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Old 02-21-2012, 03:08 AM   #1  
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Default Question about courthouse marriage/later wedding ceremony

My fiance and I are scheduled to be married in September.

We are quiet people who both feel overwhelmed when thinking about a big wedding. We both feel the wedding is for everyone else. We are very much in love and excited to start our lives together.

We wanted to get married legally in the courthouse soon so that we could feel settled and relaxed in the time leading up to the big wedding.

My mother (lives across the country) thinks that this shows a lack of respect for them, she thinks it will "break your fathers heart..."
She also thinks it shows that my fiance wasn't raised properly and that the wedding after the courthouse would be a big sham.

Now I am torn. I want to honor my parents but I disagree with everything she has said about it and I feel hurt that she seems to be thinking more about herself then about what I would like.

I am the type to do what will make everyone happy and keep things calm and peaceful.

I am close to just telling my fiance that we should wait, but if I did that at this point it would seem as though my mother had a stronger pull/was a stronger force in my life than maybe she should be.

Ahh! It's complicated.
Any advice would be very appreciated.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:16 AM   #2  
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Maybe try to explain firmly but nicely that it is important to you that you have the courthouse marriage and that it has nothing to do with your fiance not being raised right. In the end you have to do what will make you happy because no one else is living in your shoes. I understand wanting to be a people pleaser but I think marriage and childbirth should be exempt. I gave everyone else what they wanted when I had my son and I regret it still to this day.

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Old 02-21-2012, 03:18 AM   #3  
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Do you and your soon to be hubby already live together? If so, you don't really need to "settle" in to anything. You'll both leave the courthouse or the wedding reception the same people, going to the same house. If you are planning on STILL doing the big wedding after the ceremony, why not just wait? You'll still have to plan the same things, the only difference is just when you sign your name. Most people are stressed about PLANNING the wedding, not about getting married itself, so you won't really be saving any stress from it.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:48 AM   #4  
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Please keep repeating this is your day. If you want a smaller wedding just have one . This is your day not your mothers Boundries need to be set now.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:28 AM   #5  
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And exactly how would mom know how far in advance you did the courthouse thing before the church thing if you just don't tell her? She's across the country!

If doing it this way make it possible for you guys to do the church thing in September more calmly -- why not? It is your union and it is your business. It's between you guys and your state for city hall, and you guys and your faith for the church thing. You could talk your plans over with your minister person. (Or priest, or rabbi -- whichever.)

My parents were city halled the month before they were churched.

DH and I were changing faiths but hadn't quite settled in. I just didn't much care for a big catholic wedding and he didn't want a baptist one but we weren't yet settled with our spiritual home. I was having health issues and the sooner we were married so I could have health insurance coverage again the better. We bumped it up a few months both for that, and so that my sister come to city hall since she was already home for summer. Later she'd be away at college and it would mean a special trip back if she wanted to come. So we were city halled and had a small dinner party to celebrate. Then 8 years later when we were settled at a UU church we had the minister officiate and renew our vows for our anniversary. We are content.

My sister was simply city halled. They have not found their church home yet. They are content.

It isn't like any of us are any LESS married even though we haven't all done it the same!

In the end, it is still YOUR union.

Parents are going to have to learn that they are now extended relatives -- the previous family of origin. Your new immediate family is now your spouse-to-be and if/when you have them, your children. Not them any more.

IME? Even after we were married there was a parental tug-of-war to accept they no longer were immediate family. How we celebrated holidays and with who for instance. How often we visit on non-holiday times. Which family of origin's customs would carry on for the kid's bdays? Or would we be making new ones of our own? How is it we raise the kid?

My mom and his dad were more easy going in the sense of "It's your life. Do it however you want." It was my MIL and my Dad who were miffed about this or that being different. They had a harder struggle to accept their new roles.

Even my mom, who was supportive of our marriage had a hard time with first grandchild because she kinda wanted to take over and she exclaimed "I have to tend the baby! I'm the mother!" and I had to firmly say "Ok, then YOUR baby is ME, and I'm telling you to let me have my kid so I can nurse her dammit! Support your OWN baby so I can tend to mine, grandma!" She laughed at herself, but she really did have a hard time rethinking herself as "the grandma" at first because for decades she always reacted as "the mom."

Your parents are going to go through that transition too -- where they back off and let you be adult son and daughter. Emphasis on ADULT. You will always be the son and daughter but you are not CHILDREN any more.


Last edited by astrophe; 02-21-2012 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:36 AM   #6  
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Many people do this , in fact my son and fiance are planning on a city hall marriage in the next few days and a religious ceremony will follow some time later. I have friends who have done this , it is not a sham or disrespectful in any way. My advice, don't tell them until after it is done and maybe not then

Last edited by bargoo; 02-21-2012 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:50 AM   #7  
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Do what the two of you want. That's all that matters in the end. Everyone else will get over it and if they don't, they need to realize it is about you and your future husband and not them. If you have a big wedding to please everyone else, is it still your day?
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:55 AM   #8  
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Do what the two of you want to do. Period. My wedding was supposed to be on a beach in Hawaii, and got cancelled because of the airlines closing down. All of our money got tied up and it was a big mess to get our refund for the tickets. My parents hated the fact that I lived with my DH before we were married and so we were kind of rushed into a small undecorated backyard wedding. While It was still beautiful-it was not anything close to what we wanted. Even if we couldn't have had Hawaii I still wish it was in a small church or dining hall with pretty decorations or something. I have no regrets for getting married, and even though my DH promised to take me to Hawaii to renew our vows in a few years I still wish we would have done it our way.

But don't let anyone tell you what to do or not do. Its your wedding, do it how you want to have it done.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:15 AM   #9  
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I went down to my husband's hometown for my spring break, laid down the deposits for my venue, cake, and everything else for my Thanksgiving wedding. Then I discovered I was pregnant 2 months later. I wanted to cancel, he said I would regret not doing something, so we downscaled and had a simpler ceremony with 50-75 guests. It seemed like the wedding was more for my parents and Grandma since I was the first child/grandaughter to get married. With that said, if your parents are going to poohpooh your decision to have a civil ceremony first for the rest of your married life, decide what you would rather deal with, the headache of planning it all together and in a rushed manner or nagging parents. On a side note, what wonderful progress you have made toward your goal weight. I hope you get a beautiful dress to wear to the courthouse/church depending on what you decide.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:12 AM   #10  
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My husband and I (since divorced... no connection with this though) got married in a registry office whilst abroad in Africa and returned home to Eire, where we lived at that time, to his mother's plaintive cry "That is no marriage at all, then!".

I liked her, she is a woman of character and strength and I was sorry she felt that way but recognised that as a staunch Irish, Catholic, woman, she geuinely believed what she said.

Here is the thing ... I sympathised with her beliefs but I did not CARE about them. We made a choice, it seemed selfish, but it was a considered choice and was right for us and our lives. She had the option to accept or not accept. She eventually did.

Do what you feel is right for you. Be sympathetic with your mother's feelings but recognise that they are HER feelings and you do not have to be blackmailed or coerced by them. She will come around and if she is anything like my mum was, it will become a badge of pride eventually that her renegade daughter had a rebellious and contra streak! My mum tore her hair out over me a lot of times but then ended up bragging about how much of an individual I was for going my own way ... "At least," she would say, "she is not a sheep, although, mind you, she is a the black sheep of our family!" (amost her exact words).

Good luck to your and your guy... it sounds like you love each other tons and you do what is special for you!

Last edited by Sinoia; 02-29-2012 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:28 AM   #11  
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I think that this is your life, not theirs. Your fiance is about to be your husband, and then you two will be each others families. I think you should do what is right for the two of you. personally in planning my giant wedding, we just snuck out to the courthouse and did it with our 2 best friends and then sent everyone letters saying our large wedding was canceled. I am so happy we did it that way. We are private people and it was better. Though a month later we had a large reception.

Good luck girl!
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:11 AM   #12  
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I think it's uncalled for of your mother to insult the way your fiance was raised because he doesn't want a large wedding. I wouldn't let my mother insult my fiance in that way. I would tell my mother that if she couldn't be happy for me and keep her opinions to herself she won't be invited to the ceremony. Your wedding day is about you and your fiance, not your mother or your father.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:15 PM   #13  
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My husband and I did this. We got married at the courthouse Feb last year, and had our wedding in October.

We told our family and close friends but didn't tell my parents' friends. You could always just elope and not tell them.

Having the courthouse wedding actually was really good for us, it let me cry without feeling all awkward in front of all of those people.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:49 PM   #14  
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One of my biggest regrets was telling my mom about our "informed elopement".

My husband and I were married in a courthouse 19 years ago. We opted for that as his family was in Europe, we were in one state, my family was in another. My family was poor and we were just starting out. We wanted a small to-do, but logistics were just impossible. So, we told our parents/friends/family what we were planning - a civil ceremony AND we were doing it alone (I didn't feel right having people there if he couldn't).

BIG MISTAKE!!! We just should have done it and not told anyone our plans until it was done and just gotten eloped - period. Instead I had the "You are breaking my heart. You are excluding me.... crap... hoping to change our minds.

In your case, they would never, ever have to know that you got married civilly beforehand, would they? Or tell them maybe after the religious ceremony?
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:31 PM   #15  
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My husband and I did this. Got married at the courthouse and didn't tell anyone until after....We did a small ceremony with close family and friends for our 5 year anniversary.
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