Seven Reasons to Get Legally Married Before Your Wedding Day

March 29, 2023
6 min

Trying to plan the perfect day for your wedding can be a challenge. If you want to alleviate some stress before the big day, consider getting legally married before your wedding day. Getting the paperwork done ahead of time could save you time and give you ease. Many couples choose to have a civil ceremony just between the two of them and then hold a bigger gathering later on with friends and family. This tactic is gaining popularity for those who want to be more prepared and less pressured during their big day. If you're wondering why people choose to get married ahead of time, read on to see seven of the top reasons.

Bride Putting a Ring on Grooms Hand

You're having a destination wedding

If you plan to have a destination wedding or a ceremony with a tight schedule, having the legal paperwork taken care of ahead of time can give you more flexibility in planning the details of your ceremony. There may be some rules and regulations different from that of your hometown so researching the differences could become time consuming and be a hassle. If you choose to get the paperwork done ahead of time, it can give you more time and ability to enjoy the full nuptial festivities instead of filling out paperwork.

Financial benefits and tax advantages

Legal marriage is associated with various financial advantages, such as joint bank accounts, tax breaks and benefits, inheritance rights, and access to spousal Social Security benefits. Married couples have the opportunity to begin financial planning and consolidating their assets earlier. Also, your spouse can be added to your health insurance plan, providing them access to your coverage if they do not have one of their own or if your plan is more comprehensive.

Deciding to marry sooner can also give your spouse the ability to make important decisions. Legal marriage can grant spouses access to other benefits, such as family leave, retirement plans, and survivor benefits. By securing these advantages ahead of the wedding day, couples can ensure they are protected and supported, allowing them to focus on enjoying their celebration without worrying about future uncertainties.

Ease the stress of the big day

By obtaining a marriage license ahead of time, you can avoid the last-minute rush and potential delays that can add stress to your wedding day. Knowing that the legal aspects of your marriage are already taken care of can give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on enjoying the big day.

Also, there could be potential cost savings getting hitched ahead of time. Depending on where you live, obtaining a marriage license ahead of time may be less expensive than obtaining one on the day of your wedding. While not applicable for everyone, some couples may find that obtaining a marriage license and having a quick, informal ceremony at a courthouse or city hall is more budget-friendly than a traditional function. Opting for a legal marriage allows you to focus on what truly matters to them without overspending on an elaborate celebration. This way, you are able to focus on the celebration and reduce the pressure of coordinating both simultaneously.

Facilitate visa and immigration processes

For couples that include a foreign partner, getting married can help to expedite the visa and immigration process. Legal marriage plays a significant role in demonstrating a bona fide relationship to immigration authorities, granting the foreign spouse a more secure legal status in the country. If one partner is not a citizen of the country where the ceremony is taking place, getting married first can help with immigration issues and simplify the process of obtaining a visa. 

As every relationship is unique, the requirements and circumstances for starting spousal visa applications vary for each couple. We recommend all couples pursuing a spousal visa speak to a lawyer about their application. That's why Courtly offers zero-commitment immigration consultations for just $49. Our aim is to simplify the initial steps of your application, ensuring a straightforward and stress-free process. Whether you're collecting information or looking for answers, we're here to offer the guidance and reassurance you need.

Lower your anxiety with private vows

Nuptials can already have a lot of pressures, thinking about how to make sure everything will run smoothly. Some people may feel less anxiety if they are already legally married before the big ceremony because they feel that the commitment has already been made. The wedding ceremony becomes more of a celebration than a nerve-wracking event.

A popular choice that more couples are taking is to use this opportunity to recite private vows. It's an intimate and deeply personal way to express your love and commitment away from the gaze of their guests. This private moment allows you to share heartfelt words and promises that might be too emotional or personal to say in front of a larger audience. It also provides a chance for couples to connect on a profound level, calming their nerves and reinforcing their bond before the formalities and festivities of the wedding day begin.

Flexibility with wedding planning

Getting legally married before the wedding day provides couples with significant flexibility in planning their celebration. Without the pressure of coordinating legalities on the same day, couples can choose a wedding date that best fits their schedule, preferences, and the availability of their desired venue. This approach allows them to plan the ceremony and reception at a more relaxed pace, ensuring every detail aligns with their vision.

Additionally, it opens up the possibility for destination weddings or non-traditional settings that might otherwise pose logistical challenges for obtaining a marriage license on-site. By separating the legal process from the ceremonial festivities, couples gain the freedom to create a wedding experience that is truly reflective of their unique relationship and style.

You can opt to keep it a secret 

If you and your spouse don't want to tell your friends and family about your plans until after, a secret wedding through a courthouse or using an online platform could be your ticket.  Some pairs want to keep their nuptials private and eventually tell their loved ones after they have tied the knot. 

Online platforms like Courtly can even provide two witnesses for your ceremony, so that you meet the legal requirement without needing to invite anyone. When you are ready to announce yourselves as newlyweds, you can create the illusion that the celebration was your actual wedding, even though you were already legally married. This allows the true ceremony to be a private, intimate moment shared just between the two of you, while still involving your loved ones in the festivities if you choose. Some couples even opt to skip the traditional ceremony altogether, opting for a simple civil wedding instead.

Final Thoughts

When you get legally married, you gain important legal protections that may not be available to unmarried couples. Many newlyweds find it beneficial to get married in advance, as it alleviates the pressures and legalities associated with the wedding day. This allows the wedding to become a true celebration of their union, rather than the initial step in joining their lives together. Additionally, getting married before the wedding day can reduce stress and help strengthen the couple's bond, as it demonstrates their commitment to building a life together.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

Get Married