~~ "She has so many aliases, you'd think she was a spy!" ~~

Thursday, July 24, 2008

All the ways of my life, I'd rather be with you

Ten years ago today, my beloved and I ran off to Gretna Green, Scotland, and eloped.

It wasn’t our first plan, not by far. We’d gotten handfasted in California as an engagement ceremony before we moved to Wales, and intended to move back in a year and plan a big SCA wedding. But the British government had other plans. Apparently my plan to stimulate their economy by being supported by my husband and spending lots of money on tourist travel and antiques and whatnot was only feasible to them if we had this particular piece of paper.

(They lied, by the way. We didn’t have to be married for me to get that damned visa. They lied and took away my lavish ceremony. Two husbands, three ceremonies [four if you count the handfasting], and I still haven’t had what I’d consider the perfect ceremony. I’ve come to terms with that. Goodness knows two of the ceremonies are such great stories, nobody would believe them if I wrote it in a book. Large ceramic ALFs. A drunken Scotsman trying to beat down his new bride's door. That's just the tip of the iceberg.)

But I digress. The point is, if we had to get married, in Britain, this was the place to do it.

Our attendants were Elizabeth and Chris Flagge, SCAdians we’d met only twice before. When they heard at our second meeting that we were running off to elope, they asked who our witness were, and we said, “Erm, we were just going to grab someone out of the chip shop across the street…” They brought something old, etc., as well as a bouquet for me, which was so unexpected and sweet (I still have the pence for my shoe). They also brought Elizabeth’s (I think) mother, who took pictures and was just lovely. (Sadly, we’ve lost touch—if you’re reading this, guys, send me an address or phone number!)

We were married in the Registry Office in the room for 20 people (remember, there were only 5 of us, and 4 of us were standing up) because the room for 8 was already booked. Our Registrar, Donna, had a delightful Scottish accent.

Afterwards, we had our picture taken over the historic anvil, took our entourage out to lunch, then hopped on the bike and spent the weekend in the southwest of Scotland.

It’s strange…we don’t usually celebrate this anniversary, because it’s just not the important one for us. The day we moved in together (February 25, 1996) was really the day we made our commitment to each other. Our handfasting (March 14, 1998) comes a close second. This one, not so much.

Today is our 10th, though, and we have to celebrate it apart, and that’s making me feel maudlin and droopy.

So I’m looking at pictures of that day (except I can’t find the one of us and the anvil), and quietly celebrating that even if we can’t be together, we are together. 983 miles means nothing to the heart.

So tell me something about the person (or persons) of your heart. About your ceremony (any kind) or your favorite memory. Help me celebrate this day….


malvoisine said...

Congrats to you both - 10 years is a big deal, no matter what date you celebrate - sorry you are having to celebrate it alone - had to do that a couple of times & it sucks. Hey, I can say I knew you before and after!

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, our wedding day was pretty perfect. I wore a dress based on pictures from one of your British bridal mags. A woman I profiled in a PR article made the dress for me from ivory Irish linen. It was a gorgeous day...

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Julie: Well, you met us once before the marriage ceremony, yes! We usually break down our friends into "those who knew us before we were together and weathered the mayhem that ensued" and "those who have no bloody clue there was any mayhem." ;-)

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Susan, your dress was gorgeous! I wish I could've been there that day. :-)

Leigh Royals said...

Dale, sorry the ceremonies weren't what you desired, but I really think all that work into the marriage makes the difference. May you continue to have wedded bliss and years of happiness.

Lev said...

Congrats on #10!

One of our most favorite memories of our wedding was the fact that our whole SCA shire (well, most of 'em) helped make Gayle's dress. To this day, hot glue guns make me think of weddings.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit late, but Congrats on ten years!

Every time I think of my wedding I smile. We could have used more rehersal time (we were doing a silent movie wedding) but our guests laughed at all the right places. There were some mistakes, but we rolled on.

We even managed to improvise: when Ximena said she'd be my sidekick I could feel her heel kick up in gesture of joy. When it came to me saying I'd be her sidekick, I kicked up a heel of my own.

The wedding was so unique and fun in its own way, I expect I'll always smile when I think about it.

Congrats again to you and Ken!

TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

Belated (since I was out of town at the time) congrats on ten years of legally wedded bliss (as opposed to bliss sans the paperwork).

You took part in one of my ceremonies, m'dear, so I think you know how special it was. Perfect from our point of view--simple, inexpensive, and performed by people we love and cherish, with a great party to follow.

The post begs the question: What would you consider the perfect ceremony?