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Thread: Considering secret marriage

  1. #1
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    Considering secret marriage

    My boyfriend and I are recently engaged and are planning a wedding in late 2020. We are in the US - I am an American citizen and he is here on a work visa.

    We are considering a secret courthouse marriage soon so we can let the green card process begin. This would allow him to continue working in the US legally without any gap. If we officially marry in late 2020 (the soonest we can have the wedding we want with family and friends) there will probably be a period of 3-4 months that he will be able to be in the US but will not be able to work, which he doesn't want.

    We have decided that- if we did it- we would tell no one but two witnesses we could trust, as it seems the more people who know about it want to be invited. The civil ceremony would be for logistical purposes, and nothing more. It would be an act of love, but we can't include our family and friends in the way that we'd like to without some saving and planning.

    Has anyone done something similar with good or bad experiences? I don't like the idea of deceiving people, but if we could get a headstart on a lengthy process, it will hopefully be less disruptive for our lives.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member happyfrank's Avatar
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    Bad experience. Family will be hurt when they found out you guys were already married.

    I had civil ceremony with my ex wife and didn't invite my brother. He was hurt about that.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    People elope all the time, it's as old as the hills. You may be able to have neutral witnesses appointed, or hire some--then nobody's responsible for keeping any secrets. You can plan your wedding accordingly, and nobody needs to know exactly when your license was attained.

    There's nothing deceptive about throwing a wedding ceremony and a party whenever you want to do so. Plenty of couples hold onto the news of a pregnancy until they wish to announce the event, so why is it any different to pursue your own private legal agreement that isn't celebrated until you see fit?

  4. #4
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Sounds like a totally reasonable plan, given the circumstances.

    I'm a big believer that people should get married, and celebrate being married, however they'd like. It is, after all, about you and him, and I think there's something sweet about making the legal component a very private affair—an act of love, as you said—and then celebrating that act when and how you guys see fit.

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  6. #5
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    How long have you known one another?

    Your family and close friends may be hurt, but you can have a large reception when ready.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    I mean.....why on earth are you hiding your relationship and impending marriage exactly? Seems very strange.

    As for the greencard process, part of it is proving that your relationship is real and not just for the purpose of him getting a greencard. So hiding your relationship and your marriage from your family and friends can actually backfire badly for the two of you as it will make the marriage suspect to the immigration services.

  8. #7
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    Why does it need to be a secret, OP?

  9. #8
    Silver Member Camber 2019's Avatar
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    Marriage for the purpose of obtaining a green card? BIG. RED. FLAG.

    If you go through with this, he will drop you like a hot potato as soon as he legally can!!!!

  10. #9
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Don't do anything you can't talk about... the fact that you want to keep it a secret tells me you aren't totally comfortable with the idea, and why would you want to start your marriage off by deceiving your family and friends?

    If you are totally okay and comfortable with the idea of a courthouse marriage just tell them that's what you are doing and take the flak... if you are both grown adults then you are fully capable of making whatever decisions are best for your relationship without being codependent about what others think.

  11. #10
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    Why is this a secret relationship?

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