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Quick Civil but Afraid of Regretting the Lack of Romance! Anniversary Date? Advice?

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Hello everyone,

My fiance is from Canada and our interview date is September 25th. Everything has went fairly smoothly for us. His date of moving into the U.S is approximately December 11th. This is both of our second marriages and we are both in our late 40's - so all expenses from A-Z come from our own pockets (in addition to our current life expenses). Our initial plan was to have a civil ceremony on January 1st, file for the AOS so he could start the necessary wait time to begin working, etc. and then have a romantic ceremony in the spring with just the two of us and also celebrate with a honeymoon at that time.

As time continues to get closer, I know me well enough to know that the emotional impact of legally becoming married with have a very deep and personal meaning for us both and now I'm unsure if we should go ahead and put a little bit of sentiment into the January 1st civil ceremony. I just think we will always consider that to be our anniversary date - whereas some other forums have suggested not considering it the anniversary date but rather the romantic ceremony...I just don't think neither one of us will be able to do that.

So is there anyone that has went through this type of decision? We don't have the extra funds to do anything extravagant on January 1st - especially after paying that large AOS fee, but did you find ways to make it intimate for it being a civil ceremony. I really don't want to walk away regretting not putting anything personal and romantic into it. Would love some ideas if you've went through this dilemma.

Thank you,

Dawn

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Some people have no problem with two kinds of ceremony when going through this process.

But for us, we just couldn't put ourselves through that. The day we say I do, is the day we say I do.. and there just can't be any more special of a day.

Consider an elopement ceremony at a B&B or renting from a local park or club. They are often much cheaper and tailored towards tiny romantic ceremonies with between 2-10 persons. In our case, we're keeping to a strict budget, used a lot of diy, carefully chose what to spend the most money on that mattered to us. If you have a lot of people that might attend, see if anyone can pitch in to help with chairs/tables or even potluck food. We didn't want a do-over, so our ceremony is it, and we worked on this for over a year - with all of our vendors being locked in within the last month. If he's planning on arriving in December, you have some months to plan something out possibly if you knew how much you could afford. I know MI is very cold those months though. Have a look over at http://www.intimateweddings.com/venue-search/?venue-type=&country=264&state=1122&city=1620 there could be some options for you. Think about things that make the wedding special for just you two, and not everyone else there. Do you *need* dancing or music? Do you *need* real flowers?

At the end of it, it's about what you want. How does the fiancé feel about it? How about the family?


K-1 - AOS & ROC Timeline  - Immigration and the Health Exchange Price of Love in the UK Thinking of Returning to UK?

 

First met: 12/31/04 - Engaged: 9/24/09
Filed I-129F: 10/4/14 - Packet received: 10/7/14
NOA 1 email + ARN assigned: 10/10/14 (hard copy 10/17/14)
Touched on website (fixed?): 12/9/14 - Poked USCIS: 4/1/15
NOA 2 email: 5/4/15 (hard copy 5/11/15)
Sent to NVC: 5/8/15 - NVC received + #'s assigned: 5/15/15 (estimated)
NVC sent: 5/19/15 - London received/ready: 5/26/15
Packet 3: 5/28/15 - Medical: 6/16/15
Poked London 7/1/15 - Packet 4: 7/2/15
Interview: 7/30/15 - Approved!
AP + Issued 8/3/15 - Visa in hand (depot): 8/6/15
POE: 8/27/15

Wedding: 9/30/15

Filed I-485, I-131, I-765: 11/7/15

Packet received: 11/9/15

NOA 1 txt/email: 11/15/15 - NOA 1 hardcopy: 11/19/15

Bio: 12/9/15

EAD + AP approved: 1/25/16 - EAD received: 2/1/16

RFE for USCIS inability to read vax instructions: 5/21/16 (no e-notification & not sent from local office!)

RFE response sent: 6/7/16 - RFE response received 6/9/16

AOS approved/card in production: 6/13/16  

NOA 2 hardcopy + card sent 6/17/16

Green Card received: 6/18/16

USCIS 120 day reminder notice: 2/22/18

Filed I-751: 5/2/18 - Packet received: 5/4/18

NOA 1:  5/29/18 (12 mo) 8/13/18 (18 mo)  - Bio: 6/27/18

 

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Some people have no problem with two kinds of ceremony when going through this process.

But for us, we just couldn't put ourselves through that. The day we say I do, is the day we say I do.. and there just can't be any more special of a day.

Consider an elopement ceremony at a B&B or renting from a local park or club. They are often much cheaper and tailored towards tiny romantic ceremonies with between 2-10 persons. In our case, we're keeping to a strict budget, used a lot of diy, carefully chose what to spend the most money on that mattered to us. If you have a lot of people that might attend, see if anyone can pitch in to help with chairs/tables or even potluck food. We didn't want a do-over, so our ceremony is it, and we worked on this for over a year - with all of our vendors being locked in within the last month. If he's planning on arriving in December, you have some months to plan something out possibly if you knew how much you could afford. I know MI is very cold those months though. Have a look over at http://www.intimateweddings.com/venue-search/?venue-type=&country=264&state=1122&city=1620 there could be some options for you. Think about things that make the wedding special for just you two, and not everyone else there. Do you *need* dancing or music? Do you *need* real flowers?

At the end of it, it's about what you want. How does the fiancé feel about it? How about the family?

We are both on the same page and just want each other. I have an extremely small family and his is as well - in regards to those that are close enough to travel to a ceremony. A get-together afterwards is an option but during the ceremony, we really will be strapped. There are preparations I'm making for him to feel at home here, and considering all other aspects of the visa, such as plane tickets, moving costs, etc., vendors are not even in the conversation. We just don't want to add budget strains to the acclimation of a new country and leaving a place he's lived for so many years. We are both on board with that. I was wondering what extras people included within a civil ceremony that made it more personal. I do agree with you though, I don't think I will see the necessity of having two ceremonies.

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We are both on the same page and just want each other. I have an extremely small family and his is as well - in regards to those that are close enough to travel to a ceremony. A get-together afterwards is an option but during the ceremony, we really will be strapped. There are preparations I'm making for him to feel at home here, and considering all other aspects of the visa, such as plane tickets, moving costs, etc., vendors are not even in the conversation. We just don't want to add budget strains to the acclimation of a new country and leaving a place he's lived for so many years. We are both on board with that. I was wondering what extras people included within a civil ceremony that made it more personal. I do agree with you though, I don't think I will see the necessity of having two ceremonies.

Well let's look at it this way, by civil ceremony do you mean at a courthouse? My sister got married at one and it was sort of like in a back closet and an afterthought. No way to personalize anything. She could of worn a dress I suppose if she'd wanted to.

Now.. if you take our reception venue out of the equation and other extras we have going... technically we're having a civil ceremony. We hired an officiant and the location is a park rented from the town, but she'd of married us in the back yard if we asked her to. The officiant costs $150 and the town rental is $200. So all in all if you shop around you could have a more personalized wedding for not too horrible a price. An officiant will give you a civil ceremony just about anywhere of your choosing and most will work with you to personalize your vows, not something you'd get at a justice of the peace.


K-1 - AOS & ROC Timeline  - Immigration and the Health Exchange Price of Love in the UK Thinking of Returning to UK?

 

First met: 12/31/04 - Engaged: 9/24/09
Filed I-129F: 10/4/14 - Packet received: 10/7/14
NOA 1 email + ARN assigned: 10/10/14 (hard copy 10/17/14)
Touched on website (fixed?): 12/9/14 - Poked USCIS: 4/1/15
NOA 2 email: 5/4/15 (hard copy 5/11/15)
Sent to NVC: 5/8/15 - NVC received + #'s assigned: 5/15/15 (estimated)
NVC sent: 5/19/15 - London received/ready: 5/26/15
Packet 3: 5/28/15 - Medical: 6/16/15
Poked London 7/1/15 - Packet 4: 7/2/15
Interview: 7/30/15 - Approved!
AP + Issued 8/3/15 - Visa in hand (depot): 8/6/15
POE: 8/27/15

Wedding: 9/30/15

Filed I-485, I-131, I-765: 11/7/15

Packet received: 11/9/15

NOA 1 txt/email: 11/15/15 - NOA 1 hardcopy: 11/19/15

Bio: 12/9/15

EAD + AP approved: 1/25/16 - EAD received: 2/1/16

RFE for USCIS inability to read vax instructions: 5/21/16 (no e-notification & not sent from local office!)

RFE response sent: 6/7/16 - RFE response received 6/9/16

AOS approved/card in production: 6/13/16  

NOA 2 hardcopy + card sent 6/17/16

Green Card received: 6/18/16

USCIS 120 day reminder notice: 2/22/18

Filed I-751: 5/2/18 - Packet received: 5/4/18

NOA 1:  5/29/18 (12 mo) 8/13/18 (18 mo)  - Bio: 6/27/18

 

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Well let's look at it this way, by civil ceremony do you mean at a courthouse? My sister got married at one and it was sort of like in a back closet and an afterthought. No way to personalize anything. She could of worn a dress I suppose if she'd wanted to.

Now.. if you take our reception venue out of the equation and other extras we have going... technically we're having a civil ceremony. We hired an officiant and the location is a park rented from the town, but she'd of married us in the back yard if we asked her to. The officiant costs $150 and the town rental is $200. So all in all if you shop around you could have a more personalized wedding for not too horrible a price. An officiant will give you a civil ceremony just about anywhere of your choosing and most will work with you to personalize your vows, not something you'd get at a justice of the peace.

Yes...that's probably more on the line of what I'm thinking. We thought it would be nice to have a January 1st wedding date because it's symbolic of a new year, new life, etc. Plus, we would always be off work on our anniversary. :D But, the courthouse will be closed that day. So we did think of having it at a friend's house with them serving as witnesses, go as far as just exchanging vows and then have a reception type celebration later and possibly leave for our honeymoon at that time. Thank you for your response!

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We had a very nice, small wedding that was really cheap. Granted my mom married us, so that took out an officiant cost for us. But we married in a park where I grew up next to a wishing well. We went to the park office to book the space and they said, well as long as it's small, don't worry about it. We didn't really have a reception but instead went to lunch at a hotel restaurant. I had some cake pops made instead of a big cake. I bought some bubbles for the few people I asked to come. I didn't bother with invitations, it was all informally asked over the phone. My SIL did my photos, and I bought a dress for under $300. You can get them cheaper than that though or you can do a dress you can actually wear again. You could do a BBQ at the friend's house even with a bit of a potluck instead of gifts perhaps?


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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Flint? I suggest contacting any of the union halls around there, asking them if they will have big new years eve parties on the 31st,

and offering

to clean up the morning of the 1st, in exchange for using the hall the afternoon of the 1st. Tell the caterers for the 31st party to leave all of the leftovers (food, drinks, gear, alcohol) and you'll clean it up for them.

Free venue, free food, free drinks, free electricity - but it takes a bit o time to get the union officers to agree to yer bacchanalia. If'n it was me, and I was in yer exact shoes, this is the exact path I'd be chasing.

[even if it sounds absurd!]


Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

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Flint? I suggest contacting any of the union halls around there, asking them if they will have big new years eve parties on the 31st,

and offering

to clean up the morning of the 1st, in exchange for using the hall the afternoon of the 1st. Tell the caterers for the 31st party to leave all of the leftovers (food, drinks, gear, alcohol) and you'll clean it up for them.

Free venue, free food, free drinks, free electricity - but it takes a bit o time to get the union officers to agree to yer bacchanalia. If'n it was me, and I was in yer exact shoes, this is the exact path I'd be chasing.

[even if it sounds absurd!]

I think all of those sound like a fantastic idea!! I think we may ambush a Starbucks and get married on New Year's Day (the whole, new year, new life thing). Cakes pops for all and a big "I love you a LATTE" to wrap up the day!! We decided quirky was cheap and who knows...we might even have our 15 minutes of youtube fame....not that it has ever been a desire of either of us. LOL :) Thank you for all the Comments!! xoxo

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Consider the possible tax break if you marry before year-end.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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