Etiquette

Reverse of the PPD Question...Reception First?

edited March 2015 in Etiquette
I am writing this post with the hopes that it won't come to pass...

Our wedding is just a little over two months away. All the vendors are lined up, everything paid, and ready to go. My fiancé and I discovered that there is a slim (VERY slim) chance we may not be able to get our marriage license in time for the wedding, as his divorce is taking longer than we had hoped. 

It's that small chance of it not being okay that has me worried. If worse came to worse, this is what we were thinking:

1. Get all dressed up since I have my dress and he has his suit.

2. The bridesmaids can wear those dresses.

3. Call the guests ahead of time and truthfully explain what has happened. Tell them that the invitations they received were for a wedding that was unfortunately postponed, but that the reception will go on as planned.

4. Cut the cake, etc, and give the speeches with wording altered for the situation.


Like I said, there is a bit of leeway here as far as the time we need, but I'm a worrywart and I need a Plan B. Is this a breach of etiquette????
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Re: Reverse of the PPD Question...Reception First?

  • I forgot to say... we would then get married at City Hall, no guests, just us and 2 witnesses

  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer

    I am writing this post with the hopes that it won't come to pass...


    Our wedding is just a little over two months away. All the vendors are lined up, everything paid, and ready to go. My fiancé and I discovered that there is a slim (VERY slim) chance we may not be able to get our marriage license in time for the wedding, as his divorce is taking longer than we had hoped. The final papers were filed at the beginning of February, and should have been back by now. After that there s a 31 day waiting period before we can get the license, which should take us to the end of April. That would mean we have all of May and the beginning of June, so we're probably okay.

    It's that small chance of it not being okay that has me worried. If worse came to worse, this is what we were thinking:

    1. Get all dressed up since I have my dress and he has his suit.

    2. The bridesmaids were going to wear their own versions of the Little Black Dress, no cash layout for them, so they can wear those dresses.

    3. Call the guests ahead of time and truthfully explain what has happened. Tell them that the invitations they received were for a wedding that was unfortunately postponed, but that the reception will go on as planned.

    4. Cut the cake, etc, and give the speeches with wording altered for the situation.

    Our reception was dinner after the ceremony, no DJ or dance floor, because it's on a weeknight, and there are only 45 guests invited.

    Like I said, there is a bit of leeway here as far as the time we need, but I'm a worrywart and I need a Plan B. Is this a breach of etiquette????
    You're not celebrating anything by having the reception early so yes, it's a breach in etiquette. Just push everything back to when you actually get married. Sounds like it'll be pretty easy to do since its a smaller affair.

    image
    indianaalum
  • I was worried that would be the answer. Pushing it back is not possible, not because of the size, but because this small wedding has drained our resources. 

    I have asked the vendors hypothetically...remember, this is only a possibility. We lose the down payments we have made, plus a percentage of our final payments, and some of those were made on our credit cards. 

    Any suggestions on what we can salvage? 
  • Okay, this is new. Let me finish this daiquiri and I'll be back...right now, I just can't.

    PrettyGirlLost
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its

    Okay, this is new. Let me finish this daiquiri and I'll be back...right now, I just can't.

    sadly this is not new.  I've seen many posts like this.

    For those lurkers out there who are going through and/or engaged to someone going through a divorce isn't never a good idea to plan a wedding when the divorce is not final.


    Where do you live where there is a 31 day waiting period.  That seems longer than normal, no?






    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. 
    PrettyGirlLostplainjane0415
  • edited March 2015
  • Wait, how can someone technically still married to someone else get engaged? That...doesn't seem smart.

    Yeah, that just sounds like a hot mess waiting to happen. It took like 5 year for my ex's parents to finish the divorce proceedings. My boyfriend's proceeding took more than a year. Some are easy, others not so much so yeaaaahhhhh, not a good idea.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    lovegood90PrettyGirlLostSTARMOON44
  • You must think I'm a terrible person, let me explain...

    They split  9 years ago, no children and no ailment. It's just that they never bothered to file the final papers. 

    She's been living with her new man for 5 years. They have a 3 year old daughter and a new baby on the way. So she decided to finally make it legal so they can get married.

    We've been together for 3 years, so we figured, why not!
  • I think it has been well established that you can't have a wedding reception before the wedding.

    However, your resources are tapped and you don't have the option to move the event.  There's no reason you can't rebrand it.  It will be entirely unconventional but you can have a really good party celebrating your engagement and the life you are about to spend together.

    You already mentioned this in the OP but just stay honest and forthright with your guests.  Wedding reception or just a party, you'll have a great time.
    [Deleted User]spockforprezCaitFins
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Why would you plan a wedding before your FI was actually divorced? O.o

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    STARMOON44
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    You must think I'm a terrible person, let me explain...


    They split  9 years ago, no children and no ailment. It's just that they never bothered to file the final papers. 

    She's been living with her new man for 5 years. They have a 3 year old daughter and a new baby on the way. So she decided to finally make it legal so they can get married.

    We've been together for 3 years, so we figured, why not!
    So, if he has been seperated for 9 years and you've been together for 3 years, what was the rush in planning a wedding before the paperwork was filed and final? 

    Even if they are having an uncontested divorce, the courts can still mess the timeline up. I was super lucky- my state requires a 60 day waiting period following the filing and by day 63, I was officially divorced. However, my DH was held up by the courts a lot during his proceedings. Even when the two parties agree to everything, the courts can still throw out the agreement (at least where I live they can). 

    You can seriously hope that the court has their shit straight, cancel now to try and recoup as much as possible, or cancel last minute, which could cause all sorts of stress. Personally, I'd cancel now and move on. 

     







    PrettyGirlLostSTARMOON44
  • If you can't move the party, then have it, but without the wedding trappings. No first dances or toasts. Just have dinner and dancing and call it good. Anyone can throw a party anytime. You don't need a reason. You should tell the guests that the wedding will not be taking place as planned, but that they are still invited to a party.
    image
    huskypuppy14PrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]SP29
  • If you can't move the party, then have it, but without the wedding trappings. No first dances or toasts. Just have dinner and dancing and call it good. Anyone can throw a party anytime. You don't need a reason. You should tell the guests that the wedding will not be taking place as planned, but that they are still invited to a party.

    This. And really, you shouldn't have laid out money you couldn't afford to lose without the divorce being final. Divorces can get expensive even when uncontested. Obviously it's too late to change that now, but maybe it will help some lurking with a similar situation.
    image
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Wait, how can someone technically still married to someone else get engaged? That...doesn't seem smart


    SITB:


    yes, I am judgy, but it seems like "why the rush?" I would personally wait and certainly not have a reception quite yet.

  • I was worried that would be the answer. Pushing it back is not possible, not because of the size, but because this small wedding has drained our resources. 


    I have asked the vendors hypothetically...remember, this is only a possibility. We lose the down payments we have made, plus a percentage of our final payments, and some of those were made on our credit cards. 

    Any suggestions on what we can salvage? 
    Yikes, you did a lot of things I would highly recommend never doing. You planned a wedding before a necessary divorce was finalized, and you charged your wedding on credit cards. I truly hope that the divorce is granted soon, so you aren't left paying off a wedding you didn't have. 

    Can you have a reception before the wedding? I guess you could try, but I'd be judging you hard as a guest if you did. 

    I think pushing it back would be the best option, even if you had to push it back quite a while in order to save more money. If you're not interested in that, then have your party the day you planned your wedding. Keep it fun and happy, but be aware that many people will be secretly side eyeing this. 

    I hope it all works out for you and that this advice goes unneeded. 
  • MGPMGP member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    Why celebrate a new phase of your life when the person you are with can't even tie up the loose ends from their past?

    My vote is for no party.

    Never, EVER, EVER plan a wedding until you see the divorce papers with your own eyes.
    redoryxPrettyGirlLost
  • You must think I'm a terrible person, let me explain...


    They split  9 years ago, no children and no ailment. It's just that they never bothered to file the final papers. 

    She's been living with her new man for 5 years. They have a 3 year old daughter and a new baby on the way. So she decided to finally make it legal so they can get married.

    We've been together for 3 years, so we figured, why not!
    I have nothing to say that PPs haven't in regard to etiquette (and I agree with everything they have said), but it sounds like the ex isn't trying to draw the process out.  Clearly you should have waited until the divorce was final before putting deposits down, but since that ship sailed, I'll think good thoughts for you that the divorce proceedings go smoothly.

    In the event that they don't, please take everyone's advice to heart - you can't have a reception before a wedding. 
    BabyFruit Ticker
    [Deleted User]
  • MGPMGP member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited March 2015

    Look, I'm not going to judge you for dating a married man, because I think many of us realize that relationships are over way before people get officially divorced.


     I also have no problem with you calling him your FI, because FI is not a real legal term. It's no different than boyfriend or girlfriend other than you're planning a wedding and life together, which you are.

    However, it was really not smart to plan and pay for a wedding when the divorce was not finalized. You can not have a wedding reception without a wedding ceremony. You can have a party though. Considering this just seems like dinner, instead of losing your deposits, have a dinner party. You should have no wedding additions, therefore, absolutely no bridesmaids, you shouldn't wear a wedding dress, no first dances, bouquet tosses, etc. You of course can have cake, but no bride and groom on top or anything like that. And please don't have toasts, this is not a wedding.

    You have to also realize that people may not come, because it's just a dinner party and not a wedding.
    Thanks for putting into words what I was trying to say.  This is a sensitive subject for me because many years ago I was planning a wedding to someone who I found out was still married and lied to me about it.  He was hedging his bets that the divorce would be finalized before our wedding day.  I ran away from the situation like that "Nope, nope, nope" gif with the octopus (if someone could help a sister out and post that would be great!).  

    It ended up that the divorce was finalized two months after the wedding date we set, which if I had gone through with everything I would have been faced with the similar situation as the OP having to decide to still have some sort of celebration, pre-reception, or non legally binding reverse PPD ceremony.  Personally - I was so hurt and shocked I would have cut my losses and done nothing.  Granted there was deception in my case, but a cautionary tale for anyone to not plan anything without solid proof of a finalized divorce.

    This may lead the discussion off topic - but what are the legal challenges/ramifications/implications of someone being legally married to someone but in a committed relationship (in the sense of they are engaged or consider this new person their spouse figure so to speak) with someone else?  Taxes, insurance, wills, estates, child custody, death benefits, medical directives, etc?  You know, all the important heavy adult stuff.  If someone wants to marry someone or stay married to someone there is obviously some priority with those things, otherwise they would just date.
  • You can be engaged while still married to someone else, because "engagement" isn't a legal status the way "single" or "married" is (which also answers some of the above questions regarding legal ramifications.  The real answers to those questions vary by state, so you can't get a real answer to it in a venue like this.

    When I was a divorce lawyer, I had altogether too many people come in saying, "I need a divorce, I'm getting married in X months."  My first bit of advice would be to tell them to cancel the wedding date & not plan anything that wasn't movable until the divorce was final.  Buying a dress?  Fine. Booking a venue & date?  Hell no.  Pretty much the only way you can get a real quickie divorce (and NJ doesn't have any waiting period once you file) is to give up everything and still have your ex willing to sign and getting a date from the court within the time you want (which in certain counties with higher caseloads, can be a trick and a half).
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
  • Look, I'm not going to judge you for dating a married man, because I think many of us realize that relationships are over way before people get officially divorced.


     I also have no problem with you calling him your FI, because FI is not a real legal term. It's no different than boyfriend or girlfriend other than you're planning a wedding and life together, which you are.

    However, it was really not smart to plan and pay for a wedding when the divorce was not finalized. You can not have a wedding reception without a wedding ceremony. You can have a party though. Considering this just seems like dinner, instead of losing your deposits, have a dinner party. You should have no wedding additions, therefore, absolutely no bridesmaids, you shouldn't wear a wedding dress, no first dances, bouquet tosses, etc. You of course can have cake, but no bride and groom on top or anything like that. And please don't have toasts, this is not a wedding.

    You have to also realize that people may not come, because it's just a dinner party and not a wedding.
    I just wanted to second this. Plus, as has been discussed here, the actual time span between filing and finalized can take awhile. My ex and his ex-wife had filed before we started dating, but we were dating for close to a year before he was officially divorced and it was all uncontested.
    image
    charcoalandblush
  • I got lucky with an uncontested divorce, filed in April, divorced finalized in July. My state still said I couldn't get apply for another marriage license for another 60 days after that if I was wanting to get remarried. 

    I don't know why you two chose to put the cart before the horse, setting things up before the divorce was finalized ~ but that ship has sailed. If your vendors won't work with you, and I would ask them very nicely again about moving dates ~ it's not like they would be losing money, they may work with you. You may have to eat some cost if they can't rebook at such a short notice, but that is the price you pay for doing this backwards. 

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