Ok internet... I'm going to let you in on something. It's our little secret though, ok? Only a few select people are already privy to this information...
The Architect and I are already married. Legally, that is. We are still viewing our wedding next summer as the "real deal", and we will not be wearing rings or referring to one another as "husband" and "wife" until then.
So here's what happened. Last winter, while we were still living in Boston, I took a job that was to start this past September... in California. That's right, 3 time zones away on the other side of the country. The architect and I planned out the entire move. He would move across the country with me and either find a new job or transfer within his firm to their west coast office. ...And then the economy took a nose dive. All of a sudden there was no work for architects, and the Architect's firm was no longer willing to transfer him to the west coast.
We REALLY didn't want to have a bi-coastal long-distance relationship, so we ran some numbers, and figured out that we could make things work while the Architect searched for a new west-coast job. So this past summer, we packed up our entire apartment, and headed off in the Architect's car towards the wild west. ...But first we did the responsible adult thing and made sure that the Architect would have health insurance while he was not working. I found out that I could add him onto my insurance at my new job for free(!) ...no employee contribution to speak of... *IF* we were married. So we made the logical decision and decided to tie the knot.
Our official wedding was held on a beautiful Monday morning at city hall. The only people in attendance were ourselves and the Justice of the Peace. (Massachusetts doesn't require any other witnesses to be present.) We didn't exchange rings. We just said some vows and signed on the dotted line. Really, we tried to make our official ceremony as anticlimactic as possible, so that the wedding that we were planning was assured to be the main event.
Still, the official ceremony was a big deal. Afterall, we were pledging our lives to each other and signing the document that would make us husband and wife in the eyes of the law. To commemorate the event I again wore the short white strapless dress that the Architect had bought me for our engagement. (Pretty much there was no way that I was going to buy a new dress for a ceremony with no guests that would be over in about 5 minutes.) After the ceremony was over we took a couple of pictures and then headed out to breakfast at our favorite brunch spot before we both headed off to work.
So there you have it. Our very played-down no-frills "official" wedding took place just over a year before our actual planned wedding date. I am thrilled that the Architect now has health care just in case, and I cannot wait for our wedding date next summer when we make things official in the eyes of all of our loved ones.
Did you have your legal wedding ceremony at a different time from your actual wedding? What caused you to make that decision? Did you celebrate your legal ceremony in any special way?