Getting weddinged is what it’s called when you have a wedding after you’re already legally married

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Getting weddinged, verb: The act of having a wedding after you're already legally married.

We learned this term from Jeannie & Aaron of, who got married six years ago for the health insurance but are now planning their fall wedding.

Or rather, they're planning to get weddinged.

For more about getting weddinged, straight from Jeannie & Aaron's FAQ, keep readingโ€ฆ

Why do you guys keep saying you're getting “weddinged”? Aren't you getting married?Aaron and Jeannie have actually been legally married for about 6 years now.

What?! What the hell?!

OK, calm down. See, when Aaron and Jeannie first moved to Seattle, Jeannie worked part time and interned at the local NPR affiliate part time. And because of that, Jeannie didn't have any health insurance. She managed to cobble together some expensive, lousy coverage. Her best option was to pray to every god she could think of asking that she never get sick. Aaron, on the other hand, had a job at Microsoft. He had awesome health insurance. So after watching Jeannie struggle through a year of no coverage, Aaron offered to get her covered under his Microsoft insurance. The only way to do this was to get legally married. Aaron and Jeannie knew they wanted to be together, but they didn't want to go through a wedding ceremony. And they thought it was really stupid that Aaron had the Cadillac of health insurance while Jeannie's coverage was for total crap.

So why are you having a wedding now, after all this time?

Because we're ready to now. Geez, you're nosy. Honestly, now that we're in a mortgage together it kind of feels like the public declaration of love and commitment thing is really not that huge a deal.

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Comments on Getting weddinged is what it’s called when you have a wedding after you’re already legally married

  1. Wow. Thanks for delving in to the mess that we call health care in the US and how it makes us rethink our decisions regarding marriage. We where married in a courthouse and a great selling point on why we should jump in to marriage right away as opposed to when we where “ready” was shared bennies. We have never got weddinged, so hopefully someday we will. Thank you HMO’s partaking in the decision to make our marriage a non-event. lol.

  2. Great. My friend just sent me a link to this, cause hubs and I tied the knot three years ago for health insurance, sans wedding. Dude, now I have a word for the post-marriage wedding I want:getting “weddinged”. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. We’ve just decided to get the legal ceremony done this year due to the health of his Dad… and Nanna isn’t getting any younger. We are still going to do everything we had planned to do for our wedding next year. Most of our guests won’t even know. ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. I am temping right now as I am going to school to earn my masters and my fiance has great health insurance. This idea is really appealing to us and has been discussed frequently. I love that it now has a verb ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. ha I’m getting married this fall, simple, private, court house, (using the first ring Mr. W ever gave me, out of a gum ball machine) its nice to get the legal stuff out of the way.

    and then we are getting weddinged july 09.
    (the party, the friends, the real ring)

  6. Ha! We did this. ๐Ÿ™‚ But we both had health insurance, it wasn’t for that. It was because we didn’t want to wait 4 more months (our engagement was short)… we wanted to be married RIGHT NOW. ๐Ÿ™‚ So marriage at the court house with our parents it was, and we got weddinged later. And they were pretty cool with it. It was everyone else who was afraid they’d be let down by too simple of a “non-wedding” in May. Oy vey. (And by the way, we didn’t disappoint. So there.)

  7. Glad to know my husband and I aren’t the only ones! It’s funny how people really do seem to be confused by the whole situation, especially because there’s not a word for ‘husband but also sort of fiance’.

  8. You brought a smile to my face!

    Do you think they will add ‘getting weddinged’ to the dictionary? I think they definitely should…

  9. Sarah- I call mine my “beyonce.” It’s kind of a shortened conjugation of husband and fiance. First he was “Husb-iance,” and it kind of organically turned into beyonce because we thought it was funny.

    He also likes to say that we’re “engarried.”

  10. We’re actually in the opposite situation. We’re from canada, and I’m disabled (thank god I’m canadian) so I’m on disability income assistance. It’s a few bucks over $500 a month.

    My fiance doesn’t make alot of money, and my medication alone is over $400 a month that will no longer be covered once we get married. I loose the medical coverage and I loose my piddly government allowance that is just enough money for me to live at home with my parents.

    So we are postponing the wedding for as long as possible to be able to have my coverage for as long as possible. Because he just can’t afford to take care of me yet, and the government doesn’t care. As soon as we’re cohabitating, I’m cut off.

    It’s so painful to have to wait.

  11. We are doing this too but not for insurance, my gran has terminal cancer ๐Ÿ™ And I wanted her there at my wedding.

    So legal stuff is happening in a few weeks with her as a witness, then a small family dinner to celebrate. Then next year we are getting ‘weddinged’ in Scotland just like we had planned all along.

    • This is what I’m considering right now as my mum has Alzheimers and can’t travel from Australia To Scotland where we want to get wedding’ed. Can I ask how it went?

  12. It’s SO great to read these comments! I felt like Aaron and I were the only people to do something like this…yay! But I have to give credit where credit is due. My excellent co-worker Jenny came up w/ the phrase “getting weddinged” one day over lunch when I explained what Aaron and I were doing.

    • We are getting “weddinged” on Labor Day! Our friend is the “Officiant” but is having trouble figuring out what to say. Do you have any advice or guidance?

  13. We almost did this – for insurance reasons, naturally. Turned out that I was still covered under my dad’s policy, so crisis averted…but we were all ready to get weddinged. It’s a great option for people who need the legal benefits of marriage but aren’t ready for the big party – or for those who want someone important to be there who might not make it otherwise.

  14. wow, the US health care system is seriously flawed…. i live in melbourne and i feel so gratefl of our healthcare system, it’s not the greatest in the world, but it seems world away from you poor guys in the US…

  15. I’m getting weddinged in 2 months! I’m glad there’s a name for it now, I’ve been calling it the fake real wedding for the last year.

  16. Reading about the health insurance in the USA and Canada is quite shocking. Makes me glad I don’t live there. In South Africa for about the equivalent of $130 a month we get full comprehensive which covers everything. And we think that’s expensive. We may have a failing health system but it sure looks rosy now.

  17. Gerlinde, to clarify: Canada has socialized healthcare. It’s only here in the good ol’ USA that we have privatized healthcare.

  18. My husband and I got legally married so we could both live in the US. When I moved to Sweden, I lived with him and became a legal resident based on cohabitation. In Sweden, it’s an official legal status called sambo.

    When we were ready to move to the US, we got legally married. We had our wedding ceremony and celebration 3 years later when we felt emotionally ready to be married and could afford the celebration we wanted.

    If either of us gets really sick, we may have to jump ship and move to the EU.

  19. just wanted to leave a quick note to say how much i love your blog here. the brides that come to me for photography are usually looking for a wedding that is a bit out of the norm and i am always sure to send them here for ideas. keep up the great work! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. we did the city-hall-in-NYC thing before heading out to england for our loved-ones-and-a-party wedding, since the brits would NOT take our word that we were just trying to get married where we met and didn’t actually want to emigrate. we didn’t mind: as someone once said, there’s the day you’re married for caesar and the day you’re married for your friends, and the second is the one that counts.

  21. I’m not even married yet, in any sense of the word. Its just a day. I don’t even know if I’d get weddinged, I can’t afford anything right now but I can jump ship if I have a European passport.

  22. I’m a Sri-Lanka born U.S. citizen, and married my husband, a Sri Lankan citizen, last July (’07), so that I could file for his visa when I returned to the U.S. It was a legal marriage at our (Buddhist) temple, followed by a little lunch for family at a nearby hotel. Three days after this, I returned to the U.S. for my job and to file his visa. Then, this past January I went back for our formal wedding. It was kind of weird to be in limbo between legally married and weddinged, lol! But, it was fun too.

    This has actually been the practice in Sri Lanka for years and years. My parents did the same thing. The legal marriage is NOT called a marriage, but the “Engagement” or “Registration”, and the wedding is held afterwards, usually several months later.

    Not everyone does this, though, and nowadays people just do the legal marriage registration on the wedding day, right after the ceremony. But, the old way is still quite popular.

  23. My husband of 5 years and I just got ‘weddinged’ as did a co-worker of mine, this year. We are all in the military and planning a wedding around our schedules is difficult to say the least. Our reasons for having a wedding later were a little different than Aaron and Jeannie’s, but came from the same tree. Money. It was scarce to say the least, but we knew we wanted to be husband and wife, and weren’t going to let that get in our way. So in a courthouse with my younger brother as the maid of honor/bridesmaid/videographer/ring bearer we said I do. And regret it? We don’t.

  24. We are doing this too, getting weddinged! We were married 15 years ago with a JP ceremony, and will be getting weddinged / renewing our vows this October!

  25. This is great! I didn’t think we were crazy! It’s great to see that so many other couples have done this too. We did it for reasons a bit different than some of the other couples here. We didn’t do it because of insurance. We thankfully live in California and have had each other covered for insurance just by declaring each other domestic partners. Rather we did this as a tax benefit – in the US there’s a tax break given to married people. Lastly, the timing of our legal ceremony strategically came after the Supreme Court of California declared it legal for same sex couples to get married! We have a lot of LGBTQ friends and our getting legally married and then planning our ceremony once this right was given to them was our way of standing in solidarity with our loved ones. We are so excited to get weddinged in October with all our friends back home in Albuquerque, NM. Best of luck to you all!

  26. Haha I’m in the same boat….well except my “beyonce” and I got married a little over a year ago but never told anyone (long story, we were best friends then started dating, I proposed a week later and we were legally married a month after that) and we did it almost like a dare…
    So now we’re getting weddinged next year (probably on our secret anniversary, in fact) and if we can avoid it, I think we still won’t tell people…at least not til we’re all drunk at the reception.
    What’s really funny is that a girl that I work with had to do the same thing. She got legally married earlier than planned because otherwise her apartment complex wouldn’t let them live there. (It’s married student housing, so I guess it wasn’t enough that they were engaged) They just got weddinged a couple months ago.

  27. I’m so happy to hear other people are doing the same as me and my husband. he’s from the UK and I’m American and the only way we could be together was to get married. We’ve now been married for 3 years and finally have all the immigration stuff sorted and getting weddinged in October. I posted a questing regarding my situation on and pretty much got tarred and feathered. They are hardcore bridezillas on that web site glad I found this one. Thanks everyone!!

    • It might be helpful if members of that group could share some experiences on this thread… as the tribe is not open to everyone

  28. We might go this route so we can keep living with our friends. There’s a limit to the number of “unrelated” adults who can live together. If filing a domestic partnership doesn’t cover it, we might go to the courthouse. I don’t know how I feel about keeping it a secret, though. People can get really hurt if it ever comes out because not everyone has the same values, including our loved ones. Then again, if we didn’t keep it a secret, our families and several friends would hate us anyway.

  29. I got married this past Friday
    (the 11th) via a self uniting marriage. I strongly suggest this to anyone who is able to do so that is planning to elope. It is easy and inexpensive. No officiant needed, only yourselves and two witnesses!

    Any way… we were planning a wedding in October, and with familial crap going down ( his family decided that now is the perfect time be selfish, and to go to war with each other)…eloping was the best option to keep this about us.

    We had all ready put money into the October wedding.. so we decided not to tell anyone. So, we are going the weddinged route!

  30. Hi everyone!
    I’m so delighted to see this topic being aired. My man and I did exactly this – married October 2006 with just a registrar and two women we’d just met in a cafe and asked to be our witnesses. We did this so that no family or friends could feel they were excluded when others were included. Now we’re planning our ‘real’ wedding in September – a Humanist ceremony in the company of the people we love. We did the two-weddings thing for immigration reasons – the time is so short to arrange things, and we didn’t have enough money saved after spending so much flying between Britain and Brazil. Inevitably a few people have guessed or asked us straight out, and we haven’t lied, but I’m slightly apprehensive about if my family find out accidentally, and occasionally I think we should tell them before the day. However, I think they might be devastated. Somehow it’s hugely reassuring and comforting to read all the comments on this site about the issue, and you know what? We were in love when we did the first legal one, but we love each other far more now, and are both really excited and happy about getting weddinged!

  31. I love that this now has a term! Mr. R and I are going this route as well. We wanted to take the planning of the wedding stuff slow enough that we could DIY and save up and still get what we want, but it just didn’t make sense to keep him treading the thin ice of zero health insurance in the mean time. So, married this month, weddinged next April. Perfect!

  32. Actually my fiance are going to be in a similar situation. He is in the military and is going to be deployed within the year. However, we are saving up so that we can have a wedding ceremony to celebrate our future life together. The thing is, since he is going to be deployed, and I am graduating soon and will lose my insurance while he is overseas, I’m going to be screwed if anything happens before he gets back, to him or to me. So, we are going to get legally married before he leaves, and then have the ceremony when his contract is up and he is able to come back home about a year after the legal marraige. It’s a big mess, but well worth it. So yeah, weddinged it is.

  33. Dcoesn’t it just seem wrong that people are forced into making/timing highly personal decisions based on the availability of health insurance?

    • No one is forcing anyone into these decisions. I don’t think the idea is that if you want better benefits, you get married. The idea is that if two people have decided to get married…they get these benefits.

      I really don’t think it’s right to jump into a marriage…which regardless of having different meanings to different faiths and a secular one…has love and commitment at its root.

      But it is wrong to tell some people they can catch a break in recognition of them falling in line and getting married, while telling others that if those benefits are only for a certain class: the married class.

      • Ok, so there are lots of philosophical things to say about choice and force… But it does seem to me like if, say, a boyfriend loses his job and needs health insurance for an expensive condition, and insurance is prohibitively expensive but without insurance he will go bankrupt from the cost of his treatments or go without treatments at his peril, and he can get insurance without going broke by marrying his girlfriend, they are pretty much being forced to get married. And before someone says this is a weird hypothetical situation, it’s really not – lots of people in the USA need medications or treatments, and lots of people lack the insurance to pay for such things. Even if there is no existing illness, if the couple is even remotely contemplating a life together, it makes more sense to marry for insurance and risk having to divorce later than to have one person go without insurance and risk starting a marriage later under a tremendous cloud of debt caused by an accident or sudden illness.

  34. i knew there were others out there, but i had no idea how many! ๐Ÿ™‚
    hubby/fiance and i met while he was here in the US on an F1 student visa. we got engaged in Dec, did some quick math, and realized by the time we got married his F1/OPT work permit would run out. so rather than get married and have him sitting around the apartment bored/driving me nuts waiting for his green card to go thru, we got married in february (allowing enough time to get a new work authorization before the old one ran out). we’re getting weddinged in 10 days – 6 months and two days after getting married. when people look at me like im crazy, i shut them up with “he loves me enough to marry me twice”.

  35. I'm in a similar situation. My (now) husband and I were married at the SF Courthouse in October, almost one full year before our planned weddings in India and the USA. He is from India, and our immigration attorney strongly recommended that he get his Greencard paperwork filed before we got hitched in India. It's kind of weird, because it was just the two of us at the courthouse and we sometimes forget we are married. None of his peeps know we're legally married, but most of mine do. I am wishing I had kept it under wraps until the 'real' wedding in September 2010 – but I was too excited! I just feel a little cheated out of having the whole 'shebang' at once. I feel like we can't have a wedding, like we will have to call it a 'marriage celebration' or just a reception. At the same time, it's really made us analyze what makes a marriage – the legal, social, romantic, spiritual, familial commitments and all. The good news is at least I don't have to worry about us getting cold feet the nights before our 'weddings'!

    The *great* irony is I was always very anti-wedding – until I met him and fell so in love. I always swore I would never get married, and now I'm having 3 marriages – to the same person! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. I met my fiance while he was studying abroad at my college, from England. The next year, I studied abroad at his school in England! We finally figured out that we’re supposed to be more than friends, so he’s moving here in a few months to be with me :). we’ll be signing the papers in december, but no ‘big wedding’ until next October! we’re keeping it a secret from all but the closest family, people just dont seem to understand “why you’d need 2”. lame!

  37. FH and I are part of a big post apoc. community and are having a wedding in May with our blood relatives and close friends and then getting weddinged again in September with all 1500 of our Wasteland family!

  38. The FH and I are actually considering doing this. We are currently planning our wedding right now for a year and a couple months from now, but actually getting married now might be a good idea for us. You see he is active duty military and I’m a reservist. And while reservists do get insurance coverage, it’s spotty, fraught with “if this” & “if that” and half the time my own reserve office doesn’t even know what we’re entitled to. (For that reason many reservists at my base use the insurance that their civilian jobs provide instead; I don’t have a civilian job) So if in the next year or so, unless I am actually working my reserve stuff the actual day I have an accident/get sick, I’m pretty much screwed. It’s good to know it’s not uncommon. I kinda feel like we’d be cheating, you know, just getting married for the benefits. But it really does makes sense.

  39. This is what my fiance and I are doing. We got engaged almost a year ago and will be going to the courthouse in a couple months for the legal side of things. For reasons like benefits, tax purposes, and school it’s easier if we’re legally married. We both agree that it isn’t going to feel REAL though until we get Weddinged (hehe, love that there’s a term for it). Our wedding date is February 28, 2015.

  40. We just got legalled on April 13th and are getting weddinged August 1, 2015! We did it for the same reasons as you two – only I’m the lady breadwinner and my man is the poet who’s just out of grad school with an MFA and no immediate job prospects. Luckily, both sides of our family are very supportive of our decision. Of course, we still want to have a wedding with our family present, so we’ll be having one. Just doing things a bit backwards, I guess.

  41. This made my night! I posted a question on another wedding site and got harrassed to no end about us doing this. Thank you wonderful people for making my day! My wife and I were married in our town courthouse this past October for both reason that we can now legally get married in our state and the fact the my gov’t job recognizes that marriage and she can be on my insurance. Next November we are planning a big hoopla with all the trimmings and we can’t wait. We were excited for this year and are even more excited for next year! Hurrah for weddinged!!

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