Is it weird to have a marriage ceremony and then a wedding 9 months later, even though you’re already married?

May 4th, 2011

My fiance and I are in the military and it is more convenient to get married in the next few months instead of waiting for a year when we can plan the wedding we want. We still want to have the actual ceremony next year when his brother comes back from deployment and we have money saved. I ran this by my mom and she thought it was crazy. What do you think?

16 Responses to “Is it weird to have a marriage ceremony and then a wedding 9 months later, even though you’re already married?”

  1. M says:

    I think it’s fine.

  2. S-Pop says:

    it doesnt matter do what you want to do

  3. Courtney says:

    I don’t agree with wedding “redos” and neither would the majority of your guests.

    Married people don’t get weddings. Engaged people do. 1 couple gets 1 wedding with the dress and wedding party and reception and the whole shebang. They don’t get 2 weddings.

    If you want the big wedding…wait and save up and have it in a year. If you just HAVE to be married right now, forfeit the big wedding and be married right now. But you have to make a choice…you can’t have both. It’s in poor taste.

  4. NinaPina says:

    I am with your Mom on this. Whether you get married at the courthouse with one witness, or in a big cathedral in front of 500 people with a reception to follow at the Waldorf Astoria, the end result is the same. You become man and wife. To plan another wedding after that would be crazy and unnecessary. If you want a big wedding with your fiance’s brother as a guest, that is what you should have. Forget about having a ceremony before that.

  5. Atropa says:

    A lot of people do this. They sign the marriage license/certificate at the courthouse to make it official, and then wait a year or so before they have the wedding ceremony.

  6. Nox says:

    A marriage ceremony and a wedding are the SAME thing. You can not get married once you are already married.

    You can have a vow renewal and a “party” on your one year anniversary or something, but you can not have two weddings and call the after-party a “reception”.

  7. Shannon says:

    I disagree with you and agree with your mom… You either get married in the next few months and forfeit the big wedding, or wait to get married. If you’re already married and then have a ceremony 9 months later then it is NOT a wedding, because a “wedding” indicates two people are being wed.

    I would say that if you have to get married now, do so. Then throw a big anniversary party a year later if you want.

  8. Messykatt says:

    Yeah, listen to Mom on this one. In addition being totally bizarre, it’s really a waste of money to re-enact a wedding ceremony. If you want the real deal, and/or want your family and friends to witness your big moment, then just save your pennies and do it in a year. You only get one chance at this, so make sure whatever you decide won’t be something you’d regret.

  9. liz says:

    You cant marry the same man twice unless there is a divorce in between ! What you can do is get married legally now and then have a huge renewal of vows in 9 months time with the white dress, bridesmaids and everything that goes with it.
    It wont be a legal ceremony since you are already married but you will get a certificate to say you have renewed your vows which 2 witnesses have to sign. You can make it your “wedding” in any way you want but just remember you will already be married and it will be just a renewal of vows.
    Go ahead and have your day, my husband and I are renewing our vows next April (we got married in June 09), thats how I know what it entails.
    Best of luck.

  10. D R says:

    Ultimately you should do what you want, but my question to you is what is the rush? I personally would say wait the year, time fly’s and it will be here before you know it and your brother will be back.

    If you still decide to get married/elope within the next couple of months, I don’t think that you can’t technically have a wedding after that if you are already married, but you could have a vow renewal. The thing about that is I don’t think you can or should register for gifts because it is a renewal of vows and not a wedding, so you might want to check the etiquette on that (THEKNOT.COM). Good luck

  11. cjsmummy says:

    it wouldnt be a wedding,it would be a vow renewal which is completely acceptable.just dont call it a wedding,because it drives people up the wall!

  12. Perse says:

    Yes, that’s pretty ridiculous. The ceremony is meaningless if you’re not being legally wed. It shows you don’t much care for the vows, just fancy a party.

  13. Avis B says:

    First of all, and most importantly, the ACTUAL ceremony will take place the first time you get married. There is no such thing as an ACTUAL second ceremony. I have “remarried” many couples, some of them had a second ceremony months after the first ceremony and some of them had a second ceremony years after the first ceremony. What you, the Bride and Groom, cannot do is call the second event “a wedding and reception.” A RECEPTION can only occur on your wedding day, You can have A PARTY or A CELEBRATION but you cannot have A RECEPTION.

    Just recently I “remarried” a couple who were married the first time by a Justice of the Peace in his home office a week before the Groom was deployed to the Middle East. They were separated for over a year. While the Groom was serving in the military, the Bride, her Mother, and the Groom’s Mother planned a second wedding ceremony and celebration for over two hundred people on Valentine’s Day. The Bride wore a beautiful wedding gown and the Groom wore his “dress” uniform. They both had five of their closest friends as their attendants. All of their guests got “all dressed up” for this very special party.

    This is NOT a crazy idea! It has been done many, many times!

    Answered by: A Certified wedding specialist / A Professional bridal consultant / A Wedding ceremony officiant

  14. aspasia says:

    When you stand in front of a marriage officiant and say the vows that will make you legally husband and wife, you are completing the *actual* ceremony. It’s real — because if it were really just a form that didn’t matter to anyone, there wouldn’t be any convenience to having it. It changes your rights and responsibilities and the way you live out your roles as members of society. It is the big party and white dress that are irrelevant, “unreal” accoutrements to marriage.

    But, you *can* have both the convenience of being married now, and the excitement of a big party when your brother-in-law’s deployment ends. You can even call it a “reception”: not a *wedding* reception of course, but a reception is any formal daytime party where the primary entertainment is conversation and light refreshments are served. A welcome-home reception for your new brother-in-law, where you and your husband undertake your first formal offer of hospitality as a married couple, can be done just as formal and proud as a wedding reception. You can still have engraved invitations, a big tiered cake, wear formal clothes, and have dancing where you and your husband “open the floor” with the first dance — in the role of host and hostess. The theme will not be you as an innocent maiden entering into marriage, but you as a young matron living up to the role of wife and doing it proudly. A white ball-gown might be a little out of place, but an elegant formal gown is perfectly appropriate.

    In fact, you can hold an elegant formal party any time you want, as long as you have the energy and money to do so. You cannot make yourselves the guests of honour, but that is inappropriate even when a bride does it. Think of your guests first, and you will be fine. Offering hospitality is a virtue, and people should be encouraged to do so.

  15. opinionated says:

    i would not remarry my wife.
    would not make us any more married.
    why bother,anyone that know you will know you are already married.

  16. bountifiles says:

    Let me begin by saying to you, your fiance and his brother, who are active military, thank you for your service to our country.

    IMO as an officiant it is wonderful to have 2 ceremonies. New York State will even issue you a second license so you have a certificate with the public date on it. A public renewal after a simple execution of a marriage license is common. The road to a long and happy life together isn’t paved with traditions that you aren’t connected to. It takes the courage to go outside the box and walk the road that works best for you in your unique situation.

    I would begin your ceremony with something that lets people why you would want to marry twice.

    “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of ___ and ___. As many of you know they were legally married on ____ of this year. Although that was the day the paperwork was filed… marriage has always been about family and community. To stand before all those we love most in the world, and promise to love another person openly, trustingly, without limit or precondition and to do this for a lifetime… This is perhaps the bravest thing that two people will ever do. For no one knows what the future will hold. This is a promise that they have made over and over again to one another in the privacy of their hearts, but it is also a promise to each and everyone of you here… a promise that the person you love will be well cared for. Having you all here with them today to see the look in their eye as they make their vows is what truly makes their marriage real.

    I also have a page of sample renewal of vows on my website.

    Do what ever works for you. Wishing all the happiness that two people can stand in one lifetime and many healthy years to enjoy it all.

    L&L, Pastor April

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