Next week will mark my 11 year wedding anniversary. Jamey and I have been together for a total of 17 years. If you do the math that would tell you we dated for 6 years.
Jamey and I had returned from our summer vacation in Maine and I had to go back to work the next day. Upon my return home from work I plopped down on the sofa and put my feet up and Jamey said “I finished unpacking and found something in my carry on.” As he was walking into the bedroom I replied, “Is it an engagement ring?” He stopped at the doorway and as he went to get the ring he thought I had snooped and found the ring. When he came back to the living room he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. When he opened up the ring box I was shocked. I didn’t really think that there was an engagement ring, it was just something I hoped for after 5 years of dating. After asking “Where did you get this? How did you get this?” He said, “What is your answer?” I said “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Many kisses to follow. Then the phone calls to family and friends.
We picked a date and I started the process of looking for dresses, asking my bridesmaids, and budgeting so that we could afford it. It started to become everyone else’s wedding and we were loosing ourselves in their suggestions. Neither of us are religious but it was suggested we marry in a church. Umm, no! Suggestions that we invite this person and that person. “It’s our wedding!!! I wanted less than 50 people. our head count was over 70.” So in the spring of 2000 we needed to start putting deposits down for a November 4th nuptial. Hurricane season is over and the heat isn’t so bad in south Florida. I was getting stressed out because we were also looking to buy a condo and I knew we couldn’t spend any money prior to closing on our house to make sure we secured the loan. I expressed my concerns with Jamey and we discussed changing venues, thinking of a more affordable dress, etc…
Jamey came to me and asked, “Why don’t we elope?” He went through a list of whys and I then I started to think about it seriously. We started dating on May 1st and we were planning on going away for a long weekend anyway. It just seemed like the best option. On Wednesday we went to get our wedding license on our lunch break. My friend Michael picked out Jamey’s outfit. Linen shirt and light blue chinos and flips. I got my hair and nails done and I went off the rack dress shopping and couldn’t believe how difficult it was to find something that fit that was short. It took 2 days to find something suitable. We were planning on leaving on Friday morning and Thursday night we went shopping and found both of our rings. Jamey wanted something creative and cool and I wanted something to fit with my engagement ring. I already had a style in mind, I just needed to find it. The jewelry exchange had so many selections. It made it so difficult. But I found what I was looking for. He did too!
Only a few local people knew what was going to happen this weekend. They were instrumental in helping us pull this off. On our way to our wedding destination (Key West) we called our families to let them know. My maid of honor was so mad she hung up the phone on me.
Once we arrived at the hotel Jamey told the guest services person that we were eloping this weekend. She upgraded our room and she gave us a bottle of champagne on our weeding night. On Saturday we scouted locations and found a photographer and a notary to perform the service. We also spent time lounging on the beach and enjoyed the sites. Everything was falling into place. We just needed a witness. we asked the guest service person to help us out. She volunteered and switched her schedule around because we were getting married at sunset the next day.
The wedding day couldn’t have been more perfect. My hair stylist had told me to put some waves in my hair so I spent a lot of time with the curling iron. To this day whenever I curl my hair Jamey calls it wedding head. The day seemed to last forever. And we enjoyed every bit of it. We ran out of bottled water so we went to the grocery store to pick up some chugs and I turned the corner and they had a florist kiosk filled with purple tulips. I now have a bouquet. I had given up on that but there was no need. They presented themselves to me. Everything was done. We just needed to get dressed and get to the location before the sunset.
Our ceremony lasted less than 3 minutes. The photographer stayed and took pictures of us in all of the creative backdrops. Until the last light left. 200 pictures and she handed the rolls over to us.
Can’t forget about dinner. Lobster of course.
The day was perfect. All we needed was each other. That is all you ever need. Just us 2.