Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Getting married before the wedding?

Hi all,
So my fiancé already have an officiant for our wedding; it's his uncle. We really want him to officiate our wedding in May, but he was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure and he is on his death bed. It would be very sentimental for my fiancé's uncle to do our wedding because he has done his mother's wedding and all of his sibling's weddings. However, we would need to go travel to visit him ASAP. Probably within the next few weeks... so it's really unexpected but also kind of exciting that we would be married! So my fiancé and his mom ran the idea to me that we go visit and get officially married and still have the official wedding as we have planned. I'm not opposed to this idea at all and neither is he, but my fiancé and I admittedly are on the fence about it and I was in tears when he told me the news. We're both just not sure what to do and decided we will pray on it and talk more about it later. I know that concerns of both of ours after talking to him would be the fact that we would be legally married and yet not live together for 7 more months until the wedding, and I feel like that is going to be hard on us even though that's selfish to say. But at the same time, we want his uncle to marry us. Even if he does/doesn't pass before our wedding, like I said, we'll be having the planned wedding on the planned day and have another pastor who would be willing to officiate the ceremony on the planned wedding day... it's just a really heartbreaking situation.

So long story short I'm really just looking for insight on how anyone else might approach this situation. Would you legally get married and yet not be able to "officially be" together for so long? Or even better, did any of you get married beforehand (say, military situation?) and how did it affect you and your spouse?
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Re: Getting married before the wedding?

  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hi all,
    So my fiancé already have an officiant for our wedding; it's his uncle. We really want him to officiate our wedding in May, but he was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure and he is on his death bed. It would be very sentimental for my fiancé's uncle to do our wedding because he has done his mother's wedding and all of his sibling's weddings. However, we would need to go travel to visit him ASAP. Probably within the next few weeks... so it's really unexpected but also kind of exciting that we would be married! So my fiancé and his mom ran the idea to me that we go visit and get officially married and still have the official wedding as we have planned. I'm not opposed to this idea at all and neither is he, but my fiancé and I admittedly are on the fence about it and I was in tears when he told me the news. We're both just not sure what to do and decided we will pray on it and talk more about it later. I know that concerns of both of ours after talking to him would be the fact that we would be legally married and yet not live together for 7 more months until the wedding, and I feel like that is going to be hard on us even though that's selfish to say. But at the same time, we want his uncle to marry us. Even if he does/doesn't pass before our wedding, like I said, we'll be having the planned wedding on the planned day and have another pastor who would be willing to officiate the ceremony on the planned wedding day... it's just a really heartbreaking situation.

    So long story short I'm really just looking for insight on how anyone else might approach this situation. Would you legally get married and yet not be able to "officially be" together for so long? Or even better, did any of you get married beforehand (say, military situation?) and how did it affect you and your spouse?

    "Would you legally get married and yet not be able to "officially be" together for so long?" This is impossible. Legally and officially are the same. 

    You two just have to decide whether you want to go ahead with your original plans or go ahead and let the uncle marry you now. You can't have two weddings without a divorce in between. 
    [Deleted User]
  • I must have misinterpreted what I intended to say, my apologies. What I had meant by "officially be" was living arrangements but I should have worded that better. I know that in the end it is our decision on what we do, I was perhaps looking for some insight from those who have maybe been in a similar situation and what they have done, or insight from those who can give advice on what they might do. Thank you for your input!
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Getting married before the wedding is a contradiction in terms.



    KatWAGrajahmdJCbride2015
  • So sorry to hear about your FI's Uncle. I guess I'm confused as to why you two would have to live apart? 
    JCbride2015
  • Sorry to hear about your FI's uncles. When you're legally married, you're married. That's it. God recognizes our laws, so He knows you're married once it happens. (Assuming that's your "official" ceremony's intent. If not, disregard.)




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  • I must not be communicating very well, I apologize again. I was under the impression that couples could legally get married on paper but have a ceremony and reception party with friends and family later on like a traditional wedding. I did not mean to be legally married twice. This would be more of a vowel renewal/party at that point I suppose because we would already be legally married.

    My fiancé and I do not live together currently (we are both 21 and in college) and we are saving up funds at the moment for when we are married. We just thought there would be more time.

  • I must not be communicating very well, I apologize again. I was under the impression that couples could legally get married on paper but have a ceremony and reception party with friends and family later on like a traditional wedding. I did not mean to be legally married twice. This would be more of a vowel renewal/party at that point I suppose because we would already be legally married.

    My fiancé and I do not live together currently (we are both 21 and in college) and we are saving up funds at the moment for when we are married. We just thought there would be more time.
    Then I wouldn't rush it and I'm sure his uncle wouldn't want you two to rush into something you were not ready for on his behalf. If you do have a celebration afterwards as long as all the guest know you two are already married there shouldn't be a problem.
  • I must not be communicating very well, I apologize again. I was under the impression that couples could legally get married on paper but have a ceremony and reception party with friends and family later on like a traditional wedding. I did not mean to be legally married twice. This would be more of a vowel renewal/party at that point I suppose because we would already be legally married.

    My fiancé and I do not live together currently (we are both 21 and in college) and we are saving up funds at the moment for when we are married. We just thought there would be more time.
    You weren't being misunderstood.  What you're talking about is strongly frowned upon here for a variety of reasons.  I recommend reading the PPD sticky on the etiquette board for a broader view on the subject.  It was compiled by users based on common questions & reactions about the topic you're referring to.  http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/1036614/legally-married-now-having-a-real-wedding-stop-here-first-aka-the-ppd-faq-thread#latest

    I'm sorry about your FI's uncle.  Him marrying you legally or not won't take away the pain of him missing your later celebration.  Perhaps instead of having him legally marrying you he could perform a blessing of your rings or some equivalent instead.
    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
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    [Deleted User]msuprincess04southernbelle0915
  • slothiegalslothiegal The Sloth Farm member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    I must not be communicating very well, I apologize again. I was under the impression that couples could legally get married on paper but have a ceremony and reception party with friends and family later on like a traditional wedding. I did not mean to be legally married twice. This would be more of a vowel renewal/party at that point I suppose because we would already be legally married.

    My fiancé and I do not live together currently (we are both 21 and in college) and we are saving up funds at the moment for when we are married. We just thought there would be more time.
    No.

    I'm sorry for the difficult situation you're in.  You could have a celebration with friends and family later on, but it would not be a wedding, since you would already be wed.
    Anniversary

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    peachy13southernbelle0915
  • Oh, I see! Thank you everyone. I didn't know that there was a board regarding this topic so thank you very much for posting that, and that makes lots of sense.. I'm definitely going to look it over. I really do appreciate it.
    JCbride2015southernbelle0915
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    There is nothing wrong with being wed earlier than expected.  However, there would be no reason to live apart at that point.  To marry and live apart sounds as if you would be looking to deceive your loved ones and pretend as if you had not married. I'm sure you can understand why lying to guests would be wrong on multiple levels.

    There is no reason you couldn't have a small, intimate ceremony with your uncle now, and then host an awesome wedding celebration when funds allow.  However, if you cannot live with your husband for financial reasons now, it makes no sense at all to marry prematurely.

    I really found WildMagalet's suggestion to be an excellent alternative. 
  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I must not be communicating very well, I apologize again. I was under the impression that couples could legally get married on paper but have a ceremony and reception party with friends and family later on like a traditional wedding. I did not mean to be legally married twice. This would be more of a vowel renewal/party at that point I suppose because we would already be legally married.

    My fiancé and I do not live together currently (we are both 21 and in college) and we are saving up funds at the moment for when we are married. We just thought there would be more time.
    You weren't being misunderstood.  What you're talking about is strongly frowned upon here for a variety of reasons.  I recommend reading the PPD sticky on the etiquette board for a broader view on the subject.  It was compiled by users based on common questions & reactions about the topic you're referring to.  http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/1036614/legally-married-now-having-a-real-wedding-stop-here-first-aka-the-ppd-faq-thread#latest

    I'm sorry about your FI's uncle.  Him marrying you legally or not won't take away the pain of him missing your later celebration.  Perhaps instead of having him legally marrying you he could perform a blessing of your rings or some equivalent instead.
    I really love this idea. 

    OP, you can't get married twice unless you get divorced after your uncle marries you. The legal part of it is part and parcel of everything else - your wedding is when you become married, whether that's in the courthouse, your church, your uncle's living room, etc. Reading through that sticky thread will be very helpful. 
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    OP, I understand where you're coming from. But really, regardless of the situation, it's really inappropriate and tacky to have a "wedding" after you're already legally married. 

    Compare it to any other life event. Would you have a baby shower months after a child is born? My H didn't walk at his high school graduation. Would it be okay for us to rent out the high school, get him a cap and gown, re-enact the whole deal and then throw a party? My guess is no.

    If you want to have the uncle marry you now and you really want to have the party on the day you planned your wedding, you can have the party - just no ceremony, no first dance, no bridal party, no bridal gown. Wear a nice cocktail dress, provide food, drink and entertainment and have a good time!!

    FWIW, my mom was diagnosed as terminally ill a few months before our destination wedding. We cancelled immediately and planned a new wedding at home so she could be there. There were 37 people there and it was slightly unorganized, but it was great and my mom was there. I never would have even considered having another "wedding" (fake) after that. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    [Deleted User]rajahmdlyndausvi
  • Why would you not live as man and wife after becoming...man and wife?

    If your uncle is up for it, I would have him legally marry you.

  • Since PPs have covered the reasons against doing a "ceremony before the wedding" I thought I'd mention - how sure is his prognosis? I don't mean to be insensitive, but I understand that he just got this diagnosis and there may still be some uncertainty. My grandpa was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 1982, and was "on his death bed." He didn't die until 2001. Congestive heart "failure" is sort of a misnomer - it doesn't necessarily mean that his heart is failing right now, it just means that it's pumping weaker than normal because of congestion (fluids) around the heart. Many, many people live perfectly normal lives for years after a CHF diagnosis. There may not be such a drastic need to rush into things. I hope this is the case and he has many years ahead of him.

    That being said, would your uncle want you to rush your marriage for his sake? Especially knowing that a traditional wedding still means so much to you. I doubt he'd want you to be dishonest with your family and friends, or to devalue your religious ceremony by the fact that it's just a show and you're already married.

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    [Deleted User]
  • Since this would mean so much to you I would say get there with your parents & other VIP if possible & do the ceremony with the uncle and then you can have a "celebration of their marriage" when you had originally planned to get married. It's the right thing to do if you have him marry you now & then you can live together as husband and wife. However, I am in the pool of if you get married now, it's wrong to lie and act as if you aren't and still have a full blown ceremony & reception later. If you want, you can do it as a "vow renewal" even though most people don't do that so quickly, that would still allow you to have a cermony of sorts.
  • All you can do is what you and your FI feel is right.  The sentimentality of having his uncle marry you is a strong one, but what about the rest of both of your families?  It his presence or the family at large more important to you?  

    My FFIL is terminal; we do not expect him to live through the end of the year.  Our wedding date is January 10th.  We went to visit him two weeks ago and several members of his family drove several hours to spend just a few hours with him.  We got asked a lot if we were going to go ahead and get married then and there.  It was never an option for us it because so many others have booked their tickets and are looking forward to the wedding we've already planned.  We accepted long ago that everyone we love will not be there with us.  And that's okay.  We will be there and that's the most important thing.


    Happiness is an inside job
    lyndausvimsuprincess04
  • I have no opinion on this.  However, I know of someone (friend of a friend) whose grandmother was on her deathbed and wanted to see her granddaughter get married (her one last wish)  The bride and groom had a short ceremony and were officially married in the hospice with their immediate family in attendance.  Her grandmother passed shortly after.  They had already been planning their wedding so they had a reception only and took formal pictures (they just didn't have the ceremony) .  I think her family and friends were very understanding of the selfless act of fulfilling her grandmother's last wish.  Guests were fully aware that they were married prior to the reception. But the bride still got to have the reception she always wanted with her family and friends.  

    As long as you don't fake the ceremony and explain to guests that you were married earlier, this is fine given the circumstances.  Yes, people want to see the ceremony, but the people you invite are your friends and family who love and care for you and would otherwise not be there.  They will understand the circumstances and if they are mad at you for having the ceremony prior to the wedding, that's their issue to deal with.  But I would be sure to discuss this with your families beforehand.  

    I personally think the blessing of the rings is a good idea, especially if you don't have your wedding planned yet.  If you already had your wedding planned and your uncle was going to be officiating but suddenly became ill, that would be a totally different story.  But if it isn't planned and you are still saving up- hold off on the ceremony.  The farther away your reception is from the actual date, the more people will question this.
    butterscotchjbeans
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    kk111415 said:
    I have no opinion on this.  However, I know of someone (friend of a friend) whose grandmother was on her deathbed and wanted to see her granddaughter get married (her one last wish)  The bride and groom had a short ceremony and were officially married in the hospice with their immediate family in attendance.  Her grandmother passed shortly after.  They had already been planning their wedding so they had a reception only and took formal pictures (they just didn't have the ceremony) .  I think her family and friends were very understanding of the selfless act of fulfilling her grandmother's last wish.  Guests were fully aware that they were married prior to the reception. But the bride still got to have the reception she always wanted with her family and friends.  

    As long as you don't fake the ceremony and explain to guests that you were married earlier, this is fine given the circumstances.  Yes, people want to see the ceremony, but the people you invite are your friends and family who love and care for you and would otherwise not be there.  They will understand the circumstances and if they are mad at you for having the ceremony prior to the wedding, that's their issue to deal with.  But I would be sure to discuss this with your families beforehand.  

    I personally think the blessing of the rings is a good idea, especially if you don't have your wedding planned yet.  If you already had your wedding planned and your uncle was going to be officiating but suddenly became ill, that would be a totally different story.  But if it isn't planned and you are still saving up- hold off on the ceremony.  The farther away your reception is from the actual date, the more people will question this.
    If I were the other grandmother in your example, or the other aunts and uncles in OP's, I would wonder why it was so much more important for this particular family member to be present for the actual wedding, but not for us to be.
    JCbride2015fwtx5815
  • kk111415 said:
    I have no opinion on this.  However, I know of someone (friend of a friend) whose grandmother was on her deathbed and wanted to see her granddaughter get married (her one last wish)  The bride and groom had a short ceremony and were officially married in the hospice with their immediate family in attendance.  Her grandmother passed shortly after.  They had already been planning their wedding so they had a reception only and took formal pictures (they just didn't have the ceremony) .  I think her family and friends were very understanding of the selfless act of fulfilling her grandmother's last wish.  Guests were fully aware that they were married prior to the reception. But the bride still got to have the reception she always wanted with her family and friends.  

    As long as you don't fake the ceremony and explain to guests that you were married earlier, this is fine given the circumstances.  Yes, people want to see the ceremony, but the people you invite are your friends and family who love and care for you and would otherwise not be there.  They will understand the circumstances and if they are mad at you for having the ceremony prior to the wedding, that's their issue to deal with.  But I would be sure to discuss this with your families beforehand.  

    I personally think the blessing of the rings is a good idea, especially if you don't have your wedding planned yet.  If you already had your wedding planned and your uncle was going to be officiating but suddenly became ill, that would be a totally different story.  But if it isn't planned and you are still saving up- hold off on the ceremony.  The farther away your reception is from the actual date, the more people will question this.
    If I were the other grandmother in your example, or the other aunts and uncles in OP's, I would wonder why it was so much more important for this particular family member to be present for the actual wedding, but not for us to be.
    I think she came from a small family and had a very close relationship with her grandmother. And their immediate families were in attendance.  I wouldn't question it much.  And I'm sure she let their families know beforehand.
    butterscotchjbeans
  • I wrote a haiku about this:

    No no no no no
    No no no no no no no
    No no no no no

    How did I miss this? Lol!! This is one of my favorite TK posts of all time!
    *********************************************************************************

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    JennyColada
  • OP, I'm curious if you and your FI have reached a decision and if so, what you decided on?
  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer

    I wrote a haiku about this:

    No no no no no
    No no no no no no no
    No no no no no

    How did I miss this? Lol!! This is one of my favorite TK posts of all time!
    I actually stole it from WW. Haha.
  • I'm in a similar situation. It was necessary we got married earlier than our intended date, and it's a secret to our family. We're going to have a ceremony this summer and reveal it then, when we say our vows (again) in front of everyone and celebrate. If you want to talk to someone about it feel free to shoot me a message.
  • fwtx5815fwtx5815 cowboys nation member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    krisvee said:

    I'm in a similar situation. It was necessary we got married earlier than our intended date, and it's a secret to our family. We're going to have a ceremony this summer and reveal it then, when we say our vows (again) in front of everyone and celebrate. If you want to talk to someone about it feel free to shoot me a message.


    Awful idea.
    People will have already taken time out of their lives to travel to your wedding, and probably bought you a gift already when you reveal that you're just pretending?
    Be prepared for that to go over terribly.
    Just be upfront about it so people can decide for themselves if they want to see your re-enactment of something that already happened

    ----


     fka dallasbetch 


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    southernbelle0915[Deleted User]
  • slothiegalslothiegal The Sloth Farm member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    krisvee said:
    I'm in a similar situation. It was necessary we got married earlier than our intended date, and it's a secret to our family. We're going to have a ceremony this summer and reveal it then, when we say our vows (again) in front of everyone and celebrate. If you want to talk to someone about it feel free to shoot me a message.
    What the actual fuck.  Why are you lying to your loved ones?
    Anniversary

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    esstee33southernbelle0915[Deleted User]allysia02
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    krisvee said:
    I'm in a similar situation. It was necessary we got married earlier than our intended date, and it's a secret to our family. We're going to have a ceremony this summer and reveal it then, when we say our vows (again) in front of everyone and celebrate. If you want to talk to someone about it feel free to shoot me a message.

    Why are you keeping it a secret? Don't you think your "big reveal" will be rather off-putting to them?
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    [Deleted User]
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