of discussing this with my church and what their opinion would be on that, but that wouldn't necessarly form my decision.
  • jmucheech21jmucheech21
    100 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    I think it is totally ok to do as long as it wouldn't ruin the moment for you.  Its something my fiance and I are considering for financial reasons, but I just don't know.  I think if I were having a religious ceremony or was a religious person I wouldn't mind so much, because I would look at this as a paper marriage and the wedding as my real marriage before God.  But, I'm not very religious, so I feel that when we sign the papers it will be done.  I don't know, I think its very silly for me to feel this way, but I just can't help feeling it.  But, if you feel comfortable with it, then do it.  It just seems to make so much sense.  =)
  • edited December 2011
    I am pretty sure the church is okl with it, I remember it being one of those questions asked or something. Personally, I would do it, and we would have after I was laid off if I had been unemployed much longer.
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  • edited December 2011
    yeah it will be great for financial reasons and we both say that our real ceremony would be our wedding.  Not sure my family would understand and that bothers me since, if you have read my earlier threads my parents are not so supportive of my future marriage.   My FI really thinks we should do this for the convience of all the financial reasons and paper work with the state department.

    I am not sure if I would feel this takes any the magic away, honestly I already feel kinda married to my FI.  The wedding to me is just making it official and celebrating it before God and everyone else.

  • edited December 2011
    irish eyes.... I just realized you want to have a religious ceremony when you do the formal wedding. This totally changes my answer.  Many churches will not marry you if you have already been legally married.  What denomination are you?  I don't know if I would even bring it up to them. I might try to research it online with a website from your denomination to see if they will allow you to be married after you are already legally married.


    For example, in the catholic church, you have to get a convalidation if you have already been legally married.  It takes a while to get one and you have to have good reasons for wanting one.  If they see that you got married civilly with the intention all along of sidestepping the church and getting your marriage validated later, they often deny you the convalidation.  
  • edited December 2011
    Really, hmm I proably should remember this from my catholic school upbringing but I do not. I will have to look into this thank you.
  • AileeneGAileeneG
    500 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    My sister had a similar situation- and they did the civil ceremony, and it worked otu well for them. Byt he time they got married, he had the housing taken care of and they didn't have to spend that long time apart.  But I would definitely tell your parents and that's pretty much it.
  • edited December 2011
    I can't speak for other denominations but in my Episcopalian church being civilly married before the ceremony changes the ceremony entirely. It is no longer "The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage", it becomes "The Blessing of a Civil Marriage". The ceremony is much shorter and has very different verbage than the traditional Book of Common Prayer marriage ceremony.

    I thought about getting legally married early for about two seconds but then DH put the kibosh on that idea almost before I finished suggesting it. For us our marriage began in the church so there was no 'pre-wedding marriage' beforehand. That was just us and our church, though. I think it's a very personal decision and I've known people who have done it both ways. I'm on the side of the fence, though, that you should tell your family and friends that you were married before your celebration. Call it a blessing or a vow renewal, but for me a 'wedding' is the day you first say 'I do' and have your marriage solemnized, be it in a clerk of courts' office with just the two of you or in front of all of your family and friends.
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  • edited December 2011
    Wow, I can't believe how many people on here would lie to their guests.  I don't really like the idea of getting married before the actual wedding, but if you're going to do it at least be honest to your guests.  I know many people who have been hurt because couples have done this, especially family members.  If you're not doing anything wrong, why the big secret? 
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  • edited December 2011
    Irisheyes, you are Catholic?  then I strongly recommend not getting civilly married before hand.  You won't be able to have a full mass for your wedding and it will take a  long time for them to give you the convalidation.  You have to have had good reasons for not marrying in the church in the first place.  If both you and your fiance are Catholic, they might really wonder what your reasons were.  I would ask this question on the Catholic board because there are a lot of church experts on there that can give you a better answer.  I suppose it also depends on your bishop who would approve of the convalidation if you were to get one.  You would still have to do the pre cana though.  Also, all Catholic churches require you to have contacted them at least six months prior to your wedding date and you have to do all the pre cana.  Many of them require you to be a member donating on the envelope system for six months as well.  Have you contacted a church yet?  I would do that right away.  Also, you could try to be sneaky about it and have a friend perhaps call and ask about convalidating a marriage for the same reasons you would want to.  See what they say.  
  • jmucheech21jmucheech21
    100 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    I really never thought of getting married before the physical ceremony as "lying to your guests."  First off, its really no ones business if you have real reasons you need to be legally married ahead of time.  I don't usually go around discussing my financial situation with my friends and extended family, so if I had to get married because of financial reasons before my public ceremony and celebration I wouldn't really see that as something I had to discuss with them either.

    A wedding is simply a celebration of a marriage.  Why should it matter when the marriage takes place??  The marriage is still happening and your loved ones should still want to celebrate it.  

    I don't think its anyone's business if you get married ahead of time and I think you are far from a liar!  We don't always announce our personal business to everyone in the world.  That's not called lying, its called not telling everyone everything.  Nothing you are doing would be wrong.

    However, I would talk to your church, just in case it would cause an issue with your religious ceremony plans.  =)
  • SarahSmile23SarahSmile23
    2500 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: legally married before the wedding?:
    I'm on the side of the fence, though, that you should tell your family and friends that you were married before your celebration. Call it a blessing or a vow renewal, but for me a 'wedding' is the day you first say 'I do' and have your marriage solemnized, be it in a clerk of courts' office with just the two of you or in front of all of your family and friends.
    Posted by MrsWhitneyAmanda
    ditto.

    just be honest with your friends and family. good luck!
  • edited December 2011
    Like I said, people have their reasons for getting married before the wedding and if they feel comfortable with them, so be it.  I'm not saying you have to fully disclose WHY you chose to get married beforehand, but people have a right to know what they are witnessing.  You can just say it was for financial reasons or whatever and leave it at that.  Or simply that it was what worked best for you.  If you lie, however, it makes it look gift-grabby.  When you have a full blown wedding and behave as if you are getting married for the first time, but are already married, you are misleading people.  That is lying.  Don't mislead the people who think they're witnessing you getting married for the first time.  No matter how you want to sugar coat it, lying by ommission is still lying.
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