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Family Freaking out- Legal vs Symbolic?

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#1 *tinkertoy*

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    Posted 25 July 2010 - 10:33 AM

    Hey ladies-

    Some of the "should we do legal v symbolic" threads touched on this but there was not really any posts regarding how to handle friends and family. So here I go...

    We ARE going to do a legal ceremony before we leave for Mexico- sign the papers, no vows, no kiss, no witnesses. We don't want to go through all the hassle of translating his German birth cert into English, then in to Spanish, getting there 4 days early, blood tests- I bruise badly, the extra cost, etc.

    I made the mistake of mentioning that we were not going to do the legal ceremony in Mexico to my parents a few weeks ago and they flipped out. Last night my mom had a meltdown about the whole thing.

    Her comments are about "well this is just a lot of money to be spending..." Which I don't really get because although they are insisting on giving us a little money we said we don't expect it or never asked. We've been saving for the wedding ourselves. All my parents have to pay is their airfare and hotel and honesly if it were a real issue, we'd pay for it.

    I really don't know and when I ask, they just say "well, it's a lot of money...people that spend all that money are going to be furious if it's not a real wedding..."

    To US the Mexico wedding WILL BE OUR WEDDING.

    I'm not quite sure what it's all about but to appease them I told her today "we are doing the legal ceremony in Mexico now."

    So my question is if we still do the symbolic ceremony will the guests have any idea that it's not legal? Were there things that were done or said that alluded to it not being legal?? Do you have to tell people that it's not legal?

    Thanks so much for any advice!

    #2 clgriffi7

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      Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:23 PM

      I don't think there is any way for your guests to know it is not a legal wedding. I remember reading a post recently where a bride and her fiance left the resort to pretend to get their blood drawn. Personally, I plan on getting legally married at home before my wedding in Mexico. If people ask, I will tell them the truth but I don't plan on broadcasting it to all of the guests. I can't imagine that it matters when you sign the papers - when you say your vows and celebrate with loved ones is when it is for real.

      #3 Melaina

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        Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:26 PM

        I don't think it's anyone's business but your own. If it feels real, it is real.

        We're doing the same as you -- keeping it simple, no kiss, no vows. MIL's family is very supportive. My mother is not coming to our wedding, so she's gotten in her head that our civil ceremony is the "real deal" and that she'll be attending with an entourage. AHH.

        Good luck. Stick to your guns. This is about what YOU want. No one else!!

        #4 Tissey

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          Posted 25 July 2010 - 02:04 PM

          I'm doing the whole legal thing in Mexico just because it matters to me. If you do the legal before you go I don't think it makes your Mexico wedding any less legit, it's totally a preference thing. It's your wedding and you should do whatever matters to you.
          Having said that, the funny thing is that I've been getting criticism from people for NOT getting married before going there. Some people don't think my Mexican marriage will be worth anything here and it's "unamerican" or something.
          So that just goes to show you that there is no right answer when dealing with this. You'll get flack no matter what you decided.
          I did have one suggestion from a coworker trying to convince me to marry here that may help your situation with your mother. He asked why I don't just do the symbolic thing in Mexico then go to the JP once we get back. Then your not technically married already at the Mexico wedding so you won't be "deceiving" anyone (his words, not mine).
          I don't know if that will help you any but its just another idea.
          Good luck with whatever you decide.

          #5 mimi73

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            Posted 25 July 2010 - 02:26 PM

            We are doing the legal ceremony here at home as well.... and not telling anyone (except my mom and FI's sister). I also don't want to go through the hassle of translating my birth certificate from Italian to English, etc, and also have to deal with my divorce certificate as well.
            I feel like it isn't anyone's business except our own, plus I hate confrontation :) I don't want to have to deal with any flak! What they don't know won't hurt them :)
            From everything that I have heard, no one will know the difference. I plan on mentioning it to our WC just to make EXTRA sure. I read that another couple who 'faked' blood tests by wearing bandaids for a couple days to throw off their guests....good idea!
            Do what works best for you, it will be great!

            Bride and Groom + 42 guests booked!

            #6 jackie_c

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              Posted 25 July 2010 - 03:49 PM

              We're getting married before we go to Mexico, though I'm considering Mexico my real wedding too. I've told quite a few people, as well as my parents we're getting married beforehand and not gotten much flack. People are really excited about the trip as a whole which helps, and I try to downplay the civil ceremony. Sometimes it helps if you just say you'll handle "the paperwork" before you're going down (Which IS what we're doing!).

              #7 Matt Adcock

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                Posted 25 July 2010 - 06:53 PM

                Originally Posted by *tinkertoy*
                Hey ladies-

                To US the Mexico wedding WILL BE OUR WEDDING.

                I'm not quite sure what it's all about but to appease them I told her today Do you have to tell people that it's not legal?

                Thanks so much for any advice!
                You said it :) Its yours. The ceremony is REAL... paper is just paper... make it what you want to make it and be sure to get good photos to remember it by...

                We did the SAME EXACT THING. To me, our ceremony was amazing. Our guests flipped OUT to be in this beautiful place... go for it, your parents will be thanking you "AND LOVING YOU" regardless what happens... but do it for YOU!


                #8 jessyg20

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                  Posted 25 July 2010 - 07:58 PM

                  I agree. We did the "legal" ceremony in city hall just Hubby and I. We told our parents but that's about it. We expressed to them the "real" deal will be at our destiination wedding. They didn't make a big deal out of it because we expressed that wish to celebrate all anniversaries on our symbolic wedding date. It's your day and they will understand. As for your frineds, they will NEVER know unless you decide to tell them.
                  Why go through the hassle of having a foreign "legal" marriage when you can make your life much easier by doing at home. Consider the $ you'll be saving as well.

                  Good luck!

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                  #9 TheFutureWagners

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                    Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:05 PM

                    We are doing the legal ceremony in Mexico and dealing with all the crap they make you go through but I can TOTALLY understand why you would do it here. My FH had a mental hangup about doing it here first because he "wanted to do it for real in front of everyone". I tried to get him to marry here first but he wouldn't budge. My father, did, however make a comment when I said I would rather get married at home that "Well then what the hell is the point of you making all those people travel down there and spend all that money??" so I completely know how you feel.

                    Since I know the requirements well, if you want to pretend to get married there legally and just not tell anyone, go down at least 4 days before (as Mexican law requires) and just play along. Have a Justice of the Peace AND a Priest/Rabbi so that your family thinks it is legit, if they know the laws or have a chance of looking it up.

                    While you aren't trying to be sneaky, this is something you have to do to make things easier for yourself and have less stress on you. Do what YOU have to do- but at the same time, I have learned all too well that family can make your life hell with issues like this so if you have to play along just to reduce your OWN stress, I say go for it.

                    #10 vacationsrthebest

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                      Posted 25 July 2010 - 10:08 PM

                      I think that we will also be getting married by a judge here at home. Not sure if it's before or after or Mexico ceremony but it will save us time, money and headaches. My FI is from Cambodia but born in the Philippines and now a US citizen. I have been married before and don't want to re-hash my past and pay $30 a page to translate my divorce decree and get other legal docs to support it. That was the past and it's been yrs so I just can't see spending that kind of money on my part and dealing with all the hassle of translating my FI birth cert twice.

                      It's all about what's important to you and your wedding date can be whatever you want. Besides once you get married you very rarely ever need to document your "legal" wedding date.

                      Good Luck!

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