Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Best way to tell wedding guests we were secretly married 2 years ago?

We had been dating for about a year and living together for 6 months when we made the decision to marry. His grad student visa was set to expire in half-a-year and we thought it would keep him in the country [it didn't and we moved abroad together]. We decided to get married so we could continue dating without a long-distance relationship. It's a bit backwards, but we got married so we could figure out if we wanted to get married "all the way" publicly some day. We wrote our own vows to convey commitment without the "forever" part - like a trial marriage - and eloped in Central Park with our parents' blessing. Our marriage is what we wanted it to be.

Our parents know, but almost no one else among our friends and family knows our story. A year after we were married, he proposed to me and now we're planning the wedding so we can make all the vows and have our family bear witness. Everyone thinks we're just engaged. We joke that we could hire an actor for an officiant since the paperwork is done.

The thing is, now I want to come clean before the wedding. We didn't want to tell anyone we were legally married until we were sure we wanted to be married forever. We wanted space to figure that out without everyone knowing or the social pressure of staying together (he comes from a country where divorce is still uncommon). And we just wanted to stay together; I didn't know then that I'd be able to go abroad and still stay in my grad program.

Now, I think I want it to be clear to the guests that it's a reaffirmation of love and a strengthening of vows. Fiance thinks it will just weird people out and offend them at this point. Perhaps they will be mad/shocked and maybe confused about why we want to have full wedding. He wants to tell them AFTER the wedding. I think people will attend and still care about the traditional wedding, but there's concern that it will be perceived as "less real" (ugh, why do I care what they think) and that we're perpetuating our lie.

I was thinking maybe having a little "Boy met Girl" story on the invitation to explain the situation? Maybe hire the same officiant who married us the first time (who was amazing) and let him explain at the wedding in a nice way our unique story? Or should I just bite the bullet/my tongue and not tell until afterwards?

I'd love suggestions on this.
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Re: Best way to tell wedding guests we were secretly married 2 years ago?

  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited July 2014
    Please, somebody tell me this is a troll.  I hope this is MUD!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    MairePoppy
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    We had been dating for about a year and living together for 6 months when we made the decision to marry. His grad student visa was set to expire in half-a-year and we thought it would keep him in the country [it didn't and we moved abroad together]. We decided to get married so we could continue dating without a long-distance relationship. It's a bit backwards, but we got married so we could figure out if we wanted to get married "all the way" publicly some day. We wrote our own vows to convey commitment without the "forever" part - like a trial marriage - and eloped in Central Park with our parents' blessing. Our marriage is what we wanted it to be.

    Our parents know, but almost no one else among our friends and family knows our story. A year after we were married, he proposed to me and now we're planning the wedding so we can make all the vows and have our family bear witness. Everyone thinks we're just engaged. We joke that we could hire an actor for an officiant since the paperwork is done.

    The thing is, now I want to come clean before the wedding. We didn't want to tell anyone we were legally married until we were sure we wanted to be married forever. We wanted space to figure that out without everyone knowing or the social pressure of staying together (he comes from a country where divorce is still uncommon). And we just wanted to stay together; I didn't know then that I'd be able to go abroad and still stay in my grad program.

    Now, I think I want it to be clear to the guests that it's a reaffirmation of love and a strengthening of vows. Fiance thinks it will just weird people out and offend them at this point. Perhaps they will be mad/shocked and maybe confused about why we want to have full wedding. He wants to tell them AFTER the wedding. I think people will attend and still care about the traditional wedding, but there's concern that it will be perceived as "less real" (ugh, why do I care what they think) and that we're perpetuating our lie.

    I was thinking maybe having a little "Boy met Girl" story on the invitation to explain the situation? Maybe hire the same officiant who married us the first time (who was amazing) and let him explain at the wedding in a nice way our unique story? Or should I just bite the bullet/my tongue and not tell until afterwards?

    I'd love suggestions on this.
    My suggestion: Accept the fact that the ceremony you had two years ago was your real marriage ceremony. A cute little Boy meets Girl story is insulting to your guests intelligence. It would also be offensive  to lie about it, as your husband (he's not your fiance) is suggesting. 

     
                       
    PrettyGirlLost
  • So you basically set out to defraud the United States Government and it backfired?  You obviously didn't do your research because if you had you would have known that there are a lot of hoops to jump through for an American to marry a foreigner.  

    I think a lot of friends and family are going to be angry to find out that you have been lying to them all along.  And yes your "wedding" would be perceived as not real because you are already married.  
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    CMGragainPrettyGirlLostOliveOilsMom
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I'm glad you want to come clean now.    How do yo go about that?  I wish I knew.  

    Good luck.  I'm sure you are going to have a few hurt feelings over this, but I think it's the right thing to do.  

    I would leave out the "trail marriage" party though.  That is pretty side-eye-worthy.   






    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. 
    PrettyGirlLostcupcait927
  • Don't. Invite all of your friends and family to a party. Partway through, clink your glasses for a toast and announce that you are married. And call it a day. No ceremony, no long white dress, no bridesmaids, no fuss. Just a great party with people you love.
    OliveOilsMom
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited July 2014
    OP, you need to read this:

    If you are considering a fake, or sham, marriage as a means of getting U.S. lawful permanent residence (a green card), you probably already know that what you are planning is illegal. This website is not going to give you any special tips on making a fraudulent marriage look real. However, we will explain what constitutes a real marriage under U.S. immigration law, and outline the risks of entering into a fake marriage.

    A sham marriage is one that is entered into in order to get around the U.S. immigration laws. For a marriage to be valid under the law, it is not enough that the couple had a real marriage ceremony and got all the right governmental stamps on their marriage certificate. They have to intend to live in a real marital relationship, namely to establish a life together, following the marriage ceremony -- and prove their intention through their actions. If the couple doesn’t intend to establish a life together, their marriage is a sham.

    Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both (I.N.A. § 275(c); 8 U.S.C. § 1325(c)).





    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    PrettyGirlLostJCbride2015ashley8918erinlin25
  • Nope. I'm calling BS on this, right here, right now. I'm not saying weird, wacky, wild weddings of all kinds aren't happening, all the time, every day the world over. And I'd probably stick up for 98.9% of them. But this MUD is so amazingly full of buzzwords and hot button topics it's like a checklist of things that're sure to piss y'all off was used just as sure as god made little green apples. I could put money on what was said to piss off whom, I just don't know anyone who would understand the bet.

    But OP, if you're really legit here's all I know: every bit of advice I've ever heard or read on the subject of unburdening oneself of a lie is that one shouldn't in many cases. Not because the lied to don't deserve the truth but because the liars don't deserve the relief they seek. You walk away feeling better for having gotten your perceived wrong doing (plural "you") off your chest while you leave the confessed to needlessly upset. Do what you feel you need to, just make sure you're doing it for the right reasons.
    PrettyGirlLostcupcait927[Deleted User]
  • Viczaesar said:
    Of I found out that you had been married for 2 years already and lied to me and everyone but your parents about being married, I would be angry and hurt regardless of whether you told me before or after your PPD, but I'd rather you told me before so that I could make an informed decision on whether or not to attend your make-believe ceremony.  I do not suggest you compound lies by pretending your vow renewal is a wedding ceremony on top of lying for the last two years about being married.
    This.


    image
    Marzipan13
  • Nope. I'm calling BS on this, right here, right now. I'm not saying weird, wacky, wild weddings of all kinds aren't happening, all the time, every day the world over. And I'd probably stick up for 98.9% of them. But this MUD is so amazingly full of buzzwords and hot button topics it's like a checklist of things that're sure to piss y'all off was used just as sure as god made little green apples. I could put money on what was said to piss off whom, I just don't know anyone who would understand the bet. But OP, if you're really legit here's all I know: every bit of advice I've ever heard or read on the subject of unburdening oneself of a lie is that one shouldn't in many cases. Not because the lied to don't deserve the truth but because the liars don't deserve the relief they seek. You walk away feeling better for having gotten your perceived wrong doing (plural "you") off your chest while you leave the confessed to needlessly upset. Do what you feel you need to, just make sure you're doing it for the right reasons.
    So they should continue to lie to everyone for all eternity? Here's what I know. The truth comes out.  And when it does it comes out in a big way.  And then everyone is way more hurt than they would have been.  
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    ashleyep
  • ShallowSeasShallowSeas Indianapolis, IN member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    First off, stop calling him your "FI". You're MARRIED, just as married as anyone who had a JOP wedding or a 200 guest wedding.  You can't get re-married or have another wedding and its incredibly rude if you do.
    Anniversary
    image
     
    Marzipan13PrettyGirlLost
  • Don't have a fake ceremony. If you insist, wear a white cocktail dress. Have a party to celebrate that you've been married for two years. Feed people. Dance. Drink. That's it.
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    edited July 2014

    I think you need to send everyone wedding announcement ASAP, stating that you were married in a private ceremony 2 years ago. If you want to recommit yourselves and invite everyone to join you in that celebration, have a vow renewal.  I think you can do both of these (announcement & vow renewal invite) in one mailing also.

     

    [Wife's Full Maiden Name]

    and

    [Husband's Full Name]

    would like to announce

    their marriage in a private ceremony

    in New York, NY

    on

    [Date of legal marriage]

     

    And would like to invite you to share

    in a vow renewal celebration

    as they publicly reaffirm their commitment to each other

    [Renewal Date]

    [Renewal Location]

     

    Yes, people will likely be hurt that you have been lying to them for two years... and they have every right to be. And people will be upset that you value the act of marriage so little as to think you can do a "trial marriage" or be "married" without making a lifetime commitment.  There's no way around that. If you keep it secret until after, people will be upset that they attended a sham wedding.  People will be upset either way, but they will be less upset if you tell them the truth up front instead of adding to the lie with a not-real wedding. Just get it out there and call this what it is... a recommitment or vow renewal ceremony.  If someone sent me an invite for that, I'd be shocked and probably hurt at first, but I'd get over it quickly and happily attend their renewal.

    image 

    jenijoykLiatris2010ashleyep
  • Marzipan13Marzipan13 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited August 2014
    We had been dating for about a year and living together for 6 months when we made the decision to marry. His grad student visa was set to expire in half-a-year and we thought it would keep him in the country [it didn't and we moved abroad together]. We decided to get married so we could continue dating without a long-distance relationship. It's a bit backwards, but we got married so we could figure out if we wanted to get married "all the way" publicly some day. We wrote our own vows to convey commitment without the "forever" part - like a trial marriage - and eloped in Central Park with our parents' blessing. Our marriage is what we wanted it to be.
    What makes you think you're going to treat your redux marriage more seriously than your actual marriage?  If it is what you wanted it to be, why are you hiding it from everyone?


    ETA: words.
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    Mr. Bean Flipping the Bird
  • You people are all straight up mean.
    That being said. I don't think its right to have a full wedding and invite people who are most likely going to give you gifts and money. You should probably scratch it, tell your closest friends and family and throw a smaller party. Wedding announcement party. 2 years is a very long time not to tell people. Not to mention it was illegal. I have a friend who did this actually. I totally disagreed with it but she did it and had a real wedding like a year after the legal marriage and it was fine BUT everyone already knew.
    Ndeliblemegpeterkc
  • m00se5m00se5 member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    edited August 2014
    I see you all decided to stop at the first sentence. I didn't say it was ok.
    First time in this community. Had no idea it would be exactly how I picture sorority houses.
    Ndeliblemegpeterkc[Deleted User]
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