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Can we be legally married twice in two different states?
September 18, 2010 10:12 AM   Subscribe

What will happen if a man and a woman submit marriage licenses in two separate states less than a year apart? Specifically, if they get married by a judge in Washington state, then ~1 year later get married by a pastor in Wisconsin and in order to avoid having all parties involved know about the WA wedding, sign another marriage license and have it submitted to the state of WI?

SO and I are getting married in WI this coming May. For insurance reasons, we were wed by a judge in WA state last June (it was one of those "we know we're getting married anyway, why suffer through another year of super expensive car insurance since he's under 25 and another year of him having no health insurance where he could have my amazing health insurance if we're married"). Both families would FREAK if they knew we are technically already married. My mother will definitely notice if we aren't signing the official marriage license after the religious ceremony and since all of us are out of state she's planning to turn the license in for us. Is this going to cause a problem if we submit another one in WI after already being married in WA for a year? As a last resort, I can tell her that maid of honor just INSISTS she be the one to turn in the license and then have maid of honor never take it in. What would you do if you were me?
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (49 answers total)
 
This is a bad idea. For lots of reasons.

You need to intercept the license before it goes out. I'd go for the Maid of Honor solution.
posted by Netzapper at 10:23 AM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Call the marriage license place in Wisconsin and ask them if you can submit in their state. Tell them you are already married with license in Washington state. They will tell you what will happen. I'm guessing nothing will happen though they may not allow it. If they ask why just tell the truth. They don't care about your family drama and can better answer this question.

Also, now is a good time to practice your skills as a grownup and independent person who draws boundaries with their parents.
posted by amanda at 10:25 AM on September 18, 2010 [22 favorites]


Honestly, you're a grown person. Who's married. You aren't beholden to your mother or anyone else. You made the decision that's right for you with your WA marriage. As for the WI paperwork, there's no reason anyone needs to be a part of that at all, so leave her out of it completely. Seriously, these kinds of boundaries need to be set otherwise you'll have family interference during your whole marriage. I realize you two are pretty young (under 25) so the notion of not including your parents in your decisions may be fairly new, but you now have your own family (e.g., your spouse), whom you put first. This is truly none of your families' business.

As for what would happen, first off, there really isn't a public "signing" such as you describe. It's usually something that happens off on your own, without your wedding guests viewing the signing. I would just inform the officiant of what's going on and have them help lead the way. This situation happens a lot so they've probably dealt with it before. The officiant can simply inform your parents that s/he is taking care of it, done deal.
posted by December at 10:27 AM on September 18, 2010 [9 favorites]


My husband and I got married a year to the day before our actual wedding, for health insurance only. We didn't really act like anything changed, it was only the piece of paper that gave my husband health insurance. No one found out accidentally, my parents still do not know. But our wedding officiant was in the know - he agreed to perform the ceremony and not give a whit about the marriage license as long as he was provided a copy of last year's certificate to cover his own butt.

I think you might be in a bind, because for whatever reason your mom is all about this marriage license thing, where most people's parents could care less. Mine didn't notice or care. The only thing I can think to do is talk to your pastor, tell him the scoop, and see if he'll run interference and say that he has to mail it in the next business day or what have you. I had a non-religious Justice of the Peace, so it was easy for me.
posted by kpht at 10:34 AM on September 18, 2010


Why would you have to submit a new license in WI? If you are already married in WA you are married in WI, unless WI has some weird law against recognizing marriage from another state. There shouldn't have to be a signing.

Just a service.

My hubby and I got a friend ordained by the ULC to marry us a couple of years ago, but NC can be kind of weird about the legal aspect of the ULC, so we got married at midnight by the magistrate, then said our vows in front of our friends and family that afternoon.

No one was the wiser.
posted by CoffeeDregs at 10:40 AM on September 18, 2010


I'm the OP. Without getting into details about why we're even having a religious wedding in the first place, I would like to address a few things. SO and I are agnostic and atheist, respectively. The pastor performing the ceremony is my mother's pastor. Both my parents and SO's parents are religious and though my parents know our beliefs (or lack thereof) it's honestly, honestly just simpler to have a religious ceremony. It means a lot to them. I'm my mother's only child. I know to many of you this may be a "time to be a big girl" kind of issue but please believe me that it's easier this way: to play dress-up for one day to avoid years of strife.

I guess I'm just thinking way too much into this, but my mom has this tendency to figure things out I'd rather her not figure out and notice things I'd rather she not notice. I'm dreading what will happen if we get to the big day and she wonders why she can't take the license in etc etc. and I want to have a fool-proof plan in place. I'm not real keen on the pastor being in the loop since I've only met her a handful of times and she's marrying us because my mother asked her to. We're not even getting married in the pastor's/my mother's church.
posted by kthxbi at 10:45 AM on September 18, 2010


You officiant, NOT your mother, is responsible for submitting the marriage license. If you trust your pastor, then telling him that you're already married but that your family doesn't know is a good first step. Seriously, this is surprisingly common.
posted by muddgirl at 10:46 AM on September 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sorry, didn't preview... telling her that you're already married.
posted by muddgirl at 10:48 AM on September 18, 2010


You say it's easier to keep lying to your mother, but then you have to follow it up with a whole paragraph full of anxious "dreading" of all the eventualities that could come about because of your lies, so I'll just repeat amanda's great advice, "now is a good time to practice your skills as a grownup and independent person who draws boundaries with their parents."

Tell your mom now, and it will have been worked out by the time of your vow renewal ceremony next May.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:55 AM on September 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


I know someone who did something similar, and had two wedding certificates in two states. She says it worked out fine, was never a problem, and her parents never knew. Of course, this was 40 years ago. The suggestion above that you just ask WI what would happen seems like a good one.

Or you could say you're doing something like what my husband and I did: we took care of the legal stuff several days before our ceremony. That way we could do whatever we wanted with the ceremony, and didn't have to worry about any paperwork etc on the day of. And in fact, if you said that, it would pretty much be true--just "several" is a somewhat more than implied...
posted by galadriel at 10:59 AM on September 18, 2010


As netzapper alludes to, here's a way out:
"We want to take the license with us for our after-wedding photos. Yes, it sounds weird."
Get one blurry shot like holding ringed hands with the license in the background to show her afterward. There's no need to pay for a copy of the shot, but then you have the license to do with what you want.
posted by monkeymadness at 10:59 AM on September 18, 2010


I would tell both families well before the wedding that we were already married. Hiding this fact on your wedding day from helicopter parents will take a charade as meticulously planned as the D-Day invasion. Otherwise someone will find out. And freak out.

On your wedding day.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to spend my wedding day worrying about that. Tell them now, give them plenty of time to get used to the idea, and enjoy your wedding. Honestly, they may not freak out as much as you think. And even if they do, trust that they love you enough to get over it. (And if they don't, well, then you've learned something sad and valuable about the people who raised you and vow to do better.)
posted by thinkingwoman at 11:00 AM on September 18, 2010


I'll wager that this is the latest in a series of lies you've told your mother in an effort to avoid her "freaking out". You're an adult. Start acting like one. You do something, you admit to it and not perform some elaborate charade. It takes 1 minute to explain this to her, but you're actually going through with this dog and pony show?

I mean look at how you're betraying your beliefs, or non-beliefs, as it were. You're willing to have a church service just to avoid your mom freaking out? No wonder she freaks out...it's because no one bothers to stand up to her. If she has a problem with it, it's HER problem, not yours. Live your life the way you want to and without apologies.

In short, this is a bad idea for a lot of reasons. Don't go through with it.
posted by inturnaround at 11:04 AM on September 18, 2010 [14 favorites]


Two things, I don't think you can even *get* the other license without lying--let alone submit it after the wedding. Since part of the application process is if you are or ever have been married (in my experience).

Second, if you want to go through the deception I think letting the officent know is your only option. Of course, that's a lot harder if they are connected closely to your family.
posted by skynxnex at 11:10 AM on September 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I did the double wedding thing. It never occurred to me nor, as far as I know, anyone else, to think about the lack of a license signing after the wedding. Is that something people do as a ceremony? I'd always thought it was something people mostly did in private after a wedding. I've never noticed it in any of the weddings I've seen.

My brother did a private courthouse wedding and only followed up with a wider "wedding equivalency party" after my mom found out he was married. You may want to consider the possibility that your mom already knows, or suspects. My brother got "caught" (my mom was excited, not upset) because someone read there was a wedding in the local paper and casually mentioned it to my mom, not realizing she didn't know.

How do you know your mom wants to deliver the license? If your mom brought that up, that seems oddly specific months before the wedding. Have you also spoken to her about who is delivering the flowers? If you brought it up, that's maybe a sign that you're way too worried about this to successfully pull off the charade.

If you do want to continue withholding the truth, I suggest telling your mom you think delivering the license to [wherever it needs to go] is a special moment you should experience together with your new spouse, a private memory to go along with the public wedding ceremony. It might be nice to have some alone time after the wedding anyway, so you could actually do it, and just toss the license in a trash can instead of turning it in.
posted by scottreynen at 11:11 AM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


SO and I are getting married in WI this coming May

No, you're not. You're already married. What you're doing is having a fake wedding in WI this May. I don't intend that to be inflammatory; it's simply the truth and I think it's better to look the truth head on then to try and sugarcoat it, which is what you're doing.

If you're mature enough to be married, you're mature enough to have a conversation with your parents (both sets) and tell them the truth. There is a very good chance someone will discover that you are, in fact, already married. Also, it sounds like you're asking your mother's pastor to falsify your WI marriage license. After all, you're asking the pastor to sign a license indicating that she has married you, when in fact this won't be the case. You'll also have to sign a license claiming that you're currently unmarried, when in fact you aren't.

Why get a second license at all? If you absolutely must continue lying to your parents, don't even bother getting a WI license. Just lie to your mother and tell her you've already signed it, and someone else it taking care of it. I'm not sure what you'll need to tell the pastor. Please don't ask the pastor to lie for you, though.
posted by pecanpies at 11:30 AM on September 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


On re-reading, I realize I came off a bit harsh, and I apologize if I offended you or if I misread your question. What I got from your question was this: How can we have a second "wedding" in WI, complete with marriage license, without having our parents find out that we're actually already married and we're having a second, fake wedding and pretending it's legitimate?

If I did read your question correctly, and that's truly what you're asking, then I don't think there's any way to do this without falsifying the WI license yourselves and having the pastor falsify the license as well, either with or without her knowledge.
posted by pecanpies at 11:50 AM on September 18, 2010


I'm not real keen on the pastor being in the loop since I've only met her a handful of times and she's marrying us because my mother asked her to.

I would imagine that pastors are used to keeping secrets. Not only is keeping secrets a regular part of their job, but this is likely not the first time that she has encountered this specific scenario. I don't think it matters that you don't know her and your mother does -- if you meet with her privately and make it clear she's not to tell (and she agrees) then I don't think you have anything to worry about. It will be much easier if she can cover for you than any other scenario.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:58 AM on September 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


You should check, but I think that one of the requirements for getting a marriage license is submitting an affidavit that neither of the parties is currently married. A false affidavit, even with good intentions, constitutes perjury, a felony in all states that I know. That is why this is a bad idea.
posted by megatherium at 12:18 PM on September 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


A quick answer to your main question is: no, you cannot be legally married twice in two different states. Do not try to get a second license in another state. You'll be lying under oath. (That part on the marriage license about previous marriages? If you don't put your existing marriage, you're lying under oath. And if you DO put it, Wisconsin requires proof that it ended at least six months prior.) The consequences vary by state, and most of the cases I've turned up involve fraud where one person is married to two different people at the same time, but it seems to usually result in an annulment or voiding of the marriage. Do you want to deal with that?

It's really quite easy to have a big white church "wedding" that has nothing to do with getting the legal paperwork signed at the same time. It happens constantly. People get married at home and then have a destination wedding. People get married for insurance reasons, like you did. People have vow renewals that are recreations of a first marriage. As said upthread, the signing of the license is not typically incorporated into the ceremony, and it's easy enough to handle behind the scenes -- your mother need not ever be involved even if it really did happen at the wedding (it's such an afterthought sometimes that I have actually been at TWO weddings where all parties involved completely forgot about it and they had to actually file the paperwork when they got back from their honeymoons).

Thing is, you're married. You're an adult. So you have to grow up and start acting like one. You don't necessarily have to tell everyone that you're already married (although it would be the mature thing to do) but don't go so far as to commit fraud by attempting to get a second license in a different state.

I understand having a difficult mother. I understand that it's easier to have a religious ceremony to please your families. In one week, I'll be having a wedding, in a white dress, with bible readings, to please my families. It will be worth it, it's just not what I would have planned for in an ideal world. But you're seriously considering fraud to avoid speaking privately with a clergyperson (who would very likely keep your information confidential, despite being your mother's pastor)? That just seems like a lot more hassle than the alternative.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 12:19 PM on September 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


How about getting an annulment in WA just before the WI wedding?
posted by rhizome at 12:38 PM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


It is possible to get a second marriage license in New York in this situation. You need to speak to someone in the appropriate government agency or a lawyer to find out about WI. You could also ask the couple who answered that question for About.com but they will probably tell you the same thing.
posted by K.P. at 12:40 PM on September 18, 2010


On which date will you celebrate your wedding anniversary?
Where will you keep your first marriage license?
How can you be sure your parents (or your child) one day will not accidentally discover this deception and wonder what other basic facts you have lied to them about for years?
Will your husband ever tell about the secret first marriage license to anyone?
If you have to produce a marriage license someday for something important such as insurance (life's little irony), which one will you need to produce?
If your parents or your child/ren someday need to find the record of your marriage, how will they find it?
What happens if they look and do not find it?
How many places has the first date been entered onto forms?
Did you file an IRS joint return for last year and, if so, did you keep a copy of it?
Have you ever told anyone on earth that you were married last June?
Do you and your husband agree that deception just to make things easier is permissible with each other and is that what you want to teach your possible future child/ren?
Do you have a date or occasion in mind when you would definitely not allow your parents' opinions to rule your behavior? If so, what makes that time better than now?

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

Please reconsider.
posted by Anitanola at 12:55 PM on September 18, 2010 [12 favorites]


If you decide to bring your family up to speed now and get this out in the open, here's a good way to frame it:

The commitment involved in agreeing to marry is a big deal. For you two, this is not about a party--this is about a marriage, and a lifelong commitment to take care of each other. You are so committed to keeping your SO safe and healthy that, between you, you realized that securing health insurance for him ASAP was worth jeopordizing the timeline of a traditional engagement and wedding. You did what people who are ready to marry are supposed to do: you put each other's well-being first. This is a good and healthy thing. GOOD THING.

Now it's time to celebrate and reaffirm your marriage with your families, and you hope they can understand the reasons why this wedding--because I still think this counts as a wedding--is happening after the paperwork was filed, rather than before. The ceremony and celebration? Still shared, still valid. Good luck, and congratulations.

BTW: I agree re: setting your new family's boundaries now, esp. As someone who had originally been planning her own impending wedding as a second ceremony and reception following an elopement. You can honor your families of origin while still sticking to your guns and asserting your joint independence. This is important to do from day one, because it only gets harder down the line once a precedent has been set.
posted by sarabeth at 12:58 PM on September 18, 2010


We signed our license _before_ the wedding at the rehearsal.

After the ceremony, the officiant signed it to make it "official" and submitted it himself.

If you are looking to avoid a big scene, why not just tell your mother it's been taken care of beforehand?
If you need an excuse, just say you didn't want to have to worry about it after the ceremony when you should be concentrating on your guests, etc.
posted by madajb at 1:27 PM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, you can do this in NY. They let you get married to the same person as many times as you want. So it's worth asking the WI government.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:36 PM on September 18, 2010


Why do you need the 2nd license? I've never had a marriage license, and no one's every asked to see it (26 years in June--Russian Orthodox priest couldn't have carried less if we had one, married in NY state.)

Tell mom everything's hunkey-dory and have a nice wedding.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:45 PM on September 18, 2010


I'd tell the pastor, but at this point you're commiting to the date of the family ceremony as being your official wedding day unless you tell them. I know you think it will gut them, but I think they will be far more understanding of this than you will think if you tell them the truth. If they say "Why didn't you tell us when you did it" you can tell them what a good friend of mine told her (separated) mother and father when she had a civil ceremony after getting engaged instead of paying out of pocket for his insurance for a year until they got married:

"We had to do it now. The point of doing it was to save money. We saved $5k by doing this."

They shut up.

(Of course, she didn't add that the parents would have bitterly fought on a date that was convenient for them as well as insisting on bringing relatives she didn't give a damn about.)

So either you confide in the pastor, which I would strongly urge you to do, or you just tell your parents.

I like Sarabeth's suggestion.
posted by micawber at 1:52 PM on September 18, 2010


Whether this is legal depends on Wisconsin law and the paperwork Wisconsin uses. People do marry each other more than once, sometimes, but as others have pointed out, you never want to sign any statement under oath that you know to be false. The pastor is going to require a license to do this ceremony, so you need to figure this out. I'd recommend having a chat with the licensing office about the fact that you are already married and want to marry your spouse again.

I'm not going to reiterate what others have said about being honest with your parents, because you've already read that, but I do agree. But I have another reason you may want to consider being straightforward about the fact you are already married to your respective parents. It is actually rather important for legal reasons for people close to you to have accurate information about you. If, God forbid, you predecease your parents, you will want them to be able to accurately say where your marriage(s) occurred, and where the license(s) and certificate(s) providing your marriage are located.
posted by bearwife at 1:59 PM on September 18, 2010


my mom has this tendency to figure things out

I would wonder if she already has an idea that you are married, and is waiting for you to tell her. Would that help explain the issue with the engagement/wedding rings you posted about previously?

Parents know things we think are secret, because they've lived long enough to have seen just about everything. "Married in secret" is an old, old story.
posted by Houstonian at 2:12 PM on September 18, 2010


My husband and I signed the certificate the day before the wedding as we didn't want to have that as part of the service. The pastor was in charge of mailing it off. Could you have a part of the service (unity candle, song, reading, creative dance) that you can say is more important than signing the certificate and that's why you signed early?

I know everyone is on you about just telling her, which is probably what you should do, but you may be able to sidestep around this if you just tell the officiant and ask for help. Perhaps if you don't tell her you can make a resolve to be more truthful in the future, even if it's hard. I'm not judging, BTW, as I know how family tension can affect decision making. Good luck, and best wishes.
posted by ms.v. at 2:38 PM on September 18, 2010


Have a Couples Blessing Ceremony instead.

Be honest with your parents and the clergy and explain to them that you're already married in the eyes of the State and Federal Governments, and why you did this. If they (and you) still want a big 'wedding', go through the functions and have the clergy bless your union while acknowledging that you two are already legally married. You've now had that Big Church Wedding and are married in the eyes of God, without misleading people and potentially committing a crime.
posted by spinifex23 at 3:00 PM on September 18, 2010


Whether or not you decide to tell your parents about your early marriage, I think you really need to tell the officiant. It's not fair to ask someone to perform the ceremony without realizing that it is a sham. While I doubt that she will have any issues with performing the vows ceremony, she shouldn't be asked to sign a license that is a fraud (if it is under WI law). She won't tell anyone if you don't want her to.
posted by Sukey Says at 3:02 PM on September 18, 2010


Why do you need the 2nd license?

From the question:

My mother will definitely notice if we aren't signing the official marriage license after the religious ceremony and since all of us are out of state she's planning to turn the license in for us.

So it's basically to deceive her mother into not figuring out that they've been legally married already. My worry would be that mom could find out some other way and then be really, really hurt. If she's thinking that turning in the license is a meaningful contribution, she'll feel like her participation was a total sham- imagine if what you thought was a shining moment was revealed to be just theatre. To my mind that's something that could be construed as more of a betrayal than the original marriage, but that's a chance the OP has to decide she's willing to take.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:08 PM on September 18, 2010


Is it possible that the reason why your mother wants to submit the marriage license is because she wants to know if you're married or not?

Again, call the WI marriage bureau and ask if they'll issue a marriage license to a couple already married. You will probably have to go in and bring a copy of your previous wedding license. You have been married but not religiously married so this is still your big day. And your mother still gets to plan her (I mean your) wedding. Since you will be getting married in WI, it is up to you to take care of the license (actually, your husband should - it is the tradition of the male to take care of those costs). Have him call WI and figure it out.
posted by Stynxno at 3:12 PM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


My ex and I were married by a justice of the peace for tax purposes about a year before we had an actual wedding. He insisted that his family not ever know; my dad asked me at the wedding who had the license, and I just said "we took care of that in [state of residence] so we wouldn't have to fuss with it 3000 miles away in a state where neither of us is resident." He shrugged and said "I figured you'd do something like that."
posted by catlet at 3:32 PM on September 18, 2010


"actual wedding" = involved cake. We observed the anniversary of the courthouse wedding, while his parents observed the anniversary of the cake.
posted by catlet at 3:33 PM on September 18, 2010


Your officiant must sign the license and submit it to the government. Unless your (mother's) pastor agrees to go along, I can't imagine how you plan to get away with this. Sorry.
posted by jbenben at 5:30 PM on September 18, 2010


Ok I talked to SO. We're dropping the entire idea of getting another license. I'm going to bring it up with pastor next time I'm in Wisco in a few months and tell her the truth. If she says I need to tell my mother or tells me she will no longer officiate, then I will deal with those truthfully (aka I'll tell my mother and thus by default my entire family the truth). I keep telling myself we did this for legitimate reasons - it's not like we were being sneaky and going behind people's backs out of spite - so hopefully everything will work out!
posted by kthxbi at 5:40 PM on September 18, 2010


Look, both you and your parents contributed. You for not being up front about it; them for being such uptight weirdos that their daughter can't be honest with them. I think this is a great time to start fresh with your parents. Time to change the game.

Also, this second wedding isn't a "sham." It's a religious and cultural observance of the joining of two families. Your marriage in the eyes of the court isn't a sham either - you may have done it for tax purposes but it deserves respect. You two are hopefully going forward with this other ceremony because your committment is real. Remember that when you talk to your mom.

This situation is only as dramatic as you want it to be. Try to take the high road. Good luck!
posted by amanda at 6:42 PM on September 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


If you're not willing to be up front about the whole situation just say you've "already taken care of the paperwork." You don't have to say that it was last year; they'll assume it was last week or something.

But you *should* be up front about it. And if it's a big deal to them - well, that's their problem, not yours.
posted by media_itoku at 7:50 PM on September 18, 2010


It would be unethical to not involve the pastor in this. They have a serious function to perform and may not want to be a part of the charade.
posted by odinsdream at 8:23 PM on September 18, 2010


Clearly, you're going to have to get divorced... that's the easiest way to proceed.
posted by ph00dz at 10:37 PM on September 18, 2010


In order to get the marriage license you have to commit perjury on the application - a 10k fine or 9 months in jail punishment for getting caught. Plus an additional up to $500 for the woman marrying you for performing a fraudulent ceremony. You can't put the pastor in that position.

Fess up or tell your mother that the marriage license is your responsibility, that you will take/have taken care of it. (I don't understand why she has to mail it? Are there no mailboxes at your house out of state?)

For fun, here's the law.

Penalty Information per §765.30, Wisconsin State Statutes:

(1) A fine of not less than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than nine (9) months or both for:
a. Marrying outside the state for the purpose of avoiding Wisconsin law.
b. Making certain false statements to obtain a license to marry.
c. Wilfully and knowingly performing a marriage without statutory authority to perform marriages in the state. (See Who May Legally Perform a Marriage in Wisconsin above.)
d. Being a party to performing a fictitious marriage ceremony for fraudulent purposes.
(2) A fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than six (6) months or both for:
a. Unlawfully solemnizing a marriage (by the officiant or by the two parties themselves).
posted by kirstk at 5:28 PM on September 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Um, kirstk, it doesn't look like they'd be violating any of that. There's no deceit here. If the law has no language about whether or not you can do a license in WI while also having another state license then there's nothing wrong with obtaining a license. The law is to prevent certain specific acts. I don't think this falls into that area. But, really, the best advice is to have them ask the board and share their specifics. I'm sure it's been asked before - people do multiple ceremonies all the time.
posted by amanda at 10:05 PM on September 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's no deceit here.

In general, when the couple goes to get their marriage license, they will be asked to attest that neither of them are married in another state (I don't think they specify "to another person"). Saying that they are not married in another state when they are would be "making certain false statements to obtain a license to marry".
posted by muddgirl at 7:36 AM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, they absolutely should not say that! The question was whether they could get a license in WI while having another license. This may be allowed. If it is not, then that is their answer and all she needs to know.

I just felt like people were getting a bit off track. OP wasn't asking how to deceive the state, she was asking how to deceive her mother.
posted by amanda at 7:50 AM on September 20, 2010


Amanda, the point is that it's going to be quite difficult for the OP to deceive her mother without also deceiving the state, especially if she insists on obtaining a second marriage license.
posted by pecanpies at 6:58 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


A followup: I met with the pastor about a week ago when I was back in town and told her up front about already having signed a license. She was glad I told her so early instead of dropping it on her the night of the rehearsal when she normally asks for the license and said she might have to change some of the wording to make it a marriage blessing instead of a marriage so that she doesn't lose her ordination but that she'd be willing to do it as long as both sets of parents know about the situation. Soooo I told my parents that afternoon before I flew back and SO told his parents a couple nights ago. No big blowups, all major parties involved know, and it's all off my shoulders. Thanks for the advice mefites!
posted by kthxbi at 12:16 PM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


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