Can you go to the justice of the peace then go to the have a planned wedding ceremony?

March 24, 2013 | By

Question by 16hrs: Can you go to the justice of the peace then go to the have a planned wedding ceremony?
My fiance' and I have been planning our wedding ceremony for months now, it's will be in October 2010. Now that my fiance' almost finish with officer school for the army, he wants to go ahead and do the legal portion first by going to the justice of the peace. Still having a full wedding next year.

Best answer:

Answer by Meg
my boyfriend and i are in very similar situations, and have contemplated going to the justice of the peace just for legal reasons.

of course, part of me would hate it, feeling like it would ruin the excitement of the ceremony, but we also knew that it wouldn't be like we were married. it was simply for documentation.

so of course you can get married and then have a ceremony. my advice would be just to keep the fact that you are married to yourselves, or to only you and your parents. and then go ahead and celebrate with the ceremony you always wanted!

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Comments (5)

  1. EmilyJay89

    Legally, there is nothing wrong with it…but I know that if it were me, I would feel that being married already would take away from the wedding day…To me, it wouldn’t feel as “real” to be walking down the aisle and saying vows that we’ve already exchanged. I really don’t believe in having a courthouse wedding and then a celebration later, I mean really…is it not worth the extra 11 month wait?

  2. ♥The Mrs.♥

    Why? I think it is a bit silly. You should choose what you want. Your real wedding will be the civil ceremony, the other is just for show or for you to play Cinderella (nothing wrong with that, I did). But it seems meaningless and self righteous to me if you have a traditional ceremony after you are already married…I feel the same about renewing vows though too. Vows are good for life, they don’t expire and don’t need to be renewed.

    *steps off soapbox*

    Do what you want to do, just know, there are people who think like me.

  3. Elsie

    A religious ceremony is also a legal ceremony, however a JOP ceremony is not a religious ceremony. If you have a civil ceremony, then the religious ceremony is considered a vow renewal, not a wedding ceremony.

    I work with a couple who are from 2 different religions. The bride agreed to a small Christian ceremony last January with the understanding that they would have an Islamic ceremony in September when her parents could come to the US and they would have their big, formal reception. Well, guess what? Her parents couldn’t get visas to come to the US, so she never got her Islamic ceremony or the big, beautiful reception she dreamed of. I’m sure she is happy, but you can tell when she talks about it that she regrets that she didn’t get her dream wedding.

    My point is, who knows what will happen after the civil ceremony. What if you get pregnant, or your fiance is deployed? If a religious ceremony with a big celebration is what you have planned, and what you will be happy with, then wait until October. If he wants to move everything up, then have a winter wedding and do it sooner, but don’t have a ceremony just to say your married and then another just to have a celebration.

  4. niteangel

    I’m in the same situation. My fiancee and I are both joining the army and definitely don’t have the money to pay for a wedding of any sorts. So we’re doing the same thing. Think of it this way…You will go to the Justice of the Peace and get married, take the time to enjoy the moment together, without family and friends expecting you to throw a party. After your civil ceremony, go to a romantic restaurant and enjoy your first few hours of husband and wife intimately. I think the wedding will still be as fun as if it was the official one but hey at least you won’t be as nervous…well you shouldn’t be anyway lol. And so what if people think it is to show off, you’re in love and you should! There can never be enough love or the celebration of it. I highly doubt your family and friends would be upset that you held a wedding after the actually “marriage”. I told my family and they totally got why I’m marrying now and waiting for the wedding. And it isn’t just for you and your future husband to show off, it is to bring two families together as one, and your families’ support of this wonderful union. I guess it is to show off, but not to show off money but to show off your love to everyone you know and have them share in the joy you have found in someone’s love.

    And something for everyone else to think about…her fiancee is in the army, if he marries her she gets benefits and the ability to go with him, usually, wherever he is stationed. It is a lot better than waiting a year to be able to do that when she can do that now. It makes total sense to do it now.

  5. amyhpete

    The day you get married is your wedding day. One couple, one wedding. That’s just the way it is. You don’t get to have it both ways –getting married now for financial reasons or whatever, then having the big party and gift grab next year. You can have a blessing of your vows next year, however.

    You can wear most any dress you like, but not with a veil or train as you’ll be a wife, not a bride.

    You wouldn’t have bridesmaids as, again, you would not be a bride. You could have a party or luncheon to celebrate beforehand but not a bridal shower or bachelorette.

    You would not have the exchange of rings or “first kiss.”

    You can have most any kind of party afterward, limited only by your budget and imagination. You just won’t have first dance as a couple, “dance with dad” or anything like that. You wouldn’t send out invitations to a marriage and wedding reception but to a blessing of vows and celebration afterward.

    You could go on a trip afterward, but it wouldn’t be a honeymoon.

    Have a blessed engagement or early marriage and a wonderful blessing of your vows next year!