I met my special somebody in 2011. He was in the Army and lived 9 hours away from me. We knew it was 'IT' from the start we were opposite dates on a double blind date. In March 2012, I went out to visit him for a week on his base. One night, he wrote on my leg with his finger, "Will you marry me someday..?". He told me later that he was just feeling me out and honestly wasn't thinking about any quick wedding plans. I said "Yes!" A few drinks and hours later, I said I wanted to elope with him. He says to me.. "Hun, there are no courthouses open at 2 am." Tears then began to trickle down my face. The next day he reminds me about what happened the previous night and I thought about it some more. I knew he was the man I couldn't live without so why not get married?
The following weekend I went back to our home state, visited my grandparents. I told them I had met someone that was absolutely wonderful.
SIDE NOTE: My family didn't really know I was seeing anyone as I was keeping it on the down low, but they did know him and I visited from time to time and talked every day.
Anyways, I was so excited and I told them that I wanted to get married to this guy that I just visited. They were so excited for me because there hasn't been a wedding in a LONG time. They even told me stories I never knew about. My grandmother didn't want an engagement ring, just a wedding ring. I was nervous as hell to tell anyone in my family that I wanted to go the non-tradtional route to marry the man of my dreams. It didn't matter to me as long as I married him. But, I did tell my grandparents first of our plans. They promised to not tell anyone. Although, they did wish that I would eventually have a religious wedding with a large reception.
A week later, I told my mother. She said she knew that there was something special about him and also wanted me to have a second ceremony, so she could watch her baby girl walk down the aisle.
My dad and sister didn't take me as seriously. But when he got the ring, it got serious. My sister didn't support the fact that we were getting married so much quicker than her and her boyfriend. They had been together for around 6-7 years now and don't plan on getting married for at least another 2 years. My dad didn't want me to turn out like him and my mom, who got married at just 19 years old after my mom got pregnant with my sister. I understood both of their reasons, but I was not knocked up nor was I willing to wait another decade to marry this man.
On May 31 2012, I got married to the love of my life in a courthouse. Our parents, sister, my grandparents were all present. I had some surprise visitors, my godparents. It was beautiful and I do not regret it. My dad cried, something I don't see often. I do admit that it was a little unromantic having saying our vows in the same room that people get convicted in.
We had pictures done at a local park and in the woods. See pictures below. We had dinner at PF Changs and we actually had AMAZING cake in the parking lot using cardboard from the box as plates. We might have forgotten to grab plates... oops! But it was worth every second and every laugh.
We had our honeymoon at a local hotel that one of my friends worked at and got a good discount for us. We hung out with the VFW and ended up receiving wonderful gifts from them such as a free honeymoon suite for the weekend and we are now lifetime members of the VFW and Women's Auxillary. The little things...
I spent the summer with my husband, but I had to come back to our homestate to start nursing school. I am currently living with my in-laws and am due to graduate in May 2014. He visits me every 4-day weekend he can, we skype often. He is due to deploy next spring and will be coming home right around the time I graduate.
The following summer after deployment and graduation, our families want us to have a religious ceremony and reception. They are very excited to "have a reason to party" and my aunts, grandmother, and mother/MIL can't wait to go dress shopping. I have to admitt that I am excited as well and blessed to have family and friends that support my DH and my non-traditional ways.
I wanted to write this for those who are considering a courthouse wedding then a ceremony to follow. There are MANY people who don't like people who do these "do-over weddings" or "second weddings". There are times that it just isn't appropriate, especially if you plan on lying to your family about being married and faking your "wedding" day. THAT, I do not support.
I feel that you need to have your family's support. Not all are going to agree, but your immediate family members should be understanding what you and your SO wishes are. BUT you also need to understand their wishes. They might want you to have a religious ceremony, which is what happened in my case since we come from very Catholic families.
We will be renewing vows and my family wants me to go all out. I am okay with this, but I am having a more informal wedding dress and downplaying most things for the ceremony since we are already married and it's just a vow renewal. It is not going to be a big fluffy dress, dashing black tuxes, with huge chandeliers. No, not at all. It will be more of a laidback informal romantic country theme with everything outdoors.
Also, a little note about pre-wedding parties such as bacholer/bacholorette parties. We are not having these. We don't need to because we already are married. As far as bridal showers, I am not asking for any of these.
However, my grandmother has told me that her, my aunts, and my mom are going to throw a shower when the time comes. She has told me she wants me to have that experience and to make sure that I have everything I need to settle down with my husband after school and deployment. Also, please note, that we didn not have any of these pre-wedding parties before our courthouse wedding and don't expect them for our vow renewal.
As far as who is paying for what, I paid for everything at our courthouse wedding except for our cake and my ring. We both are planning on paying for everything at our vow renewal as well.
I hope that this post helps as far as those who are trying to decide if its right for them to have courthouse weddings and following them up with a vow renewal.
For those who don't agree, I have heard all of your reasons before. I honestly just care about what my family wishes are. I also want to say that please be more understanding of those who undergo non-traditional weddings, we don't know what's going on their life. Thank you!
Here are some photos from my wonderful wedding day:
[EDIT]: Please look below in one of my other posts for my pictures. I had some issues trying to post pictures the first time around.
Until next time, tortor09.