Sunday, June 30, 2013

Our Civil Ceremony in LA Part 1: Engagement Rings and Lots of Paperwork

We're almost at the first anniversary for our wedding celebration, so I figured it's about time for a wedding recap, right? We're going to start with our civil ceremony in LA and then go on to the wedding celebration we had in Savannah a few months later with all of our friends and family. Ready set go!

Three months after meeting each other, Fionn and I knew we wanted to get married (yes, that fast!). The problem was, he had to stay in Germany for a few more years and my job in Germany was nearly finished, along with my work visa, and I had a one way ticket back to the USA. So we started brainstorming. Get married in Denmark? Wait til he came back to America? Try to find a job nearby so I could join him in Germany?

Whenever we brainstormed, we came back to the same conclusion. We wanted to get married. Not so we could live together, not to fix visa issues, not so dealing with the army would be easier, but because we knew that we were done searching for "that" person. We wanted to marry each other, so we started trying to figure out the HOW.

I really wanted to get married in my hometown in Georgia. Fionn was on board with this, but his work schedule was impossible to plan around. He couldn't give me an exact date (or even a general date) so we could start planning the wedding, and since we had guests coming from all over the US and Europe, this was a pretty big problem.

Finally, he suggested we do what a lot of his friends had done-get married at the courthouse, then have a big party later. It was a little weird, admittedly, but it worked for us. So, that's what we did (and as I found out later, what most of my military friends did too).

So, when my job ended in Germany I went back to America to finish my last semester of college, and in December Fionn flew to the US to watch my college graduation and to spend Christmas with my family.

Fionn trying to get in good with ALL of my family ;)

After a lovely Christmas, we hopped a plane to California to meet Fionn's parents and get hitched!
Fionn's parents were so wonderful to us-I really couldn't ask for better in laws. Not only that, but Fionn's mother took care of so many details-organizing the officiant, the rings, the photographer, hair and makeup, and the flowers. She did so much more than I ever expected, and our civil ceremony was wonderful because of it.

When we arrived in LA, they surprised us with a second Christmas, which was really nice. We were pretty tired from the jetlag, but Fionn insisted we go for a walk so we could watch the sunset (which I was not too keen on)...

After climbing to the top of a verrrrrrrry large hill, Fionn asked if I wanted to take some pictures of the sunset. When I turned around from snapping pictures he was down on one knee with a ring in hand. I was ecstatic and of course said yes (even though I'd already said yes before!). Even though we'd gotten engaged months before, the ring was in California the whole time. When another couple offered to take our picture afterwards, it was a little funny to respond, "Yeah, we're getting married in two days!" :)

So now that is was REALLY official (I mean, come on, he put a ring on it!), it was time to seal the deal.

Getting our marriage license...

Step One of Operation Almost Married Complete

A jaunt around Beverly Hills was in order..

Smooch on Rodeo Drive...

The day before the wedding, we all went down to the Flower Market in LA to buy wholesale flowers. Fionn's mom and I ran around trying to pick flowers, decide on colors, find certain was a lot of work! We finally decided on orange-red roses, tulips, and paperwhites, and my mother in law worked tirelessly that night and the next day to make my bouquet, the boutonnieres, and the corsage.

I gotta say, having an artist who also worked in a floral shop in high school for a mother in law is pretty awesome!

The rest of the day was spent running errands, getting blow outs and manicures, and other last minute wedding prep...

And then...the big day was finally here.

Continue to Part 2!

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