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Bride and groom get legally married over a year before the 'wedding;' AITA?

Bride and groom get legally married over a year before the 'wedding;' AITA?


Eloping before the big family party can be a fun way for couples to have a private moment before hearing everyone's opinions about flowers, dresses, the food, and the open bar...

Sometimes though, it's a necessary step beyond just a romantic moment. So, when a conflicted bride decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As&hole' about whether or not she was wrong to withhold the fact that she was already married before the ceremony, people were ready for all the family drama.

AITA for having a wedding and not disclosing we were already legally married?

About two months ago, my husband and I got “married” in a beautiful ceremony. It was SO MUCH FUN. We went on a honeymoon after.

The price tag makes me wheeze, but my parents were insistent on paying for 95% of it, saying it’s their only daughter’s wedding.

As a result, the wedding was way more fancy than something my husband or I could afford! My husband and I paid the rest — his family did not contribute (which is fine!).

The wedding was lovely, but missing one piece - the marriage license. About a year and a half ago, I was going through some serious health issues (the issues are resolved now, thankfully!)

I had recently graduated from school and didn’t have health insurance. My husband and I decided to get married so I could join his health insurance. It was a quick Justice of the Peace ceremony.

We were always planning to have a ceremony at some point in the future. A few months after that, he “proposed” (something I didn’t see coming!), the wedding occurred, and here we are today, planning for kids.

Very few people knew we got legally married about a year and a half ago. We weren’t trying to be deceptive. However, part of it was that I wasn’t comfortable revealing my health issues.

My husband respected this. My parents knew about our legal marriage, but his mother did not. His mom (I’ll call her Carol) and I aren’t close. She’s fine enough in low doses, but...

We’re currently in the process of moving. This past weekend, his mother came to help us pack up things. As we were packing files (birth certificate, social security cards, etc.), somehow our marriage license must’ve slipped out. Carol picked it up and kept insisting we need to frame it. And then she noticed the date.

Carol lost it. She insisted we lied to everyone. She said our wedding ceremony was just a “gift grab” (our wedding website stated that someone’s presence was gift enough— we still got many generous gifts and we are forever grateful).

Carol went and called her twin sister, my husband’s aunt, and the sister called and lashed out at us. She said we were sneaky and deceptive. She is saying she may want her gift back—something we are fine with giving her.

For me and my husband, the legal wedding was just so I could get insurance. A means to an end. Our wedding date is what we will celebrate.

Are we aholes for not being more upfront? I’ve been really upset and confused and waffle back and forth. My husband insists we are not aholes.

Here's what the jury of internet strangers had to say about the wedding drama:

nextm8 said:

NTA. There is a reason why you only take Carol in small doses.

Squeakhound said:

Agree. NTA. Carol is very much TA and so is her bean counting sister. That document was between you and your husband, OP. Carol had no business reading it. And she was vindictive to share it. Clearly the early ceremony was just business.

I think such circumstances are more common than people realize for legal, or logistical reasons.

Those first ceremonies are often kept secret so that loved ones celebrate and remember the wedding that is important to the couple, the one shared with family.

hideyyo said:

NTA Also keep in mind that gifts are just that. Once somebody gifts you something, sole ownership of that thing goes to you.

BropolloCreed said:

NTA. Also, your husband deserves an extra shout out for backing your decision. There's far, far too many feckless spouses out there who will side with 'mommy and daddy' over their partner. And those partners deserve better.

electropop_robot said:

NTA. Your husband probably should've told his mum, but Carol sounds ridiculous. Give her gift back & be done with it.

janewilson90 said:

NTA This is so much more common than people think! Health insurance is crazy in the USA and there are loads more reasons to sign the form at a different time than celebrating with friends and family. Carol can throw her little tantrum all she wants.

Note to any Carols out there: please chill.

Sources: Reddit
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