The below I wrote as a blog post for our 6 year anniversary but since it’s the best post for this special date of ours I share it once again with some slight edits to have it apply to this year…
*8 years ago I was down visiting Roy at his sisters place
…. on what was supposed to be a 2 week visit ….
I had just graduated from college & Roy had just finished his Basic Military Training & Tech School.
He decided to do 2 weeks as a Recruiters Assistant in Utah which is typically a low key opportunity with quite a bit of free time that an active duty member only has the opportunity of taking immediately after going to a Tech School. So, Roy took the opportunity & flew me out to meet him so that we could spend those 2 weeks together before he had to go on to his permanent station in California.
I flew in to Salt Lake City airport where he met me proudly dressed in his Air Force “Blues” that he’d worked so hard to earn during his time in Basic Training & thus started our 2 week visit.
At some point his sister & brother in law wondered why we didn’t just go on & get married now since we were so clearly head over heals for each other, already engaged & knew it was our ultimate goal. They even offered to give us $500 so that we could go off to Vegas or do something small in town if we wanted.
My immediate response was that I couldn’t. I had my entire life back in Canada that I hadn’t had a chance to straighten out in preparation of leaving yet. I had a job I was waiting to hear back about which I had already gone through 2 panel interviews for & Canadian bills needing to be paid. I had pets that my family was taking care of while I was gone on my visit & all my personal belongings where at my gramma’s who I was residing with at the time while I attended college. All I had come to Utah with was a backpack of clothes. How on earth could I just drop everything & get married?!?!
…. What about the immigration process?
It was clear Roy was really hoping I’d go for it, but I was so torn. I wanted nothing more than to be with him forever, to finally start our lives together in marriage, to not have to go back to the pain & longing of a very long distance relationship & wondering if this was all just a fantasy that may never become our reality. I wanted desperately for those days to be over.
Something Roy had always told me in the past when I had asked for his help in making decisions was that I should follow my heart. So, after a few days of turmoil regarding this decision we were sitting at a Sonic eating burgers when that old song that goes “We’re going to the chapel & we’re going to get Ma-a-aried” came on and that was when I decided to truly just follow my heart & throw all caution to the wind and so I agreed that we should go on & get married now instead of waiting… indefinitely.
With my decision made, I phoned my family to spring the news on them that I wasn’t going to be returning from this “visit” because I was getting married… now…. They were understandably in complete & utter shock. My gramma was so hysterical she couldn’t even talk to me & my aunt who was handed the phone reacted with a “look what you’re doing to her!”. My mother wasn’t sure how I would ever get back to Canada if this “didn’t work out” & pretty much everyone was less than thrilled as you can imagine. Most upsetting was that none of them had enough time to prepare & make plans to come & be a part of our wedding which we planned & execute in just 3 short days.
We were already staying at his sisters & she helped us take some photo’s to create some quick invites that we then drove around & dropped off to some friends & neighbors that knew Roy.
His mom drove down immediately from Texas & made us an artificial bouquet that we still have today hanging on the wall between our wedding photo’s.
We spent 2 days running around from bridal shop to bridal shop trying to find the “perfect” dress and we found a place to get some professional photo’s done so that I had at least something that could be shared with my family. I also hoped that by purchasing the dress rather than renting it that we could have a 2nd wedding in Canada with my family once we reached a point in my immigration processes that would allow me to return without getting stuck & not being allowed back into the US again, but unfortunately by the time we were able to safely return to Canada for a visit (about 6 months later), the novelty of it all had worn off & my family had more or less come to terms with the fact that I was indeed now married. No one was really excited about the prospect of doing yet another wedding.
On May 26th, 2004 we officially tied the knot & had our small little wedding at a beautiful location in Utah called Bridal Veil Falls with the Mayor of American Fork who agreed to conduct the ceremony for us on very short notice & completely free of charge when he found out Roy was in the Military. We had a small crowd of Roy’s friends & family at the beginning of the ceremony but by the end we had somehow attracted every passerby in the area.
The entire ceremony was relatively short & totally surreal. I have a hard time remembering it all because I was in a constant state of struggling to believe this was all really happening.
When it ended we returned to Roy’s car which someone had so generously covered in that white “just married” spray (which is extremely hard to get off by the way) & we headed back to his sister’s place where we had a small reception with the traditional aspect of us cutting the cake & feeding it to each other.
From there we headed off on our one night honeymoon at a Marriott Hotel up in a ski resort that was in the off season. They gave us the honeymoon suite which was incredibly beautiful, a free bottle of wine, & they even allowed us to raid the gift shop for a few free candy bars when we first arrived. It was great!
The next day we headed to the Air Force Base in Salt Lake City where Roy added me to everything as his wife so that I could obtain a Military ID card & be eligible for all the benefits that go along with being a Military Spouse & then we headed on the first part of our 15+ hour drive to California where we spent a truly wonderful first 5 years of of marriage!
The last 3 years have been spent just as wonderfully here in Florida where we’re quite seriously considering returning to for retirement. This year we don’t have anything special planned to celebrate. We did just get back from 5 days in Washington DC for a family/touristy vacation however & we’re just enjoying the long Memorial weekend that we always get around our anniversary.