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rachelia160

Does Having A Legal Ceremony Take Away From The Dw?

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Congrats on your legal wedding! Wishing you all the best for your destination wedding!!

 

We are also having a symbolic ceremony in Mexico and that will be my wedding day and the day we celebrate as our anniversary.  Because we don't want to take away from that day, because I still want to feel like a bride leading up to that day, and because I want the first time we say any vows or exchange rings to be in front of all our close friends and family, we actually are doing the legal part the day after we get back from Mexico.  It'll be simple with no one else but us (we'll get random witnesses) and we won't make a big deal out of it.

Edited by Janjin
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We did the legal stuff after our wedding in Punta Cana. We only told a few people (mainly our parents and bridal party) that the ceremony wouldn't be legal, but there was no way to know from our ceremony. There was even a certificate for us to sign. Most guests didn't know that the ceremony wasn't legal. We actually got legally married a month after our ceremony, due to some issues that came up when we got home. 

 

We went into it with the mindset that the legal aspect at home was just signing the paperwork. When we got married in Punta Cana that is when it felt real for us. We will celebrate our wedding anniversary as the date our of DW, as in our minds that is the day we got married.

 

Now that it has been three months we keep getting asked (mainly by his family) if we got legally married and when is our anniversary etc. I find it annoying because to us our wedding day was special, not the day we got legally married. On that day we didn't dress up or do anything special. We brought two of our friends to be the witnesses and they were more excited for it than we were! We chose the shortest ceremony option possible and didn't exchange rings. It was very low key.

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@kellymiller  I think it's just a similar situation to us in that being so much older than most of the brides here we don't quite understand the two wedding thing. This seems to be something new over the last few years and may have been instigated by Mexico having such a strict policy on getting legally married there, and some of the horror stories published on the news about weddings in the Dominican Republic not being legal. As I mentioned, for us there was just no question that whatever day we had our wedding was also the day that we actually got legally married and there would never have been the idea of a DW and a "legal" wedding. I think it's just older people that have a hard time understanding the idea of it, or perhaps also people with a very strong religious background where the church is quite involved in the wedding.

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@kellymiller  I think it's just a similar situation to us in that being so much older than most of the brides here we don't quite understand the two wedding thing. This seems to be something new over the last few years and may have been instigated by Mexico having such a strict policy on getting legally married there, and some of the horror stories published on the news about weddings in the Dominican Republic not being legal. As I mentioned, for us there was just no question that whatever day we had our wedding was also the day that we actually got legally married and there would never have been the idea of a DW and a "legal" wedding. I think it's just older people that have a hard time understanding the idea of it, or perhaps also people with a very strong religious background where the church is quite involved in the wedding.

 

I have a strong religious background, which is why I had to have my church ceremony here. I couldn't get legally married on the beach and have my marriage recognized in the Catholic church.

 

I'm not sure if it's an age thing, it's just that it's really impractical to get legally married in Mexico and since DW's are an increasing trend, more people are realizing that it makes more sense to do the legal part in the states. I don't think it's ideal for anyone, but it's better than having to worry about jumping through all those hoops in a foreign country, for me at least.

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@rachelia160  Just curious..... so how is the church handling your two dates? I'm not Catholic so don't know much about the church practices but do they have anything to say about the dates? The one thing I was curious about originally, more so when my stepson got married back in 2007, was whether the church would enforce the "legal" date and just allow the other date as a "renewal". But he ended up getting married in a park. There wasn't a church involved at all, and they were legally married by a JP so no minister involved at all, not even for the second wedding. They celebrate their October date as their wedding anniversary, not the March date. lol I know - I'm so old. I still have such an awkward time about it!

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I was planning on writing a blog post on this very topic! I had to go through this dilemma myself and I can honestly say, it doesn't take away from the DW at all. To be honest, I don't even really remember the date we did our legal ceremony hahaha  :P The DW is the day that we recognize because it was in front of all our family and friends and of course included all the bells and whistles that we planned so long for. Great post!!!

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I guess it all depends how you look at it. We literally had a friend sign our paper over lunch. It changed nothing for us so I felt 100% newly married on our wedding day in Mexico. I'm a logical person and not really religious so it was an easy decision-18$ And a few mins of time vs hassle, potentially thousands of dollars etc. wouldn't have it any other way! A few people asked and we told them truth but not as many as I thought and the ones that knew thought it made sense

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I was planning on writing a blog post on this very topic! I had to go through this dilemma myself and I can honestly say, it doesn't take away from the DW at all. To be honest, I don't even really remember the date we did our legal ceremony hahaha  :P The DW is the day that we recognize because it was in front of all our family and friends and of course included all the bells and whistles that we planned so long for. Great post!!!

 

You should still do one! It's an interesting topic. We looked into getting legally married in Mexico but their divorce rules just made it too complicated for us with the extra cost of translating both sets of divorce papers, etc. so we decided on Jamaica instead. It was super, super easy to get legally married there. I know Mexico has very specific requirements for a legal wedding and a lot of people are scared off by the blood test rule too. I know it's because of our age, but we just wouldn't have even thought about doing a legal ceremony first, then a DW. My husband would have asked outright why we were even bothering with a dw since we were married!! lol

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@rachelia160  Just curious..... so how is the church handling your two dates? I'm not Catholic so don't know much about the church practices but do they have anything to say about the dates? The one thing I was curious about originally, more so when my stepson got married back in 2007, was whether the church would enforce the "legal" date and just allow the other date as a "renewal". But he ended up getting married in a park. There wasn't a church involved at all, and they were legally married by a JP so no minister involved at all, not even for the second wedding. They celebrate their October date as their wedding anniversary, not the March date. lol I know - I'm so old. I still have such an awkward time about it!

 

Since symbolic ceremonies in Mexico are just that - symbolic - it doesn't really have anything to do with the church so I think you can call it whatever you want, since it's not like you're having a 'religious' ceremony all over again. I explained our situation to our priest and he never said anything one way or the other about it.

 

I do know that if we had been legally married elsewhere BEFORE we wanted to have a church ceremony, whether in the states or Mexico or anywhere, the church ceremony would have to be considered just a renewal, so you're not getting legally and officially married twice. I explained that to another bride on here - she and her husband had gotten married by a JP and wanted to have a Catholic wedding in Mexico. I told her to make sure the priest knew that since in that case, the church would consider it a renewal. Since my church part came first, what comes after doesn't really matter since it's symbolic.

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Congrats on the first step!! I agree, I dont think it takes away from what us brides consider our "dream" wedding day. Its really just to make it official legally and that is all. my fiance and I are going to be doing our JP wedding the day before we fly out because we want both our partents to be there to witness it. We might go out for dinner (depending if we are fully packed to fly out the next day or not) but thats all we will do. It wont be anything fancy. We will probably just go to the court house, say our I do's and sign the papers.

 

My sister actually did her legal ceremony 6 months prior to her DW. I don't think it took away from the day at all. Her passport was expiring and she didnt want to renew twice so she got married, changed her name and got a new passport 6 months prior to Mexio. She also wanted me to be a witness and I was going away for 4 months so she made the JP wedding really early. Her actual day in Mexico really felt like her wedding day and most of us forgot she was already married. It wasn't until my grandma said... is this legal? They didn't sign any papers. hahaha. It was really cute.

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