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me and has had to listen to me rant and rave for the last 10 years or so about how marriage isn’t for me and it’s an outdated concept.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.