We eloped. No family, no friends, no fuss. Well, no people fuss. Except for the people who didn't appreciate the way we were doing things. Or the way we went about it. Oops.
Just a side note: Mothers, when your daughter finally finds someone who wants to spend the rest of their life with her, and they start to plan a wedding, butt out. It is not your wedding. She should not have to elope to get you off her case. The End.
We booked a fabulous cruise leaving Saturday after Thanksgiving. The day after Thanksgiving, we were one-armed paper hangers. Picking up a dress, picking up a tux, picking up rings, dinner with friends. All on opposite sides of town: Houston-town. When night fell, we collapsed into bed. Our flight left at 705am, the next morning. It takes a long time to fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Especially when you have a layover in Miami. And a traveling day feels very long when your wedding finery is a carry-on. Poor Brian carried that wedding dress all over 3 airports and stood in line at the cruise terminal with it. It was heavy. I was in charge of the tux. Much less heavy.
Boarding the cruise ship and getting our luggage to our room, we finally had a minute to breathe. (And rest our arms!) We attended a reception for people on the cruise who were either getting married or honeymooning. There was one couple there who had just married and had 700 guests at their wedding. I wonder if those folks are still married today. We had dinner at a one of the pay restaurants and I ate the best steak I had ever had and also got a bottle of complementary champagne. I set up an appointment to have my hair done with the veil. If I had had a traditional wedding, I would have had a couple of hair appointments: trial run with the veil, have bridal portraits taken and then the actual wedding. In this case, I just had to roll with it. I think it turned out okay.
On Sunday, December 1, 2002, I got up before Brian, took a shower and hurried on down the the hair salon. When I got back, he was ironing his shirt on the tiniest table ever. That's when I got nervous. What in the HELL was I doing? Married? Me? Today? Oh good grief. I ran outside to smoke a cigarette on our balcony and told Brian, "Do NOT talk to me!" If I hadn't gone through with the wedding, it certainly would have made the rest of the vacation a little awkward...
I want to move to the Caribbean because everything operates on Island Time. We waited in line to disembark the ship and to meet up with the wedding planner who was taking us to the courthouse to sign our marriage license. We were told to be there at 930am, but there was no guarantee the clerk was going to be there at 930am. Island time. While we were at the courthouse, it started pouring down rain and we got a little wet. Good for fertility, they said. As the first ceremony, we went straight over to the beach. The minister looked exactly like this guy:
This is Scott Glenn portraying Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs. The minister looked so much like this guy, I have no idea what I agreed to or for how long. It was so uncanny that we had just watched this movie a few days before! After the ceremony and during the pictures, Brian kept repeating lines from the movie and making me laugh out loud. Like, "PUT THE LOTION IN THE BASKET!"
It was so amazing being there, just us.
I was so thrilled to finally be Brian's wife. To dig my toes into the sand, feel the sun on my face, smell the sea air...a perfect day. Even with more rain. I kept staring at my engagement ring/wedding ring together. I remember thinking, "I'm the luckiest girl that this guys wants me." I really do still think that.
This is probably my favorite picture because I think it sums up what our relationship has been from start to now: him and me against everything else. A person I can count on when I don't/can't/won't count on anyone else. The other half to myself. My soul mate. A prince. And I should know. I kissed a lot of frogs before him.