It Might Be Crazy But That's Love - The Story of Our Elopement and Secret Marriage
You already know how I met Eric, my husband and since we just celebrated our one year wedding anniversary on January 15th, I figured I'd share the juicy gossip about our elopement and very secret marriage.
I never really thought marriage was for me. Then I met Eric and everything changed. Here was this person who let me be silly and brash and unabashedly honest and loved me for it. A person I wanted to spend more time with, not less. After we met, we rarely were without each other. The fact that he lived just above me added to the convenience but the fact that he'd be leaving for New York in several weeks did not. Even thinking that the relationship would end once he left, I couldn't bring myself to walk away and at 2 weeks when I Love You's were exchanged, I knew I was in it deep.
It was about a week later, walking out of a bar that I turned around and said "I would totally marry you." I, of course, immediately regretted it. Not because I didn't mean it but because I was certain that whatever he said in response would lead me to heartbreak. To my utter surprise, Eric replied with an "Ok, let's get married." I giggled out of shock and pragmatically told him to see how he felt in the morning. Come next day though, our sentiments hadn't changed about each other or the desire to get married.
We discussed going that day and tying the knot but after a few phone calls, we realized that wouldn't be an option. We could get our license but not have the actual ceremony. I'm actually glad it worked out that way because it gave us a little bit of time to plan some small details. I was able to find my something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. I was able put together a bouquet of wildflowers and eucalyptus. I was able to find a white skirt and a blue vintage bow tie. We even had time to have two wedding bands crafted by a local jeweler and find a beautiful vintage engagement ring.
Our handcrafted rings and my engagement ring with a coral stone. I carried my bouquet along with my Grandmother's handkerchief to be my something old. Our "cake" which was the perfect size for two people.
We had decided as soon as we knew we were going to get married that we weren't going to tell anyone but our friend actually found out about the wedding when him and Eric ran into our jeweler. After the jeweler loudly told Eric that the rings were ready, there was no keeping the cat in the bag. It actually turned out to be a lucky stroke of fate because he just so happened to have a good camera and be free on the morning of our wedding! We woke up the morning of January 15th, filled with nerves and butterflies, got ready and headed to the courthouse.
It was a very surreal moment, to be standing across Eric and reading vows we had written ourselves. The whole thing only took about 15 minutes but it was beautiful. The judge who married us later told us that she was positively giddy with excitement because she had officiated hundreds of weddings in her career and we were the first that had our own vows and really seemed to be there for the right reasons. After the wedding, we headed to a local diner where we had breakfast and cut our "cake" which was a yummy cupcake from a vegan bakery. Then I changed and headed into work! It was casual and wonderful and exactly how we had wanted it.
The judge, Doloris who simply could not contain her excitement. Between her, Eric, and myself there were plenty of giggles. Exiting the courthouse as husband and wife. In the third picture, isn't it obvious how we couldn't help but smile ear to ear?! I love how happy we are!
Eric and I made a very conscious choice when we decided to not tell anyone of our marriage. There was the obvious reason that we had only known each other for 5 weeks. There was the reason that he was moving to New York. But we also wanted to start a marriage, completely clean and fresh without the negative comments from outsiders. We never had to hear that "the first year of marriage is the hardest." We were never subjected to "Well that's just how life is when you're married." We also knew that we would have had the exact same wedding even if people knew we were getting married and that would upset a lot of people. Most of our family lives on the East coast in separate states and some of our family members and friends refuse to travel. A big wedding isn't really something that either of us ever wanted and just the thought of trying to coordinate human beings while also deciding on which tablecloth will match the silverware which needs to match the flowers which needs to coordinate with the underwear of the bridesmaids makes my head spin. We decided that if we were going to offend some people, we might as well offend everyone.
It was hard keeping our marriage a secret. Since I don't have a traditional diamond, I was able to wear my ring all the time and no one ever inquired but it was different for Eric. He would have to remember to take off his ring when he went to work or whenever we knew we were going to be around people we knew and that really wore on him. But I would say that it was worth it. We got the rare experience of working on a marriage without the influence of outsiders. Being married helped our relationship stay strong when Eric went to New York for work for over a month. That would have been a time that it would have been easy to give up but we stayed positive and our relationship thrived. There's a strength in having that bond when you're still trying to figure each other out and a comfort in knowing the other person is invested.
Our original plan had been to let everyone know on our one year anniversary but when we found out we were pregnant, we knew that wouldn't be a possibility. Eric's not the best secret keeper and I honestly thought his head might explode when I told him we'd still have to wait until I was 3 months along before we told friends! We decided to spill both the marriage and the baby beans at the same time. We told parents first, then siblings, and finally announced via social media. Most people were shocked but incredibly happy. I think Eric and I are the kind of people who tend to follow their heart, damn the opinions of others, so no one seemed TOO stunned by our secret marriage. Our parents were definitely shocked and I know my mother felt a little jipped at not having a full on wedding but the fact that there'd soon be a soft, squishy grandbaby softened her up. Some people felt like we lied in keeping our marriage a secret. I understand that they might have felt left out or kept in the dark but hopefully they'll be able to see that those moments can't be changed and the future is the only thing to can focus on. Our decision wasn't made thinking about what would be best for others. We were only focused on what was best for us and our relationship and letting it grow first was the best option.
Eric and I have had one of the most amazing first years of marriage ever. Every day I wake up and I'm so in love with him. True, there are days when I am frustrated by him and I know he feels that way too sometimes but that's just what happens when you live with someone. I'm so fortunate that we're able to talk and laugh and work through the tough spots. The way we chose to get married and live our first year of marriage might not be for everyone and even now, some people might not understand it but it was perfect for us. I hope that we continue this marriage down the path of following our hearts and staying strong together.
How did you make your wedding day special? Do you wish you would have done anything different?