Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions
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Pre-wedding ceremony

My fiance and I are thinking of eloping in October with an intimate ceremony with just he and I, maybe my parents and 2 of his family members. Then, in June 2011 we are going to have a formal ceremony and reception with all of our friends and family. Is this tacky?

Re: Pre-wedding ceremony

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    If you really feel the need to hold a larger party after your elopement, that's fine, but a second ceremony would be meaningless.
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    Yes, having a second ceremony after you've already gotten married is tacky.  It's also fake and a lie.  

    If you want to elope, then do it.  If you want to have the big ceremony, have the big ceremony.  You don't do both.
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    What aerin said.

    There's really no such thing as a "formal" ceremony...being wed in a courthouse ceremony ultimately has the same result as marrying in a castle. If you choose to elope, you will then be legally married. A second ceremony is not going to make you more married.

    Either stick with your original date, move up the entire affair, or, if you must, have a later party/reception with no ceremony.
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    I've heard of a lot of people doing two ceremonies tho...One of my friends got married  in Tahoe, and then months later renewed her vows with her husband, their friends, and family, with a nice reception in Hawaii. I guess i mis-worded when I said two ceremonies...I meant getting married in October, then having a vow renewal in front of our friends and family with a nice reception in June 2011. Does that explain it better?

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    My two co-workers are doing this. 

    They married through JOP, and now a year later in Sept they will renew their vows infront of family and friends. Then will have a big reception that night :)
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    Well, yes it would be a vow renewal, not a wedding.

    But I think that people are now using the term "vow renewal" essentially to get a PPD wedding after eloping or JOPing.

    A "vow renewal" used to be reserved for a milestone rather than a way to skirt around trying to have 2 wedding ceremonies in a fairly short time frame. 

    Vow renewals were for, as an example, : 25 years of  marriage, rather than 8 months.  I just have a hard time imaging that most people feel a need to renew their vows after only months of marriage.

    I say you elope in October if that's what you really want.  Then you have a party in June.  Or you wait until October 2011 and have a first anniversary party with your friends and family.  But at neither occasion do you hold another ceremony of any kind.
    "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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    As long as you call it a vow renewal, you're ok. I also would not expect gifts or a shower, or any of that sort of thing.

    I'm not sure why this has become a trend and can think of VERY few instances where this is actually socially acceptable, etiquette wise.

    I think it's mostly when people elope and then realized they missed out on their BIG BIG DAY and want all the attention and fanfare.

    I think you should plan the wedding/reception you want, and just have the ONE.
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    My sister did a very small ceremony like you're thinking about -- only the two sets of parents and the siblings (and the one married sibling's SO). But then they just threw a big party with each side of the family, which was a lot of fun!

    So whether you call it a vow renewal or belated reception or whatever, I think you're fine! But I would also hesitate to call it another ceremony...
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    I tend to be pretty open-minded to what people want for their weddings but I tend to agree with what the girls here are saying.  I would avoid a second ceremony / vow renewal after only a few months.  Just call a spaid a spaid and have a reception in June if you want to get married sooner. 

    I have friends who had already sent invites but then eloped.  They decided to keep it a secret (with the exception of their parents and witnesses) and still had the "wedding"  planned.  When we were all seated and ready to go the bride walked down the aisle and made an announcement that she was sorry to inform us there would be no wedding.  As we were kind of freaking out she went on to say they were already married!  Then we had the reception and it was lots of fun.  I think they did the right thing by not doing another ceremony. 

    You will get it figured out!  Good luck! 
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    Is it because y'all don't want to wait until next year & want to be married sooner?  There's other options besides having another ceremony - you may just do an anniversary party in a year.  Or just have a little something at your home.  I'm trying to see your vision and reasoning, but to have an entire wedding a year after your're married...  Guests want to celebrate your union and it doesn't matter if it's in a backyard or at a swanky event venue.  If I were your friend I would want to celebrate with you when it happens, not a year later. 
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    Honestly, we're just really excited and want to be married...October is a very special month for us, and it makes sense...But yea, I think we will be doing a vow renewal in front of our family and friends and then have a nice reception afterwards. We aren't expecting gifts or whatever...Though my mom already said that she and my godmother want to throw us a shower. We aren't having one to get attention or feel like we're "missing out" on anything. We've made our decision. So, thanks for all your thoughts.
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    edited July 2010
    Do whatever you want, and I dont think it's tacky at all. Listen,  me and my FI did the same thing. Originally we planned a big wedding things got out of hand and so we stopped the planning and married at a court house. Afterwards we still wanted the big wedding. I dont think it's meaningless to celebrate your love with friends and family.So we had ourselves a big wedding a few months later.  Do whatever you want, I see nothing wrong with that. Good Luck 


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    yep do whatever you want! it is great to share your union with friends and family whether you are legally married already or not!
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    I think it's fine. It's up to you to decide whether to tell your guests or not. People do it all the time because they can't get a spot in the temple for 2 years or one of them is in danger of falling out of status on their visa and needs to be a dependant on the other's visa (or leapfrog in the greencard process), but still want a traditional wedding and can't do it on short notice or because one of them is being deployed or for whatever other reason.
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    I think this is fine as well, we are doing something similar because the person we want to perform the ceremony is not ordained and where we live a legal marriage has to have an ordained officiant.  So we are getting married at the courthouse beforehand and then having our friend perform a ceremony at our wedding for our family and friends.  The legal aspect is just signing a piece of paper, I don't see why it is so important for the guests to see that.  It's the exchange of vows that is important, which they will be able to share with us.
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