Wedding Etiquette Forum

It's poor etiquette to inform someone of their poor etiquette, isn't it?

I've been lurking around this board for a few months now and generally appreciate the suggestions and advice that people share. I was brought up with a moderate degree of etiquette (thank-you notes always, not arriving empty-handed, addressing invites with formal titles, for examples) and I respect that it shows a consideration for other people and their comfort. I am making every effort to plan my wedding in accordance with most etiquette guidelines.

Recently, a friend of mine (whom I knew to be newly engaged) announced that she and her FI had gotten married in a private ceremony on a mountain. (I think this is in the category of "eloping.") I congratulated her of course, although I was a little surprised because she's generally the type who would love to plan and host a giant wedding event. Then I heard that she and her now-H are planning to hold TWO (not just one) "real weddings" a year from now.

He is from another country, so they want to have two "real weddings" (her words, not mine) -- one in each country to accommodate their families. But they wanted to get married now to help facilitate the Visa/Greencard/immigration issues. (I don't know any details on this, just that he's planning to live and work in the U.S.)

I tried to clarify with something like, "Oh, so you'll have two parties to celebrate your marriage later on?" but she didn't confirm this. It's possible that they don't have the details worked out yet and maybe it will just be two parties, but I'm afraid she will plan two "weddings" (as I said, she loves that stuff) -- which I find to be a huge faux pas, times 2.

Is there anything appropriate that I can say to her, or is it best just to keep quiet and let her proceed as she plans? 
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Re: It's poor etiquette to inform someone of their poor etiquette, isn't it?

  • If I was feeling snarky I might ask, "Real weddings? Does this mean your other one was fake?" Or something like that. Otherwise I might stay out of it. And then either decline the invitation or attend for the free food. Which ever.
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  • It's a grey area.  I would never tell a casual friend that they were doing something rude.  Just today I found out my own little brother was doing a cash registry and I didn't think it was my place to say something to him because we don't have that sort of relationship.  I did mention it to my mom and she freaked and is going to say something to him.  I feel like there is a line where you're close enough to the person that it's clear that you're not trying to be judgmental but you're honestly worried about how the person will be perceived and you're saying something to them in their best interest. 

    I don't think that the situation in the OP qualifies.  I'd just keep my mouth shut.
  • To me, as long as they're not hiding the elopement and then pretending that the "wedding" is their wedding, then it's not really an etiquette issue as much as it is just being unecessary and pointless.  It's a waste of money but I'm overly practical (and maybe frugal ;-)  like tha.t
    The Bee Hive Est. June 30, 2007
    "So I sing a song of love, Julia"
    06.10.10

    BFAR:We Defined Our Own Success!
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  • Shoot.  Hit reply too soon.

    No, I wouldn't say anything.  The only time I might say something is if a B&G were planning on being decepetive.
    The Bee Hive Est. June 30, 2007
    "So I sing a song of love, Julia"
    06.10.10

    BFAR:We Defined Our Own Success!
    image

  • Yeah, that's awkward. I guess just wait and see what she actually does. I've never had a friend do this, but it would be super weird to watch a married woman prance around like a bride for a day. I mean, she's ALREADY MARRIED. 
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  • There's nothing you can say that isn't meddling. Just be happy for her and enjoy the parties! 
  • I'm one of those people who give etiquette advice when asked, but I do not  get my panties in a wad when I heard a friend doing something againist etiquette. 

     For example our friends are getting married in Aug and already sent out the invitations with RSVPs in Mar.  Money is tight so they are having a pay your own way RD which we are invited to (we are not in the WP).  We are going to the wedding (in Europe) and will happily pay our own way at the RD even though it goes againist how we personally host events.

    I tend to give a little bit of a pass to people who have to get married because of immigration issues as long as they are honest about the situation and not lying to family and friends.






    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. 
  • I have a girl on my FB that I used to be good friends with in high school, but we lost touch after we went separate ways to college. She is doing this almost exact same thing, and she's calling it her wedding and everything. They went to the courthouse and got married, and now they're planning a "wedding" for sometime this year. I didn't say a word, even though I totally don't get it. It's not really against etiquette what they're doing; it just doesn't make any sense to me ;)
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  • I'm going to threadjack here, rather than starting a new post with a similar issue. 

    What if it's an aquaintance (friend of friend who lives across the country, engaged to best friends brother but we communicate reguarly on FB because we have common interests), who has announced (on fb) they are having fun building their "honey fund"?  I know not to inform her of poor etiquette, but would it be impolite to warn her that those things are a rip off?  Or just let it go?

    Oh, and I agree with PP's that OP should not say anything.  Particularly since OP's friend is being honest about everything.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_its-poor-etiquette-inform-someone-of-their-poor-etiquette-isnt?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:366d9a6c-fb0d-4f9c-b097-803fcfc97708Post:a469c993-53dc-488e-bb7a-80f2285f9a4b">Re: It's poor etiquette to inform someone of their poor etiquette, isn't it?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm going to threadjack here, rather than starting a new post with a similar issue.  What if it's an aquaintance (friend of friend who lives across the country, engaged to best friends brother but we communicate reguarly on FB because we have common interests), who has announced (on fb) they are having fun building their "honey fund"?  I know not to inform her of poor etiquette, but would it be impolite to warn her that those things are a rip off?  Or just let it go?

    I would let it go.  Opinions about Honeymoon funds are not universal.  If you're close, you might mention "oh, did you manage to find a site that doesn't charge you lots of service fees?" to clue her in if she's really clueless about how they work.
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  • Kate, Is she using the Honeyfund site? Last I checked, that site actually doesn't charge. Guests still lose money through Paypal, though. If it's not Honeyfund and the site does charge, I'd do like Andrea says and just casually mention it.
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  • From what I have seen and heard people do this a lot. I just had a girl I work with whose FI had to leave for a deployment so they went down to the court house and got marrried before he left. They had already been planning a wedding and had deposits out so they just pushed things back. 
    Your friend is probably just considering that they needed to get married quicker then they could put somehting together. Also they may be having 2 since his family is from another country it may be hard for his family to travel or there maybe huge cultural diffrences. I know in some cultures they dont recognize a marriage unless is is done in a traditional way.
    I dont think we have enough information to judge why she is doing it this way and until we do I dont think we can pass judgment
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_its-poor-etiquette-inform-someone-of-their-poor-etiquette-isnt?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:366d9a6c-fb0d-4f9c-b097-803fcfc97708Post:01401de6-a5d4-4194-9641-fdb2e1de295c">Re: It's poor etiquette to inform someone of their poor etiquette, isn't it?</a>:
    [QUOTE]From what I have seen and heard people do this a lot. I just had a girl I work with whose FI had to leave for a deployment so they went down to the court house and got marrried before he left. They had already been planning a wedding and had deposits out so they just pushed things back.  Your friend is probably just considering that they needed to get married quicker then they could put somehting together. Also they may be having 2 since his family is from another country it may be hard for his family to travel or there maybe huge cultural diffrences. I know in some cultures they dont recognize a marriage unless is is done in a traditional way. I dont think we have enough information to judge why she is doing it this way and until we do I dont think we can pass judgment
    Posted by 1BabyFritsch[/QUOTE]
    Those are all excellent points that I had not really considered before. I plan to leave her be -- not to worry.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_its-poor-etiquette-inform-someone-of-their-poor-etiquette-isnt?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:366d9a6c-fb0d-4f9c-b097-803fcfc97708Post:01401de6-a5d4-4194-9641-fdb2e1de295c">Re: It's poor etiquette to inform someone of their poor etiquette, isn't it?</a>:
    [QUOTE]From what I have seen and heard people do this a lot. I just had a girl I work with whose FI had to leave for a deployment so they went down to the court house and got marrried before he left. They had already been planning a wedding and had deposits out so they just pushed things back.  Your friend is probably just considering that they needed to get married quicker then they could put somehting together. Also they may be having 2 since his family is from another country it may be hard for his family to travel or there maybe huge cultural diffrences. I know in some cultures they dont recognize a marriage unless is is done in a traditional way. I dont think we have enough information to judge why she is doing it this way and until we do I dont think we can pass judgment
    Posted by 1BabyFritsch[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I don't buy this.  My SIL got married with 3 weeks of planning.  There is no reason a person can't have a "real" wedding quickly.</div><div>
    </div><div>Two weddings with family in another country I can kind of understand, especially if they're quite different culturally (Western wedding and Hindu wedding, for instance).  Two fake weddings after you're already married I don't get.</div><div>
    </div><div>As far as saying something, if it's a really good friend I probaly would.  I'd probably approach it from a "aren't you afraid people will think it's weird that you're having a big "wedding" after you're already married?"  But just a casual friend or acquaintance, I probably wouldn't say a word.  Of course, I'd also not attend the fake wedding.

    </div>
  • A friend of mine is doing the same thing.  She was brought here illegally by her family when she was a child so she didn't have any paperwork.  She had been dating her guy for a few years when they got engaged.  Then all of a sudden we got an email that they were going to the courthouse to get married so that they could get her paperwork started to become a citizen.  And now we just got her Save the Date for her May 2012 wedding.  Kinda weird to have a wedding after a wedding though.  But as weird as I think it is I'm stilll gonna party and enjoy the day. 

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  • Just thought I'd offer a point of view from someone who is currently in the process of doing this...

    My boyfriend/fiance/husband is Canadian and I'm American.  We had been dating and living together in Houston where we met, but decided that we wanted to move back to Montreal where his family is.  Also for financial reasons since the market for him was horrible in Houston (as is everything else there, but that's another topic).  So here we are, together for 2 and a half years, and I am denied entry into Canada.  Because I a do not have a job and they do not think that I will leave after my 6 months of visiting is up.  In case you're wondering, I had applied for permanent residency, but that takes awhile. 

    So here I am stranded in America while he is in Canada.  He couldn't just decide to stay in the US because for one thing, his job is in Canada, and another is that they took his visa when he returned to Canada; now he no longer has a visa to legally stay in the US.  I live in Vermont and he lives in Montreal and I drive up there every weekend to see him.  We went from living together to only seeing each other a day and a half each week.  And this is if border protection even allows me in to visit. 

    This all started in late August.  We decided in November to get married so that hopefully things will start moving faster in regards to my immigration application.  And for those of you thinking that since we got married I can go there and live, this is not the case.  I still have to wait until my application is processed, which could take years, but now I can update my status as being married to a Canadian and hopefully that will help in some way.  We have only told a few people, mainly because we didn't want to offend anyone that they weren't invited to our 'wedding', but we also did it because we wanted it to be just between the two of us.  We're pretty shy peeps.

    So I guess my question is, because we had our own personal reasons for needing to be married privately and quickly, we're not allowed to have a 'real' wedding?  Because we couldn't plan and ask people to drop everything and travel to a wedding within two months, we're have to skip the whole thing?  That seems a little ridiculous.  Or should we have waited years until my immigration application was approved so that I could be in the same country as my fiance before we had a wedding? 

    A wedding is a celebration and it shouldn't matter when the whole thing was actually 'legalized', we're asking people to come celebrate with us.  For those that don't know we're married, then they won't know the difference.  Because we are already married, we are essentially renewing our vows the second time.  I don't know about you, but many couples get their vows renewed all the time and I highly doubt their friends or family refuse to attend because they're "already married."  Or couples that have a destinantion wedding then a reception/party when they return home. 

    Sorry that was so long.  I just became increasingly offended as I kept reading.  I agree with one of the previous posters that unless you know what or why or how, you shouldn't judge.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_its-poor-etiquette-inform-someone-of-their-poor-etiquette-isnt?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:366d9a6c-fb0d-4f9c-b097-803fcfc97708Post:528593d1-2cd6-4237-a1f9-d6ee083fc272">Re: It's poor etiquette to inform someone of their poor etiquette, isn't it?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Just thought I'd offer a point of view from someone who is currently in the process of doing this... My boyfriend/fiance/husband is Canadian and I'm American.  We had been dating and living together in Houston where we met, but decided that we wanted to move back to Montreal where his family is.  Also for financial reasons since the market for him was horrible in Houston (as is everything else there, but that's another topic).  So here we are, together for 2 and a half years, and I am denied entry into Canada.  Because I a do not have a job and they do not think that I will leave after my 6 months of visiting is up.  In case you're wondering, I had applied for
    permanent residency, but that takes awhile.  So here I am stranded in America while he is in Canada.  He couldn't just decide to stay in the US because for one thing, his job is in Canada, and another is that they took his visa
    when he returned to Canada; now he no longer has a visa to legally stay in the US.  I live in Vermont and he lives in Montreal and I drive up
    there every weekend to see him.  We went from living together to only seeing each other a day and a half each week.  And this is if border
    protection even allows me in to visit.  This all started in late August.  We decided in November to get married so that hopefully things will start moving
    faster in regards to my immigration application.  And for those of you thinking that since we got married I can go there and live, this is not the case.  I still have to wait until my application is processed, which could
    take years, but now I can update my status as being married to a Canadian and hopefully that will help in some way.  We have only told a few people,
    mainly because we didn't want to offend anyone that they weren't invited to our 'wedding', but we also did it because we wanted it to be just between the two of
    us.  We're pretty shy peeps. So I guess my question is, because we had our own personal reasons for needing to be married privately and quickly, we're
    not allowed to have a 'real' wedding?  Because we couldn't plan and ask people to drop everything and travel to a wedding within two months, we're have
    to skip the whole thing?  That seems a little ridiculous.  Or should we have waited years until my immigration application was approved so that I
    could be in the same country as my fiance before we had a wedding?  A wedding is a celebration and it shouldn't matter when the whole thing was actually
    'legalized', we're asking people to come celebrate with us.  For those that don't know we're married, then they won't know the difference.  Because
    we are already married, we are essentially renewing our vows the second time.  I don't know about you, but many couples get their vows renewed all
    the time and I highly doubt their friends or family refuse to attend because they're "already married."  Or couples that have a destinantion wedding then
    a reception/party when they return home.  Sorry that was so long.  I just became increasingly offended as I kept reading.  I agree with one of
    the previous posters that unless you know what or why or how, you shouldn't judge.
    Posted by Hobie625[/QUOTE]





    Having a vow renewal is one thing. Lying to your guests and letting them think you're not already married is another. That's deceptive and seems gift granny. If you want to have a vow renewal fine, but at least be honest to this attending.
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  • To Hobie (i can't quote on my phone). Your logic makes no sense. You got married for legal/immigration reasons but then go on to state that it doesn't matter when it was legalized. Anyway, vow renewals are perfectly fine. Lying to your guests is not. I don't care how big of a party it is, just don't lie to people about whether or not you are married.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_its-poor-etiquette-inform-someone-of-their-poor-etiquette-isnt?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:366d9a6c-fb0d-4f9c-b097-803fcfc97708Post:528593d1-2cd6-4237-a1f9-d6ee083fc272">Re: It's poor etiquette to inform someone of their poor etiquette, isn't it?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Just thought I'd offer a point of view from someone who is currently in the process of doing this... My boyfriend/fiance/husband is Canadian and I'm American.  We had been dating and living together in Houston where we met, but decided that we wanted to move back to Montreal where his family is.  Also for financial reasons since the market for him was horrible in Houston (as is everything else there, but that's another topic).  So here we are, together for 2 and a half years, and I am denied entry into Canada.  Because I a do not have a job and they do not think that I will leave after my 6 months of visiting is up.  In case you're wondering, I had applied for permanent residency, but that takes awhile.  So here I am stranded in America while he is in Canada.  He couldn't just decide to stay in the US because for one thing, his job is in Canada, and another is that they took his visa when he returned to Canada; now he no longer has a visa to legally stay in the US.  I live in Vermont and he lives in Montreal and I drive up there every weekend to see him.  We went from living together to only seeing each other a day and a half each week.  And this is if border protection even allows me in to visit.  This all started in late August.  We decided in November to get married so that hopefully things will start moving faster in regards to my immigration application.  And for those of you thinking that since we got married I can go there and live, this is not the case.  I still have to wait until my application is processed, which could take years, but now I can update my status as being married to a Canadian and hopefully that will help in some way.  We have only told a few people, mainly because we didn't want to offend anyone that they weren't invited to our 'wedding', <strong>but we also did it because we wanted it to be just between the two of us.  We're pretty shy peeps</strong>. So I guess my question is, because we had our own personal reasons for needing to be married privately and quickly, we're not allowed to have a '<strong>real</strong>' wedding?  Because we couldn't plan and ask people to drop everything and travel to a wedding within two months, we're have to skip the whole thing?  That seems a little ridiculous.  Or should we have waited years until my immigration application was approved so that I could be in the same country as my fiance before we had a wedding?  <strong>A wedding is a celebration and it shouldn't matter when the whole thing was actually 'legalized'</strong>, we're asking people to come celebrate with us.  For those that don't know we're married, then they won't know the difference.  Because we are already married, we are essentially renewing our vows the second time.  I don't know about you, but many couples get their vows renewed all the time and I highly doubt their friends or family refuse to attend because they're "already married."  Or couples that have a destinantion wedding then a reception/party when they return home.  Sorry that was so long.  I just became increasingly offended as I kept reading.  I agree with one of the previous posters that unless you know what or why or how, you shouldn't judge.
    Posted by Hobie625[/QUOTE]

    Lying to your friends and family is wrong.   Why do they have to be deceived in order to come celebrate your marriage?

    If you are "shy peeps", then why would you want a big celebration anyway?  You contradicted yourself.  You said you wanted it to be just the two of you, yet you want a big "real wedding".  That makes absolutely no sense. 

    It was still a choice that you made to get married.  I'm not saying it was an easy choice, but you already got married.  You can't have a do-over.  You may celebrate however you want, but it's not a wedding and you shouldn't call it that.

    There was no reason to become offended by OP's question and responses.  Everyone agreed that her friend was in the clear <strong>because she was honest</strong>.  So, we aren't even discussing the same situation, because you aren't being honest.
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  • @Hobie625:
    We're thinking of doing the same thing too!  I'm Canadian and my FI is English (his permanent residency took 9 months - we were really lucky).  Not all of my family would be able to travel to England, and his mom is terminally ill and would not be able to travel more than an hour from their home.  Add to that that in order to get a marriage licence in the UK, I would need a special marriage visa (3 month processing time) and we would need to make at least 2 trips to the UK to find a venue and qualify for a licence (you must "live" in the same neighbourhood as the venue for at lest 7 full days to apply, and then they have a 15 day cooling off period)  The more we find out the more we are tempted to go to the courthouse in Canada with my 2 best friends and have 2 wedding/receptions in each country later.  If we chose one country over the other we would have to choose which parents to exclude... not something either of us want to do!

    @Mark&amp;Steph:
    Your friend's use of the word "real" is unfortunate... maybe she meant that she would plan the kind of wedding she has always dreamed about?  You should really try to ask her more about why she felt needed to elope - there can be so many additional factors to consider when a couple have to deal with international requirements and customs.
  • But are planning on lying to your friends and families, grand day?  The issue isn't with celebrating a marriage after the fact.  It's with lying and calling it the 'real wedding'.   A real wedding occurs when you state your vows and sign the necessary documents.  Everything else is just extra.  
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  • I don't know that the poor girl who sparked off the debate is lying: "Recently, a friend of mine (whom I knew to be newly engaged) announced that she and her FI had gotten married in a private ceremony on a mountain."  She seems to be telling people that she is already legally married. 

    I do, unfortunately, also know people (ie: my parents) who would not accept an elopment as "being married" and instead consider the public celebration as far more important than the legal process.  Perhaps the girl at the top is in the same situation?  I know if my FI and I decide to have a private ceremony then my mom and dad would also consider the reception to be "real" even though we would have already informed them that is is just a reception!

    Everyone has different opinions on what makes a wedding "real" vs "legal"... and from the info given at the top it does not seem like the bride is hiding the private ceremony.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_its-poor-etiquette-inform-someone-of-their-poor-etiquette-isnt?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:366d9a6c-fb0d-4f9c-b097-803fcfc97708Post:61960e76-fbe8-4995-9567-c1707e065889">Re: It's poor etiquette to inform someone of their poor etiquette, isn't it?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't know that the poor girl who sparked off the debate is lying: "Recently, a friend of mine (whom I knew to be newly engaged) announced that she and her FI had gotten married in a private ceremony on a mountain."  She seems to be telling people that she is already legally married.  I do, unfortunately, also know people (ie: my parents) who would not accept an elopment as "being married" and instead consider the public celebration as far more important than the legal process.  Perhaps the girl at the top is in the same situation?  I know if my FI and I decide to have a private ceremony then my mom and dad would also consider the reception to be "real" even though we would have already informed them that is is just a reception! Everyone has different opinions on what makes a wedding "real" vs "legal"... and from the info given at the top it does not seem like the bride is hiding the private ceremony.
    Posted by grand day[/QUOTE]

    I was referring to the poster who was trying to get Canadian papers.   I was cool with the OPs friend.  
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  • I guess I started all this ruckus, but I didn't think that it was something to get all up in arms about.  I mean, etiquette is really just a social norm, and if the society where you are getting 'married' doesn't judge, then what's the big deal?  I guess it's difficult to even try to explain and people seem quick to jump to conclusions anyway.  Weddings are just one of those things where one size does not fit all.

    In regards to the original poster's friend, I don't think her friend is in the wrong at all.  She had her reasons for getting married already and then having a 'wedding' or 'party' later on.  Like some others mentioned, each culture does their own thing, or maybe they were married by a judge and now want more of a religious ceremony, or whatever.  She's being up front, and I'm sure her friends and family understand.  If you ahve a major problem with it, then don't attend.  Otherwise feel honored that she wants you there to celebrate, even if 'technically' she's already married.

    In my case, we did not want a wedding nor did we even really see a need to get married.  We thought that getting married would help with immigration (you know, so we could actually live in the same country together), and the wedding came about because my mother wanted it.  It's not going to be big or flashy or expensive. The focus is really going to be on the dinner, dancing, drinking, and celebrating with our friends and family.  We haven't registered for gifts and may well decide not to do so.  That's not the important part for us. We just want people there.   I'm sure it's different for everyone, but I'm guessing most people that have multiple celebrations aren't doing it for the gifts.  I know trying to make this make sense to others is probably getting me nowhere; it's just what was right for us.  We haven't told anyone we're married, so they won't know, so no harm no foul.  That's just my thought though. 

    Grand Day, I say go for it girl.  I understand all the millions of hoops you have to jump through and dances you have to do for immigration.  We have family and friends all over the US, all over Canada, in Lebanon, and in St. Kitt's.  There's no way we could have coordinated all of them in such a short amount of time.  So, we got married by a JOP and now we're taking time to plan an acutal reception in Montreal. 
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  • Hobie you just don't get it.  There is no problem with elopements or DWs with a party afterward.  What is wrong is the lying to your guests.   Why do you have to pretend like you aren't married?  Why can't you just call it what it is?  And "no harm, no foul" isn't a response.  If someone lied to you, would you accept that as a response?

    If the 'real' ceremony and reception was that important to you, then you should have waited.  But it wasn't.  Being in the same country as your FI/H was more important.  As it should be, but the decision was made and you can't have it all.  You can still have whatever PPD you plan, but the lying is wrong AND completely unnecessary.
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