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View Full Version : Getting Married Before the Wedding???


Petals & Pixie Dust
02-07-2009, 05:56 PM
I know there are some people here who have had a ceremony before their disney wedding...how did this work? Was it more of a VR or did you have to get paperwork? :confused3

DISNEY*lover
02-07-2009, 07:42 PM
I did this so I can get benefits. My wedding planner told me it is considered a vow renewal but can be treated at your actual wedding. I was told we'd only need to bring our marriage certificates and our drivers licenses to get married at WDW. HTH!

mickeymom923
02-07-2009, 09:08 PM
I thought this was only for the Disney Cruises.

DISNEY*lover
02-07-2009, 09:10 PM
I thought this was only for the Disney Cruises.

Not that I'm aware of.

Petals & Pixie Dust
02-07-2009, 10:21 PM
I did this so I can get benefits. My wedding planner told me it is considered a vow renewal but can be treated at your actual wedding. I was told we'd only need to bring our marriage certificates and our drivers licenses to get married at WDW. HTH!

Are the prices the same?

jenna77
02-07-2009, 10:44 PM
Are the prices the same?

I'm sure they are.

Keira1387
02-07-2009, 10:47 PM
I believe a DCL VR would be cheaper, but not a DFTW VR!

scottish/canadian
02-07-2009, 10:56 PM
We got married in Canada before our Disney wedding. We wanted to get the immigration process moving early. It also made life so much easier not having to worry about any legalities in Florida or any issues using that wedding certificate when we got home. We told our planner that we were already technically married, but that to us, this was really our wedding...the other was just for "immigratory convenience". We also made sure our officiant knew and was comfortable. We still did everything as if it was the wedding, not a vow renewal at all...except there was no signing of anything. We had to bring a copy of our Marriage Certificate, but I honestly can't even remember if anyone actually looked at it.

It made the day of a little less stressful too. We knew we were already married so that level of nervousness was gone and we could just enjoy. Some people that were there knew, some didn't. Didn't matter, that was our wedding...end of story. Although, we did joke that when we were asked to say "I do" that maybe we'd say "Umm, not, not really" instead. :upsidedow

Petals & Pixie Dust
02-08-2009, 12:04 PM
We got married in Canada before our Disney wedding. We wanted to get the immigration process moving early. It also made life so much easier not having to worry about any legalities in Florida or any issues using that wedding certificate when we got home. We told our planner that we were already technically married, but that to us, this was really our wedding...the other was just for "immigratory convenience". We also made sure our officiant knew and was comfortable. We still did everything as if it was the wedding, not a vow renewal at all...except there was no signing of anything. We had to bring a copy of our Marriage Certificate, but I honestly can't even remember if anyone actually looked at it.

It made the day of a little less stressful too. We knew we were already married so that level of nervousness was gone and we could just enjoy. Some people that were there knew, some didn't. Didn't matter, that was our wedding...end of story. Although, we did joke that when we were asked to say "I do" that maybe we'd say "Umm, not, not really" instead. :upsidedow

Thanks for posting this. I'm worried about the whole benefits bit, but really want a Disney wedding...:rolleyes: I really want my mom and his mom to sign the paperwork. However, if we have to do this I don't want people to know. I want the Disney wedding to be ours.
I can see where it would definately take some of the stress off. I'm actually nervous about saying my vows in front of people! (which-if you know my peronality is totally weird!)
Thanks for the insight...

RachaelA
02-08-2009, 02:54 PM
I wouldn't lie to people about it. If you are already married your guests need to know. There has been a bunch of posts on other wedding sites where the bride and groom lied to their guests and the guests found out and were really upset and there were a lot of problems.

If people are paying all this money to travel for your wedding they deserve to know. And I'm sure your guests would understand something like benefits or immigration issues.

scottish/canadian
02-08-2009, 09:30 PM
We didn't lie to people about it. We just didn't really discuss it. My parents, my sister, my best friend and his mom were the only ones there. We needed pictures and for it to look real for immigration, but that's all it was. We don't have two anniversaries...we have one...May 5th. We will always remember Jan 3 but May 5th is our anniversary. Our Disney Wedding was our wedding. I wouldn't have done it if there weren't legit reasons for getting "pre-married". I wanted him around to help with the planning process. I'm not sure what effect it would have on benefits though? Other than to get them earlier than normal. If your company has issues with you being married in another place, you could always go to City Hall when you got home instead of going before. A great example would be my boss who is getting married in Mexico. She has to do blood tests, etc. down there. In that case, I would do it here first to eliminate all of that.

Just how we chose to do it...

Lorelei528
02-08-2009, 10:18 PM
I talk about this in my PJ, but like Scottish/Canadian...we are also already married (also for immigration reasons)....however, this is our one and only wedding. Getting married at city hall was like getting your drivers license, nothing more.

We are only having family at the Disney Wedding and they all know, but for our at home reception, there will be some who think our Disney Wedding is our wedding date. Because this is the way we wanted it. It's not that anyone was lied to, the subject was just not brought up. And I really don't believe people will have a problem with it, in any case they want to celebrate with us, so it shouldn't matter what date we got married and what date our wedding was, as long as we have made the decision to spend the rest of our lives together.

Our WC knows as well as our offiiciant and neither have a problem with it or are calling our ceremony a VR, it is a wedding.

There are a definitely a few Disbrides who are in the same boat...

dakcp2001
02-09-2009, 05:18 AM
I honestly wouldnt be offended at all, if I were a guest. I think people do it for a lot of destination weddings.

Petals & Pixie Dust
02-09-2009, 07:24 AM
We didn't lie to people about it. We just didn't really discuss it. My parents, my sister, my best friend and his mom were the only ones there. We needed pictures and for it to look real for immigration, but that's all it was. We don't have two anniversaries...we have one...May 5th. We will always remember Jan 3 but May 5th is our anniversary. Our Disney Wedding was our wedding. I wouldn't have done it if there weren't legit reasons for getting "pre-married". I wanted him around to help with the planning process. I'm not sure what effect it would have on benefits though? Other than to get them earlier than normal. If your company has issues with you being married in another place, you could always go to City Hall when you got home instead of going before. A great example would be my boss who is getting married in Mexico. She has to do blood tests, etc. down there. In that case, I would do it here first to eliminate all of that.

Just how we chose to do it...

I've heard a lot of people do this. My reason would be benefits. The co. DF works for doesn't have domestic partnerships for health ins.I'm finishing school and only working part time...I'd need the health insurance once I graduate.
I know someone who got married before their Destination wedding and didn't tell anyone...they did it b/c they were buying a house-even tho the paperwork didnt require it...She said it was a pain to do it and not be married where they lived.

I talk about this in my PJ, but like Scottish/Canadian...we are also already married (also for immigration reasons)....however, this is our one and only wedding. Getting married at city hall was like getting your drivers license, nothing more.

We are only having family at the Disney Wedding and they all know, but for our at home reception, there will be some who think our Disney Wedding is our wedding date. Because this is the way we wanted it. It's not that anyone was lied to, the subject was just not brought up. And I really don't believe people will have a problem with it, in any case they want to celebrate with us, so it shouldn't matter what date we got married and what date our wedding was, as long as we have made the decision to spend the rest of our lives together.

Our WC knows as well as our offiiciant and neither have a problem with it or are calling our ceremony a VR, it is a wedding.

There are a definitely a few Disbrides who are in the same boat...


I read your PJ and love the story. I love how you explain its like getting a drivers lic. Thanks for posting...

rumrunnergirl
02-11-2009, 10:08 PM
We are doing this. We want our anniversary date for our wedding date, and it falls on a Sunday and you can't do Escape Weddings on a Sunday - so our pastor will marry us in his office on Sunday, and our DFTW is that Friday (and we are taking our pastor to WDW to do the ceremony there). Five days later is not a vow renewal to me, LOL.

Our DFTW will be our wedding. All our printed "stuff" will have 5/15 on it, although our official wedding date will be 5/10. Easy enough for me. :)

MegKate
02-11-2009, 10:38 PM
I must admit I've been tempted to run to City Hall (a two minute drive) and just get done - for so many reasons. But there's no way to keep it on the down low up here. And as soon as it got out - there goes the wedding! But insurance would be a big part of it. I haven't had health insurance in 5 years. I'm getting really sick of paying full price at the doctors if I ever get sick. :headache:

So I'm not going to, but I could easily see the reasoning behind doing it.

*Nessa*
02-12-2009, 04:22 AM
I know there are some people here who have had a ceremony before their disney wedding...how did this work? Was it more of a VR or did you have to get paperwork? :confused3

We are doing this ! :woohoo:

We are getting married at home in Australia and then having a mini "reception" at WDW.

All we did was contact our coordinator Brie (we never had a sales person only Brie) and explain what the situation was and what we wanted. She has been great and came up with a few options for us, you don't need to lie, just explain what you are looking for and they will make ever effort to work with you.

The easiest thing for us was to book a standard escape package ($4500) and as we are responsible for finding a celebrant, we have been told, we don't have to do this (we are also dropping the violinist) and then you just have a cake cutting ceremony with yourselves (the photographer & your planner) at the location you pick. We are then booking either a fireworks cruise for dinner or going to one of the restaurants in downtown disney.

This way we get all the things we wanted (flowers, 2hrs of photography, cake, annual passes, plus this is the only way to be entitled to book the MK photo session in the park before it opens) but we don't have to go to the added expense of paying for a celebrant and calling it a vow renewal.

ETA - You can always get dressed up in your bridal attire, organise for flowers and book a photography session at one of the hotels, this is much cheaper (we were quoted $450).

Ember
02-12-2009, 08:29 AM
I know a couple who did this... Admittedly, it was two years between them getting married and having their wedding. When guests found out it wasn't a pretty scene. There were a lot of hurt feelings from both family and friends, because they felt lied to. The fact is that you are inviting people to witness your marriage, not a repeat performance. And if it "isn't a big deal", as some people claim, why the need to not tell people? Why keep it a secret at all?

Anyway, I'm not meaning to rain on anyone's parade. I've just witnessed first hand how much negativity can come from an unnecessary deception. Your family and friends love you and want you to be happy. Be upfront and tell them your reasons why you got married before your wedding, they'll understand. And if they don't, they aren't your friends. Why start your marriage with a lie?

DisneyDmbNut
02-12-2009, 08:45 AM
We got married and had a VR

We had the cruise already booked for July 2008 with all our friends. Rather than have a wedding here at home with only a few family members, we decided to just go to the courthouse and have our "wedding" on the ship with all the people that lived in California, NY and Virginia that would not have been able to come to the actual wedding.
Now, there was no deception about it, we mailed out announcements of our actual wedding but the VR was every bit of a wedding. I had bridesmaids and cake and even a reception in Palo. I made sure DFTW knew this was my wedding day and not just a VR.
It was MUCH cheaper to have the VR (our whole cruise and VR was cheaper than a wedding at WDW), but I felt better being actually married for the year while we waited for the cruise. My husband is a firefighter and that makes you really think about "what if"

rumrunnergirl
02-12-2009, 09:08 AM
Is it really being "deceptive" to do what I'm doing? With Escape, you don't get a rehearsal or anything, so we're viewing the ceremony in the pastor's office as a rehearsal, and then the "real thing" is at WDW - with the dress, flowers, cake, reception, etc.

I really want to keep our anniversary date as our wedding date, and I can't do that with an Escape wedding. I don't think our guests will think it is a "repeat performance". I have mentioned to several guests what we are doing and why. I think we're just going to do it our way because that's what works for us. Only 3 months to go and I'm not going to stress over it.

Plus - we've got two kids and I've got a babysitter all Sunday afternoon. I don't want to have to get a babysitter at WDW so us newlyweds can stay in our room all day, LOL. I'd rather mingle with our guests. ;)

Ember
02-12-2009, 07:18 PM
Is it really being "deceptive" to do what I'm doing? ... I have mentioned to several guests what we are doing and why.

If you've told your guests, then of course it's not deceptive! I just don't understand why anyone would keep it a secret. These people presumably love you enough to be invited to your wedding and they will still be excited to celebrate your marriage with you. Even if your wedding day and the day you were legally married are different.

Why run the risk of eventually being found out and then people asking why you kept it from them? At the wedding I mentioned before it wasn't the fact they were married first that upset people, it was the feeling of betrayal and that they felt they were lied to. It seemed like a lot of fuss over nothing that could have been so easily prevented.

There are hundreds of reasons I can think of to sign a marriage license before you're able to have the pomp and ceremony of a wedding and I don't think there's anything wrong with doing so! I just think being honest is always the way to go. DisneyDmbNut handled it in such a classy way, and I highly doubt anyone treated her wedding day as anything less then her wedding day - because that's what it was!

tiggerrifficheidi
02-15-2009, 04:28 PM
We got married in June '08 because I had just gotten back from Iraq and he was going and we wanted to be married. We had already begun to plan our wedding as a DFTW in Jan '09, so at first this was just sort of a bonus wedding.

We actually did it as an Escape Wedding at Disney, and it ended up being so special (and we share an anniversary with my BFF and her DH) that we consider that our anniversary. Also, because we FELT and considered ourselves married. We also told everyone about it.

We decided to stick with the idea of having the wedding in Jan '09 because our friends and family weren't there in June, and celebrating with them was important to us. We made no bones about already being married, but this was also our "wedding!" We didn't hear any negative complaints, and were surprised at how many people came. I think people wanted to be able to celebrate with us and would have been disappointed if we had just stopped with the elopement in June.

So, honestly, do what you want...what works best for you. Consider whichever day your anniversary that you want. I do agree that you should tell people and be honest...unless you're REALLY good at keeping secrets (don't tell a soul!) :)

KPeveler
02-15-2009, 04:38 PM
my gf and i may do it, since there is not Marriage Equality in Florida yet - get married in CT (where we live and where it is legal) and do a ceremony for family in florida!

Petals & Pixie Dust
02-15-2009, 08:17 PM
My husband is a firefighter and that makes you really think about "what if"

DF s a paramedic... I know where you are coming from here....



So, honestly, do what you want...what works best for you. Consider whichever day your anniversary that you want. I do agree that you should tell people and be honest...unless you're REALLY good at keeping secrets (don't tell a soul!) :)

DF and I worked together for 6 years and kept it from everyone (he was in management and I was the low one on the totem pole) People eventually knew but we didn't confirm or deny...It was none of their business.
I'm not all for the deception thing...that was way too much work. Funny story...I met a woman in an airport years ago and we were talking and I complimented her on her engagement ring. She explained that her and her DF we actually married...but no one knew. They had bought a house together and it was MORE paperwork to not be married than to be married...They were getting married anyway and that was all bought and paid for but a ways away...THAT'S why I ask whether you tell people or not.