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Secretly married the year before the "wedding"?

I have no clue where to post this so I thought this might be as good a place as any.  Long story short, fiance and I have been together for almost 8 years, engaged almost 3 years.  After alot of happenings we've decided it would be beneficial to us to get married this year. We still want to have our "real wedding" next year as planned though.   So the question is what do we exchange during the courthouse vows?  How do we keep it from being known at work when we update our status and insurance?  What do we say to people who find out before we've told anyone? Will the church still "marry" us next year?     The last one is our biggest worry. We'll be talking with the church next month before we have the courthouse wedding but right now just looking for advice and anyone who's done something similar. Thanks.
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Re: Secretly married the year before the "wedding"?

  • You can't have a wedding if you are already married. Your first marriage is your "real" wedding.  But, I suggest posting this on the P&E board.  They'll be happy to help you over there...
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    Whatever you hatters be hattin. -Tay Prince
  • Yeah, P&E board will be very helpful with this
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  • This board is dead. P&E is more helpful.
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  • What do we say to people who find out before we've told anyone?I'm sorry for lying to you.
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  • Chit chat FTW!
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  • The church can't "marry" you because you're already married.  Is this really what you want to do?  Start your married life by lying to your family and your friends?  Very, very nice.If you're old enough to get married, you do what grown-ups do.  You make a decision and then you live with the consequences of your decision.  That means if you CHOOSE a courthouse wedding, that IS your wedding.You don't get a do-over fake wedding later because you think you deserve something more.Oh~and I do join in the suggestion that you post this on P&E.  They always have a lot of advice and suggestions for questions like this one.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    The church can't "marry" you because you're already married. Is this really what you want to do? Actually if she is Catholic then she would be able to. Not in the legal sense, but in the religous sense.  The ceremony would be the same except they would not sign a civil marriage license afterwards.That in no means negates the fact that lying to family and friends is just plain wrong.Someone ALWAYS finds out and people will get hurt.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Actually, Lynda, the Catholic church may Convalidate their wedding after the fact. Most priest frown on WP and big white dress at the convalidation, though. It's not the same thing as a wedding.
  • First we are talking to the church before we do anything. Second i'm not a fan of lying to everyone, i'm actually a pretty horrible liar.  i'm not looking to be bashed on here, i just want to know what to expect in every aspect before anything goes down. oh and i know my wording above could have been made out better.  I know that the first exchange of vows would be the real wedding.    And it's important to both sides of our families that we have a wedding and reception. It's the first of their kids getting married on either side. I did move the topic over to P&E and i'm already getting alot  of meanness so i'm heading there next.  Thank you for your opinions.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Some churches will still give them their pretty princess day.  Especially if the couple has a good reason and/or is in good with the church.  Somehow I do not think this couple has a good reason.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • MsMerymac, the feeling is mutual :) This was too good to pass up.
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    Whatever you hatters be hattin. -Tay Prince
  • I don't think anyone is intentionally bashing you. I just think that the whole idea of doing a little wedding on the side and then doing a big wedding bash a year later just doesn't sit well with people. If your holding off due to finacial matters why don't you just save and do the wedding like you want in a year. Whats the rush?
  • I know you're getting bashed on this board, but I thought of some suggestions.First of all, I can understand where you're coming from. What if you had your official wedding this year at the courthouse, and then next year have a very personal vow renewal? The priest at your church would probably agree to officiate your vow renewal. It wouldn't be officially marrying you as you're already married, but then you could affirm everything before your friends and family.I know of people who eloped and then did a vow renewal and reception/party deal a few months later. It actually took a fair amount of stress out of the wedding deal. They had all the legal stuff out of the way and were able to devote their time and energy to planning a party that would be special to the two of them.I think you should do that if this is what you want. It's your life and your marriage. Do what feels right for you.
  • I wanted to share with you something that happened to me, i posted this on another thread but i figure ill repeat it here. My FBIL and his wife did this. They got married a year and a half before they told anyone and then had their family help pay for everything. They excepted thousands of dollars on the thought that they were going to get married in front of the family. When the ceremony came and went the ENTIRE wedding party realized there was NO certificate signed. They were BEYOND hurt, some of his friends and her friends drove hundreds of miles spent hundreds of dollars to stand up at their wedding and to find out it was all a sham was crap. I would tell your family and the people who are paying for the wedding/attire at the minimum. For the people who are saying you CANT have a wedding its not right, sometimes i think some of the people on here forget that there is such a thing as a non traditional wedding. Some people have more than ONE wedding, others get married out of country and come back and have a traditional wedding. Anything is possible, just don't lie it hurts people when they find out the truth.
  • Wow. I don't know why I am always surprised when I see other brides beingd mean, rude, and downright bitchy to people who are genuinely asking for help. My fiance and I are doing the same thing. We already put a deposit on the venue and our wedding is not until 2011. HOWEVER, we decided to get married this year so he can adopt my son. We would wait, but I am waiting to hear some potentially disturbing medical news. *sigh* The money we have already paid cannot be refunded, plus everything was carefully planned to honor his mother (who just passed). Basically, everyone has their own story, and it would be impossible to write it all out in a single blog (or even a hundred). Do what is best for you :-D Oh, and we decided not to tell anyone either. Our reason being: We want THEM to have fun. To all the evil, bitchy bridezillas: Back off! No one wants your opinion if you cannot be GENUINE. Sometimes the truth hurts, but don't AIM for a lowblow.
  • I agree with everyone else. If you must get married now and have a VOW RENEWAL (NOT another wedding!) later that is your choice. But by lying to your family and friends, you will regret it. And that's not something you can take back w/o a lot of hurt feelings. I know if my sister did this, i would be terribly hurt that she didn't confide the truth to me. Just be truthful and have your vow renewal later. I don't think the ladies here are being mean.. they're just telling you something you don't want to hear. that doesn't make it any less true.
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  • Oh, and we decided not to tell anyone either. Our reason being: We want THEM to have fun.Why on earth is it necessary for you to lie to your loved ones for them to have a good time? As a guest, I couldn't care less about whether or not you were already married, but if you lied to me and tricked me into coming to some silly show just so that you could have your little party, I'd be beyond pissed and hurt. What you are doing is wrong.
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  • ^^ What cew said. I agree 100%
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • So many contraditions... Second i'm not a fan of lying to everyone, i'm actually a pretty horrible liar. and yet you persist in wanting to lie to your employers, insurance providers, friends etc, this could get very tricky and where tax/insurance etc is concerned may also be considered fraudulent so I would definitely look into the legalities of this. And it's important to both sides of our families that we have a wedding and reception. You will have had a wedding (courthouse), you will simply be choosing to exclude both sides of your families for your own benefit (your words not mine), by all means have a reception after the event, but you need to come clean about the private ceremony, if you don't like lying, then don't, have a private ceremony or an intimate ceremony with a reception later.
  • If you feel it's best to get married now, have the wedding you can affford NOW.
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  • If you want the large wedding because of your family, ask them to pay for it so you can have it this year.  Otherwise you could just tell them that you can't afford that and you don't want to wait.  You shouldn't lie to anyone.  If you choose to have a simple ceremony and elaborate vow renewal then tell people that is what you're doing.  Some will not attend the vow renewal because many people find it stupid and pointless to redo your wedding that big.  If you tell people you're getting married now though you may get monetary gifts that will help you pay for the vow renewal.You should know that when people find out (and they will) what you did they will not be happy.  ALL of them would be happier (for themseleves and for you as a couple) if you just got married and told them.
  • oh, and adding to that last point When people find out what you did they will probably not get you any gifts.  I know that's not what it's all about but it might hurt your feelings a little when you don't get anything from anybody.
  • ^^Let me say it AGAIN!  A ceremony, whether in a church or a courthouse or by a JOP IS A REAL WEDDING!When you walk into a room as two single people, and walk out married IT'S A REAL WEDDING!Sorry all.  It just makes me crazy to hear people talking about the big pretty princess day as the "real" wedding, even though it comes AFTER the ceremony where they actually ARE married.::steps off the soapbox and resumes regular activities::
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • 1. lyndausvi- Please don't judge whether we have a good reason. You know nothing of our life or current circumstances. 2. zaneopal, bluebride11, thisishalloween- thank you for the advice. 3. Earlier when I said people were being mean, I didn't mean to imply here neccessarily. I clicked the watch this thread so my email was bombarded with replies from the P&E board and some people were quite harsh and that's what I meant.4. dsouldiva- i don't want to lie to my employers, but the entire office doesn't need to be informed. there's no lies to insurance providers. we're not trying to lie to the government, we just want to keep it quiet til next year. 5. neither of our families are paying for the wedding, and they wouldn't have money to pay for one now. And it's not about the gifts. There's not much we actually need or want since we've been living together for 4 years. 6. i put real wedding in quotes cause i know it's not the real wedding. 7. Thank you for your input, some of it is actually helpful.  I do appreciate it and that most everyone was civil in their responses.
  • Poor cupcake. As soon as I saw this post I had a feeling you'd get some harsh replies.Like some others had said, lying to your friends, family and coworkers may not be ideal.You might just want to tell them and enjoy being legally married to your husband. You can have a re-enactment, if you will, and a reception next year. But this was you are upfront and honest.
  • Do you know who is marrying you at the church. If so I would talk to them. And I disagree about not being able to get married in a church if you are already married, because the courthouse does not marry you under God, the minister does that!
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  • Ditto Retread on all points.  Do you think that anyone will care why you lied to them?  Do you think they'll hear whatever backward reason you provide as to why you lied and say "Oh, I understand why you lied to and betrayed us; let's throw you a huge party for being a jerk!"  No, you'll just destroy your relationships because you did lie to them.JOP it up now and have a party later, fine.  Just don't lie to everyone.  For someone that claims to be a horrible liar you seem pretty comfortable with the fact that you'll be doing it for a year (and to your closest friends and family, no less).I hope you are comfortable with your FI because when you do this to everyone I'd be shocked if anyone wanted to still be in your life.
  • ""How do we keep it from being known at work when we update our status and insurance? "" This is very different from not broadcasting your marital status to co-workers. I think the general concensus here is that you can do what you want to do regarding wedding/"real wedding"/ vow renewal/blessing etc but you shouldn't lie to those closest to you i.e. your family, it won't make your "real wedding" next year any more real and could cause a lot of upset and hurt that will be hard to undo. To those that think were are being snarky or bitchy, I don't think advising somebody not to lie to their loved ones makes us judgemental or mean. Some people have really valid reasons for doing 2 weddings/ elaborate vow renewals etc, I just can't see a valid reason for lying to everyone for a year and denying your marriage, it kind of goes against the principle of the whole thing.
  • I agree that the OP should not lie to her family, but I also think it is wrong for anyone to presume to know how her family would react. I for one have some family members who would be angry, and some who would understand why I did it and may be a little disappointed, but they would largely be fine with whatever I decided to do. I must have read the comment about not wanting people at work to know when they update insurance all wrong. It sounds like they're marrying early so that one of them can gain benefits from work, such as health benefits and insurance, possibly tax benefits. That's not fraud if they actually are married. I think the point is just that they don't want anyone outside of HR to know that they're married. Do you have common-law marriage in the US? I'm in Canada, and when you've lived with your significant other for 6 months you're considered common-law partners, which means you're treated as married for tax purposes and for work benefits, etc. Because we have that, I can't imagine doing a courthouse wedding, because there's no real benefit over common-law. With common-law though, you're only considered married because you declare yourselves common-law partners when you do your taxes. You don't sign a marriage license unless you have a wedding with an officiant.I would be surprised if you don't have anything like that in the US (assuming the OP is American).I also want to mention that I don't think it's the truth that has upset anyone in this thread. I think it's the way it was said. I'd love to be able to post more often on the P&E board, because everyone generally has valid and thoughtful points to make, but my own sensibilities can't tolerate the rude way those opinions are usually expressed. But if I'm offended, I won't get bent out of shape, I just won't post there.
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