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Author Topic: Can We Do This? Clarification #6, Update #23, Resolution #29  (Read 9443 times)

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Angel B.

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Can We Do This? Clarification #6, Update #23, Resolution #29
« on: April 02, 2016, 05:11:38 AM »
SO and I have been together for just over 2 1/2 years. We know that we want to get married, we've looked at rings and talked about what we would want in our married life. I am currently studying my PGCE(teaching certicate) in the UK on a student visa, he is a British citizen. My visa expires in August, and I must find a job to remain in the UK. I am 26 years old and SO is 41. He no longer has any living parents, while I have my DM and DSF(This is all relevant).

Yesterday, we had a discussion about marriage. Because of our situation, my partner wants to get married next month so I can apply for a spousal visa(Please no legal advice) and not worry about needing a school to sponsor me for a work permit. He then wants to have a second wedding later, maybe next year. He also plans to do an actual proposal. We both want a wedding, but since I'm not working and in the middle of a very intesive course, I couldn't cope with planning one/we can't afford one. We also want to start TTC but follow the belief that we should be married(We don't believe everyone else should, its just what we believe for ourselves) before taking that step. Given his age, we want it to be sooner rather than later.

I would be thrilled to get married, but I'm worried this is a serious breach of eitquette and my gut kinda makes me feel like this is wrong. I know we could have a party to celebrate after, but I know my DM would really want it to be a wedding with a ceremony and reception. I also really want one, I'm only planning on doing it once! :)

We are thinking of talking to my DM and letting her know that us getting married is nonnegotiable, but we want to include her in the decision on how we do it, whether its a quick, quiet ceremony next month and a "real" wedding after or just doing a wedding. I really don't want to lie to her, plus she'd find out anyway because of my visa situation.

Any thoughts/ideas eHell? Am I right in that this would be a breach of etiquette?
« Last Edit: July 16, 2016, 06:40:44 AM by Angel B. »
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Carotte

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Re: Can We Do This?
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2016, 06:42:56 AM »
This is a bit of a loaded question on Ehell so be prepared to received the full spectrum in term of answers.
(And one thing to keep in mind for both OP and everyone else is that just because it's unconceivable where you live doesn't mean it's the same in another contry/culture!)

My answer is, as long as it's all transparent and clear and the guests know what happenend and when you're good.
There's a way to say it tho, a "celebration of our wedding" a year after you legaly signed is easier on the mind than "a wedding". Reiterating your vows in front of familly/friends with an "officiant" seems better than having the normal, "not yet married ceremony".

If you and future husband are good with having the legal side now and a party later then do it, it will be quite a peace of mind.
Just don't use the term wedding, use "celebration" so that it's clear for everyone. 

camlan

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Re: Can We Do This?
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2016, 07:25:29 AM »
I have a nephew who just got married in a "small" ceremony with about 40 guests and who will be having a big, white wedding next year, when he and his new wife can afford it/have time to plan it. Their reasons for getting married right away are somewhat similar to yours--there's a deadline coming up, being married will make things much easier/allow them to stay together this next year, instead of having to be apart for at least a year.

In the US, this is a breach of etiquette. It would have been better, IMO, for them to get married privately this year, and hold the reception of their dreams next year. Or, you know, be apart for a year, and then get married. (They are not dealing with visa issues, fortunately, so this would certainly be possible.)

But, to be honest, a lot of people these days don't seem to know these rules, and are perfectly fine with the couple having two weddings. So a lot depends on who your family and friends are, and how they will react to your plans.

I'm not thrilled with what my nephew and his wife have chosen to do. I also know that they would think I was nuts if I told them not to do it, and I would be completely ignored. So I'm not saying anything, and I'll go to the wedding next year and smile and keep my mouth shut. But will the people in your life do the same?

You do have choices. You could return to your home country and try other ways of getting back to marry your DF. You could try very hard to find a job where you are right now. You could have a small wedding right away, but make it a tiny jewel of a wedding, where you could have exact what you want, because you aren't paying for so many guests--if it's just you, your DF, and your parents, say, a destination wedding to an exotic locale becomes much more affordable.

Sit down with DF and figure out what is most important here. The big wedding with lots of guests? Getting married right away so that the uncertainty over your visa situation disappears? Something in-between?

Figure out what the most important thing is, and work toward that.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Kaypeep

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Re: Can We Do This?
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2016, 08:30:39 AM »
I think you should NOT include your mom in this decision.  If you're going to be married it's time to stand on your own, or stand with your partner, and make the decisions that affect your life TOGETHER.    I think the plan you have sounds reasonable, with the only feedback being don't call the big ceremony a wedding, because it's not.  Be honest and I don't think anyone will really care.  If they quibble then that's on them, not you.

I think you most certainly should have a heartfelt conversation with your mom to tell her what you're planning and why.  I think you should invite her to the UK to join you for the small private ceremony if that's possible.  But that's it. 

Your mom wants a BWW and so do you, but life doesn't always give us what we want.  What life gave you sounds like a pretty nice alternative, and in the long run the wedding doesn't mean as much as everything afterwards.  If you try to work things out now to please your mom you set yourself up for letting her expect her input and wishes will take precedence in all your future life choices.  Also, your DH has no parents to exude influence, and you possibly create problems with him by making things 2 (you and your mom) against 1 (him) and that's not fair.

veryfluffy

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Re: Can We Do This?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2016, 09:09:52 AM »
I don't even know how you would have a repeat wedding in the UK. You would be able to get a blessing in a church, but I can't see that the vicar would be willing to "now pronounce you man and wife" if you were already legally married.
   

Alicia

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Re: Can We Do This?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2016, 10:03:39 AM »
I think once married the idea of a big fancy wedding a year later is a bit silly. Nothing is happening at the ceremoney as you are already married. So i find it actually rather insulting to your marriage and marriage in general to pretend to get married a year after actually get married. It kinda says the first year did not count. So i suggest get married and then throw a great 1 year anniversary party or wait a year and get married in a year honestly.  Also 41 although old for a woman to have a kid is not an issue for a man.

Angel B.

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Re: Can We Do This?
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2016, 10:04:42 AM »
Thanks guys for the replies.

My answer is, as long as it's all transparent and clear and the guests know what happenend and when you're good.
There's a way to say it tho, a "celebration of our wedding" a year after you legaly signed is easier on the mind than "a wedding". Reiterating your vows in front of familly/friends with an "officiant" seems better than having the normal, "not yet married ceremony".

If you and future husband are good with having the legal side now and a party later then do it, it will be quite a peace of mind.
Just don't use the term wedding, use "celebration" so that it's clear for everyone. 

I like the idea of a celebration rather than a "second wedding".

You do have choices. You could return to your home country and try other ways of getting back to marry your DF. You could try very hard to find a job where you are right now. You could have a small wedding right away, but make it a tiny jewel of a wedding, where you could have exact what you want, because you aren't paying for so many guests--if it's just you, your DF, and your parents, say, a destination wedding to an exotic locale becomes much more affordable.

Sit down with DF and figure out what is most important here. The big wedding with lots of guests? Getting married right away so that the uncertainty over your visa situation disappears? Something in-between?

Figure out what the most important thing is, and work toward that.

You're right I do have choices, and we have looked at them. I am actively trying to find a job, but it has been difficult since schools don't necessarily want to provide a work permit. Since I'll be a Newly Qualified Teacher, I have to apply for certain jobs, and I have lost out because people would rather hire a British teacher than an American. We were in a long distance relationship for 2 years, and we don't wish to return to that again. To us, what is most important is to move forward with our life. We actually did look at a destination wedding type of thing, but it proved to be too difficult legally(Like in Spain).

If we did get married next month, we would only have our witnesses there and it would be at a registry office.

I think you should NOT include your mom in this decision.  If you're going to be married it's time to stand on your own, or stand with your partner, and make the decisions that affect your life TOGETHER.    I think the plan you have sounds reasonable, with the only feedback being don't call the big ceremony a wedding, because it's not.  Be honest and I don't think anyone will really care.  If they quibble then that's on them, not you.

I think you most certainly should have a heartfelt conversation with your mom to tell her what you're planning and why.  I think you should invite her to the UK to join you for the small private ceremony if that's possible.  But that's it. 

Your mom wants a BWW and so do you, but life doesn't always give us what we want.  What life gave you sounds like a pretty nice alternative, and in the long run the wedding doesn't mean as much as everything afterwards.  If you try to work things out now to please your mom you set yourself up for letting her expect her input and wishes will take precedence in all your future life choices.  Also, your DH has no parents to exude influence, and you possibly create problems with him by making things 2 (you and your mom) against 1 (him) and that's not fair.

Thank you for writing this! I feel like I needed a bit of a kick in the butt regarding my DM. Overall, I don't see eye to eye with her but I know that I want her actively involved in wedding planning(I'm her only daughter). I should be getting feedback from her on this, not asking her to make the decision for us. Though, I think we would consider what she said if she was very against it.
My greatest treasure is love beyond measure.
-Il barbiere di Siviglia

Zizi-K

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2016, 10:56:09 AM »
I think that marriage has become an increasingly complex institution, one that etiquette has not necessarily caught up with. Marriage is, today, a civil institution, it's (to some) a religious sacrament, and it is a social institution that celebrates and reinforces monogamous commitment. Due to the idiosyncrasies of various laws and systems, now marriage is tied to things like citizenship and even health insurance (it certainly doesn't have to be that way, that's just the system most of us find ourselves in).

From my perspective, the etiquette around weddings is based primarily in the religious and social aspects of marriage, but doesn't take into account the civil aspects of it very well at all.

The notion that you would move away from your partner for a year, take a disadvantageous job, live without health insurance, etc just so that you don't "offend" people who have their idea of what marriage and weddings "should be" is frankly preposterous.

I'm not that familiar with the the UK system, but in the US at least it would be perfectly reasonable to have a civil wedding (go to the courthouse to be legally married). Then, it would be perfectly reasonable if you were the least bit religious, to have a religious ceremony. Is being married in the eyes of the state the same thing as being married in the eyes of deity? For many religions, no it isn't. Entering into the contract of marriage with the state so that you can continue living with your partner, so that you can obtain citizenship and/or get a job is, to me, nothing at all like entering into that commitment spiritually and socially, marking your commitment in front of loved ones.

So, my advice would be to marry now, civilly, and to invite your mother. Then, in a year, have something. Depending on whether you are religious, that something might be a religious ceremony, or if not it might be a vow renewal. Wear a white dress if you want to. Throw a nice party, have a band. I agree that you shouldn't hide your civil wedding--why would you? The quickie civil wedding and the religious/social celebration deal with two very different aspects of marriage. I have a hard time believing your community of family and friends will be offended. it's not like you asked them to travel twice, give you gifts twice, etc. I think they'd be happy to celebrate with you despite the wacky legal system you're doing your best to negotiate. If someone really doesn't like it, all they have to do is decline.

lmyrs

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2016, 11:55:24 AM »
Because this is so perfectly phrased, I have the need to repeat it:

Quote
The notion that you would move away from your partner for a year, take a disadvantageous job, live without health insurance, etc just so that you don't "offend" people who have their idea of what marriage and weddings "should be" is frankly preposterous.

Drunken Housewife

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2016, 12:03:17 PM »
I'm also in full agreement with zizi-k.  Please do not strain your relationship by moving apart so as to have the perfect wedding.  You guys have overcome so much already (I remember you posting when you were moving to the U.K.); don't put more huge burdens on your relationship (a baby will be enough of a natural burden ;)). 

If you think that your family and friends are of the sort that they will be offended by a wedding ceremony following the actual legal marriage by a year, hold a different sort of party later. If all goes well and according to plan (and I hope so), a meet-the-baby or baby's first birthday might be an occasion. 

You might write to your closest friends and family and  say that you had hoped for a wedding where they could be present but that your circumstances prevent it.  I am sure people will understand and will wish you the best. 

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Drunken Housewife

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2016, 12:10:11 PM »
I had the opinion that it isn't that unheard of in the U.K. to have both a registry office wedding and a religious ceremony, but I am only a Septic with some anglophilia and some British friends.  A quick googling made me think I am not off:
Quote
The Registry Office Ceremony

Getting married in a registry office is the cheapest and fastest way to get married (taking between only ten and twenty minutes). The ceremony is usually held in a room within a civic building and was once the only option open to divorcees, those who had no religious beliefs, those wanting a quick ceremony with minimal fuss or couples marrying someone from a different faith. However, thanks to the 1994 Marriage Act which allows civil ceremonies to take place at licensed venues, the register office has lessened in popularity and many couples who choose to marry is this way often want a simple, legal wedding prior to a more personal blessing, wedding abroad or Humanist ceremony. Such weddings can often be personalised with music, poetry, flowers, etc. but any amends to the standard ceremony are at the discretion of the individual registrar and must be agreed beforehand.

from http://www.amazingvenues.co.uk/blog/types-of-wedding-ceremonies-in-the-uk/

Having a year-long separation between the two ceremonies might be a bit weird, but if anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, it would be you two in my opinion.

Incidentally for a variety of reasons I won't go into at the moment,  I myself got married quickly and quietly at City Hall and then had a family and friends wedding. It worked out very well for us.  Sometimes there are civil/legal reasons which make marriage need to work on a different time frame than one wishes.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 12:12:13 PM by Drunken Housewife »
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Onyx_TKD

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2016, 03:32:46 PM »
The notion that you would move away from your partner for a year, take a disadvantageous job, live without health insurance, etc just so that you don't "offend" people who have their idea of what marriage and weddings "should be" is frankly preposterous.

Are you referring to camlan's post here? If so, I think you missed the point.
You do have choices. You could return to your home country and try other ways of getting back to marry your DF. You could try very hard to find a job where you are right now. You could have a small wedding right away, but make it a tiny jewel of a wedding, where you could have exact what you want, because you aren't paying for so many guests--if it's just you, your DF, and your parents, say, a destination wedding to an exotic locale becomes much more affordable.

Sit down with DF and figure out what is most important here. The big wedding with lots of guests? Getting married right away so that the uncertainty over your visa situation disappears? Something in-between?

Figure out what the most important thing is, and work toward that.

camlan didn't say that the OP should move away rather than marrying now. She simply made the (very accurate) point that the OP and her DF have some choices to make, and they need to prioritize and figure out a solution around whatever goal is the most important to them, because they probably can't have everything they want.

Basically, there are a few things that the OP and her DF seems to want, based on the initial post:
1. They want to get married next month, in order to obtain the associated benefits.
2. They want a BWW, which cannot happen until significantly later.
3. They want to be correct per etiquette.
Unfortunately, by a lot of interpretations of the etiquette, they can only have two out of the three, so they'd have to compromise somewhere. They could marry now and have a BWW later, but they risk being improper or rude (how their specific families and friends would view it is something eHell can't answer). They could marry now with whatever ceremony and celebration are practical now and be unassailably correct by etiquette, but they'd have to skip the BWW (they could still have a big party, but not the full wedding ceremony and trappings). They could wait, have the BWW as the legal wedding, and be unassailably correct by etiquette, but they'd sacrifice the benefits of marriage until then.

Personally, I'd prioritize goal 1 of getting legally married, but that's the OP's and her DF's call to make. camlan didn't say which they should choose, just that they would have to choose.

Tea Drinker

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2016, 03:53:59 PM »
I'm going to suggest the registry office (which your parents could fly over for) followed by a delayed reception (in nice clothes but not a big white wedding dress, best man, or maid of honor) because one of the reasons you mentioned for getting married soon is that you want to start trying to conceive.

You said you don't have the time and money to plan a fancy wedding now, because you're in school and not working. That makes a lot of sense, but it implies you're also unlikely to have the time, money, and energy to do so a year from now, if you're pregnant and only a few months into a new job.

You'd get varying reactions to having two weddings, but the longer you wait between them, the more people are going to say or think "wait, they've already been married X long!" rather than being sympathetic to your desire not to be separated.

Edited to add: I just realized that I was looking at the subject line "can we do this?" and answered something closer to "can we two specific people make this work?" than "is etiquette okay with this?" I hope that's okay.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 05:16:12 PM by Tea Drinker »
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gellchom

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2016, 04:38:13 PM »
I understand that many people feel it's very important for all the guests to know if the couple has already had a private, civil ceremony (or will have one later, if the wedding somehow doesn't suffice) and not call the second event a "wedding," but I personally don't care. 

In fact, even if I knew the couple were already legally married, I would vastly prefer to be invited to a "wedding" than a "celebration" or "blessing" and certainly a "vow renewal" after such a short time.  It's clearer to me what to expect, what time to come, and so forth.  But more important, I think calling it anything other than the "wedding" places too much too much emphasis on the fact that there was an earlier ceremony, way out of proportion to its significance even to those who do care. 

I agree that if you are planning a religious wedding, you are totally in the clear anyway, even from an etiquette perspective.  As Zizi-K points out, for many people, religious and civil rituals have separate significance in separate legal systems.  A jurisdiction may make it possible for a religious rite to satisfy the civil requirements, but that doesn't mean that the reverse is true.  A religious ritual is not simply "blessing" an earlier civil ritual, and it is quite offensive to insist that that's all it is.  That the couple is already married in the eyes of the state does not always mean that they are "married" for religious purposes, and of course certainly not vice-versa.  Even if the marriage would be recognized as valid by either the civil or religious code -- i.e., that the children wouldn't be illegitimate or you could still inherit or something -- that doesn't mean that the ritual is meaningless.

In other words, it's still a wedding.  Even where etiquette forbids it or people don't like it or feel misled. 

Back before my state recognized same-sex marriage, our friends went to other jurisdictions either before or after their weddings here for the legalities.  They all still considered and called them their "weddings," and I think it would have been awfully mean-spirited to insist that they not -- in addition to elevating the government event over the social and/or religious one.

The only thing I don't like is two "public" events.  I mean "public" certainly in the sense of guests, gifts, and so forth, even a small destination wedding -- anything that the couple publicly announces or holds out as having been their wedding.  Just something like a quick ritual at City Hall to solve some technical or logistical issue.  Anything else feels to me like having to have it more than one way.  But if someone I knew were going to do that, even to have two BWWs in separate cities or something (although I'd advise them not to do so, just to have a party in one of the cities, but I mean if they insisted on two rituals), I would say they should just go ahead and use the word "wedding."  If people are going to roll their eyes, calling it something else won't help much if at all anyway.  At that point, you run the risk of people thinking you are asking for an awful lot of fuss and attention by having two huge events no matter what you call them.

So, OP, as you see, there is a real difference of opinion in how to handle this and how your friends and family might respond.  You and your fiance must think carefully about these people, whom you know, but we don't, and decide what will work best for you.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 04:56:30 PM by gellchom »

HannahGrace

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Re: Can We Do This? Clarification #6
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2016, 05:04:32 PM »
Quote
In other words, it's still a wedding.  Even where etiquette forbids it or people don't like it or feel misled. 

This doesn't seem like helpful advice on an etiquette site, where the OP specifically asked for etiquette advice.