Just Engaged and Proposals

Legally married before the ceremony to save money?

My sister and i were discussing options for a JOP or a registered officiant for our wedding and when i told her the TWO in our city charge 250$ plus the 150$ for the documents it seemed like a ridiculous amount of money to spend for them only being there for about 30 minutes. 

She mentioned that an option may be to go to a JOP and get legally married a couple days before the wedding date, and then have a friend/family member officiate the ceremony. Just like you would if you had a destination wedding and decided to save the hassle of doing it down there. 

I just dont know if its worth it to do it this way. It seems like a good idea so that we can save more money (trying to really stay on budget im sure you all understand). Please be kind and just give some helpful advice, thats all im looking for!

Answers

  • My sister and i were discussing options for a JOP or a registered officiant for our wedding and when i told her the TWO in our city charge 250$ plus the 150$ for the documents it seemed like a ridiculous amount of money to spend for them only being there for about 30 minutes. 

    She mentioned that an option may be to go to a JOP and get legally married a couple days before the wedding date, and then have a friend/family member officiate the ceremony. Just like you would if you had a destination wedding and decided to save the hassle of doing it down there. 

    I just dont know if its worth it to do it this way. It seems like a good idea so that we can save more money (trying to really stay on budget im sure you all understand). Please be kind and just give some helpful advice, thats all im looking for!

    This is a bad idea.

    Can you get a close friend or family member to officiate? We've asked one of our best friends to be our officiant, and are considering him part of the wedding party for all intents & purposes.

    This may be a cheaper and more meaningful solution for you.
    InLoveInQueensSP29
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    You get ONE "wedding" per marriage.

    The ceremony in which you actually get married IS your "wedding." Any ceremony that follows is NOT your "wedding" but a "reenactment."
    CMGragainInLoveInQueens
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    This is an awful idea. Ask a friend or family member to get ordained or look online for a less expensive officiant if you don't want to spend that much. And I'm confused how you think paying the JOP a few days early and then having another ceremony saves money. Wouldn't you still have to spend the same amount as having them do it day of?
    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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    STARMOON44InLoveInQueensOliveOilsMom
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    My sister and i were discussing options for a JOP or a registered officiant for our wedding and when i told her the TWO in our city charge 250$ plus the 150$ for the documents it seemed like a ridiculous amount of money to spend for them only being there for about 30 minutes. 

    She mentioned that an option may be to go to a JOP and get legally married a couple days before the wedding date, and then have a friend/family member officiate the ceremony. Just like you would if you had a destination wedding and decided to save the hassle of doing it down there. 

    I just dont know if its worth it to do it this way. It seems like a good idea so that we can save more money (trying to really stay on budget im sure you all understand). Please be kind and just give some helpful advice, thats all im looking for!
    Marrying in a meaningful and legal way should be the priority of your budget.  Deceiving friends and family should never enter the equation.

    Marrying in the courthouse will still require the fee for the documents as well as a fee for the judge.  $400 is not an extraordinary amount of money considering the service provided.  Scale back on unnecessary and/or frivolous expenses and marry the right way......once.

    Please don't smear destination wedding brides with your sweeping generalization.  MANY brides who have destination weddings go through all the proper channels because they understand the importance of their ceremony as well as their morals.  Do you want to save money but lose friends in the process with deceit?
    InLoveInQueens[Deleted User]OliveOilsMom
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    edited November 2015
    I think it's funny that the average couple sends hundreds of dollars on the dress, flowers, food, yet balk at paying hundreds of dollars to the MOST important item of all.

      Unless you live in a self-solemnize state, without the officiant you are not married.  Which is the whole point of the day.    Now I'm not suggesting you have to spend $1000's of dollars, but I do not think a few hundred dollars is unreasonable for a JOP.

    Just to give you prospective:  My non-jop-officiant was $650 + a $250 hotel night.






    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. 
    Maggie0829
  • It cost me $14 to get ordained online.  Actually getting ordained only cost $6.50.  It cost an additional $7.50 to get a paper certificate mailed to me.  Fourteen dollars and I was able to legally perform my sister's wedding at her destination location.
    InLoveInQueens
  • My sister and i were discussing options for a JOP or a registered officiant for our wedding and when i told her the TWO in our city charge 250$ plus the 150$ for the documents it seemed like a ridiculous amount of money to spend for them only being there for about 30 minutes. 

    She mentioned that an option may be to go to a JOP and get legally married a couple days before the wedding date, and then have a friend/family member officiate the ceremony. Just like you would if you had a destination wedding and decided to save the hassle of doing it down there. 

    I just dont know if its worth it to do it this way. It seems like a good idea so that we can save more money (trying to really stay on budget im sure you all understand). Please be kind and just give some helpful advice, thats all im looking for!
    Those 30 minutes are THE ENTIRE REASON everyone is there. So to do that ahead of time means that no one has a reason to be at your "wedding" since your real wedding was a few days before.

    Plus when you word it the way you did it makes it sound like the ceremony is just a hassle that has to be done that day not the exciting, amazing, meaningful (hopefully) once in a lifetime experience that it actually is when you say your vows in front of your loved ones. 

    Also if those are the JOP prices why would it be any cheaper a few days before? That seems ridiculous to me.

    Finally as PP mentioned you aren't just paying for those 30 minutes you are paying for them to file the papers correctly or your marriage will be invalid. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    SP29[Deleted User]
  • $250 is pretty average.

    The officiant does not only marry you, which is a legal requirement, but they also sign your document for you, ensure it is correct, and mail it for you to your state registry so it can be filed. This is a pretty important job. 

    We didn't blink when we handed over the money to our officiant- that's the cheap part. 
    InLoveInQueens
  • The recommended stipend for our parish priest was $250. As others have said, not a huge amount considering what you're likely spending on the party after and it's the most important part of the day.

    Cut something else that doesn't really matter in grand scheme of things. Your guests will want to see you actually get married more than they want favors or nice centerpieces to look at later at your reception.
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