Gay Weddings

Which first?

Quite a few couples, I've noticed, decide to have two ceremonies, one for friends and family at home, and one in a state that recognizes gay marriage.

However, I have noticed that different couples do things differently. Some elope first, and have the ceremony later, and some have the ceremony first, then elope for the legal marriage license. 

My fiancee and I haven't fully decided yet, although we've always talked as though we would first have a wedding here in North Carolina, and then choose a honeymoon destination somewhere that gay marriage is legal, and be legally married on the honeymoon. 

What do you all think are the pro's and con's of each?

Re: Which first?

  • edited December 2011
    We're doing the ceremony first and then eloping on our honeymoon.  The biggest pro is that it cuts down on the amount of travel necessary.  The closest place we could go to get legally married is Iowa, but that's still something like an 8 or 9 hour drive (plus a three day waiting period if we don't go through a long process of getting everything notorized and filed by mail).  We'd have to have extra days off work to get that done beforehand, and... well, it's Iowa.  I can't think of anything fun to do in Iowa.  If we do it on our honeymoon, we just have to plan one trip.  Simpler logistics.
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  • nicknuttncnicknuttnc member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011

    My partner and I have decided to have a wedding in NC in Sept. for friends and family, but we will go to NY(because she is from there and I have never been) to have a legal ceremony somewhere in between May and August. We are going to Cancun for our honeymoon. I think the pro for me to get married legally is we plan to move once the kids go to college to a gay supported state. I also want my wife to have some kind of protection if something happened proving my intent to live with her the rest of my life. I wanted to have a wedding for all my friends and family to show what it is to love someone and publicly declare our love. The closest place is DC and it is about 5 hours from NC.

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  • 2dBride2dBride member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    For me, being legally married was so critical that I wouldn't have felt like celebrating until that part was done.  We therefore had the legal ceremony first, and the big reception back home three days later.
  • KalithiaKalithia member
    edited December 2011
    We have decide to go to Provincetown, MA for 5 days for the legal stuff.  It will be in a court house or however they do it then we will have a ceremony and reception in NC.  We will be going to Hawaii for our honeymoon on an Olivia vacation.  SO excited yet I'm so stressed right now!
  • edited December 2011
    Where are you guys going to have your weddings at in NC? I am getting Married in Nags Head Sept 4th
  • edited December 2011
    We are having the ceremony/reception first in Arizona, then taking the honeymoon to MA to legally marry there, and vacation. We also struggled with which to do first, but logistically, and financially we decided this route.
  • edited December 2011

     In Illinois were we'll reside has civil unions now, so we we'd have that ceremony prior to boarding the plane for our Las Vegas destination wedding. It would be totally awsome if by the time our wedding next year rolls around that same sex marriages would be legal in Nevada.

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  • edited December 2011
    That is a very good question and something that my fiancee and I have pondered as well. She is a teacher and both our moms work in schools, so we have a June ceremony/reception planned in Indiana. This also gives her time to work on some last minute things before the big day.

    We have decided to take our honeymoon in the fall to MA to do the legal part. We are doing the legal part afterwards instead of before. Logistically and financially, that has seemed to be the best route for us. We are paying for some things for the ceremony/reception on our own and also looking to buy a house (and neither of us have high-paying jobs). Also, we'll have some spending money after the ceremony to plan the honeymoon and legal marriage for the fall.

    I think whatever works best for you and your partner makes the most sense!
  • edited December 2011
    We did the legal ceremony first for health insurance, gym memberships, and because we wanted to be each other's next of kin (and love of course!). We weren't financially ready for a big wedding, so we headed to the courthouse with three friends and went to lunch afterwords. Our big church wedding will occur next May, 2 years after our legal ceremony.

    It has been nice to get the paperwork out of the way given all of the other details that we have to take care of. And the Episcopal church (our demonination) has actual liturgy for the blessing of a civil marriage. We were excited to forge legal bonds to each other, but we're even more excited for our church wedding and the blessing of our spiritual bonds.
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