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Wedding planning hell - is there an easier way to do this?

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Hey you guys,

Sorry, I'm not sure if this fits here but I didn't quite know where else to post.

Now that I have an appointment for the interview, my fiance and I have started putting more work into planning the wedding.

We never wanted a big one and just invite a few people, but we're both nearly broke and are also confused about what exactly is necessary for USCIS to be okay with it. I guess we're a bit nontraditional, too.

First off, how are things even done in the US? So far, to the best of my knowledge, you get registered first, make it official, sign the papers, etc., then later have the party on another day. We don't want a religious ceremony so we'd go with that, right? I know friends who said they just went to a post office to get registered. That sounds kind of strange and oddly mundane to me.

I guess my question is: Since we have very little money to actually host a wedding party at this point in time, could we just get registered and make it official, then file for the AOS and properly celebrate the whole thing at a later point in time when we can afford it? Or does USCIS still need proof of a party or ceremony with a white dress, friends and family, a professional wedding photographer, and at least one invoice of some kind? What kind of proof do they need?

Also, it seems very difficult to plan such a big event ahead of time if we won't even know the date of my arrival in the US, yet. Usually venues and wedding guests need to be informed of these things months in advance.

If someone who has already done this could help by shedding some light on the situation, that would be amazing.

Thank you SO much in advance!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ireland
Timeline

Many people have the quick registry office wedding so they can apply for AOS, then a reception later when they have time to plan- nothing wrong with that!


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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Hey you guys,

Sorry, I'm not sure if this fits here but I didn't quite know where else to post.

Now that I have an appointment for the interview, my fiance and I have started putting more work into planning the wedding.

We never wanted a big one and just invite a few people, but we're both nearly broke and are also confused about what exactly is necessary for USCIS to be okay with it. I guess we're a bit nontraditional, too.

First off, how are things even done in the US? So far, to the best of my knowledge, you get registered first, make it official, sign the papers, etc., then later have the party on another day. We don't want a religious ceremony so we'd go with that, right? I know friends who said they just went to a post office to get registered. That sounds kind of strange and oddly mundane to me.

I guess my question is: Since we have very little money to actually host a wedding party at this point in time, could we just get registered and make it official, then file for the AOS and properly celebrate the whole thing at a later point in time when we can afford it? Or does USCIS still need proof of a party or ceremony with a white dress, friends and family, a professional wedding photographer, and at least one invoice of some kind? What kind of proof do they need?

Also, it seems very difficult to plan such a big event ahead of time if we won't even know the date of my arrival in the US, yet. Usually venues and wedding guests need to be informed of these things months in advance.

If someone who has already done this could help by shedding some light on the situation, that would be amazing.

Thank you SO much in advance!

Specific marriage laws will vary depending on the state/county you live in. For instance mine requires that you go to a courthouse and obtain a license. From there you have a period of time to marry and have your officiant sign it to make it official. Mine also requires that once you obtain a license from one particular county you must marry in that same county. Other states are much more lenient. You can choose to get married wherever your officiant is able to marry you at (which is virtually anywhere). If you'd like you can get married at the courthouse where you obtain your license, most have a small space inside to do so. Since your fiancé's location seems to be Orlando, Florida their laws seem to be a bit more odd when it comes to requirements. However you could choose to get married in a different state if you wished. Take a look here: http://www.myorangeclerk.com/enu/Pages/additional-services/marriage-licenses-and-ceremonies.aspx You could choose to get married at the courthouse by the appointed officiant there, complete your AOS, and have a more elaborate or religious ceremony for show much later, or you could plan out a wedding of your own choosing before you arrive, or you could simply choose to have a courthouse wedding and no other ceremony at all. You don't have to have any sort of religious ceremony even if you opted to have a wedding not at a courthouse, there are plenty of officiants willing to offer civil/non-religious ceremonies. Check out sites like weddingwire for reviews. If money is one of the greatest concerns, a courthouse wedding is how many choose to marry. My sister married at a courthouse, and then she had a reception/party back at her house later in the day (no white dress or anything, and I took the photographs). There really are no set rules as to what the USCIS is looking for in terms of proving a marriage, so long as you have a marriage certificate to prove you did. I think photographs would also probably help. You certainly don't need to hire a professional to take them.. so long as you have *someone* there taking them. As for further proof reading the guides about AOS helps.

We didn't want to go that route, so we'll be having a proper non-religious ceremony not at a courthouse. Most of the arrangements will be completed before he even arrives. Yes it is hard to plan, and stressful, so we had to go small. In our case, last year I began searching for a venue that would suit our needs and budget. A local restaurant fit perfectly, as they also have a ceremony location outside on the water. It's going to be small with about 20 people attending, so we opted to have no formal reception/party and will have a sit down dinner instead. The location's wedding coordinator was very helpful in giving us options to fit our needs. They need a lot less reserved notice about this. Remember that once your visa is approved at interview, you have up to six months to enter the US. That means you still have a buffer of time for planning and reserving space if need be. I already have my dress and a few things here and there, and he'll take care of his own outfit and flight arrangements for family. So there are really only three things we have to reserve beforehand -- the venue, the photographer, and the officiant. We'll purchase rings once he's here. Sure we could avoid all the hassle and the expense and do it much later or not at all, but we didn't want any regrets or do-overs. It's important to both of our families, and we always wanted something special.

I'd say just talk about it and investigate what options are available to you. Once you've got that sorted out, you can do a little bit of planning. If you don't want a 'proper' ceremony then don't, if you want one later on, do it your way. I'd say most couples on K1's probably decide to just marry at a courthouse and do something else later on... but no one says you have to do something more elaborate later either. Remember it's your day as a couple, and you can do what you want, as long as you follow the law.


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

Transferred: Potomac Service Center 3/26/19

Approved/New Card Produced status: 4/25/19 - NOA2 hardcopy 4/29/19

10yr Green Card Received: 5/2/19 - Error will need to file I90 >_<

 

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I didn't want a big ceremony either since I only have a couple of relatives anyway. We just obtained a license, reserved a slot for a civil ceremony, got married a week after, and that it. My inlaws prepared a little dinner and invited some family to celebrate. Then we filed AOS. Our plan was civil ceremony here in the States, save up a little, and have the big wedding with white gown etc in my country (Philippines) as renewal of vows.

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We are having a small beach wedding with only my parents attending 10 days after Betty's POE. Then, exactly 1 year later, we will have a big one where a lot of her family will come from Germany & most of my family will likely attend as well


ROC Timeline!

Service Center : California Service Center

NOA2017-09-01

Biometrics : 2017-09-28

ROC Approved 2019-01-17

 

AOS Timeline!

Marriage : 2015-01-10

AOS/EAD/AP NOA : 2015-01-20

Biometrics : 2015-02-17

EAD/AP Approved : 2015-03-17

NPIW : 2015-06-11

AOS Approved : 2015-11-24

 

K-1 Visa Timeline!

Service Center : Texas Service Center

Transferred? No

Consulate : Frankfurt, Germany

I-129F NOA1 : 2014-03-11

I-129F NOA2 : 2014-08-12

Consulate Received : 2014-09-15

Interview Date : 2014-11-13

Interview Result : Approved

Visa Received : 2014-11-15

US Entry : 2014-12-31

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline

You don't register for marriage. You go to the county clerk where you will be married and obtain a marriage license. With that you can go get married anywhere in that county......the cheapest and quickest is to be married by the county judge...usually within a week of obtaining the marriage license. Once you have that small ceremony, you apply for a number of copies of the marriage certificate. You need one of those for AOS.


Phil (Lockport, near Chicago) and Alla (Lobnya, near Moscow)

As of Dec 7, 2009, now Zero miles apart (literally)!

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