Friday, March 19, 2010

DEAR ESB: Is it "unmagical" to get legally married before the wedding?


My fiance and I are both old school Christians who want to wait until we get married to live together/get it on. We are also very excited about being man and wife. We have decided to get legally married this month even though our wedding isn't until August. My parents think that this will make our wedding "unmagical." I disagree because most couples live together, have sex and are legally common-law until their weddings and I would guess they would think their weddings were very magical. Am I insane for breaking the "way to do things" or are my parents just being stubborn? 

Jill

*****

Do it.

The wedding-night sex will be a whole lot more "magical" if you've had a little practice.

(Kate Moss, Vogue UK April 2010 via tobaccoandleather)

42 comments:

  1. Agreed. Practice makes perfect. Plus, that kind of pressure isn't good for anyone...

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  2. disagreeing with esb on this one.

    not that it will make the wedding less magical. but waiting made honeymoon sex MORE magical for us. that whole "needing practice" rumor is a load of garbage.

    but im curious. is sexytime the only reason you want to speed things up?

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  3. @Liz come talk to me in ten years.

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  4. 5 months in, and i've got no complaints.

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  5. @Liz I just meant IT KEEPS GETTING BETTER. sillypants.

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  6. oh, im so on board for THAT. but it doesn't suck now. just sayin.

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  7. My question is, what is the purpose of the early wedding? I feel like I'm missing something. If you've waited however many years to go to bed, why not wait 'til august?

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  8. I did the same.
    best/smartest decision ever (and it was actually my dad's idea)
    we got married in December, so we could file taxes as married a year earlier. We took the GIANT return and used it for a sweet ass honey moon and to add to our down payment on our cute little house in Chicago.
    Our august wedding was for sure the best party ever, and our month long honey moon in Costa Rica was pretty sweet too.

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  9. lol my mom told me i needed to test drive the "car" before "buying" when we had the sex-before-marriage talk! haha :)

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  10. I'm in a similar situation with my fiancee. His parents are SUPER traditional and even tho we surpassed that "magical first sexytime" hurdle years ago, we are getting married in an Episcopal church here in L.A. For those not following the church/politics news lately, the Episcopal churches in Los Angeles have taken a stance to only perform the marriage celebration ceremony until ALL people can be married in the church (read: Prop 8). That means we'll have to go down to the courthouse and get our marriage license signed by a government official instead of our priest. We're actually really looking forward to it. That courthouse day will be our special time together while we get the legal formalities out of the way. Our wedding day will be a spiritual celebration shared with our family, friends and community. The separation of church & state is an important ideology for both of our belief systems, so the way we're getting married makes the most sense to us. Maybe you can look at it the same way. First comes the legal part, then the celebratory spiritual part and both parts make up the magic.

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  11. I think you have to go with your gut reaction and it sounds like you both feel fine about it and it's just your parents that are conflicted. In that case, go for it.

    I am a decidedly un-magical person in general, and will pretty much always go for the most practical/easiest option. HOWEVER, I can't bring myself to do a quickie legal marriage even though it would be the most practical thing to do in my situation (guy I've been living with for years, who I definitely plan to get around to marrying at some point, and I have health insurance but he doesn't and I can't add him unless we're married). I have tried to talk myself into it many, many times and I just can't quite give up on having our wedding day be our actual wedding, legal bits and all.

    So, in this situation I'm being completely unpractical because my gut tells me to. Aren't weddings all about guts anyways?

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  12. Totally agree with you, ESB.

    Where I'm confused is you (Jill) say you are "old school Christians" and waiting for marriage, but from my understanding, wouldn't the whole marriage thing not be recognized until after you have your church ceremony. So I just don't get how having a civil ceremony gets you around the Christian ceremony rules. That said, it's your religion, not mind, and your marriage for that matter. So ignore what everyone tells you and do what feels "magical" to you and the hub-to-be.

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  13. our legal marriage and our wedding couldn't happen at the same time: we were US citizens (and residents) getting married in the UK, outdoors, at a private residence, and that was never going to be legal.

    so on the tuesday before our sunday wedding, joe and i got legally hitched at city hall in NYC, with my mom (en route to england) as our witness. i'd never, ever regret the quiet, just-for-us solemnity of it, nor do i regret the bursting-with-loved-ones and wildly (illegal) wedding we had in oxford six days later.

    both were magical as fuck.

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  14. I kind of feel like doing this would take so much of the stress out of the actual wedding day. Not because I'm a virgin, but because then you can just focus on partying.

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  15. i kept trying to talk ben into going to the courthouse on the 5th day of may (i could wear a read dress. naurnie, you got me here right?) to have a quick legal ceremony.

    my cover was the insurance, why not get my uninsured ass on your policy NOW instead of instead of in 4 months?

    mostly for the experience lauren just described, why have ONE wedding when you could have TWO?

    ben was firmly against the idea.

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  16. I married Isis on the 5th day of May.

    I love that you had the same idea, Jamie. I tried to convince William it should be our wedding date, but it is a Wednesday. Not ideal for a wedding.

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  17. Something I can comment on! We did this. We went to city hall. Here's the thing: it's all magical in a totally different way. Our city hall wedding was just the two of us and our two witnesses. We went and got beers and fries after. And the next day it was like...holy crap, we're married.

    Now, fast forward a year and the wedding was still a fireworks kind of magical. Just different. There stood our family watching us this time, we got to say real VOWS and not just, "Yes, I understand the legal obligations of this, blah blah blah."

    My suggestion to you is, keep the legal ceremony just that: a legal ceremony. Don't make too much of it. It's for practical purposes. That way, in your mind the wedding is still the wedding and will retain whatever ridiculous expectations of magic we tend to heap upon it.

    Have your cake. Eat it too.

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  18. I think it's important to evaluate why you don't want to wait any longer. If you've gone this long, will 5 months more really be that difficult? Or that long? If it's really important to you that you do it this month, then do it. I don't think it would necessarily make August "unmagical."

    That said, I hope you plan the wedding night/honeymoon travel (if you're traveling anywhere immediately) better than I did so that you don't drive 3 hours, try to sleep for 3 hours - which fails miserably because of fighting cats in the living room - and then rush to the airport at 5am for a flight that gets cancelled. Wedding night magic? Ha. right.

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  19. style-for-style is SMART! I never knew you got a bigger return because of getting married?

    Oh and Jill, if it is a family problem just get married and don't tell anyone, or explain that it is YOUR life.

    Also confusing about the "old school christian" thing, I thought it had to be in church? I'm lame for knowing this- but google Mandy Moore's wedding... just her and her hubs in a cute tiny church. Go do that, then have the big one with the fam!

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  20. @prac/schmac let's not overlook the fact that she married Ryan Adams.

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  21. It confuses me that M. Moore + Ryan got married. BTW, practical/schmactical. Did you delete your blog again?

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  22. we almost got govt married few months before the wedding so i could be covered under his insurance. but we didnt plan to do the nasty until the "real" wedding. so i'm still puzzled about this whole sex business... where the eff is jill and why isn't she explaining??

    sorry i'm hogging your blog, esb.

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  23. I recently learned that in China, couples get married legally often years before they have their wedding. And, from what I've read, their weddings are still really kick ass. Your wedding is what you make of it. Heck, get married now if that's what you want and don't bother telling anyone, so that it can me "magical" for them, if that is important to you.

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  24. seems like you may see some truth in what you're parents are saying if you're writing in wondering...? while i *think* (don't know, haven't had one) weddings can be 'magical' for the couple regardless of if they've had sex before, lived together, etc., this seems like an important aspect of the actual wedding day to you if you've waited this long for the experience. i also think that your anticipation is a sign that it will be an important part of the whole experience. my advice would be to wait, but only you know what's right for you.

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  25. i think the RIGHT WAY TO DO THINGS: MARRIAGE EDITION is a fairly open book these days. i'm 'getting married' this october. however, we have been living together for years, and filed for common law marital status in august of 2009... at the suggestion of his insurance company. since, we have saved about $600 per month in insurance, not to mention the RE-DIDDY-DICULOUS tax return we just got. oddly enough, the common-law thing has totally appeased my very traditional christian family, since it is a legal union. but some people find it strange. either way, the fam is off my back, we're happier than a dog with two tails, and we're saving a bundle. who cares what people think?

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  26. yes, naurn- i'm having a quarter life crisis

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  27. I think the whole "have a legal wedding, followed by another wedding later" works really well for a lot of people especially as the reasons above seem to be legal-related (insurance, tax, residency etc).

    But I really think the early-legal-wedding-so-we-have-time-to-practice-magical-sex option is bad and utterly unmagical.

    If you choose to have a legal wedding first, that IS YOUR WEDDING and you should approach it with the gusto and awe and magic it deserves. Using it as a key to gain access to some in between not-married-but-married sexy time is just ripping yourself and your marriage off.

    Sex can be worth waiting for. It doesn't need to be magical on your wedding night, it doesn't even need to be good, cause it's really not about that at all. It's about the intimacy ok. Married intimacy.

    I also want to know the answer to //S's question.

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  28. ^ is a much longer comment than I intended - sorry.

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  29. I don't understand...unless you're doing this for some sort of legal or insurance reason, it seems kind of strange. You're going to city hall so you can have sex? I must be missing something.

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  30. I don't think it's "unmagical" at all, my sister got legally married last year and we're just planning her wedding this year but trust me it's just as magical ;)

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  31. I say go for it. Small intimate celebration now and big celebration later.

    It will definitely be different at both.

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  32. I'm with Shayna - utterly confused as to how the civil marriage means you won't burn in hell for having sex before the Christian wedding. And being the fallen heathen that I am, I'm wholly with the practice makes perfect camp. Oh dear God, yes.

    But, sex aside, like Lauren we couldn't have our legal and actual weddings at the same time. And like Jill, I kind of worried that by getting the legalities out of the way early on, that might somehow 'spoil' the 'proper' wedding. No need to worry! Both absolutely kicked ass.

    So dude, go for it. In all senses.

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  33. first of all people have sex on their wedding night?!!
    and they don't have sex until then?! harsh.

    bf and i did the secret marriage at city hall a month before the wedding so i could add him to my insurance.. didn't tell the fam to avoid any issues..

    ihadnoideapeoplestillbelievedingod

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  34. Just to be clear, there are a few reasons we don't want to wait until August, not just the sex. We wanted to get married a week after we started dating but my fiancee is the in Canadian Forces which means he is gone all the time. The only date the military approved of that matched our dream photograher was in August. But we want to being our lives as husband and wife now! I'm glad to hear support from those who think this is a good idea. I have been so discourage by people around me because I am not having a traditional wedding. My dress maker just backed out because she found found out we are doing a post-wedding "trash the dress" photoshoot! Seriously, what is wrong with people? Anway, thanks to those who said positive things. -Jill

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  35. And who said anything about burning in hell? This is my personal belief system and I don't appreciate the hell/heathen comments. This is about love and my personal convictions about what I believe in. -Jill

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  36. "We wanted to get married a week after we started dating"

    whaaaaaat.

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  37. @Liz--crazy, but it happens. My sister and her husband got engaged 10 days after they started dating, and married 6 months later (married 2 years now). It blew everyone's minds, but it worked.

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  38. FYI, We got engaged six months after we started dating.

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  39. Hello!

    Let my first comment on this marvellous blog be:

    Sex is just as important as other aspects of a relationship, so it's worth devoting some life changes to. And surely wedding night sex being great is just a myth anyway. It clearly doesn't work like that...

    Thanks!

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