Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Only One

We have only one picture taken on our American anniversary. A polaroid, snapped by the Justice of the Peace that married us in Rochester, NY. This was right after the "ceremony" in the marble halls of the city building. It was Tuesday, Sept 30th, 2003 at approx 11am.

Here it is:
I wore my to-the-floor black Jacob skirt, and a white lacy blouse with frills on the sleeves and square-toed 4ish inch Aldo chunky heels. It was exactly what I had worn to Josh and Heather's Wedding the year before. Brian wore his black suit, with a burgundy tie - the tie was exactly the colour that our bridesmaids dresses had been.

Brian took a few hours off work, and we had to pay for parking. Funny the things you remember.

We picked recited vows from a list the Justice gave us - I think there were 3 choices. We only had a minute to pick them, and the vows that seemed to line up closest with what we'd want to say were chosen. I really do not prefer " I will's" as vows, but love a more traditional "I do". This time though, I didn't really have "full choice", and we said I Will when prompted. So we got say both, haha!! 

The judge read through everything he was obligated to say, a mini-ceremony of sorts, between Brian, myself, the Justice and his secretary. He included the part "if any man show any cause why this man should not be married to this woman, speak now or forever hold his peace", and paused - forever - Like seriously more than 20 seconds of waiting, which feels like 20 minutes when you're in an empty room. Almost like a scene from a movie, I fully expected Julia Roberts to come bursting through the corridor;-) After the long wait, and surprise-surprise, no objections from the empty room, we were married in the United States. The entire process from beginning to end took 15mins, max. Brian went right back to work after dropping me back home. 

It was kind of a strange day. It really was more of a formality than a wedding, which was how we viewed it then, and now. But it still "counts" as something to celebrate. If nothing else, a celebration to the end of the crazy-long-and-confusing visa process.

The days immediately following our wedding found me in Buffalo, paying more money, and filling out more forms, and getting fingerprinted yet again. Just when once visa process ends, another begins. It was time for "permission to work" permits and "permission to travel" permits - and WOW. Can I just say that thinking back on it all, it makes my head spin.

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