Jewish Weddings

Civil marriage before Orthodox conversion

Hey everyone,

My name is Anne and I have a question. Me and my boyfriend are dating long distance. I'm from Europe and he is from America, also he is Jewish and I'm not. I want to convert to orthodox Judaism in the future, I really want to, I feel it's right for me. Seeing it's not possible in my country I haven't been able to start anything here. So in order to be closer together and have a possibility to convert, were going to get civily married next year so I can stay in the country. After some time I'd like to start my conversion process. It if means we'll have to live apart for a while that would be fine. It won't be transatlantic proportions anyway. My question is, does anyone have experience with being civilly married before converting? Obviously I'm aware about the prohibitions rabbi's will have with this but we couldn't find any other way. I've read a lot of conversion while being married stories so I was wondering if anyone on here has some ideas or advice or maybe tips that I could use. We want to have a Jewish wedding some day and start a Jewish family. He's my Beshert and I'm his. Hopefully someone can help me. Thank you!!

Re: Civil marriage before Orthodox conversion

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    The only reason to have a separate civil ceremony from your Jewish religious one is if your government won't recognize the Jewish religious one.

    Otherwise, it's not looked on favorably in these forums.
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    Also as someone who did convert - it takes a really long time like 5 years. If you convert liberal it's more like 2. Also liberal is more #feminism friendly if that's something you're interested in. It also shouldn't be about your partner it should be about you. Would you be doing this if you weren't together? 

    You can convert online there are some programmes but I don't think they are completely recognised by many Rabbis.

    Also, I know that in many European countries you have to separate your religious and civil ceremonies. So I could understand you doing this.

    But can I ask if it's important to you to have a Jewish wedding why don't you wait? Or is your visa a real issue? I'm trying to think of what European country doesn't have a synagogue you could go to....I'd be contacting a Rabbi to make sure that they would even do a wedding more than a short time after the civil. service.

    Hope that helps.
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    To be honest, it's easier for you to convert after you get married whether that be a civil ceremony or religious ceremony (more liberal branches). When you're already married, it doesn't look like you're only converting to marry a certain person to the beis din. My friends eloped as teenagers and converted after they had children. They decided then to have a religious wedding ceremony and include their children. It was really beautiful.
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