Well friends, first I’d like to apologize if this is how you’re learning about this major life event. Naturally my preference is to give big news in person (or at least, over the phone). But this was an atypical situation in many ways.
My now-hubby and I moved in together in early 2011 and he proposed to me on the day we got our new house keys. Marriage had not really been a part of my plan, but I was really happy nonetheless. I knew I wanted to spend my life with this wonderful man. And as I did a little psyche diving, I recognized that my problems with marriage were actually problems with the wedding industry rather than the institution itself.
Don’t get me wrong, I love going to weddings. Much more often than not, they are very happy, fun occasions. I just personally don’t like the idea of spending thousands upon thousands of dollars for a one-day party. I don’t like how so many retailers take advantage of the bride and groom…at most bakeries or flower shops, say the word ‘wedding’ and the price is suddenly 3 times higher than it would be if you said ‘birthday’ or ‘no special occasion.’ I know this doesn’t apply across the board, but it happens and that stinks! I am Portuguese and I have a big, Portuguese family. As soon as we got engaged I began making tentative guest lists…well, folks, by draft number 5 and still not being able to keep my side under 100 people, I got stressed out and put the lists away for a while (about 13 months, to be more precise). All I wanted was something small and intimate, but I just couldn’t see how that would be possible.
I always liked the idea of eloping. Avoiding the big, crazy wedding with my big, crazy family (who I love dearly!) definitely had some appeal. The stress of planning a wedding with many people and trying to keep everyone happy is a little overwhelming. And then there’s the fact that getting married in Mexico (where we had agreed upon) while living in Canada is a bit complicated. I read/heard from a few sources that you have to have blood work done (still not sure why), you have to be in the country for 3-4 days before you can marry (and I wanted my whole trip to be only 4 days), and then there is the document translation (my documents into Spanish and then the marriage documents into English upon our return). We started discussing very early on the option of having a legal ceremony in Alberta and then the ‘spiritual’ or religious ceremony in Mexico. Then time passed and we made no advancement with the wedding plans at all. My mother-in-law had planned a visit and when my fiancée asked me if I wanted to proceed with the civil ceremony, taking advantage of the fact that his mom would already be in town, I jumped at the chance. I called my parents to make sure that they could make it and the ball started rolling! We decided that only parents would be invited to our little wedding…well, parents and our 2 witnesses. And from that moment, everything just fell seamlessly into place. I found a cute B&B in the mountains and my fiancée found a nice restaurant. When we mapped them online we discovered that they were 2 doors down from one another! So we booked everything and then relaxed. I have to say, I was almost unnerved at how calm I felt about the whole thing. A bunch of things did start to go - let’s use the word ‘awry’ - in the 2 days leading up to the wedding, but I’ll share those another time. For now, people have been asking for photos, so here they come!