By popular demand, I bring you...
The Elopement Story
The Engagement Story can be found HERE, if you need to catch up.
When I got off the phone with J, his mother and father were waiting outside the door. They were so happy and excited we were engaged!! We went into their bedroom to talk.
J's mom asked when we were going to get married. I said maybe next May. (Recall, it is May 1999).
"Next year!! Why so far away?" She asked.
Shocked, I said, "Well, we have to save up for a wedding and a house."
"A house? You can live here!" DonnaMomma said.
My in-law's house
"Really? Live here? Wow. But we still have to pay for a wedding. The sit down meal alone is expensive."
"Sit down meal? We don't do sit down meals for weddings down here."
"You don't? What do you do?" I asked, dumbfounded.
"Cake and punch."
"Cake and punch? That's it? For a wedding?"
"Yes. Cake and punch, nuts and mints. Sometimes light hors d'ouerves are served."
"Oh, well okay then. Maybe November. That would be the one year anniversary of us realizing there was more than friendship."
The next day, J called. He asked when I wanted to get married. I told him November. "November??!!! That's too far!" In my mind, I was wondering what on Earth was wrong with these people. Where I came from, you got engaged, and one year later, or more, you were married. "Okay, maybe October. My family can come down on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. They'll miss less work then." J wasn't thrilled with October, but it made sense.
In June, my mom was driving me insane because she didn't want me to tell a bunch of people I was engaged. I was thrilled! I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! In my mother's defense, it was not the first time I had been engaged. Or even the second time. But I KNEW it was gonna stick this time. We were best friends!! And his parents loved me. And I loved them.
What could go wrong?
Soon, I was on a plane to Tulsa. It was easier to plan the wedding and get the immigration paperwork taken care of stateside. J was working for his dad. We traveled a lot that summer, with his dad and a pilot, providing ground support for the helicopter. It was great.
Then, due to US immigration laws, I learned everyone would be able to attend my wedding in October - except for me. If I returned to Canada, I would not have been able to cross the border for my own wedding! So we decided to get married on Labor Day and have a small, immediate family only wedding. My parents and siblings would come to the wedding.
J couldn't find his birth certificate. We needed it for my immigration paperwork. One Friday in July, we drove to Oklahoma City to get the birth certificate and then weekend at the farm, to visit with J's cousins. J's mom called and asked if we were eloping. We were not. A few days earlier, my mom had called and asked if we were going to elope. I said, "No, Mom. J has this big, grand, elaborate wedding planned with opera singers and all kinds of stuff!!"
On Monday, August 2nd, J and I looked at each other and said, "Why are we waiting? Let's get married." We finished our last premarital session at church. J called to see if OJ could perform the ceremony that Friday evening. I already had my dress. J found a suit. We got rings. And, on Wednesday, we told our parents. We had to. We needed someone to be our witnesses, so we had to tell Jason's parents. My parents couldn't come, so they gave us money instead.
J asked a friend from church to videotape the wedding. He used the church's TV camera so we have awesome quality video. We found a photographer the night before the wedding, so we have pictures. On Friday, August 6th, 1999, at 7:20 pm-ish I carried pictures of my grandparents, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews with me, as I walked down the "aisle".
I got dressed at the bridal salon but I had the wrong size nylons (6 inches too short) and they didn't have any tall nylons in stock. DonnaMomma raced to Victoria Secret at the Mall to get a pair of stay ups. Only, she went to Frederick's of Hollywood, instead. My fault!! I used to joke the founder of Frederick's was my uncle - my maiden name is Frederick.
Anyway, she made it back, but we got to the church 20 minutes late. J wasn't concerned I was standing him up. He was concerned he was losing light for the video! Our wedding DVD, from start to finish, including some bonus footage is 7 minutes.
I wanted a small, intimate wedding. J wanted an outdoor wedding. J wanted a big reception. I wanted a reception we could enjoy our guests at. Three months after our elopement, we had a huge wedding reception in Tulsa. We wore jeans and visited with everyone. In January, we had a reception at my parents' home. We both got what we wanted.
If we had to do it over again, would we elope?
In a heartbeat!