A year ago today...
Last year, Michael and I had a courthouse wedding. It was an interesting experience that I want to share... with those of you who weren't there, and I guess I'm up for reminiscing with those who were there.
Michael and I planned our wedding more than a year in advance because we wanted to do it in Puerto Rico, and so we chose the date of June 13th and the place and everything was fine. Puerto Rico is a US colony and apparently the level of red tape is twice as large as it is in the US. Getting permission to have the ceremony where we wanted was a headache I do not care to relive. Then I found out that getting married legally in Puerto Rico is a pain in the @$$. There are expensive blood tests and time limits on when you can do them, and complications about having it outside of the court house, and additional payments for a judge to leave the building, and after a lot of grief we said "Let's just go to City Hall". So we found out it was actually quite simple to go to city hall and get a license and then get married there. The Athens-Clarke County process was pretty straight forward so Michael and I went for it.
We picked the date of June 2nd. Why? Because it had to be on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday. I was flying to Puerto Rico on June 3rd which was a Wednesday so I picked Tuesday so Michael could spend the night on Tuesday and drive me and Kano to the airport on Wednesday morning. Practical, practical, practical. We decided to have Kano perform a symbolic ceremony in Puerto Rico for us and it was perfect, better than we imagined it would be, but that's fr another blog.
At first we though we'd just go to City Hall and make it official. Then people started buzzing about wanting to be there and what initially was just going to be a formality turned into a posse of about 15 people who had to be shushed in the building more than once. It seems what to us was a festive occasion was just another working Tuesday for the people at the Athens Court House.
Anyway, Kano and I went to the courthouse to meet my groom to be and it was all kind of clinical. Going through metal detectors and all. Then we were there and it was Michael and I, his parents, his sister, brother in law and niece and nephew, my brother, two of Michael's friends and three of mine. We were loud. They asked us to keep it down while we waited.
Then this lovely judge came and asked us for a few minutes. We chatted for some time. She wanted to know about us, how old we were, what we did for a living, how long we had been together. Then she excused herself and went to find vows she found appropriate. Obviously, she does this for a living.
When she came back she asked us to join her outside, where it would be warmer. She picked a spot among the trees and the benches and our posse gathered around us as she spoke. It was lovely. She was very warm and funny. She made us all feel good about our little ceremony, and reminded us all that this was not just a legal hurdle, but something beautiful and the start of a new chapter for all of us.
After that we all went to DePalma's for some champagne and a nice dinner, thanks to my generous in-laws. We were all very happy and pleasantly surprised by how great it all turned out.
I just wanted to say thank you to Kano, Ann, Robert, Robin, Dan, Russ, Meredith, Page, Sandy, Jonathan, Neil and Matt for sharing that day with us and helping to make it a little more special.
And to my Michael: I know we agreed to celebrate the 13th as our anniversary. But I do what I want! And as always - I love you!