Ceremony and Vow Ideas

FI is from a different country. Need advice on marrying a foreigner!

I met my fiance in a very unconventional way.  He is from New Zealand and we are planning on having our wedding here in CA.  I am planning WAY out in the future and finalizing some details relatively early, like our date which will be Nov 14, 2015 so his family can have a long window of opportunity to save for the very expensive round trip tickets from NZ to US.

As of right now we are enduring long distance while he finishes school in New Zealand.  I know very little about Fiance Visa's and am desperate for any kind of information someone might be able to give me.  Searching for this kind of thing on Google is a bit of a headache, what with finding contradicting information on every other link :) 

How realistic do you think it will be to count on getting married on our planned wedding date?  We are pretty set on the date as it's our our relationship anniversary, and we need to have a pretty solid idea of when people need to be ready to purchase tickets.

And on a side note, what do you think of having a simple JOP wedding with us and my mom to be able to adhere to the 90 day window once he's approved, and then having our "dream wedding" on our hopeful date?  I wouldn't want to be denied a ceremony and reception just because of visa rules :(
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Re: FI is from a different country. Need advice on marrying a foreigner!

  • @nellesaur

    These are the links my FFIL's friend used when he married his wife who was from England.


    I think if you start now or soon then you should be able to get married when you want to. Please make sure you are prepared for things to take longer than they should / say they will because some things will.
    [Deleted User]trulymarvelous
  • hlvonb said:
    @nellesaur

    These are the links my FFIL's friend used when he married his wife who was from England.


    I think if you start now or soon then you should be able to get married when you want to. Please make sure you are prepared for things to take longer than they should / say they will because some things will.
    @hlvonb thank you SO much, this was very helpful!
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    hlvonb
  • nellesaur said:
    hlvonb said:
    @nellesaur

    These are the links my FFIL's friend used when he married his wife who was from England.


    I think if you start now or soon then you should be able to get married when you want to. Please make sure you are prepared for things to take longer than they should / say they will because some things will.
    @hlvonb thank you SO much, this was very helpful!
    @nellesaur

    You're welcome. Glad I could help a little :)
    trulymarvelous
  • I know nothing about a visa, but what if he just came on a vacation and you got married while he was  here? 
  • @ktjanesmom non-US citizens have to have a visa, green card, etc to enter the country.
  • @ktjanesmom NZ citizens only need an electronic travel authority (ESTA) to visit the US. We know this cos FI and I are traveling from Australia to get married in the US. If you desperately want that date, he could make entry as a visitor for your wedding but he may be required to leave pending the visa.

    Can't wait to say 'I do' on April 14, 2014 - Planning Bio

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  • You may have a JOP wedding. You may then have a celebration of your marriage later. You may NOT reenact your wedding because:
    nellesaur said:

    I wouldn't want to be denied a ceremony and reception just because of visa rules :(

    You get one ceremony. One. The day you get married, however you do it, is your ceremony.

    Being an adult means making hard decisions, such as foregoing a big wedding because of pesky things like laws.

    If the date and ceremony are so important to you, then go to NZ and get married there.

    If you have the reception later, that means no first dance, no WP or attendants, and no second ceremony. You would be a wife, not a bride.
    Anniversary

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    KatWAGAshleyNicole1218PrettyGirlLost
  • Well cant he simply get a travelers visa, or a vacation visa?  I am sure there is a term for it.
  • WildMageletWildMagelet member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    edited February 2014
    Well cant he simply get a travelers visa, or a vacation visa?  I am sure there is a term for it.
    He can, but it's considered fraud to enter the country on a temporary traveler's visa under false pretenses and they can get in trouble with the immigration department when applying for his green card.  The minimum penalty would include deportation, but he can also get banned from re-entering the country.
    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
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    STARMOON44PrettyGirlLost
  • You may have a JOP wedding. You may then have a celebration of your marriage later. You may NOT reenact your wedding because:
    I wouldn't want to be denied a ceremony and reception just because of visa rules :(
    You get one ceremony. One. The day you get married, however you do it, is your ceremony. Being an adult means making hard decisions, such as foregoing a big wedding because of pesky things like laws. If the date and ceremony are so important to you, then go to NZ and get married there. If you have the reception later, that means no first dance, no WP or attendants, and no second ceremony. You would be a wife, not a bride.
    The main reason why our date is so important is so that his parents and family members will be able to have enough notice to save for their tickets, and buy them far enough in advance to not have to pay a high cost to come and see our wedding.

    Schatzi13 said in an earlier response, I wouldn't want to offend anyone at my wedding by doing this; No one we invite to our wedding would be offended.  Everyone who is invited knows and understands our situation and I would be stunned Schatzi13 is coming from if the people involved weren't so open minded. 

    As for being told what I can and cannot have at my dream ceremony, lighten up!  It's 2014!  I can have a wedding party, bridesmaids, first dance, an exchanging of vows and all the other goodies I want. 

    Planning a wedding is hard enough.  There are enough hoops to jump through without adding on the daunting task of getting a foreigner residency and a green card just to be able to marry my partner.  So yes "pesky laws" do get in the way some times.  But I will do whatever I have to in order to have those beautiful wedding photos I've been dreaming of hanging in my living room, to have the memories of getting my hair and makeup done with my best friends, and walking down an aisle of people I love to the man I want to marry.  Even if it's unconventional and against the "rules!"
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  • nellesaur said:

    I met my fiance in a very unconventional way.  He is from New Zealand and we are planning on having our wedding here in CA.  I am planning WAY out in the future and finalizing some details relatively early, like our date which will be Nov 14, 2015 so his family can have a long window of opportunity to save for the very expensive round trip tickets from NZ to US.

    As of right now we are enduring long distance while he finishes school in New Zealand.  I know very little about Fiance Visa's and am desperate for any kind of information someone might be able to give me.  Searching for this kind of thing on Google is a bit of a headache, what with finding contradicting information on every other link :) 

    How realistic do you think it will be to count on getting married on our planned wedding date?  We are pretty set on the date as it's our our relationship anniversary, and we need to have a pretty solid idea of when people need to be ready to purchase tickets.

    And on a side note, what do you think of having a simple JOP wedding with us and my mom to be able to adhere to the 90 day window once he's approved, and then having our "dream wedding" on our hopeful date?  I wouldn't want to be denied a ceremony and reception just because of visa rules :(

    nellesaur said:



    You may have a JOP wedding. You may then have a celebration of your marriage later. You may NOT reenact your wedding because:
    nellesaur said:

    I wouldn't want to be denied a ceremony and reception just because of visa rules :(

    You get one ceremony. One. The day you get married, however you do it, is your ceremony.

    Being an adult means making hard decisions, such as foregoing a big wedding because of pesky things like laws.

    If the date and ceremony are so important to you, then go to NZ and get married there.

    If you have the reception later, that means no first dance, no WP or attendants, and no second ceremony. You would be a wife, not a bride.

    The main reason why our date is so important is so that his parents and family members will be able to have enough notice to save for their tickets, and buy them far enough in advance to not have to pay a high cost to come and see our wedding.

    Schatzi13 said in an earlier response, I wouldn't want to offend anyone at my wedding by doing this; No one we invite to our wedding would be offended.  Everyone who is invited knows and understands our situation and I would be stunned Schatzi13 is coming from if the people involved weren't so open minded. 

    As for being told what I can and cannot have at my dream ceremony, lighten up!  It's 2014!  I can have a wedding party, bridesmaids, first dance, an exchanging of vows and all the other goodies I want. 

    Planning a wedding is hard enough.  There are enough hoops to jump through without adding on the daunting task of getting a foreigner residency and a green card just to be able to marry my partner.  So yes "pesky laws" do get in the way some times.  But I will do whatever I have to in order to have those beautiful wedding photos I've been dreaming of hanging in my living room, to have the memories of getting my hair and makeup done with my best friends, and walking down an aisle of people I love to the man I want to marry.  Even if it's unconventional and against the "rules!"


    Anniversary

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • Oh, goodie, we got ourselves another speshul snowflake to whom the rules don't apply. Fabulous. Look, sweetie, those pesky 'laws' you're trying to navigate provide rights LGBT couples are fighting like hell to get. YOU GET ONE DAY. YOU DO NOT GET A DO-OVER BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU'RE SPECIAL. Newsflash: You're not special, your circumstances aren't special, and what you're doing is rude. If you want to be rude and tacky, by all means go ahead. But you'll get ZERO support on these forums from brides condoning a PPD.

    It's not the marriage laws that are pesky. Pesky being your word, mind you. It's the visa paperwork. Man you're a bitter old coot. What I'm doing may be rude to YOU but I'm not having narrow minded people at my wedding so it shouldn't be a problem for me :) But thank you for responding to my post on here though. Having someone to argue with over this decision has given me the ability to show myself it's worth fighting for. Have a great night :)
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  • Thanks for having my back @hlvonb! !
    Anniversary

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    hlvonbcowgirl8238
  • nellesaur said:
    Oh, goodie, we got ourselves another speshul snowflake to whom the rules don't apply. Fabulous. Look, sweetie, those pesky 'laws' you're trying to navigate provide rights LGBT couples are fighting like hell to get. YOU GET ONE DAY. YOU DO NOT GET A DO-OVER BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU'RE SPECIAL. Newsflash: You're not special, your circumstances aren't special, and what you're doing is rude. If you want to be rude and tacky, by all means go ahead. But you'll get ZERO support on these forums from brides condoning a PPD.

    It's not the marriage laws that are pesky. Pesky being your word, mind you. It's the visa paperwork. Man you're a bitter old coot. What I'm doing may be rude to YOU but I'm not having narrow minded people at my wedding so it shouldn't be a problem for me :) But thank you for responding to my post on here though. Having someone to argue with over this decision has given me the ability to show myself it's worth fighting for. Have a great night :)
    @KnotPorscha, she can't just call HisGirl that, can she? Yikes.
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  • Also, if the dress and the bridesmaids and all that shit is more important to you than your marriage, I really question your priorities.
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    HisGirlFriday13hlvonbPrettyGirlLost
  • edited February 2014
    nellesaur said:
    Oh, goodie, we got ourselves another speshul snowflake to whom the rules don't apply. Fabulous. Look, sweetie, those pesky 'laws' you're trying to navigate provide rights LGBT couples are fighting like hell to get. YOU GET ONE DAY. YOU DO NOT GET A DO-OVER BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU'RE SPECIAL. Newsflash: You're not special, your circumstances aren't special, and what you're doing is rude. If you want to be rude and tacky, by all means go ahead. But you'll get ZERO support on these forums from brides condoning a PPD.

    It's not the marriage laws that are pesky. Pesky being your word, mind you. It's the visa paperwork. Man you're a bitter old coot. What I'm doing may be rude to YOU but I'm not having narrow minded people at my wedding so it shouldn't be a problem for me :) But thank you for responding to my post on here though. Having someone to argue with over this decision has given me the ability to show myself it's worth fighting for. Have a great night :)
    @KnotPorscha, she can't just call HisGirl that, can she? Yikes.

    Are you familiar with the word coot? I don't think it means what you think it means. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coot

    hlvonbHisGirlFriday13hlvonbHisGirlFriday13 may very well give out some great advice and I'm sure what she's saying about this being rude to some people is absolutely true.  But there's no need to be insulting about it and attempt to knock me down a few pegs in the process. 

    artbyallie where did I say that was more important than my marriage? Can you quote it and show me? Pretty sure I meant it was more important than not offending people on the interwebs.  This was hideously inappropriate.  How dare you try to belittle my feelings for my Fiance.  He and I have known each other for 6 years now and nothing is more important than sealing the deal and finally ending this exceedingly difficult situation.  Every time we have to crank out details he is nothing but supportive to me.  He doesn't care what we do, so long as we end up married.  Because THAT is the priority above all else.  I am seriously offended I'm having to defend my engagement to someone on TK about a post asking for advice on Visa's and the ceremony.  Any comments you have, take them some where else.

    Schatzi13 this is definitely my plan and how I'd like everything to turn out.

    But seriously. Guys. This is NOT my preference! It really isn't. I'm just trying to come up with an emergency backup plan in case this doesn't work out the way it's intended, so I don't have to have each person from New Zealand fork out close to 3k EACH so they can make it to the wedding in time.  I'd also like to clarify my "big" wedding that I'm trying to have still only consists of about 40 people.  I don't want people to get the impression I'm this little brat who's whining about not being able to have a 300 person bash at the St Regis.  I'm just trying to get both families in one place!

    Let me ask yet another opinion (feel free to disagree, just don't be silly!)

    What if I flew out there ahead of the ceremony and kind of did things backwards?  We could have an informal "reception" that involves all his friends and family.  I would even go so far as to wear a white dress (more similar to a rehearsal dress than a gown, don't get me wrong here) and give small speeches to everyone, similar to vows.  Then fly back out here for a more formal ceremony.  I say this because from what I'm reading, he will not be able to leave the country once we apply for his residency.  I just hate to have the families separated :(

    **Edited because I originally did this on a mobile device and none of the tags or HTML worked correctly.
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  • Allie's point is that you can't name-call. It's in the TOS you agreed to.

    Since reading comprehension is a problem for you, that's what I suggested in the first place -- GET MARRIED THERE.

    Only do it for real, no fake stuff. Make it legally binding there then have a reception (not a ceremony) here. Then you get the dress and photos and whatever that you want that's so important to you -- all the 'goodies,' as you call it that are the superfluous trimmings of a marriage -- and you're not lying to anyone.
    Anniversary

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    hlvonbPrettyGirlLostAcire888
  • Thanks for having my back @hlvonb! !
    Not a problem! Anytime @HisGirlFriday13 !!
    HisGirlFriday13
  • Allie's point is that you can't name-call. It's in the TOS you agreed to.

    Since reading comprehension is a problem for you, that's what I suggested in the first place -- GET MARRIED THERE.

    Only do it for real, no fake stuff. Make it legally binding there then have a reception (not a ceremony) here. Then you get the dress and photos and whatever that you want that's so important to you -- all the 'goodies,' as you call it that are the superfluous trimmings of a marriage -- and you're not lying to anyone.

    Thanks for your input.
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  • @nellesaur
    nellesaur said:
    You may have a JOP wedding. You may then have a celebration of your marriage later. You may NOT reenact your wedding because:
    I wouldn't want to be denied a ceremony and reception just because of visa rules :(
    You get one ceremony. One. The day you get married, however you do it, is your ceremony. Being an adult means making hard decisions, such as foregoing a big wedding because of pesky things like laws. If the date and ceremony are so important to you, then go to NZ and get married there. If you have the reception later, that means no first dance, no WP or attendants, and no second ceremony. You would be a wife, not a bride.
    The main reason why our date is so important is so that his parents and family members will be able to have enough notice to save for their tickets, and buy them far enough in advance to not have to pay a high cost to come and see our wedding.

    Schatzi13 said in an earlier response, I wouldn't want to offend anyone at my wedding by doing this; No one we invite to our wedding would be offended.  Everyone who is invited knows and understands our situation and I would be stunned Schatzi13 is coming from if the people involved weren't so open minded. 

    As for being told what I can and cannot have at my dream ceremony, lighten up!  It's 2014!  I can have a wedding party, bridesmaids, first dance, an exchanging of vows and all the other goodies I want. 

    Planning a wedding is hard enough.  There are enough hoops to jump through without adding on the daunting task of getting a foreigner residency and a green card just to be able to marry my partner.  So yes "pesky laws" do get in the way some times.  But I will do whatever I have to in order to have those beautiful wedding photos I've been dreaming of hanging in my living room, to have the memories of getting my hair and makeup done with my best friends, and walking down an aisle of people I love to the man I want to marry.  Even if it's unconventional and against the "rules!"
    The wedding ceremony is where you get married. Putting on a play of a wedding after the fact with bridesmaids and so on is simply meaningless if you are already wed. I point this out because, had circumstances been different and had I chosen to cut planning short and get hitched for whatever reason, I would have done what my grandmother did and gone to the church on a weekday in my nicest dress with a couple witnesses. And, considering that she is satisfied with her wedding over 50 years later, I would have been too. Too, weddings with all the bells and whistles can in fact be planned in less than 90 days, less than a month even, as my SIL actually did. So you are in no way required to do what you suggested in your OP, and doing so makes it seem like you care nothing for the thousand-plus legal benefits marriage brings in the U.S., nor for any emotional aspect, but merely for the party and the attention our society attaches to it.
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    hlvonbPrettyGirlLost

  • @nellesaur
    nellesaur said:
    You may have a JOP wedding. You may then have a celebration of your marriage later. You may NOT reenact your wedding because:
    I wouldn't want to be denied a ceremony and reception just because of visa rules :(
    You get one ceremony. One. The day you get married, however you do it, is your ceremony. Being an adult means making hard decisions, such as foregoing a big wedding because of pesky things like laws. If the date and ceremony are so important to you, then go to NZ and get married there. If you have the reception later, that means no first dance, no WP or attendants, and no second ceremony. You would be a wife, not a bride.
    The main reason why our date is so important is so that his parents and family members will be able to have enough notice to save for their tickets, and buy them far enough in advance to not have to pay a high cost to come and see our wedding.

    Schatzi13 said in an earlier response, I wouldn't want to offend anyone at my wedding by doing this; No one we invite to our wedding would be offended.  Everyone who is invited knows and understands our situation and I would be stunned Schatzi13 is coming from if the people involved weren't so open minded. 

    As for being told what I can and cannot have at my dream ceremony, lighten up!  It's 2014!  I can have a wedding party, bridesmaids, first dance, an exchanging of vows and all the other goodies I want. 

    Planning a wedding is hard enough.  There are enough hoops to jump through without adding on the daunting task of getting a foreigner residency and a green card just to be able to marry my partner.  So yes "pesky laws" do get in the way some times.  But I will do whatever I have to in order to have those beautiful wedding photos I've been dreaming of hanging in my living room, to have the memories of getting my hair and makeup done with my best friends, and walking down an aisle of people I love to the man I want to marry.  Even if it's unconventional and against the "rules!"
    The wedding ceremony is where you get married. Putting on a play of a wedding after the fact with bridesmaids and so on is simply meaningless if you are already wed. I point this out because, had circumstances been different and had I chosen to cut planning short and get hitched for whatever reason, I would have done what my grandmother did and gone to the church on a weekday in my nicest dress with a couple witnesses. And, considering that she is satisfied with her wedding over 50 years later, I would have been too. Too, weddings with all the bells and whistles can in fact be planned in less than 90 days, less than a month even, as my SIL actually did. So you are in no way required to do what you suggested in your OP, and doing so makes it seem like you care nothing for the thousand-plus legal benefits marriage brings in the U.S., nor for any emotional aspect, but merely for the party and the attention our society attaches to it.
    It's not the planning on short notice that is a hiccup.  I know I could plan something beautiful in a short amount of time.  I'm hideously organized and a total Type A.  I would make it happen.

    It's giving his family enough notice to be able to afford to get out here.
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  • If making the trip within 3ish months notice is potentially going to be a hardship for them, alternate solutions come to mind.

    Is it possible to budget for you and your fiancé to cover flights for the most important VIPs? Even if that means cutting back elsewhere? I do understand the desire for his family to see him get married. But that's just it--you and he want them to see you get married. You don't want them to pay thousands of dollars to travel to see a performance that's not even real.

    Is it possible to do things the other way and have your wedding in NZ? Would your family be able to afford to attend? I don't know any of NZ's requirements for marriage, but I presume a marriage there would still be valid in the US.
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    [Deleted User]hlvonb
  • If making the trip within 3ish months notice is potentially going to be a hardship for them, alternate solutions come to mind.

    Is it possible to budget for you and your fiancé to cover flights for the most important VIPs? Even if that means cutting back elsewhere? I do understand the desire for his family to see him get married. But that's just it--you and he want them to see you get married. You don't want them to pay thousands of dollars to travel to see a performance that's not even real.

    Is it possible to do things the other way and have your wedding in NZ? Would your family be able to afford to attend? I don't know any of NZ's requirements for marriage, but I presume a marriage there would still be valid in the US.



    That's a point I can understand. We would want them to be able to witness our actual union. This makes sense to me. I still don't think they'd be offended, but I would want them to have the experience with us.

    Our sides are about even in size, and our finances are pretty much the same. Unfortunately, it would not be any easier for my side to go there. I also worry about any additional hurdles I might have to overcome by trying to validate an international marriage here in United States. As of right now my plan is to try to time the wedding in accordance with his fiancée visa. Hopefully it works out. If not, I will have to deal with that when the time comes.
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  • The phrase "dream wedding" always makes me nervous.
    My own wedding was planned in 60 days.  I bought a dress off the rack, and had a church wedding with two non-matching bridesmaids.  No dinner, dancing,alcohol.  Just cake and punch in the church hall.  You can do something similar, or even have a dinner with dancing if you must. 
    Wedding = bride, groom, officiant, license, witness.
    No, you can't have another "wedding" later.  You can have a big party to celebrate, but no wedding gown, or wedding related activities.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    hlvonb
  • CMGragain said:
    The phrase "dream wedding" always makes me nervous.
    My own wedding was planned in 60 days.  I bought a dress off the rack, and had a church wedding with two non-matching bridesmaids.  No dinner, dancing,alcohol.  Just cake and punch in the church hall.  You can do something similar, or even have a dinner with dancing if you must. 
    Wedding = bride, groom, officiant, license, witness.
    No, you can't have another "wedding" later.  You can have a big party to celebrate, but no wedding gown, or wedding related activities.


    the phrase makes me nervous too. Hence the quotation marks :P feels awkward because it's sooo not how I view the day.
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    [Deleted User]
  • nellesaur said:
    I've just spent some time reading the etiquette posts. I hate admitting that I'm wrong, but after reading a post by grumbledore, I concede that I am in the wrong. I don't want to be considered a little brat with PPD in mind (I had a nice laugh when I figured out what that meant). That is so totally not what I want our wedding to be. So! Thank you to everyone :)
    I'm glad you were enlightened by the sticky.  I know the comments go on and on with a few posters arguing over semantics and morality, but nobody here is out to get posters, most of the women here legitimately are trying to help brides from making potential mistakes which might upset their guests.

    One poster mentioned it was 5-7 months to get approved, he had 6 months to enter the country, and then 3 months from entering to get married.  Hypothetically, if your F-ILs know that you're engaged they can guess that it will be somewhere between 5-16 months from now and can start saving.  Several blogs/articles I've read mentioned that the best price point to purchase international plane tickets around the 11-12 week mark.  You have ~9 months after the approval to get married, so I see no problem in being able to book a wedding with at least 3 months notice for your international guests to purchase their airfare.
    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
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    OliveOilsMomhlvonb
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