Three years ago today, I married a guy I had known a little less than a year, in front of two total strangers.
I realize that this story is borderline insane and that at three years in we might still linger on crazy but every time I tell it I always imagine it’s to tons of grandchildren on Christmas eve after we finish watching The Polar Express and right before bedtime.
Andrew made his intentions of marrying me known on an afternoon walk over Thanksgiving Break in 2011. He took me to his hometown’s small downtown area where we walked around for a bit and stopped to get a bite to eat.
After we ate, we went to a little malt shop and shared a milkshake. It was there that he asked me if I could ever see myself marrying him. When I told him that I could, he asked the waitress to take a picture of us to capture with a photo, the day I told him I would marry him one day.
The picture turned out terrible, but the memory was preserved!
The more we talked about it, one day became this day, so we decided we would get married over our Thanksgiving trip! We ended up not having all the things we needed, so we decided to wait until we got back home! Once got back home though we began to worry about what everyone think of our spontaneity, so we kept putting it off.
It was in those days right before we got married that we really put all reservations on account of “what other people would have to say” aside, set a date of “tomorrow” and on Wednesday December 7th, 2011 got up and made our way to the courthouse.
I was so nervous but I didn’t think twice. In fact, I don’t remember thinking much at all. I just remember how beautiful that car ride was. Things I had seen a million times just glistened in the sunshine. My heart was overflowing with joy and my mind was so quiet, so still. I had such peace.
It sounds impossible, a nervous peace. But that’s the only way I can describe it.
There was a slight moment of panic when we asked two different sets of people to witness for us and they said no…but we saw one last couple coming out of a courtroom so we asked and they kindly obliged.
Another slight moment of panic happened when the gentlemen accompanying us with his lady friend continued to ask Andrew if he was sure he wanted to do this for the few feet walk back to the magistrate’s office. But, after Andrew said he was sure, the lady friend told him to hush up and he kindly obliged. I wasn’t sure why I was laughing, but I was.
The ceremony was over too quickly. I could have stood there f o r e v e r in that moment with him. Then came the kiss. Then came the photo.
We walked out to congratulations from Security guards and other personnel. We closed up shop but before we left the grounds, we shared a first dance on the courthouse steps. There was no music, we didn’t take video or even a photo. There was just me, my husband and our own little sway.
We drove back to the beach all smiles. I was so overjoyed, it didn’t even hit me until we were in the car on the way back from the courthouse that the day we decided to elope happened to be Pearl Harbor Day. I was a little panicked at first with it being associated with a great national tragedy and all so Andrew and I decided then and there that we would pay our respects to the Pearl Harbor Memorial in Hawaii for our 5 year wedding anniversary. That sounds easy breezy but for someone who is terrified of flying on airplanes, it’s a testament of true respect.
We decided for our “reception” we would have pizza at our favorite downtown pizza place (I love NY Pizza in Wilmington, NC), get cupcakes and go home for the night.
After pizza we picked up some cupcakes and headed home for a night in. They didn’t have “hey we just eloped” cupcakes at Harris Teeter so we chose Spiderman instead. I saved one of the rings that came with the cupcakes as a keepsake and then for “something blue” at my wedding party a year later, I attached it to my keepsake garter.
I’m so thankful for this day, December 7th, that made me Andrew’s wife. The memories we have made and are making are keeping my heart so full.
“Really Important Meetings are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other” –Paulo Coelho
You are my most spontaneous, most adventurous decision. Our story is one I’m having so much fun writing with you. You are the other half of my gypsy soul. I will love you in this life, and further. x