I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Posted: May 26, 2009 10:54 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

Dear Mrs D,

" but I can see why people who got married by JOP will still want to get married in the church. "

In the Roman Catholic Church, they have a liturgy for the convalidation of a civil marriage. This is for couples who get married outside the Catholic Church (secular wedding, Protestant wedding, etc), but want a sacramental marriage within the church. Convalidations are usually done in a very low-key manner. There is nothing wrong with that.

In other churches, including my own, the liturgy is called a Religious Blessing of a Civil Marriage. Again, it's usually very low-key. The couple, immediate family and very close friends are in attendance. There is no pretending this is an original wedding.

In both cases, the church recognizes the civil marriage. They simply add another layer of a religious blessing.

People often cite civil law countries where the civil and religious weddings are always separate. They often do not understand what is involved.

Take Germany, for example. I have a good friend who is a parish administrator in a German Catholic Church and have talked about this with her. First, by German civil law, a clergy member may not marry anyone unless the couple have already had a civil wedding. You cannot say "We'll get married in the eyes of the church but not the state.". Can't happen. A clergy member may not officiate at a religious ceremony until he sees the civil marriage certificate.

Second, in my friend's church, it is required that a religious wedding be a "real" wedding. It has to follow the civil wedding within a few days. (IOW, it is all planned in advance.) The couple can not have lived together, nor have children together. They are required to return to their separate homes following the civil wedding ceremony and wait for the religious wedding before commencing cohabitation.

If a couple is already married, already cohabitating or has children together, then this parish will not conduct a wedding mass following the civil ceremony. Instead, they will gladly perform the liturgy of the convalidation of a civil marriage in a manner appropriate to already-married people. (Immediate family, very close friends, no big white poofy dress.)

I don't know for a fact if there are similar parish requirements in other European Civil Law country Catholic churches. My friend told me that their requirements are "typical", but not universal.

If the OP were to live in Germany in my friend's parish, and were to want a Roman Catholic religious wedding following her secular wedding a month ago, she would not be so allowed. The priest would direct her to the convalidation liturgy, and direct her to invite only immediate family and closest friends as witnesses.

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chickie404 Posts : 13 Registered: 10/15/08
Re: I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Posted: May 27, 2009 1:12 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

WRONG. Unless the license is signed, the religious ceremony won't hold water in a court of law. In the U.S., it's become common practice to execute the two at once... but people forget how it really is. And everyone on this board who object to OP's having a ceremony, saying she doesn't deserve one, etc. is too closed-minded to enjoy ANY ceremony.

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Posted: May 27, 2009 1:25 PM Go to message in response to: chickie404

Some churches won't have a 'fake' wedding ceremony if you are already married. Some churches allow for a vow renewal type ceremony.

Yes the church and legal ceremony are separate - but she's already married. The OP never answered if she was planning on lying to her guests. That's where I have a problem with it.

She can have her ceremony, and guests can decide if they want to come.

And while I understand needing benefits, I'm wtih ArtBride. I was in that position at one time and I paid out the butt for COBRA and took care of myself.

 

 

 

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Nalamienea Posts : 2,924 Registered: 6/13/08
Re: I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Posted: May 27, 2009 1:25 PM Go to message in response to: chickie404

To those of you who say that you enjoy seeing two single people walking in and then a married couple walking out... how do you explain this about signing the legal marriage certificate? Unless they sign it while in front of church congregation you aren't witnessing a legal couple walking out. Or maybe they sign it before, and you're really seeing a married couple walking IN (just like the OP will be). How do you explain your emotions towards this? Do you feel bummed if they signed the certificate an hour before they walked down the aisle?

What you are witnessing, in my eyes, is the joining of souls in a ceremony - a profession to a commitment said in front of family and friends and your God(s). THAT doesn't change no matter when the actual certificate is signed.

Really, I'm just trying to probe those posters who I respect as intelligent women in order to help me understand your point of view becuase it's one of those things that I totally don't understand at all.

 

IMG_7463.jpg picture by sarahandchris2008

10/26/08 

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Elizabeth40245 Posts : 59 Registered: 5/11/09
Re: I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Posted: May 27, 2009 1:32 PM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

This is copy/pasted from the original post:

"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."

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Elizabeth40245 Posts : 59 Registered: 5/11/09
Re: I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Posted: May 27, 2009 1:40 PM Go to message in response to: Nalamienea

I agree with you. Couples want their friends and family to witness the spiritual joining of their souls in a ceremony. A document and saying a few words isn't what makes it to me.

Further, a wedding ceremony is not about what guests "enjoy" or "need to watch." The OP is not planning to deceive anyone. Therefore, I don't think she's doing anything wrong. She should be prepared for some people who don't see the ceremony but the signing of documents as the spiritual part that should be witnessed not to come. Personally, I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Posted: May 27, 2009 2:26 PM Go to message in response to: Nalamienea

Dear Nala,

"Really, I'm just trying to probe those posters who I respect as intelligent women in order to help me understand your point of view becuase it's one of those things that I totally don't understand at all."

OK, I'll try again.

There is no such thing as a "secret" marriage. Marriage is a public event, witnessed by other people. Two people cannot go off to some undisclosed location, say vows to each other, emerge, not tell anyone they are married then expect to be considered married at the time the pseudo-marriage ends.

People forget that all marriages end, by death or divorce. The legal status of the couple makes a huge difference when the marriage ends. Widowed spouses get certain benefits. Divorced spouses have certain rights. A broken up boyfriend-girlfriend couple are, legally, total strangers.

Sometimes there are only a few witnesses to the wedding vows. Some states require two witnesses, plus an officiant, others requre only one or just the officiant. Some states allow common law marriages, but one of the requirements is that the couple "hold out" (a legal term) to the public that they are married. They have to cohabitate and publically declare their married state in order to be considered married. A couple who claims a "secret common law marriage" is blowing hot air.

This is a long way of saying that witnessing the marriage vows at the time of the wedding is important. The witnesses are part of the ceremony. Other parts are the willing bride and groom who are both free to marry, an officiant and a marriage license. Take out any of these parts, and you don't have a wedding. You have a nice ceremony where people profess love and devotion to each other, but you don't have a wedding.

An already-married person cannot get married, not to someone else and not to the original spouse. A person who is not freely choosing to get married (shotgun in the back) cannot get married. Someone underage, who cannot freely choose to get married cannot get married. Saying your vows without some kind of legally-authorized officiant in states where legally-authorized officiants are required is not a wedding.

If I am invited to be a witness at a wedding, I want to WITNESS THE ACTUAL WEDDING. I don't want to see a reenactment a year later. I don't want to see a costume party. I don't want to participate in something false. I want to witness the actual wedding. The actual vows. The actual day where two become one.

On the other hand, if I am invited to be a guest at a party, I'll be a guest at a party. I have no problems with a couple having a Delayed Reception or an Anniversary Party. I am not asked to witness the wedding, just come and have a good time.

Next question: What difference does it make to me? The difference is that depending on the circs, it can cost a considerable amount of time and money to attend a wedding. I get a nicer gift for a wedding. I try to get something substantial. For an anniversary party, I would get something consumable, such as a bottle of wine or box of fancy chocolates.

Other costs involve travel, time off from work, hair appt, new dress, convincing husband who HATES going to weddings to buck up, put a smile on his face, and go. I might also have to pay for a sitter if I have young children and the wedding is "adults only".

I consider the invitation to witness a wedding to be a high honor, and will make every effort to be there, just as I make every effort to attend a funeral and pay my last respects to the dearly departed and their loved ones.

An invitation to a party is nice, but lower on the priority list. I might decide it's not worth the cost of travel (etc see above) to attend a party.

My final concern is what if I decide that a wedding-ish vow renewal just isn't worth (to me) the time, money and effort to attend. I dread the nightmare scenario.

"I'm sorry, but we won't be able to attend your vow renewal."
"Why not?"
"I'm afraid it's just impossible. I'm very happy you got married, and I think your new husband is just great, but I won't be able to attend the ceremony."
"But you came to my sister's wedding!"
"Yes, I know, and I'm very sorry I won't be able to attend your vow renewal."
"WEDDING. To us, it's a WEDDING. We got married at the courthouse for insurance military immigration whatever benefits, but IN OUR HEARTS, this is our WEDDING."
"Yes, I understand, but I don't see it as a wedding, since you are already married. I certainly wish you both the best and hope to have you both over for a barbeque when you return from your honeymoon. That will be a great opportunity to get to know your husband a little better."
"Boo hoo hoo hoo, you don't love me. You went to my sister's wedding, but won't come to mine. Boo hoo hoo hoooooooo."

(shudder)
If you think I'm just making this up, think again. I have a good friend whose granddaughter is just like that.

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Posted: May 27, 2009 2:55 PM Go to message in response to: Elizabeth40245

Elizabeth - Thank you for pointing that out. (I do think it was added later and wasn't in the original post when I first replied before, before - but that's all good.)

 

 

 

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MrsM2009 Posts : 422 Registered: 3/16/08
Re: I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Posted: May 27, 2009 4:24 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

Art - I totally agree with you. I am of the camp who thinks that in situations like this you make a choice, and am very put off by people who want to have their cake and eat it too.

There are MANY reasons why people may choose to get married before the date of their big scheduled wedding. Health insurance and deportation are two more. Deployment in the military is another. Illness of the bride and groom or a beloved family member is yet another. This situations come up all the time, and people are faced with tough choices about whether to rush their marriage, or hold out until the planned event. I get this, and I'm not under any delusion that these situations are a walk in the park.

However, if you make these choices, I think it's selfish to then also want the big lavish ceremony. You're basically saying "I was in a tough spot, so I chose to get married, but I still think I should get to get married again in the ceremony I originally wanted because the situation wasn't ideal. To me, this is as silly as saying "it rained during my wedding ceremony and this wasn't the perfect day I had in mind, so I'm going to invite everyone for another ceremony in a few months where I can have exactly what I wanted. It's not as if someone put a gun to your head and forced you to walk down the aisle - you chose this. To me, part of that choice is giving up the big wedding ceremony, unless you're going to call it what it is - delayed reception, vow renewal, anniversary party, etc. I have no problem with the reception, but I think watching a couple that's already made the decision to get married is silly. Frankly, if I were invited I'd probably skip the cereomny, if not the whole event. If your reception was structured as a wedding reception, and not as a vow renewal/delayed reception/etc., I'd probably be put off. When I go to a vow renewal I don't expect to see a line of 10 bridesmaids and a ball gown - I expect a slightly more understated celebratory party.

And to put my money where my mouth is, I'll tell you about my plans with FH. Our wedding is scheduled for August 22. His mother has stage 4 cancer, and was recently put on hospice, and we don't know how much time she has left. If it came down to it, we would do a small private ceremony with family while she's still with us, and we'd change our wedding into a delayed reception. We'd explain this in the invites, and we definitely would not do another ceremony at the event.
P.O.O.P. - People Offended by Offended People

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DoesntPlayNice Posts : 809 Registered: 12/17/08
Re: I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Posted: May 27, 2009 4:54 PM Go to message in response to: MrsM2009

I did the "vow renewal" gasp!

I had a big lavish wedding planned with all the deposits down and everything....then I found out I was getting deployed and had 4 days notice. We decided that if I was going to war that we should get married and we did so very quickly in my pastors office after church on Sunday.

While I was gone for over a year and for the next year after I returned we went through a lot and almost ended the marriage. After months of counseling we decided we wanted to renew our vows....AND we already had a ton of deposits down. All of our vendors honored our deposits. We invited about 150 people (the original guest list) and although most of my out of state family couldn't make it due to financial reasons....just about everyone one local showed up to my walk down the aisle vow renewal. Everyone said it was beautiful and no one had a problem with our "redo" wedding. If anyone had a problem with it they didn't voice it with me.

So there are some people that don't think it is fair or are deeply offended by it....but in my opinion (notice that statement MY opinion) if your family and friends truly love you...they wouldn't care if it was a "do over" wedding.

BTW when asked what we would like as a gift our responses were "no gift is necessary"


Previously Posted as Military Bride.

CEO of E.N.E.M.A. (Enemy Negotiations & Extraction Military Agency) A special Division of P.O.O.P. (People Offended by Offended People)

When POOP can't do it alone....they call for the ENEMA.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Posted: May 27, 2009 7:33 PM Go to message in response to: DoesntPlayNice

Dear DPN,

"Everyone said it was beautiful and no one had a problem with our "redo" wedding. If anyone had a problem with it they didn't voice it with me."

No polite person would say anything to you about it. I certainly would not. I would politely decline, without further comment. What some of your guests might be thinking in the privacy of their own minds is another story.

"if your family and friends truly love you...they wouldn't care if it was a "do over" wedding. "

There's that "If... then... " statement. "If you loved me, you'd see it my way." "You aren't coming to my wedding which means you don't love me."

Good old Emotional Blackmail.

As I said in one of the messages I wrote above, that is my fear. After politely declining the invitation, I have to hear "Boo hoo, you don't love me.".


Sure, there are plenty of people who would attend any event, any party, no questions asked. There are some who, WHILE THEY STILL LOVE YOU, don't think it's right for already-married people to have a wedding.

I cannot come jumping out of the Internet and wave a magic wand to make any vow renewal plans disappear. I'm not going to send emails to all your guests telling them that your plans are tacky. There is nothing I can do to stop any plans anyone might have for a vow renewal. The only thing I can do is present a line of thought that some of your guests might be thinking to themselves. They might be thinking "They are already married; why the big hoo-haw?". If someone politely declines, then just accept it. Don't go around whining and pouting about that person not truly loving you.

Face facts. Some people aren't going to get all that fussed about a non-wedding wedding.

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HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Posted: May 27, 2009 10:11 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

To the PP: I'm not a mother yet, but honestly, if I were your DH's mom I would've at LEAST wanted the option to be at the quickie wedding. "Mom, we're going ahead and getting married at the JOP. Want to come? We'll go out to dinner afterwards." And then if he didn't even give me that option and then waited a month to tell me! Yeah, I would be annoyed, upset, etc.

As far as your plan: as you can see, there are all kinds of points of view about your plan. Your guests' feelings will run a comparable gamut to all the posters' feelings. So now you know lots of people's POVs and can go ahead with your plan or not, your choice. Just know some people will feel happy for you and some will be annoyed or won't attend.

Last year, my brother got engaged to a wonderful woman and they started planning the wedding and putting down deposits right away. Right afterward, they got pregnant. So they got married in a small backyard family ceremony before the baby was due, about 9 months before the date of the originally planned wedding. But they also decided to go ahead with the original wedding plans after all. Everyone in our immediate family attended, along with lots of friends, and we all enjoyed ourselves, but I was a little annoyed that I had to fly out of state for TWO weddings for my brother within a year. (I was really jealous of their little backyard wedding--I had a big wedding a month before they got engaged--so I got a little satisfaction out of the fact that I think my mom enjoyed anticipating/planning my wedding more than she anticipated bro's vow renewal.)

preview image





Edited by: HappyGirl13 on May 27, 2009 7:14 PM

Edited by: HappyGirl13 on May 27, 2009 7:19 PM

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KimberlyDonn Posts : 26 Registered: 9/8/08
Re: I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Posted: May 29, 2009 4:55 PM Go to message in response to: NHhippiebride

The same thing happens to a lot of ladies here where I live. I live and work near a military installation and with the operations tempo and deployments there are a lot of brides who get married for legal reasons prior to deployment.. ie medical insurance, housing, power of atty to take care of business, etc. Anyone who thinks less of or different than you has the option not to attend. A lot of ceremonies are for religious and 'in front of family and god' events. You could focus on that aspect if you wanted to. I wish you the best of luck, and a happy beautiful wedding.

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ChelsRae85 Posts : 371 Registered: 5/16/09
Re: I NEED ADVICE FOR A SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE
Posted: May 30, 2009 11:22 AM Go to message in response to: KimberlyDonn

I think it WAS disrespectful to not tell Mother in law beforehand. That being said, I think some people get way too hung up on meaningless and outdated forms of etiquette. If I were your friend or family member, I would just be excited to be invited to share in your day with you and enjoy the ceremony and reception. I would hope that true friends and people who really care about you would feel the same.

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