The answer to can you have a wedding after you’re already married is no because you can only be married to one person in the US. However, there are weddings that couples do for a more symbolic ceremony, especially after a quick civil wedding.
We’ve also included the etiquette for inviting guests if you get married beforehand. And for couples who want to do vow renewals, read when to renew wedding vows.
Can You Have A Wedding After You’re Already Married?
It’s not possible to have another wedding if you’re already married, as marriage in the US limits individuals to one partner only. However, you can have another wedding ceremony with your partner if you feel that your elopement or civil wedding is too intimate or quick to feel meaningful.
For example, some couples do a civil wedding to ensure the validity of their union and then do a more personalized ceremony like a spiritual or non-denominational marriage ceremony. You’ll technically have two weddings, one for the legality and another for sentimentality, but it’s with the same person.
Can you get married after a legal separation?
There are different types of separation: legal, trial, and separate. You can legally separate from your spouse by filing a request in family court, but this is different from being legally divorced.
You’re no longer married, but since you’re not divorced, you can’t have a wedding to someone else even after a legal separation. Regardless, some states will require spouses to separate before finalizing the divorce in court.
Trial vs permanent separation
A trial separation refers to spouses who live apart, and this is what a couple usually does if they want a break and decide whether to divorce or not. Permanent separation, on the other hand, refers to spouses living apart without the intention to reconcile but not divorced.
Overall, all these separations are not synonymous with divorce, which is legally required before remarrying or having a wedding after you’re already married. Your divorce should be finalized before remarrying; otherwise, the new marriage will be illegal.
Is it illegal to remarry while still married?
It is illegal in the US to remarry while still married, and it’s also called bigamy, a class C felony. You can be prosecuted in your state and imprisoned for up to 40 years.
Most states also consider bigamous marriages void, so before having a wedding, please finalize your divorce with the first spouse beforehand. What about getting engaged while still married?
Unlike remarrying, you can get engaged before you get divorced. But of course, do not get started on your wedding planning, setting the wedding date, and booking vendors until you’re legally divorced.
Is It A Wedding If You’re Already Married?
If you’re already married and had a second marriage, you risk having a bigamous marriage, which is void. But if you want a marriage ceremony with the same spouse, it’s a wedding.
There are no legal repercussions since you’re marrying the same person. Some couples do this to save on costs when they have a quick courthouse wedding and then invite more guests to a secular or personalized marriage ceremony.
Otherwise, refrain from planning the ceremony if you’re not legally divorced. Unless the divorce is finalized, you can only have one wedding.
How Do You Word A Wedding Invitation If You Are Already Married?
Even if you’re already married from an elopement, destination wedding, or civil wedding, you can get your wedding ceremony, or reception celebrated with guests. Some couples will have a separate celebration after the marriage ceremony, so here’s how you can word the invites:
- We are happy to announce that we got married! Join us at a formal reception on [venue] at [date and time]
- Love is patient, but [spouse’s name and I] weren’t! Come celebrate our marriage with us at [venue] on [date]
- [Spouse’s name and I] tied the knot! Come celebrate and dance the night away with us on [date and venue]
Can My Husband And I Have Another Wedding?
It’s possible to have another wedding after your previous one. For example, you might want a personalized ceremony, so you first opted for a civil wedding to accomplish the legalities.
Then, have another wedding ceremony at a venue of your choice after getting married at the courthouse. Another instance where a couple has another wedding after getting married is a vow renewal.
After some years, couples can celebrate their marriage anniversary milestone by redoing their first wedding and renewing vows. This doesn’t require legalities since you’re already married to each other.
Do you prefer a non-religious wedding ceremony? You can also read what is a secular wedding that you can consider after an elopement or courthouse wedding.
Can I Have 2 Weddings?
Having two weddings is possible if you want different experiences for your marriage ceremonies. However, remember that you can also have a wedding with the same spouse you’re already married to.
Otherwise, your marriage will be void with another partner, assuming you’re not legally divorced from the previous spouse.
And that’s it! You just learned about can you have a wedding after you’re already married, and the answer is yes if it’s with the same spouse.
Otherwise, you must finalize your divorce with the first spouse before having a wedding and marrying another person.