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What happens during the legal courthouse ceremony?

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#1 MarieSam

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    Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:36 AM

    Ok forgive me if this question is on the dumb side ~ but FI asked me this past weekend if we were exchanging rings at the legal ceremony before we leave for Mexico. And I was like.... (crickets chirping in dead silence)

    We are planning on getting legally married at the courthouse a couple days before we leave for our symbolic ceremony in front of family and friends in Mexico. We won't actually think of ourselves as being married until our wedding day ~ but what happens during the legal ceremony? Do you have to exchange rings? What's the process? And is it a quick and dirty, bang bang, you're outta there type of deal??

    #2 Jen_S

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      Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:45 AM

      Good question we were wondering the same thing.
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      #3 becks



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      Posted 30 December 2008 - 10:25 AM

      Depends where you go and what you want. We did our legal ceremony in our very small town, and the town clerk married us in the gazebo in the park across from town hall. It was a beautiful ceremony, and the clerk did an amazing job.

      We did exchange rings, and wore them to our celebratory lunch after and then took them off until our DW. We each brought a friend to serve as witness.

      Other places, especially in larger towns and cities, can be a lot less personal. Call your local officiant (town clerk, judge, etc.) and see what their usual protocol is.

      Good luck!

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      #4 neen

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        Posted 30 December 2008 - 12:04 PM

        We are getting legally married next week at one of the Virginia government centers. We reserved a private room there and it'll just be the JOP and the two of us (VA doesn't require witnesses).

        You do not have to exchange rings at the legal ceremony, it is a personal choice. We are NOT going to exchange rings - we're saving that for the ceremony in Mexico with all our friends and family.

        The JOP said our ceremony is only 5-10 minutes and basically a declaration of intentions and generic vows, then signing of the papers.

        #5 amdecker

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          Posted 30 December 2008 - 12:30 PM

          Humm... I plan to do the same thing as you MarieSam. I haven't looked into it yet, but I'll have to check and see if Maryland has a similar process to Virginia. I don't want to exchange rings if we don't have to.

          #6 KLC77

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            Posted 30 December 2008 - 01:03 PM

            I think it depends on your state and what they require. I'm working on this now and it looks like FI and I really just have to say 'yes, we want to marry each other' and then we can go. lol We want to do as little as possible so it doesn't take away from what we do in Mexico.

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            #7 missdanelle

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              Posted 30 December 2008 - 01:05 PM

              that is a good question. I witnessed my sisters wedding at the courthouse years ago and remember it being very short and sweet. I think we all agree that the most meaningful ceremony will be at our DW.

              #8 sunsetbride1

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                Posted 30 December 2008 - 03:25 PM

                Originally Posted by KLC77
                I think it depends on your state and what they require. I'm working on this now and it looks like FI and I really just have to say 'yes, we want to marry each other' and then we can go. lol We want to do as little as possible so it doesn't take away from what we do in Mexico.
                We are trying to do the same... we are going to the local courthouse; not exchanging rings, doing generic vows, etc...
                We are considering our REAL wedding to be the one in Dominican Republic.

                That being said, we are having my sister and FI's grandmother as our witnesses as they cannot make it to the real wedding; and we are doing a picnic/bbq party at our house after for all of our friends and whatever family is in town (most of both of our families do not live near us).

                I think whatever you want to do should be fine, but def check with your local town clerk for their regulations.

                #9 jodi826

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                  Posted 03 January 2009 - 11:00 AM

                  I'm new here and I really like the forums. I'm glad I'm not the only one with that question, I suggested getting a civil wedding before going away for the ceremony to my future husband but he is insistent about have our anniversary on a specific date and he said that having 2 weddings will just confuse everything...(but he's gradually giving in). Now I have to check my state law, thanks for the heads up ladies.

                  #10 1elephant

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                    Posted 03 January 2009 - 12:06 PM

                    we had to do the whole vow thing and ring exchange. we weren't given a choice and idk if that was a nj thing or my township thing. we don't even remember the date we were legally married on (that's a lie, he doesn't remember, but of course i do) b/c we don't consider it as any kind of anniversary. we brought our immediate families and bil brought his then-gf.

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