Monday, 22 August 2011

There's no such thing as "out of the blue"

Image © Courtenay Photographic

So, you see above the possible design for our USA wedding invites. HOW EXCITING! We've just been messing around with a few designs (and by that I mean I have been occupying my time by making invites on Photobox and then emailing them to Ben to see what he thinks) and working out some final details for the wedding day "proper" so that we can actually invite people. We figure they will need to know what time to arrive and other such minor details, so we need to finalise a few things before we send any invites out. But we're getting there!

The other exciting thing is a kind of "silver lining", but in a far more shiny and fantastic sense than the idea of scrabbling for some sliver of good out of a larger, bad thing. We worked out that, as I need to apply for an SSN (Social Security Number) before we apply for a marriage license, we were going to have to wait at least five weeks before we can marry legally. Our original plan was, so that we can start the procedure for AOS (Adjustment of Status) so that I can work and get going with a driving license etc., that we would marry legally ASAP after my arrival in the States. We would then have the ceremony booked on December 3rd as a full wedding event, but being more of a public confirmation, rather than a legal process. However, due to the SSN processing times - and our rather cautious approach to any kind of temporal "estimates" now! - we think that we will be able to apply for a marriage license around the 10th-15th November at the earliest. So, considering that that means we won't be able to legally marry until then (or the week after, depending on whether the license is issued on the day), we'd only be getting married just over two weeks before the day booked for the public ceremony. Therefore, we've decided that there's no point in having an earlier legal ceremony, so we're going ahead and doing the whole thing officially on December 3rd: ceremony, legal process, the lot. We're still well within the 90 days allowed by the K1 visa, so there's not anything to worry about there. And then there is that silver lining, which is two- (and maybe three-) fold.

Firstly, it means that my family can be there for the "real" part of the wedding, where we are made into Mr. & Mrs. Lloyd. (Pause for some girly squealing.) That means a lot to them, especially after seeing my younger brother go through what was deemed "just a simple legal ceremony" when he married Wren earlier this year. Much as it was not "the day" (an important day, for sure, but not what they considered their wedding day) it was still incredibly special and I think it highlighted for them how much they wanted to see me and Ben do that bit, too. Plus it means Dad will really be "giving me away" now! Hee.

Leah and Steven
Secondly, it also means that we need someone who can marry us. In the UK, it is necessary to have both a person and a place that is legally licensed to take a wedding. So, not only do you need a registrar or religious officiant, but you also need to ensure that the venue is licensed for marriages, or it's not legal. This is not the case in the States - or at least not in NC - as you only need to make sure you are married by someone who is licensed to do so. This means, of course, that you can get married anywhere! More importantly for us, however, it meant that we had the very great pleasure of asking our best "man" Leah's fiancé Steven, who is an ordained minister and a dear, respected friend of ours, if he would do us the honour of taking the ceremony on our wedding day (we had Skype on of course, which meant I could be "there" when Ben asked). And Steven said yes! We are so lucky and happy - honestly, I think I might burst sometime soon.

Engagement party joy
So that's all fantastic! But what about that third fold, eh? Well, it's only a psychological thing but, much as I am happy to marry Ben any which way, I am now so full of anticipation for a big celebration on the actual day we get really, legally, properly married. Even though it's just paperwork, I am so excited and happy about it! We get to celebrate being bound together, showing our love for each other, with people we love and in a beautiful setting. It's just going to be amazing. The way my stomach leaps every time I think of it (and it did anyway, but knowing that it's the "official" day has made a significant difference) makes me know it's the right thing to have it all on the same day.  

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