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LauraM

Legal Marriage At Home

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My wedding isn't until April, but we had our legal ceremony on Sunday (for insurance purposes).  It certainly wasn't our intent - we found out just on Tuesday that we needed to do it asap - so our families aren't really happy, but they understand the situation. 

 

It ended up being a bigger deal than I wanted, but it was still very nice and a day I'll remember.  We had a friend that's a minister come to our apartment and we had about 15 people (parents, siblings, best man and 2 other very close friends).  We did exchange rings, because my sister said it might look strange if we didn't, but at the end of the day we took them off and won't wear them again until April.  We also did the unity candle, because my fiance (wow he's my husband now!) didn't want our family to travel to us for a 5 minute ceremony.  We'll do a sand ceremony in Punta Cana instead to change it up a little.  We didn't say our own vows, but we will in April.  Afterward the papers were signed, we had some champagne and took everyone to brunch and called it a day.

 

The legal process in Maryland was very simple.  I went by myself to the courthouse to fill out the application (I just need his passport and social security number).  I paid the fee and they gave us the forms that would need to be signed by our minister.  We had a 48 waiting period before the papers could be signed.  We had the ceremony Sunday and I went Monday with the form (or the minister could have mailed them) to the courthouse and they took about 3 minutes to get me the sealed certificate.  Really painless!

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Thank you all for the replies!


update: We found a JOP on our state website. She is being very helpful and guiding us through the process. We will obtain a marriage licence at our town hall about 2 weeks prior to the legal ceremony, for about $30. We will then be legally married by the JOP at a local beach, the night before we leave for Mexico. No one else will know about it. It'll just be me, my hubby, and the JOB. Luckily, In MA, we do not need witnesses.

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Congrats Laura!

 

In Canada we need witnesses.  I had asked a close friend and coworker of mine to come to Mexico but she was unable. So we naturally used her and her boyfriend as our witnesses. She is still talking about how honored she is to 1. be asked to stand up for us and 2. that she could be a part of our day in some way even though she couldn't go to Mexico.

Win win!

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Saskatchewan is a mess. You have to get your marriage licence from a jewellery store and then have a marriage commissioner come to you. I don't exactly want to get married in my basement apartment, so I'm not sure what to do there. My FSIL might not be able to come, maybe when we get home from the wedding or a couple days before we'll have the marriage commissioner come to her house and she and her husband can witness it?

We're having ours at my house. Hopefully in my backyard if weather permits.

 

If you don't have witnesses your officiant can sometimes provide them for you for an extra fee. I know it sounds weird but if all you want is to sign the papers it might be an option.

 

 

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Definitely doing our wedding in Chicago before we leave for cancun. Not telling anyone, not exchanging rings, not walking down an aisle at courthouse... simple 10 minute ceremony and only recognizing the date we get married in Mexico. To much paperwork and the blood test at a hotel was our deal breaker. So symbolic it will be.

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We are also doing a symbolic ceremony in Mexico. Between the costs to have legal documents translated, the wait to even get your legal documents and have them apostilled, getting blood drawn at a local medical facility (UH DOUBLE NO THANKS!)... basically it was something we weren't interested in dealing with at all. We, too, are from Chicago, so we'll get our marriage license a couple of weeks before and then we plan to go into the courthouse the Saturday morning one week before our wedding. While we are inviting immediate family, we are not making it a big celebration. We will recognize our Mexican wedding date as our anniversary.

 

As others have mentioned, be sure to read the laws and requirements in your state of citizenship! In most cases, just getting your marriage license does not mean you are legally married. You have to have an officiant (e.g. judge, justice of the peace, etc.) sign the license after a brief marriage ceremony.

Edited by JenniferH114
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@@Dec2015 and @@JenniferH114  interesting! I was just talking to the Fi and wondering which date that others would consider their anniversary, civil ceremony if they did it before or the destination ceremony. We actually will use our civil as our anniversary date. We want to have an anniversary in the warmer weather and right now its looking like we will be going end of September/early October so if we do the civil early Sept it should still be nice warm weather.

 

We live in Canada , and yes while sometimes its still warm late Sept/Early Oct we went to a wedding on Oct 2 one year and it was cold and rainy and just want to have less chance of that kind of weather.  :P

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@@Everly - Our Mexican wedding date has special meaning to me. As others have mentioned, I just think of the civil ceremony as a formality and, of course, that's the date for any legal purposes, but it's really just a step in the process. Our wedding in Mexico is the celebration of our love and commitment in front of friends and family. That's the date that is important to us.

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