Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Gagan and Lindsay

Court House Wedding vs Traditional?

11 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Hi All-

My fiancé and I are still waiting for our NOA2 which should hopefully be coming any day now as we are on Day 140. My family and I are starting to make some wedding plans (and yes they are flexible and definitely not much money involved). The original plan was to have a traditional wedding and reception but due to some issues, I'm now really interested in just having a court house wedding and family dinner with immediate family only.

There are some financial issues but also I have a moral issue with my parents paying for people to come to this wedding and reception that do not fully support my fiancé and I just because he is from another country. I love the intimacy and simplicity of doing a court house wedding but my family is outraged. They think I'm blowing things out of proportion and that I will regret this decision.

Any advice? Am I going to burn bridges by going the court house wedding route? Has anyone done a court house wedding and regretted it?

Thanks!


Oct 2010 - We Said "Hi" in the US...(Trip #1)

Nov 2010 - We Became Friends in India...(Trip #2)

March 2011 - Vacation in India...(Trip #3)

08/25/2011 - We Fell In Love...

10/10/2011 - We Got Engaged in the US!!(Trip #4 and #5)

04/09/2012 - Couldn't Stay Away From Each Other...(Trip #6)

08/25/2012 - Our Wedding...DEFINITELY!!

11/05/2011 - Sent I-129F Via USPS Priority Mail

11/08/2011 - I-129F Received @ Lockbox in Dallas, TX

11/08/2011 - NOA1 Notice Date

11/14/2011 - NOA1 Text/E-Mail Received

11/18/2011 - NOA1 Hard-Copy Received

03/30/2012 - NOA2 Notice Date - 143 Days

03/31/2012 - NOA2 Text/E-Mail Received @ 12:15am

04/06/2012 - NVC Received

04/09/2012 - NOA2 Hard-Copy Received

04/10/2012 - NVC Left

04/12/2012 - Consulate Received

04/17/2012 - Packet 3 Received

04/18/2012 - Packet 3 Sent via E-mail to VFS

04/23/2012 - Packet 3 Received via VFS Confirmation

05/23/2012 - Packet 3 "Lost" - Fiance Re-Submitted In-Person to VFS

05/24/2012 - Packet 3 Received via DOS Confirmation

07/11/2012 - Interview Date - APPROVED

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moved from K1 Process & Procedures to Moving Here and Your New Life In America; topic is not a K1 visa process topic.


Our journey:

Spoiler

September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
April 28, 2011: Received NOA1 via text/email, file routed to CSC (priority date April 25th)
April 29, 2011: Updated
May 3, 2011: Received NOA1 hardcopy in mail
July 26, 2011: Received NOA2 via text/email!!!
July 30, 2011: Received NOA2 hardcopy in mail
August 8, 2011: NVC received file
September 1, 2011: NVC case number assigned
September 2, 2011: AOS invoice received, OPTIN email for EP sent
September 7, 2011: Paid AOS bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 9, 2011)
September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
September 13, 2011: Paid IV bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 14, 2011)
September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

January 28, 2014: Production of new Green Card ordered

February 3, 2014: New Green Card received; done with USCIS until fall of 2023*

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It isn't easy...but sometimes you have to do what you feel is right for you, no matter what anyone else - including family - says.

My husband and I had a courthouse ceremony also, attended only by a couple of family members and friends, and then went out for dinner afterwards. We did this in part due to financial reasons also, and also because his parents weren't very supportive of our relationship either. They thought I was a gold-digger and just after a green card because I am 20yrs younger than my husband and they couldn't understand how we could possibly have a real relationship. His parents and sister were not invited because of this, in fact, they didn't know anything about it until my husband called them after the ceremony.

In the end - I could care less where I got married....the main thing is I am now married to the man I love.

Yes, you may step on some toes if you decide to go with a courthouse wedding. In the end though, you and your fiance are the ones who need to decide where to get married.

Best of luck to you both...I hope it works out for you.


USCIS

30 Nov 2010 - Sent I-130 to Chicago

1 Dec 2010 - I-130 received at Chicago

18 Apr 2011 - APPROVED!! NOA2 text and email

NVC

29 Apr 2011 - Case entered into the system/Case number assigned; Medical Exam in Sydney

30 Apr 2011 - Police Check Application sent

2 May 2011 - Called NVC and got Invoice ID number

3 May 2011 - Sent DS-3032 email

4 May 2011 - Received email reply from NVC for DS-3032; Received Medical Exam results

5 May 2011 - AOS invoiced and paid

7 May 2011 - AOS package sent; IV invoiced and paid

9 May 2011 - AOS package delivered to NVC according to tracking

20 May 2011 - RFE for missing IV package....still waiting on Police Certificate!

24 May 2011 - Received Police Certificate after 25 days (so much for 7-10!); IV package sent

27 May 2011 - IV package delivered according to tracking

8 Jun 2011 - RFE for original marriage certificate; requested supervisor review since we KNOW it was in the package!

30 Jun 2011 - SIF and CC - FINALLY!!!!

13 Jul 2011 - Interview date assigned! Scheduled for August 9th @ 10am

9 Aug 2011 - Interview - APPROVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12 Aug 2011 - Visa in hand

24 Aug 2011 - POE @ LAX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lindsay,

There's nothing wrong with having a court wedding. That's all up to personal preference. It will not make your relationship any less genuine that those that have a traditional ceremony.

Lots of couples dealing with immigration do things this way. As you already know, it's very hard to make plans without knowing exactly when your foreign fiance(e) is going to arrive. You could always decide to do a traditional ceremony later if you choose to. The advantage to that is you both will be here together at that point so you can also plan everything together.

We are doing it this way, except that we are getting married in India first in the courts. Next year we are having a traditional Hindu ceremony with all the bells and whistles. Then when K finally arrives in the U.S. we will have start planning our U.S. wedding.

Remember this is YOUR wedding. You do what makes you and your fiance happy. If you want to have a small court ceremony with a small party afterwards, do not let your parents influence you. My parents were outraged when I told them I was marrying in India but I know they will get over it. It's easy to get caught up into pleasing people during your wedding but you are not in an "average" relationship and most people will not fully understand the position you are in.

I completely understand and agree with you that you do not want your parents paying for people who are not in support of your relationship. Nothing could be worse than some narrow-minded person throwing some snide comment at you or your future husband that would dampen your mood. You deserve to be happy! Invite people that will make you happy! good.gif

Good luck! I hope your NOA2 comes soon!


I am the petitioner.


VMETm4.png


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lindsay, it is for you and your fiance to decide how you wanna go about it. You'll always come across people who think they know what's good for you, but in actuality, it's only the two of you who'll know exactly what you want. Remember, this isn't someone else's wedding, it's yours. I'm sure you'll step on some toes no matter what, and if they indeed mean well, they'll come around sooner or later.

I remember when my husband and I got married, we kept our plans totally to ourselves until about a week before the wedding. In fact, we had originally looked at a court marriage but later figured that it'd be easier to go the Hindu Marriage Act way, what with both of us being Hindus. We had a very quiet ceremony followed by a lunch. And we'd made it very clear that those who meant well for us were most welcome, and that for all those who didn't, we understand and they really didn't have to bother much. So there....

Just go with what your heart says!


07/14/2011 Wedding

USCIS (187 days)

08/16/2011 I-130 filed

08/19/2011 NOA1
02/22/2012 NOA2

NVC (14 days)
03/08/2012 NVC case #, IIN, emailed DS-3032
03/13/2012 AOS invoiced & paid
03/14/2012 AOS package mailed
03/16/2012 DS-3032 acceptance
03/19/2012 IV bill invoiced and paid
03/20/2012 DS-230 package sent
03/22/2012 Case Complete
04/10/2012 Interview date assigned; packet IV received
MEDICALS/US CONSULATE/POE
05/02/2012 Medicals
05/09/2012 Interview APPROVED
05/11/2012 Visa in hand
05/24/2012 POE TORONTO
06/28/2012 Got SSN and Green Card

ROC

02/27/2014 Package sent

02/28/2014 NOA1

03/28/2014 Biometrics

06/20/2014 Approved

06/22/2014 Got the 10-yr GC
N-400

03/03/2015 Package sent

03/10/2015 Check encashed

03/13/2015 NOA

03/26/2015 Fingerprints

04/27/2015 In line

06/19/2015 Interview letter

07/23/2015 Interview

08/19/2015 Oath ceremony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only you and your fiancé should have the final say in how and where you get married. Too often, the wedding is for everyone else. If that means having a smaller gathering because of finances, go for it. Do what makes you both happy and forget the outside chatter who will not be your spouse.

This is still a ways off for my fiancé and me, but we plan on hiring an officiant, grabbing two friends and -- weather pending -- head to a local park for a quick ceremony and then going out to dinner. This story turned me off the idea of a courthouse wedding. (Of course, I'm sure it's exaggerated for effect because it's a site for hiring an officiant, but even if half of it's true...)

Either way, we're both on the same page on not wanting the pomp of a traditional wedding. Plus, we're old and want to spend our time doing other things besides planning a big wedding. :lol:


Part One: The K-1 Visa Journey:

USCIS Receipt of I-129F: January 24, 2012 | Petition Approval: June 15, 2012 (No RFEs)
Interview: October 24, 2012 - Review | Visa Delivered: October 31, 2012



Part Two: Entry and Adjusting Status:

POE: November 18, 2012 (at SFO) - Review
Wedding: December 1, 2012 | Social Security: New cards received on December 7, 2012.
AOS Package (I-485/I-765/I-131) NOA1: February 19, 2013 | Biometrics Appt.: March 18, 2013
AP/EAD Approved: April 29, 2013 | Card Received: May 6, 2013 | AOS Interview Appt.: May 16, 2013 - Approved Review Card Received: May 24, 2013

Part Three: Removal of Conditions:

Coming Soon...

"When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat." – George Carlin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You would not even be asking this question if a courthouse document signing was enough for you. I have been to one, and it was no more special than paying for a ticket or paying taxes for my tags on the truck each year, and it took less time.

Because this is such an important event in your life, I'd recommend that you do SOMEthing special in planning this occasion.

Expense is not really necessary for a very simple ceremony, and there are many ways to make it all about the two of you without breaking the bank.

Another thing to consider is the fact that you are marrying into a family and so is your beloved. Do you plan to go-it-alone throughout your lives together always? Will you have children? Holidays and other occasions will be celebrated how? If one of you gets very sick or is in an accident, will you still expect to be alone with no interaction from family? What if one of them is sick or in an accident?

This IS a major event in your life. Don't belittle it. Don't assume that it's all about you and no one else matters.

For us, we have picked a location that is about 3 hours drive from our city. The time is 1pm. Everyone who wants to be invited is welcome to come. Because it is out of town and in the middle of a Tuesday, this alone weeds out the troublemakers for the most part. The location is beautiful, the pastor will perform a bilingual ceremony, and we will have wonderful photos to share with family here and out of the US. 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now, we will have some wonderful pictures to display on our anniversaries along with the story of our romantic wedding day. (Around 1000U$ for everything--pastor-200, gas-100, reception/meal--200-500, 2 nights of hotel nearby-200, dress-40.)

If anyone is curious, the venue for ours is free and this is the site, for anyone in South Texas or Louisiana.

Click here: Chapel Dulcinea

One other thing to consider, I have heard again and again from people who've been divorced: "I spent all that money on a big wedding the first time. I aint wasting my money again! I'm just going to the judge." To me, even as a young child, this has always translated to: "My first wife/husband was special and worth celebrating and spending money on. My second husband/wife isn't as valuable and does not deserve anything special." While this may or may not be the intention, the signal is loud and clear.

Thank about it from all angles and then make your decision. It might be well worth the few minutes it takes to look up unique wedding ideas/themes/locations in your nearby area, too.


Perú's K-1 embassy packet can be viewed in our photos.
Travel Tips for Perú (& South America)
Our Immigration Experience
Seat Guru Flight seating!
Airport Processing Times - http://awt.cbp.gov/
POE-Houston? Pictures and info.....POE-Houston (other languages)....


Attention NEW K-1 Filers: (2012) Possible 1st year costs = Possibly 3K+$ for first year including fees for mailing, documents, supplies, etc.. NOT including travel costs. Process: 1.)Apply-340$ 2.)RFE? 3.) Med-300??$ 4.)Interview-350$ 5.)Surrender passport. 6.)Get Visa. 7.)Fly here. 8.) Marry in 90 days. 9.) Submit apps to stay, work, & travel-1070$ 10.) Biometrics-More fingerprinting 11.) GREENCARD ISSUED APR 9TH, 2013-11 MONTHS FOR AOS!
I've lived in Houston for 10 years. If you have any questions about the city, please message me. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone is curious, the venue for ours is free and this is the site, for anyone in South Texas or Louisiana.

Click here: Chapel Dulcinea

Is that an invitation for the VJ community to attend? ;)


Part One: The K-1 Visa Journey:

USCIS Receipt of I-129F: January 24, 2012 | Petition Approval: June 15, 2012 (No RFEs)
Interview: October 24, 2012 - Review | Visa Delivered: October 31, 2012



Part Two: Entry and Adjusting Status:

POE: November 18, 2012 (at SFO) - Review
Wedding: December 1, 2012 | Social Security: New cards received on December 7, 2012.
AOS Package (I-485/I-765/I-131) NOA1: February 19, 2013 | Biometrics Appt.: March 18, 2013
AP/EAD Approved: April 29, 2013 | Card Received: May 6, 2013 | AOS Interview Appt.: May 16, 2013 - Approved Review Card Received: May 24, 2013

Part Three: Removal of Conditions:

Coming Soon...

"When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat." – George Carlin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that an invitation for the VJ community to attend? ;)

Sure, why not? Who's in Austin on April 10th? (Seriously, if anyone is a diehard romantic and just looooooovvvvvveeeeeesssss weddings, come on. PM me and I'll send the details. If I get enough folks, we'll have a pretty reception onsite. If not, we'll go out to eat and, I am thinking, we'll go out in our wedding finery to A) go bowling B) PuttPutt C) racecars at an arcade. Heck, maybe all three! My beloved spouse-to-be can decide. We want to have a great time, avoid alcohol, and have a date to remember forever.)


Perú's K-1 embassy packet can be viewed in our photos.
Travel Tips for Perú (& South America)
Our Immigration Experience
Seat Guru Flight seating!
Airport Processing Times - http://awt.cbp.gov/
POE-Houston? Pictures and info.....POE-Houston (other languages)....


Attention NEW K-1 Filers: (2012) Possible 1st year costs = Possibly 3K+$ for first year including fees for mailing, documents, supplies, etc.. NOT including travel costs. Process: 1.)Apply-340$ 2.)RFE? 3.) Med-300??$ 4.)Interview-350$ 5.)Surrender passport. 6.)Get Visa. 7.)Fly here. 8.) Marry in 90 days. 9.) Submit apps to stay, work, & travel-1070$ 10.) Biometrics-More fingerprinting 11.) GREENCARD ISSUED APR 9TH, 2013-11 MONTHS FOR AOS!
I've lived in Houston for 10 years. If you have any questions about the city, please message me. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a wedding 'for our family' - and I do not regret that. It was a great way to introduce our families to each other (my parents and brothers and sisters were all able to fly over), and people seemed to really enjoy themselves and have a good time. It was also my first time meeting a few of Alex's relatives.

Having said that, it was ONLY worth doing for the pleasure it gave to our families. The photos are hideous (and now relegated to a dark, deep drawer; I'm only keeping them just in case there's a legal need for them!), we were so tired that we barely have any memories of the actual day, and I don't feel there was anything particularly special about the ceremony that we'd have missed out on in a courthouse. So, I disagree with EminTX in that regard.

But - if you think your family will be upset without a wedding, please do consider holding one for them! I think it's so important to have a good start to your marriage, and for some people the family's support is essential. Alex's brother had already eloped on his wedding day, and so this was my in-laws' last real chance to see a child of theirs married - it was incredibly important to them, and I'd definitely go through the day again just for them. :) My MIL still talks about the wedding even if I don't! And our wedding was really not that expensive - small hired hall, food (and flowers) from Costco, paper tableclothes and plates - it all added up to under $2,000, and that was for 60+ guests. :)


sharasugar.pngsharanomsugar.png

07/11/2006 - First met

08/22/2008 - K1 Visa in hand

12/27/2008 - Marriage

05/20/2009 - AOS complete

10/06/2011 - ROC complete

04/20/2012 - Annaleah born!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×