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MARRIED BEFORE THE CEREMONY???

Hi ladies! I need some serious advice! My fiance and I have been living together for over a year now. We recently started going back to church and absolutely LOVE that our relationship is now growing with God as well as within our families and everything else. Our wedding is in Septemeber 2010 and we are scheduled to meet with our Pastor tomorrow to discuss our wedding plans. Now when my fiance spoke to the secretary to schedule our appointment, she pointed out that we are already living together and a year is a really long time time to wait. Now, of course, living together all this time - we weren't innocent, but we had decided if it's the right thing to do, we'll wait. We don't have the option of living seperate - I have four children and we couldn't afford it! Well, she brought up the thought of us getting married, THIS September 25th as a small ceremony in front of the church and then we can have our big wedding next 25th. I don't know what to do!! I mean, we discussed it and I sort of think it's a good idea, but at the same time, I want that magic feeling of our wedding day and I kind of feel like that will take away from it. I was married previously when I was very young (18) and since I was pregnant I was kind of pressured to marry(I was in church then too) so we had the judge come to the house. I know this isn't the same thing, but I still feel pressured. I love this man and know he's the one, but I just feel, like if we both can wait, then we should! I've heard of people getting married at the courthouse before the wedding, but I just feel like, this is my ACTUAL wedding! I didn't have a ceremony for the first one, no dress, nothing so I want all of that. Is that selfish?? Have any of you been through something similar or do you have any advice? Do you think if we get married in a small immediate family ceremony at church, that "renewing our vows" a year later will be pointless?? I'm just confused!

Re: MARRIED BEFORE THE CEREMONY???

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    The wedding on Sept. 25 of this year WILL be your wedding.  You don't get a do-over ceremony in a year just so you can wear a wedding dress.If you're willing to wait the year, then I'd tell the church secretary to MYOB and plan the wedding you want when you want it.
    "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
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    I agree with everything that trix said. As usual.
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    She might be doing the right thing in the church's eyes, but having a secret ceremony before your "real wedding" just to deal with "making it proper" isn't good etiquette.  The first one would be your real wedding, not the second one.
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    The day you become husband and wife is your wedding day.  The big expensive ceremony would be a very elaborate vow renewal and most people feel that it is silly.  Especially since you already have children and have been married before.  If you want the big wedding then wait and do it right.  You've lived together for a year already, who cares if you make it 2.
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    I agree with the previous posters.  The day you have your real marriage ceremony is your WEDDING.  You can have a do-over, but I highly suspect it will feel more like a charade to you.  Without the "getting married" part, what is the point of all the hullabaloo and the party?Either move up the whole thing and do a smaller, more intimate wedding and reception this September and be done with it, or tell the secretary to mind her own effing business and get married when you originally planned.  Who is she to judge your life and situation?
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    Talk to the pastor before you make any decisions, and make the one you feel comfortable with. I fully agree that it is none of her business and I would suggest going with one wedding either way.
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    I agree completely, if you can wait, do it!  You have already decided between the two of you to wait -- that might have been the hardest part is to get the fiance on board.  And on your wedding (Sept 2010) you can have the whole shibang, big wedding, big celebration, everything that goes with the wedding and marriage.  You will be more than ecstatic to have the whole package the day of your wedding. My family suggested the option of doing a courthouse wedding before my big ceremony, and I declined.  I'd rather wait, just like you, to get the magic feeling of your wedding. 
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    I would have told her to butt out, it's none of her business, it sounds like she was trying to guilt you into following her personal beliefs / views.  Her job isn't to advise you, that's the ministers job.  If I were you I would have thought it was rude and told her to MYOB.  You shouldn't feel guilty about living together before marriage, you're both adults and it sounds like it's the best decision for everyone.      Do you agree that you shouldn't live together without being married? If so then yeah get married next month, if you're ok with it then hold off and have the wedding that you want.
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    It really annoys me to hear the judgemental opinions that people have. Noone should diticate to you about your living situation or choices. Its great that you love the church however do not get caught up with that religious crap. Do what your planning on doing and wait for the wedding that you have planned for next September. You only need to do this once. So do not let anyone talk you into anything other than your plans. If this Pastor doesn't want to marry you for those reasons. Personally I wouldn't be going back, however thats me. I don't let anyone didicte to how I run my life and I don't care to hear them pass judgemental attitude. God knows my heart they don't.
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    Ok, I kind of feel bad, because I really don't think the secretary, who is also one of our tearchers in class, was looking at it as being judgmental. She is a really great person and extremely nice. She was just letting us know that in God's eyes, what we are doing is a sin and it should be something we should consider. She said she's seen couples who were able to wait, however more senior couples who probably didn't have needs like younger people do. I totally agree with a lot of you that our decision is our own, and that we shouldn't let anyone else influence our decision. My fiance is very supportive in whatever we choose to do. He totally sees my point in the whole magic of our wedding day and is willing to wait. He also sees the church's point too. I'm really curious as to what the Pastor is going to say! I'm trying to be open minded about it, but I did discuss with my fiance that this is what we want. I'm glad a lot of you see my point though! I derserve to be a bride and have my day!
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    very much like everyone has said, if you guys can do what you need to do to wait until next year, then go through with your original plans. make the decision based on what you feel is correct for your relationship and make sure you make the decision with your fiance, not the secretary :]
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    She was just letting us know that in God's eyes, what we are doing is a sin and it should be something we should consider.This, for the record IS a judgement. Not saying she's a bad person, but judging you guys is exactly what she is doingTHIS.  By reminding you that you are living in sin, she is passing a judgement.  Your living arrangements are between you and your FI (and if you so choose, your pastor).  Surely you knew from attending this church for a while, that they do not think your living arrangements are ideal.  So what was the point of her reminding you? It seems unecessary to me.
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    I'd find a different church.
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    LOL! You guys are great! I have to say - It's nice to be surrounded by people who tell me how it is! You all remind me of my family that way! I actually spoke to my sister (who's very opinionated) and she said that I need to discuss this with my fiance and not anyone at church. What we do behind closed doors is our business and we should do what's best for us - which of course I told her is what EVERYONE else is saying! My fiance actually came up with a seperate idea (I was pretty impressed by this actually) to just change things around. He knows I want my wedding, and he said it doesn't matter to him how and when we do it as long as in the end I become his wife and I'm happy (yes he's the best)! So he said why don't we just nix the September all together (this year and next) and do it on our ACTUAL dating anniversary in February?? We actually looked at our list last night and cut it down to immediate family only and those few special friends who are counted as family. Since we haven't put any money on anything yet (thank goodness) it gives us a chance to change our theme (it was fall) and it would even be less expensive for us, which is always a plus! He said that way, we don't have to wait the year. WE can decide to wait those 6 months and WE can still have everything we want. I do love our church but like you guys said it's between us and God, and I think God gave us a plan that will be able to work for us. We have a lot to talk about yet, but I think this is what we are leaning towards! Thank you SOOO much for all of your advice!!
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    The secretary needs to mind her own business.  It is not her place to make any moral judgements on anyone but herself.  Is her view shared by your Pastor?  If it is maybe you should look for a church that is a little more tolerant.  I am Catholic and my Priest knows we live together.  Although he prefers we did not,  he has not made any judgement towards us.  If you want to wait and get married next year do that.  Don't have 2 ceremonys.  Wait until next year and have the wedding you really want. 
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    ybaby:  I just have to say this:  I've been married for 31 years.  My DH and I have the same "needs" as couples married for many fewer years than we are.  Waiting for a year (or even 6 months) would be just as hard for us as for a younger couple.  ;)Good compromise.  Enjoy your February wedding, and don't worry about a busybody.  She doesn't know what's in God's heart, and it's presumptious for her to even say that out loud.  Only God knows what's in his heart.  And someday we'll find out.  But I don't think that message will come from a sanctimonious secretary.
    "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
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    good for you! Enjoy your Feb wedding, and enjoy your man, he sounds great! I just want to put my 2 cents in: I am a catholic and have heard this all before, but personally my thoughts is that living together was a sin way back in when??? the beginning of time. Technically Adam and Eve lived together and were not married..... anyway my point is that I think God can be progressive and that a rule that was made way back in the day could be invalid, or adjusted for today's need. FI and I live together also, (and our wedding is in June) and for financial reasons. I think God would much rather have me living with a man I love, and who loves me and cares for me, then some crazy roommate who makes me miserable. Anyway sounds like you've got a good head on your shoulders, and good people around you. Enjoy!
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    I had a similar situation. My family is Catholic and wanted a Catholic wedding, but my fiance is not and we didn't want the Catholic wedding in the new shiny pink church. There is a little chapel we both loved and wanted to get married in so we booked it. However, we spoke to a priest, because our family asked, and he told us for him to do the ceremony we would have to get married the day before in the Catholic church or the morning of our wedding in the Catholic church. I heard that and we said no way. We didn't want to have the wedding before the wedding because that would negate the wedding. Anyways, my point is is that it is sad for your church to make you feel like you have to do something and use God as the reason for you to do it. I'm not the most religious person, but clearly, God isn't going around and striking people down who live together so any nosey person who wants to talk you into doing something you don't want to do needs to back off. Oh, and I agree with the above, she is judging. My family does it all the time. It's not 1942 anymore.
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    Is this MUD...it just sounds so silly.
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    I love the idea of moving the wedding to accomodate your needs! I have been living with my fiance for 3 years now and I know that it is "frowned upon" but it works for us, so whatever. We had to face the choice of getting married before getting married too. We're having our ceremony in the Dominican Republic (in two weeks - eek!) because we thought the destination wedding would be fabulous and cheaper than a traditional wedding. But with all the extra expensives involved in getting the marriage license there (ALL of our documents had to be notarized, translated into Spanish, and legalized by the Dominican Embassy - $$$), we considered just getting the cheapo marriage license here in the States and having a "symbolic ceremony" down there. But in the end, I just didn't want to walk down the aisle as a married woman. And then when would you celebrate your anniversary, the day the license was issued or the day you said your vows??? Ughh, so even with all the extra expenses, we're doing what makes us more comfortable, which is what it should all be about anyway!!
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