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Legal/Civil Ceremony question


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#1 Lillie09

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    Posted 21 August 2007 - 11:33 AM

    Hi everyone! Can someone explain to me what a legal and civil ceremony is (the difference) sorry if this is a stupid question i just don't know what to do.

    I'm getting married in Turks and Caicos in July'09 and since im a Catholic i want to get married in my Catholic Church (in NY). My mom also really wants this for me as well. I don't know whether to get married before July '09 or after (my fiance wants to do it after) will it be recognized in the Catholic Church if its after?? is that the legal ceremony? and the civil will be in Turks and Caicos? I have never been so confused in my life!! is anyone else doing this?? thank you so much for your help!!

    #2 TammyB

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      Posted 21 August 2007 - 11:38 AM

      When getting Married in Mexico you can choose to either have a legal wedding (reconized in the us) or a Civil wedding (religious, but not legal in the US)

      #3 ncainey

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        Posted 27 August 2007 - 09:33 PM

        I am in the same predicament as you. What we are doing is the legal paperwork here in the US a couple days before we leave. Its just going to be the two of us going to the courthouse. It will be intimate and special but we don't want to make a big deal out of it because our "real" wedding will take place in Cabo. His dad is going to perform the "spiritual" ceremony there which we will consider our "real wedding." This way, we don't have to deal with anything in Mexico (blood tests, paperwork, judges). It's basically not recognized there. Which is fine since we will already be legally married in the States.

        As far as the church ceremony goes, from what I've heard you can still get it blessed and recognized in the church before or after you get legally married. Because when you get married in the church, it is still only a religious ceremony NOT a legal one recognized by your state. So either way, you have to sign documents and get legally married. Most people who get married at home in the church have their paperwork there ready to be signed. This is long. Does it make sense? I am in the process of getting a hold of our priest to check. For some reason I still fell kind of guilty about it. There's that Catholic guilt, right? It's kind of like getting married three times, which is crazy! My FI is going to be so tired of marrying me :)

        #4 starchild

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          Posted 28 August 2007 - 03:01 AM

          I got you on this one, our 3rd wedding is in 2 weeks. This is how we did it:

          The legal/civil ceremony is the same thing. In May we went to a courthouse in L.A. and had the basic civil ceremony. They will allow you to pick a religious affiliation (Muslim, Catholic, etc.) do not do that - just have the non-denominational civil ceremony or it will complicate everything for your Catholic ceremony later. If you find a way to do a legal ceremony in T&C that is recognized in the U.S. just make sure it is not religiously affiliated.

          In June was our "big" wedding in Mexico. There was nothing legal about it, but it was what we consider our "real" wedding. Make sure that whatever you do in T&C is also not a religious ceremony, it will complicate things later.

          September is the Catholic ceremony in Northern California. Get with that priest ASAP to start the lengthy process. (If you need more info on the process let me know, we just went through it all.) Basically the Catholic ceremony is a wedding - some people refer to it as having your marriage blessed in the Catholic Church, but it really is a wedding according to the pastor that helped us. It is either a mass, or all of the components of a mass minus communion (if FI isn't Catholic you don't have to have communion). They do everything as if it were your first wedding, because to the church it may as well be. You do not need to have a civil wedding first - the church will take care of the paperwork to make it legal. If you do have a civil/legal ceremony first (like we did) that is fine too.

          So basically, the church will recognize it before or after your T&C wedding. We wanted to do it before then go to Mexico but we lagged on the paperwork and it wasn't possible - which is why I say get on it ASAP. We only did the civil ceremony at court because we wanted the marriage certificate for our honeymoon amenities in Mexico & Jamaica...LOL I'm sure I just confused you so feel free to contact me for clarification. It's not as hard as it seems :o)




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