Firstly, I would like to apologise to anyone who knows me and has had to listen to me rant and rave for the last 10 years or so about how marriage isn’t for me and it’s an outdated concept. Guess what we did today? Yup.

I’ve alway been extremely happy for friends getting married because the idea of marriage has really meant something to them, I’ve just never really felt that way. I was never one of these girls growing up who dreamed of a big white wedding and although I kind of convinced myself in my teens it was what you were supposed to do, by the time I hit my 20s I was adamant it wasn’t for me. Paul and I have been together for nearly 8 years and despite squabbling like an old married couple we’ve just never felt to need to actually become one.

However, Paul and I have been each other’s family in every way apart from in the eyes of the law and that was starting to become a worry for both of us. We looked into various legal options which were all complicated and very expensive but we didn’t feel like we should be treated any differently to a married couple. It was at this point, during my RTW research, that I noticed that you can pick up a marriage license in the U.S for as little as $40.

Would we be hypocrites? Did it de-value an institution so many people feel is sacred? Wasn’t it weird that two strangers can get married immediately in Vegas and yet the British government doesn’t recognise our 8 year relationship without a piece of paper? The debate went on and on… We finally made the decision to just go ahead and tie the knot, just quietly and with little fuss. Yes I now feel a bit silly but hey ho! I also hate being the centre of attention at events anyway and as we saw it, we were spending the same amount of money on our RTW as some people will on one day.

 

Buffalo City Hall where we obtained our license

Buffalo City Hall where we obtained our license

We decided to do the deed in upstate New York in a city hall or courthouse in front of a Justice of the Peace, we’d decide where and when on the road. Last Tuesday we decided to get cracking and had pretty much the whole thing organised in about 72 hours, bridezillas please take note.

Auburn Courthouse

We picked Auburn, NY so we could enjoy the beauty of the Fingerlakes region before and after. This plan was delightful until some arse in a jewelers in Buffalo informed me that Auburn was built around a prison, exact words were “there’s nothing there but a prison”. Oh and not just any prison but a maximum security one and the first in the U.S to use the electric chair! Needless to say, Paul thought this was hilarious. Despite the prison, Auburn is a lovely historic town with the most beautiful courthouse. Thank you to Judge McKeon for marrying us without charge and also finding a witness for us so we didn’t have to drag someone in off the street or, as per Paul’s suggestion, ask one of the several 100 guests of the local penitentiary if they fancied a day out.

Our wedding bands

Our wedding bands

Next came rings. I’m not too proud to admit that I’ve always wanted a nice piece of jewellery, wedding ring or not and Paul said that he would like to wear a ring. This ensued a traumatic day of visiting around 12 jewelers in the Buffalo area. No one had the specific type of band I wanted and more bizarrely, Paul couldn’t find a really plain band either. I’d given up hope when we walked into the last place on my list. I’d already written it off as too fancy and way out of our price range. The store was owned by two craftsmen who managed to ship platinum in overnight and spend the next day setting small diamonds all around the band to deliver me a custom ring within 24 hours. Paul had decided he didn’t want a normal gold or platinum band and came across Tungsten, the hardest metal known to man. The only problem was, every band we saw in this substance had hideous designs carved into it. After finally finding a plain band, Paul’s ring was shipped overnight from California and delivered to Auburn for us to to collect.

The Springside Inn

The Springside Inn

I spent $30 on an old navy dress that is smart enough for court but casual enough that I can wear it for the rest of the trip. Paul (big spender) has a new shirt, khakis and fake chucks from Walmart and spent the grand total of $45. Lastly, we blew our accommodation budget for one night and are currently staying in a beautiful lakeside inn with a lovely restaurant attached. Plus, I’m allowed wine! This is a great victory for me since budget does not normally allow.

The deed is done!

The deed is done!

So there you have it, not the most traditional of love stories but memorable and a bit weird which is the way we like it. As you may have gathered reading this post and although it pains me to admit it, I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. I’ve come to realise over the years that we really are meant to be and I’m glad we decided to honour this commitment. The concept of marriage has really grown on me and I’m actually looking forward to being someone’s wife.

Paul and I

Paul and I

37 Responses

    • Maddie

      Thanks Kim 🙂 “honeymoon” is camping in the Adirondacks so we’re v excited!

      Reply
  1. alex

    Congratulations both of you! Sounds totally out of a quentin tarentino plot! Casually cooly romantic. Except perhaps without the violence. Thankfully 🙂

    Reply
    • Maddie

      Thanks Alex 🙂 It was fab and the only threat of violence was when I suggested sharing a dessert! x

      Reply
  2. Jo Dixon

    Wow! I have just read your beautiful elopement story and want to say a big congratulations to you both. Guy and I have just celebrated one year of marriedness and returned from a super extended honeymoon – both of which I thoroughly recommend! Have a wonderful rest of adventure and many many congratulations to you both. Jo xxx

    Reply
    • Maddie

      Thanks Jo! I do think it’s the way forward. Hope you had a fabulous time in South America and are settling back into Edinburgh life xx

      Reply
  3. Emma Dodd

    A wonderful account of a very special story. Wishing you a wonderful life together. x

    Reply
  4. Lucy Woffenden

    Hi Paul and Maddie
    So lovely to hear your news, huge congratulations to both of you! The photos are just lovely and you both look so happy and utterly content! Your day sounds lovely and The Springside Inn looks picutre perfect! Delighted you both did it “your way”!
    Lots of best wishes from Mark and I and we wish you many years of happiness and continued squabbling – wouldnt be fun without the odd squabble or 2!
    With our best wishes
    Lucy and Mark xx

    Reply
    • Maddie

      Thanks both! We had a great time and the Springside is just perfect, they’ve treated us like royalty. Paul said to say hello to everyone at Lucy Walker Recruitment and promises to send you an email to catch up soon xx

      Reply
  5. Debbie Simpson

    Congratulations to you both – The main thing i guess is that you are both happy and you certainly look it… Hope you have a great week camping… and of course the rest of your trip awaits you as legally together now.

    Love and best wishes

    Debbie xx

    Reply
  6. Laura, Simon & Iz!

    Congrats… hope you enjoy the little warm after glow of getting married! So VERY VERY pleased for you both can’t wait to give you a big hug! Love ya!

    Reply
  7. Julie and Mark

    Hey newly married couple!

    What fantastic news. We’re so pleased for you both and what a way to do it – your way. We know how important it is to do your own thing, it makes it so much more special knowing your day is just about the both of you, together.

    Maddie – it breaks my heart to learn you can’t drink wine, I might have to wire some money out to you 🙂 Also you’ve been in the US too long now, your spelling is turning!

    Have a fab honeymoon exploring the World. Take care of yourselves. Lots of love xxx

    Reply
    • Maddie

      Thanks both, it was really good fun! I’m allowed wine if I’ve bought it from a shop but not when we’re out to eat 🙁 Made up for it the other day though and they gave us champagne which was lovely. Hope you’re both well, lots of love back at ya xxx

      Reply
  8. John Ayton

    God it’ll be kids next!!!!! I never did get to dance at your wedding and I aint going to forgive you for that…..Congratulations to both of you.. We couldn’t be happier to hear your news Love John and Denise

    Reply
    • Maddie

      Wash your mouth out, no sprogs just yet! I knew there would be some comment about dancing at the wedding, I think we both know that me dancing at any wedding only leads to bad things. Remember Phill & Carolyn’s??!! Love to you both xx

      Reply
  9. Phil

    Congratulations! Maddie, you look lovely in the photos. Brother Dayton, you look like you are on day release. Also you look like you have an inbred wandering eye in the photo with the judge… who is sleeping on his feet!

    Welcome to the Dayton family, you are probably counting down the days until the Dayton dementia kicks in!

    Reply
    • Maddie

      Thanks Philthy 🙂 Won’t comment on your brother’s attire, I’m sure he’ll get back to you on that! Hope you both finally got home and are settled back in

      Reply
  10. Jim & Kathy Lawton

    It all sounds lovely and memorable. All the best to you and happy trails.

    Reply
  11. Tanya

    Woah there guys! I just was sitting watching a film tonight & happened to at one point look up & see your wee card on my board in front of me & thought “wonder what those pair are up to”!

    Massive congratulations, you are a fab couple & I can say this on your private blog that so far you have been my favourite guests:)so I am really happy for you

    Love the whole story & you both look great in the photos.

    Re your blog, I do somewhat agree with your Canada comments – I don’t think I would be able to survive here without the constant flow of interesting guests from the outside!

    Hope your travels continue to be great (you’ve certainly given me some food for thought on the 7 day challenge – that’s a potential trip for me in quiet season!)

    Tanyax
    Golden, BC

    Reply
    • Maddie

      Hey Tanya!

      V spooky, I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering how things were going at Kicking Horse?? We still doing really good, v past paced through the States but we’re doing ok so far. We had such an amazing time staying with you, staying up talking with you and Neil was such highlight! You should definitely plan a trip when it starts getting quieter, there were a few really long days but there is so much to stop and see and fuel is way cheaper than what you’ll be used to.

      Take care of you and let us know how you’re getting on

      Maddie xx

      Reply
    • Maddie

      Thanks Lau, It feels very strange to think I wrote this a whole year ago. We haven’t got upstate luxury but we’re determined to find a decent meal where we are!

      Reply
  12. Rob

    This is definitely the way to do it! Absolutely love it.

    “we were spending the same amount of money on our RTW as some people will on one day.” It always seems crazy to me when people talk about spending an absolute fortune on one single day!! Every time somebody tells me how much a wedding costs I automatically do a quick sum to work out how long I could travel for!

    You two have a lifetime of memories rather than one stressful day 🙂
    Rob recently posted..DON’T GO TO BELIZE! YOU WILL DIE!My Profile

    Reply
    • Maddie

      It astounds me how much people spend on weddings. I get that for some it’s a really important day but seriously, it’s one day! This way we got to have our own perfect day with some fantastic memories and a really unusual story to tell – it was perfect 🙂 For me one day in a fancy dress can’t compare to the time we’ve had exploring.

      Reply
    • Maddie

      Thanks Hannah 🙂 It was perfect for us and we got to have the day in our favourite country, win win!

      Reply
  13. Grace

    Just by accident I read this story and am grateful u married in my hometown Auburn! It’s friendly town and I’m hoax u ignored the outsiders who did not realize auburn have more things to see and do than just a prison! Happy marriage !!!

    Reply

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