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Thread: Considering secret marriage

  1. #11
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    I’m not sure everybody read this completely. Our relationship is not secret, at all. Nor is the engagement. We have been dating for over 2 years. We know each other’s families. We live together. Our lives are tightly intertwined. We plan to have a big wedding in a year. Our relationship is like probably every other relationship, but he happens to be from another country. It would have been easier to fall in love with an American. Promise, I know.

    We have been separated before because of visa issues that we were lucky enough to overcome. When talk of a quiet civil wedding back then came up, everyone wanted to be invited. And we never wanted to have a wedding that felt forced or rushed or functional. All we want is a regular wedding. But regular weddings take time to plan. During that time I’d like to start the stressful process so it’s over sooner. My idea, not his.

  2. #12
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    Originally Posted by jnr586
    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.
    My friend and her husband did this. The real wedding was a year later and in fact they got officially engaged once actually married. The real wedding was a religious ceremony with family and friends. I am not sure when they shared the "truth" and from what I understand everyone understood. They were dating about 5-6 months for the green card wedding. They've been married almost 15 years -seem to be so very happy!!! Good luck!

  3. #13
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jnr586
    I’m not sure everybody read this completely. Our relationship is not secret, at all. Nor is the engagement. We have been dating for over 2 years. We know each other’s families. We live together. Our lives are tightly intertwined. We plan to have a big wedding in a year. Our relationship is like probably every other relationship, but he happens to be from another country. It would have been easier to fall in love with an American. Promise, I know.

    We have been separated before because of visa issues that we were lucky enough to overcome. When talk of a quiet civil wedding back then came up, everyone wanted to be invited. And we never wanted to have a wedding that felt forced or rushed or functional. All we want is a regular wedding. But regular weddings take time to plan. During that time I’d like to start the stressful process so it’s over sooner. My idea, not his.
    This is how I read it.

    I don't see any point to another round of geopolitical stress on your relationship—e.g. three months where he has to be unemployed, or where you need to be fretting about all this—in order to appease friends and family who need to feel invited to something that, in the grand scheme of things, has literally nothing to do with them. Do what you guys need to do to keep your own ship steady, and then celebrate that steady ship with friends and family at the right time. Is anything more beautiful, in the end?

    Yes, I have friends who have done this. In one case it was for similar reasons. In another—this is hilarious—it's because my friend's wisdom teeth were coming in hard, he'd lost health insurance, and so they got married in the courthouse (I was the witness!) so he could get on her insurance plan. Not the sexiest, but they had a great bash a bit later and are happy. Not sure if more people than me knew "the truth" when they uttered "I do" alongside a lake at sunset a year later, but it hardly mattered, as the ultimate truth to all this—the love between two people—is only understood by two.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    So I'll say it again - I simply do not understand why you cannot be honest with people and risk both, your relationships and hurt feelings as well as immigration scrutiny which won't be pretty. There is nothing wrong with having a small ceremony just closest fam and a friend or two and telling everyone else that you will have the big wedding party a year from now. It's hardly uncommon for couples to do that. The problem is not that but that, but you want to hide and lie. My emphatic advice in your particular situation is don't lie, don't hide, be honest about the ceremony and the party with everyone. Nobody is going to pitch a fit that you want to have your big to do wedding party a year down the road. Just keep everyone well informed.

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  6. #15
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    Just be honest regarding the situation. People should understand.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    This seems overcomplicated and unnecessary. Both of you as a couple should decide 1) how large you want your wedding and 2) the timing and budget that's right for both of you. Don't cut corners. Don't be dishonest and don't invite people who in the long run mean very little to you. Our wedding had 10 people present and it could have been 13. Exactly 13 people were invited. Three couldn't fly in and we didn't hold it against them.

    Go back to square one and ask yourselves what you're doing this for. Why are you getting married in the first place and what it means to you.

  8. #17
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    So I'll say it again - I simply do not understand why you cannot be honest with people and risk both, your relationships and hurt feelings as well as immigration scrutiny which won't be pretty. There is nothing wrong with having a small ceremony just closest fam and a friend or two and telling everyone else that you will have the big wedding party a year from now. It's hardly uncommon for couples to do that. The problem is not that but that, but you want to hide and lie. My emphatic advice in your particular situation is don't lie, don't hide, be honest about the ceremony and the party with everyone. Nobody is going to pitch a fit that you want to have your big to do wedding party a year down the road. Just keep everyone well informed.
    I don't disagree with you. I'm very much undecided for the reasons you mentioned. Those reasons prompted me to create this post- primarily not wanting to lie. I'm not sure what we will ultimately decide but it has been very helpful to solicit opinions.

  9. #18
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Ok so everyone knows your situation. Just lay the cards on the table. You need the legal formalities before the social ones.
    Originally Posted by jnr586
    I’m not sure everybody read this completely. Our relationship is not secret, at all. Nor is the engagement. We have been dating for over 2 years. We know each other’s families. We live together. Our lives are tightly intertwined.

  10. #19
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Why is it okay for couples to use their own discretion and keep a pregnancy a secret for as long as they wish, but a legal document MUST be disclosed to everyone before they're ready?

    Question that--carefully, because it's more about conditioning than anything else.

    Your 'real' ceremony can happen whenever you want, complete with everyone you wish to invite, on your own timeline. Meanwhile, you've satisfied a legal requirement that can be as private as any other intimacies you already share as a couple already living together.

    This is a non-issue if you want it to be.

  11. #20
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    So I'll say it again - I simply do not understand why you cannot be honest with people and risk both, your relationships and hurt feelings as well as immigration scrutiny which won't be pretty. There is nothing wrong with having a small ceremony just closest fam and a friend or two and telling everyone else that you will have the big wedding party a year from now. It's hardly uncommon for couples to do that. The problem is not that but that, but you want to hide and lie. My emphatic advice in your particular situation is don't lie, don't hide, be honest about the ceremony and the party with everyone. Nobody is going to pitch a fit that you want to have your big to do wedding party a year down the road. Just keep everyone well informed.
    I AGREE. That way also, if you are "pretending" not to be married and someone finds out you married to speed up the green card process, you could get in trouble..

    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    Why is it okay for couples to use their own discretion and keep a pregnancy a secret for as long as they wish, but a legal document MUST be disclosed to everyone before they're ready?

    Question that--carefully, because it's more about conditioning than anything else.

    Your 'real' ceremony can happen whenever you want, complete with everyone you wish to invite, on your own timeline. Meanwhile, you've satisfied a legal requirement that can be as private as any other intimacies you already share as a couple already living together.

    This is a non-issue if you want it to be.
    Having miscarried, I know first hand why couples wait to share pregnancy news. 12 weeks is the gold standard, but some couples weight 4-5 months out of fear of having to share "bad news" after they share the good news.

    BTW, just because there is a civil marriage does not mean that he will necessarily eligible to stay after his work VISA is up JUST because they hurried up and got married before it was over

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