Online Users: 1,318 guest(s), 0 user(s). Replies: 28

NHhippiebride Posts : 3 Registered: 5/25/09
Posted: May 26, 2009 12:51 AM

Well, about a month ago me & my FH tied the knot premature to our set date of 10-10-2009. We made this decision because of work relate issues. I had to leave my job. My FH & I made that decision together. We decided my focus should be on school so I can get a strong start in my upcoming career. Because I was no longer working, I no longer had health insurance. Well, I currently take a medication that is several hundred dollars a month without insurance. Once we got married, I was eligible under his insurance to get that same medication for FOUR dollars. My Husband works for Wal-Mart and any associate covered by Wal-Mart insurance (or their dependants) gets ANY generic no matter how expensive for FOUR dollars (Unlike the general public who only get certain meds at the four dollars price).

We finally told my MIL about the fact that we are currently husband & wife. It had been something my husband had been putting off. Presumably, this is because he knew she would not approve. I have been getting on him to tell her-I would have preferred it to be sooner. I knew that the longer it was put off the more hurt she would be, but I wasn't about to stress out my husband and pressure him to do it outside his own terms. Additionally, I had a pretty good gut feeling she would no longer want to pay for the catering as she previously offered. I figured the sooner we gave her a chance to rescind that offer, the better off we would be if we needed to plan on making other arrangements. She reacted exactly as predicted. His sister was present at the time of the confession as well, equally as disapproving. My MIL continued on to say to his my SIL "Well, you don't have to get that dress now. Right (looking to me for an answer)? I said "Well, I'm planning my wedding exactly as intended." She proceeded to indicate inappropriate it would be for me to have bridesmaids & to go forward with a nice reception as planned. Suggesting I should "eat" the deposit and minimize the event to basically a cook-out. How very rude I find it, for her to volunteer her opinion uninvited. I already bought my dress, I've put down non-refundable deposits, I have relatives coming from out of town, I've already sent out my save the dates, and I already have a lot emotionally invested into this event. There was extenuating circumstances surrounding the decision of myself and my husband for me to leave my job......had those events not occurred we wouldn't have gotten "officially" married before our formal ceremony. I was hoping our family would be able to understand. Just because we needed to get married early doesn't mean that I don't want to have the full experience of a wedding ceremony with our family present and a celebration to follow. I plan to send out "Invites" that indicate we are married. Basically they will be invites to a vow renewal with celebration to follow. I don't intend to deceive our guests in any way. Most of which I presume would be in full support of our decision-even more so if they were to become aware of the circumstances. My husband's father (they are divorced) was very happy for us and congratulated us over & over again. Why couldn't his mom behave more cordially as well? It's very hurtful. The following are excerpts from an e-mail she sent to my husband the day after.

"I know it's what you want, but I must say I feel very disappointed by the whole thing. I hope you did it for the right reasons and just not the insurance thing. If she were to get a job she would have been eligible for her own insurance! I hope you both realize that this does really change the "wedding" thing. I was so looking forward to throwing a shower and stuff too, but I guess we'll get through this."

"Everyone really needs to know ASAP because this truly does change things. I just wish I could sit and talk to you about all of this, one on one. It really bothers me to see how much you do and give in your relationship, but it just doesn't seem to be an equal thing for you guys."

I believe the last one is in reference to the fact I am not currently working; although, she apparently sees no merit in the fact that I have worked my whole life (Since I was 13). Even while completing 3 college degrees. I have only been out of work since Feb 2nd and I was only working two days a week anyway. I couldn't work more than that because (since I was in a medical program) I worked 8 hour days at the hospital 3 days a week and then commuted to school on the fourth. This left me one day a week to do housework, study, and have a day of rest with my husband. I am actively seeking a job now, but as everyone knows the market is very bad (even in the medical field).

I could really use some advice on how to diffuse the situation and on the etiquette involved in circumstances such as these. Can I still do a big "who-rah" as long as guests know it's formally a "vow-renewal?" What about a bridal party?

Sorry about the long post, lots of little details that seemed relevant.

Thanks so much :)

We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. However, in my case God just happened to send me the perfect person & then he blessed us beyond our dreams:)


chickie404 Posts : 13 Registered: 10/15/08
Posted: May 26, 2009 9:26 AM Go to message in response to: NHhippiebride

People need to wake up and get a little more sophisticated about the wedding. The LEGAL PROCEDURE and the CEREMONY are completely separate. Who gives a toot about the legal stupidity? Being legally married has nothing at all to do with the magical moment that happens in front of friends and family, and people would feel more gypped by not getting to see that special moment. In other countries, the two are always separate and happen days if not MONTHS apart. A wedding isn't just about the completion of a stupid form; it's about FAMILY and celebrating together, not those 5 seconds at the altar and telling a young couple what they can and can't do because of some formality.

Hoo, that really burns my biscuits.

Sorry to hear you're dealing with such closed-minded people. ALL of the best weddings I've gone to have involved folks getting legally married in one place, followed by a wonderful, emotional, wedding ceremony--NOT a vow renewal, because these were entirely new vows made before God and family, not just the government entity. (In one couple, a German woman was marrying her American groom, and in another, my American friend married her Bulgarian husband.) And in neither case did anyone make a fuss over the technicalities.

Go forward with your plan to share a wonderful time with your friends and family that you can afford--there is a certain freedom in financial independence, and you'd be shocked at how lovely a time you can put on for very little money and a lot of imagination--and present a united front to your small-minded MIL: "We're excited to host everyone, and want you to join the fun. If you can't do so with an attitude of joy and celebration, please don't come." And prepare to blow off her ridiculous opinions for the rest of your married life, because this is just a taste of what's to come.

Seriously, if it hadn't been this, it would have been some other slight to her sensibilities that would have set her off. Have a wonderful time.


Elizabeth40245 Posts : 59 Registered: 5/11/09
Posted: May 26, 2009 9:54 AM Go to message in response to: chickie404

I agree with the previous poster.

It seems like your MIL might have some problems with your relationship with her son or with you in general, whcih is the real reason she is being so hateful. How awful that she's making this all about her and her "disappointment." Sheesh.


PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Posted: May 26, 2009 10:09 AM Go to message in response to: NHhippiebride

Technically, what you are doing is a voew renewal. This is a bit of a hot topic on here. There is a vow renewal thread that I would recommend checking out. Do a search on Vow Renewal.

Personally, I wouldn't care if you were already married, but if you were already married and lied to me as a guest about it - I'd have an issue.

EDIT: Not that I'm saying that's what you are planning on doing, I'm just letting you know my thoughts.

I have a distant family member who's immediate family is SO religious. For whatever reason they got married in secret and are having the "wedding" over a year later and lying to everyone about it - This I would have an issue with.

Edited by: PharmToxGirl on May 26, 2009 10:09 AM


stephMt Posts : 24 Registered: 6/6/07
Posted: May 26, 2009 10:18 AM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

Now please don't get mat at me....but i have thought of that too...i have no health insurance too. but i am way to busy to do anything like that...but i love ur date 10-10


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Posted: May 26, 2009 10:29 AM Go to message in response to: NHhippiebride

Dear NH,

I agree with your MIL.

Hear me out.

I do not agree that she should have been rude about it. Even though I have a low opinion of wedding-ish vow renewal events, I would be polite face-to-face. If it were my son and my new daughter-in-law who presented me with this situation, a fait accompli, I would politely pull my funding for the event, tell them that I would not attend, but would otherwise be accepting of the new marriage. I would certainly not suggest to other people that they not attend. Other people can make up their own minds and direct their own behavior.

Putting MIL's discourtesy aside, there are people see a wedding as a WEDDING, that is two single people enter the room and a married couple walk out. I am one of those. I find it distasteful that already-married people find it necessary to have something that resembles a wedding. Weddings are for single people.

As a newlywed couple, you do have the option of a Delayed Reception, which is perfectly proper. After you've been married a year, you can have an Anniversary Party, which would be entirely appropriate seeing as how you eloped in the first place.

If your MIL talks like this to your face, you must understand that there are other people out there, more polite than your MIL, who will have similar thoughts in the privacy of their own minds. Thoughts like "Why the heck do they need a wedding? They are already married." and "I guess they just want the gifts" will go through people's minds. You may or may not be bothered by people thinking thoughts like that. It's your life and you can make your own informed decision about what you do.


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Posted: May 26, 2009 10:30 AM Go to message in response to: chickie404

Dear Chickie,

"People need to wake up and get a little more sophisticated about the wedding. The LEGAL PROCEDURE and the CEREMONY are completely separate."

Not in the United States.

Posted: May 26, 2009 12:39 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Sooner or later you are going to get to a point where you just dont give a whoot about what other people think/say/do/act. At some point you realize that its your wedding and its your day, despite their negativity. You cant change the way she feels and you probably never will. She is who she is and that will never change. (I was in your shoes with my FMIL and the lovely ladies on here made me realize all this). At the end of the day, its about you and your FH making a committment in front of family and friends to spend the rest of your lives together, whether that life has already started doesnt really matter. So chin up, chest out and keep it a smile on your face because you are the bride and its your day. eff the rest. =)

wedding website


myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Posted: May 26, 2009 2:02 PM Go to message in response to: NHhippiebride

I am sorry if I did not ready every single word of your long, looong post, but I have the gist. Your MIL is rude and bitchy. Then again, she might have expected to at least be present at her son's wedding, wherever and however it took place. And, you were right, the longer it was a secret, the more offended she would be.

As for the vow renewal, I'm of the school that says, "Do whatever you want." But, in my heart of hearts, I do agree with AOTB. I do not need to sit through a ceremony, with the march down the aisle, bridesmaids, etc., for a couple that's already married. If you want to have a party to acknowledge your marriage and celebrate with your friends and family--I'm there! A invite can read something like:

"John and Jane were married in a private ceremony on date. Please come and celebrate with them [reception info."

As for who pays, it's up to each person to decide what he/she will pay for. Obviously, your MIL feels that she's been cheated (of whatever!) and no longer wishes to pay. so, you're on your own.
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Posted: May 26, 2009 2:49 PM Go to message in response to: myra

Dear Myra,

"As for the vow renewal, I'm of the school that says, "Do whatever you want." But, in my heart of hearts, I do agree with AOTB. I do not need to sit through a ceremony, with the march down the aisle, bridesmaids, etc., for a couple that's already married."

In this you and I agree, as usual.

I absolutely believe that people can do whatever they want. They can have whatever kind of party they want, can wear whatever they want.

I, too, can do what I want and that would include politely declining an invitation to a fake wedding, and politely declining to help with funds. I would not be bitchy and mean as the OP's MIL, but I would be very disappointed that my own son would get married without at least telling me in advance. Had they come to me, ahead of time, I might have been able to work something out, such as paying for the medicine out of my own pocket, or something like that. Now, MIL has no option except to say "Thanks for telling me, finally, and by the way the pocketbook is closed.".


MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Posted: May 26, 2009 4:50 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

"People need to wake up and get a little more sophisticated about the
wedding. The LEGAL PROCEDURE and the CEREMONY are completely separate."

People here in the United States have forgotten there are two components to a wedding. There are the civil and religious procedures. Civilly you get married by getting a wedding license and having a representative of the state issue the marriage oath to both of you and then announce your marriage. In the alternative, you can live as husband and wife for a set period of time as determined by your state to complete a common law marriage (A friend of mine did this not too long ago). By taking the secular approach to marriage you are legally married and entitled to all of the rights and responsibilities of being married.

However, a civil marriage ceremony may not fulfill the requirements of various religions to have your marriage recognized by the church, temple, mosque, etc... If you do get married in a religious ceremony, you still obtain the marriage license but for the most part the state has decreed that a religious ceremony fulfills the requirements of a civil ceremony and will be recognized as a legal marriage. There are cases when the state would not sanction a religious marriage (underage, bigomy, etc...) but those are the minority.

Now if I am reading your long post correctly, you have had a civil ceremony in order to continue obtaining medical benefits rather than paying to COBRA your own insurance when you left your job. But at this point you have not yet been married in a religious ceremony to have your union recognized religiously. I would most certainly discuss with your clergyman, the proper ceremony to be performed and then advertise it as such. Please realize there are those who will question why you are taking this approach. But as some previous posters have mentioned, you are already married.

Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography


newsjunkie Posts : 3,417 Registered: 3/30/06
Posted: May 26, 2009 6:03 PM Go to message in response to: NHhippiebride

I can respect that you needed health insurance, I really can. In fact, I was in a very similar situation (though even more dire since it wasn't just meds that I needed, I was seeing TONS of doctors, getting tests, treatments, etc.- being without health insurance would have bankrupted me) but decided to go on COBRA instead of getting technically married earlier (for a variety of reasons, including the fact that my dad freaked out at the thought! lol). Because I have been there I can understand where you are coming from and get why you did what you did.

However, you have to live with the consequences and the fact that some people (like my dad and your FMIL) have strong, negative feelings about getting technically married and then proceeding with a regular wedding. I'm not at ALL saying you shouldn't do it, just be completely 100% up front about it with everyone and respect their feelings about it. You may lose some guests because of it (particularly older, more traditional guests and people that would have to travel some distance to get there), some guests may not give you gifts or may give you lesser gifts than they would have (not because they are mad, but presumably because they didn't witness you two going from single to being married and therefore don't feel like it is as much of a "wedding"), and you may lose out on having a shower and a bachelorette if the people who would have thrown those things for you no longer feel like they are necessary since you are already married. Again, I am not saying any of this to make you feel bad, to tell you what you did was wrong, or anything like that, I simply want you to be prepared to deal with what might happen in this somewhat unusual situation.

Congratulations on getting married and I wish you the best of luck with your planning and your wedding day!


Nalamienea Posts : 2,924 Registered: 6/13/08
Posted: May 26, 2009 6:31 PM Go to message in response to: newsjunkie

OP - I agree with you, that the religious and civil ceremonies should be viewed as seperate, like in many other places in the world. In my opinion, it's one more way that The Church winds up affecting and influencing our government and legal systems.

But the fact is that a lot of the previous generations, and even some of our generation, don't see it that way. Times, they are a changin'... but unfortunately for you not as quick as you would like.

I'm sorry that you're having to deal with this kind of stuff. But the best way to handle it maturely is to accept that your joint decision has had some unforseen consequences and take them in stride. You'll have to change plans, but I would still go ahead with whatever kind of ceremony you had in mind, however you can. Be honest with everyone and upfront. Some will understand, some won't... but all the people who love the two of you will be there. :)


IMG_7463.jpg picture by sarahandchris2008



ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Posted: May 26, 2009 6:54 PM Go to message in response to: NHhippiebride

Go check out the vow renewal thread. You'll find plenty of people on there with similar circumstances.

Personally, I have very little sympathy for situations like this. Not because I'm a bitch, but because I suffered through situations like this WITHOUT getting married to get spouse benefits from someone else's employer. Hence, I don't have much sympathy when people give us sob-stories about needing to get married 'for insurance reasons,' or 'for tax reasons' or some other legal reason. In your situation, you had two choices:
1) Get married earlier and get spouse benefits
2) Wait to get married and wait to get benefits

I guess it bugs me that you are trying to have your cake and eat it, too. You chose to get married so that you could get a wife's benefits. You chose to get married in private, before the date you'd selected for your wedding. Nobody FORCED you to do this. As much as you needed health insurance, you could have found another solution. You chose this one - which is a perfectly legimate choice.

As I said, that's a perfectly legitimate decision - but it's one that comes with consequences. Many people won't be as excited about your vow renewal as they would be about your wedding. Some people, like your FMIL, will be disappointed and won't approve of your decision. Some people will tell you that you already had your wedding. Personally, if I were your friend, I would gladly attend a vow renewal - if I lived locally. I wouldn't travel for a vow renewal like I would for a wedding, unless I could combine the trip with some other trip, such as visiting family or friends. I would give you a nice gift, but I wouldn't spend as much as I would on a regular wedding gift. And though I'd have a smile on my face, I'd privately think that the whole thing was a little overdone if you wore a big poufy dress, had BMs, walked down the aisle with your dad, etc. You probably don't care about my opinion, but I think a nice, elegant wedding-reception-like party would be perfectly appropriate for your reception...I just think that the ceremony should be minimal.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People


FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Posted: May 26, 2009 7:48 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

To a lot of people, it is different. My family is Catholic, and they believe that unless you are married in the church, you are not married in the eyes of God. I agree with a PP on how it wouldn't be right to lie to the guests, but I can see why people who got married by JOP will still want to get married in the church. It's not always because they didn't get their "dream wedding", it can be because of their or their families religious beliefs.


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