An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Blush and bashful

This is Sarah’s third guest post, my favorite so far (although the comments on her previous one are some of the funniest things I’ve ever read). Good news is that I finally get to write about what’s been going on over here, and I’ll have that ready tomorrow. You have no idea how good it is going to feel to get out all the gritty details, although when I sit down to write about it I might just throw up all over the keyboard. If that’s the case, I promise to do it in all caps.


I keep forgetting that I’m supposed to be planning a wedding. I got engaged last August to my hot English boyfriend, and then we both came to London to wait out the U.S. fiancé visa process, which can take anywhere from two to two thousand months. It is so great, waiting to see if the government is cool with you marrying the person you love! Remember when you were in ninth grade and you wanted to meet a boy at the movies but you weren’t allowed to date yet, but he was so nice and you begged your mom and she said, “I’ll talk to your dad and we’ll think about it”? It’s sort of like that, only imagine they think about it for a year, and then halfway through they ask for you to prove how nice he is in three different ways.

We get to do all kinds of fun things in order to get this visa, like prove that we’ve met and have an ongoing relationship, swear that neither of us have ever committed genocide or been involved in human trafficking, request a letter from the head of police in every city my fiancé has lived in since he was 16, and promise them we’ll name our firstborn child Ava or Jack. (If you go a bit further and promise to name them Ava Grace or Jack Henry, you actually get 20% off all children’s clothing at Old Navy until they hit 100 lbs or enter fifth grade, whichever comes first.) We also got to write a personal check for $455 to Department of Homeland Security. I’ll jump through whatever hoops they give me in order to marry the love of my life, but that one felt sort of dirty.

The upside of all this mind-numbing bureaucracy and complete lack of control over my own life is that it makes it virtually impossible to plan a wedding. Once our visa is approved (please god let our visa be approved), we have to get married within 90 days. So we’ll have a city hall wedding in Brooklyn, and then maybe plan a bigger party later, so friends and family from far away can come. This is awesome. I cannot recommend being engaged but not planning a wedding enough. People still smile at you and say “aww,” but then when they say, “When’s the wedding? Where will it be? Do you have a dress? What’s your color scheme?” you can just shrug and make that vaguely Scooby-Doo “uhanno” noise before getting back to your beer.

I learned early on that I’m not exactly bridal. This wasn’t exactly a surprise. In the past, I’ve accompanied many a friend to many a bridal boutique, and every time I was there, sitting on pastel silk underneath sparkling chandeliers, I had to suppress the urge to shout profanities, like some weird strain of wedding Tourette’s. I also kind of don’t like weddings? Which I realize isn’t cool to say; I’ve been to plenty of fun weddings, but on the whole, as an event, I’m just not that into them. I promise I’m not a Scrooge. I’m all for marrying the man I love, wearing a hot dress while doing so, having all my favorite people in the same place at the same time, and listening to some good music while we’re there. It’s just that the minute someone brings up what’s supposed to go in the center of the tables, my eyes glaze over and I’m thinking, “Back in the ’80s, they should have cast the guy who played Biff in Back to the Future to play Anthony Michael Hall’s dad in something.”

The extent of my own wedding planning has consisted of emailing my friends links to some dresses that aren’t wedding dresses, and one fun afternoon with my fiancé spent making our wedding playlist, which quickly devolved into us showing each other Def Leppard videos on YouTube. One day last winter, my friend Danielle and I were shopping at Liberty, a beautiful department store in a Tudor-revival building just off Carnaby Street. They have a fancy bridal salon on the third floor, where a very thin woman with painfully straight hair sits behind a desk with nothing on it and aims her shark eyes at anyone lingering near the entrance, daring you to speak. (Actually, I have no idea if it’s fancy. For all I know, once you get past the door, it’s all women in sweatpants eating meatball subs.) Danielle said, “We should go in there! That’d be fun!” And I said, “Are you crazy? They won’t let us in there! We’re not brides!” Danielle waited a beat for me to realize what I’d said. Then we laughed and left and had a meatball sub and saw Peter Serafinowicz on the street. AND I didn’t have to wear a white corset under fluorescent lights while a humorless stranger judged my choices! I should be so lucky if my actual wedding day features this many happy surprises.

  • CourtneySue

    I had a courthouse wedding by choice, as we are not wedding people, last summer. It was great! Nice and quick, and I didn’t have to wear a princess dress (though my shoes did give me blisters, but they looked good!)

    Honestly, the actual wedding seems so big and important, but after you’ve been married a while, you look back and wonder why you were so stressed out about it. Leave the stress for when you have kids to raise.

  • Tobie

    If u don’t already know about it, I highly recommend the websites , and . They are like a breath of fresh air!

    Sorry you have to jump through so much red tape! I agree, the check to Homeland Security is odd…I wonder what they claim is the justification for that charge?

    (P.S. my captcha is “military coxcombs”…hmm…maybe I’m asking too many questions…).

  • kelp30

    I was dying to just have a big housewarming party – and then just get married as a big surprise in the middle of the beer swilling and the jamming…

    Of course I couldn’t do that to my family – so I told them – and they protested mightily…

    We ended up having a small family-only wedding in my backyard followed by a friend party later… still fun.

  • megrit411

    I’m not even a fiance and I get hives just thinking about planning a wedding. Good luck having with the visa crap (Seriously almost 500 bucks to Homeland Security?!?) and getting married in Brooklyn and having a fabulous party!

  • WebSavyMom

    –>Take a look at this blog for wedding ideas. \

    You could always just fill in the date later.

  • Brand X

    I’ve been through the same thing. Except I moved from England to Mexico and my fiance crossed the border and worked from our rented house there 4 days a week. Fun times!

  • VegasNative

    You think $455 is bad? Wait until you find out what you get to pay to let him live in this country. YAAAAAAAY. (My husband is English as well- Anglophile brides UNITE!).

  • constantlyconflicted

    When I got married five years ago, the only thing about our wedding that I made any real decision about was my wedding dress and shoes. The planning of the actual event, selecting flowers, food, etc. was left up to my mother, father, and mother-in-law. I preferred to marry on the beach and have a BBQ afterwards (we live in Miami), but the families wouldn’t hear of it. Every time they attempted to get me involved in the decision-making process I reminded them that I only agreed to have the wedding if I could just show up. Needless to say, we had an amazing time and I was able to avoid most of the stress and headaches.

  • eleanorstrousers

    When you do have the reception your theme should be “Sweatpants and Meatball Subs”. Now that is a wedding concept I can get behind. I’d even wear my dressy sweatpants for the occassion.

  • famousamy

    I feel for you Sarah! I went through the same exact thing with the government. Except you’re lucky because you’re in London together. My fiance and I met online in 2001. We were engaged in Nov. 2003, and then began the U.S. fiancé visa process in Feb of 2004. We lived in seperate countries until the process was completed, which increased our communication skills, but sucked royally.

    We ended up with three wedding dates. The first was Sept 18, 2004. Can’t remember what made us think that would work, but we did. But then it was pushed back and it became Oct 23, 2004. And finally it was pushed again to November 6, 2004. He came over just three weeks shy of that and thankfully our church and reception site could handle any of those dates.

    I think we paid somewhere around $1,000 to the government by the time the full process was completed. Annoying, but at least it’s done now. He’s got the full 10-year “greencard” now and we shouldn’t have to deal with the government for at least a few more years. 🙂

  • emily mae

    I have a hot English boyfriend too (who I may one day hope will become my hot English fiance) and this whole post worries me greatly. Is this a visa for you to live in England, or for him to live here? Do I avoid all of this b/c my hot Englishman has a 5 year visa? If we’re married during that time everything will be ok, right?

    You’ve totally freaked me out over things I should not be freaking out over!

  • cmajeski

    People. As a lover of all things “dooce” (the washing machine screed was EPIC), I have to comment. As I understand it, this blog and probably most of the followers are of the liberal political persuasion. So, let me ask the following question:

    If our government is so completely screwed up that two lovely people can’t get married without forking over tons of cash and jumping through hoops set by mindless bureaucrats who probably couldn’t pass 2nd grade, then why why WHY do you think they can handle our health care system!?! And if you want all these awesome entitlement programs, where do you expect the cash to come from, if not from foreigners who want to marry into our country by paying through the nose to Homeland Security?

    Sorry Sarah. For all I know you are not of the liberal persuasion and thus I am just intruding on a lovely discussion about how exciting it is to get married. So regardless of your political affiliation, congrats! Marriage is awesome and I recommend A lot of great stories and discussions about weddings and marriage with nary a mention of how you simply MUST spend AT LEAST 50 bucks on each individual party favor or else your guests will think you HATE them.

  • kristanhoffman

    “I’ve been to plenty of fun weddings, but on the whole, as an event, I’m just not that into them… I’m all for marrying the man I love, wearing a hot dress while doing so, having all my favorite people in the same place at the same time, and listening to some good music while we’re there. It’s just that the minute someone brings up what’s supposed to go in the center of the tables, my eyes glaze over”

    Yup, that’s totally me too. Thankfully my boyfriend is on the same page, so now all I have to do is pray that my friends and family won’t hate me for depriving them (someday) of that circus.

  • emmafolds

    I went through a similar process, trying to get my American boyfriend a visa to come here to England. It’s a pain, so stressful, and the amount of money… ugh.

    My brother is currently planning his wedding, but having just bought a house, they’re sort of cleared out. So the plan now is to take his family and closest friends to a pretty hotel in the country, and have everybody contribute something – my boyfriend will do the photography, I’ve volunteered to make a cake and/or knit little wedding favours (I’m sure he’ll regret that one). I’ve got to say, it sounds like a perfect wedding to me.

  • Milissa

    We weren’t even international (just had family in the South, Midwest, and Northeast U.S.), and yet after 5 minutes of trying to figure out the location of our wedding, my now-husband and I decided that we were most certainly NOT wedding people. We figured that if we couldn’t manage to deal with a basic thing like location, we were going to come unglued when the important questions came up, like what should we feed these people, and why did we invite your third cousin?

    So we eloped to Hawaii and don’t regret that decision for an instant. Except when we wonder why we didn’t just move out there. But I digress.

  • missaudreyhorne

    I’m currently planning a wedding for next summer, and I bought one of those awful bridal magazines that made me want to run through the streets screaming. I don’t want to take out a home loan for my wedding, nor do I need to have gold lined pearl encrusted personalized napkins. I don’t like being told what I should do, what I absolutely have to have or how my event should be. I just want a party?

    Off Beat Bride is the best website ever, but you probably know that already. If you do, you may have seen this website for dresses:

    While some of the dresses are white or floor length, they are so unique and interesting and very non-bride bridal wear.

    I already bought my dress on etsy much to my coworkers’ horror. “You mean you can’t try it on first?!?!?!?” “What if you don’t like it?” Look, I’ve seen it, so I know already I like it, and um, I buy clothing online all the time and it fits just fine. It doesn’t have to be the most PERFECT PERFECT THAT EVER PERFECTED or anything. It’s just a pretty dress.

  • kristy w.

    We got married buy a retired Justice of the Peace at his house. I still have no idea how my husband located this guy. He was a dead-ringer for Norman Bates, so he got bonus points for that. I was never into weddings and the thought of actually planning one made my head explode. No regrets on how we got hitched. Ten years later, here we are.

  • sherrye22

    Yeah, most wedding stuff kind of blows but one really awesome part? Everyone standing up as you walk into the room! Seriously, when does that happen nowadays? Unless of course you are the President or something.

  • TexasKatie

    I am so glad that I will never have to plan another wedding again. I got married almost 3 years ago – it was a beautiful day – but my Lord, I am so glad I don’t have to go through that again. I had a nervous breakdown after the wedding, if that is saying anything about the stress I endured. I can only imagine how much more stressful it is when you have a groom that isn’t a citizen. And we all know how difficult the U.S. gov. makes it to become a citizen. Ugh.

  • Pollypanda

    I can so relate! And I second Tobie on visiting Offbeat Bride, it’s a great website with a fab community.

    My fiancée and I are living in London and got engaged recently. We’ve decided to get married back home in Australia early next year, partly because I have to go back to apply for another visa to extend my stay. This also includes handing over a dirty wad of cash and proving that we’re in a relationship amongst other things. I wish I could include a photo of the two of us in a comprising position and then act all surprised when the reviewing officer freaks out, you know, with ‘but you said you wanted proof!’. I won’t.

    I’m ‘not exactly bridal’ either, the thought of putting my life on hold for a year or more to just PLAN PLAN PLAN gives me a headache, I’ve got much better things to do with my time. We’re getting married at Town Hall and then going to a lovely little Spanish place for a tapas cocktail reception. Small guest list. No wedding party. My fiancée will wear his kilt! Took a few weeks of researching and planning and now we don’t have to do anything wedding related for months. Bliss!

    BTW, when the time comes to arrange a dress I’m going to visit a place called Fur Coat No Knickers in Carnaby St. The ladies running the place are costumes designers from the West End who customise vintage bridal dresses. There’s a tip for ya!

  • melo

    I had the exact sentiments when I got engaged last year. I actually had nightmares about color schemes and centerpieces. My fiance (now husband) wanted a traditional wedding, but we were able to compromise. We went to Las Vegas last month and bought a wedding package at a chapel. It was about as easy and stress-free as a wedding could be.
    A few months before the wedding I found a wedding dress on sale for $99 and used the train to make my veil. I’m not a veil girl either, but my fiance really wanted it. (?)
    Our closest friends and family came out for a long weekend, and we all had a great time.

  • Heathers Garden

    Love the Steel Magnolias title!

  • runlolarun

    You got a meatball sub in London?!? WHERE?!?!?

  • grad.nauseam

    My evil bitch cousin has a 6 month old son named Jackson Henry. Honest. This post just made my day.

    I did have a wedding, and there were flowers, but I honestly didn’t pick them out. I called a florist, told him the date and that I wanted some flowers. He asked what kind. I said “uh, pretty ones, but no roses”. I mean… they’re FLOWERS. What’s the worst that could happen? How ugly could they be? He probably thought I was crazy, but at the end of the day the flowers were pretty AND I saved about 3 weeks of my life not having to pick them all out.

  • teetotaled

    First of all, thank you for titling this Blush and Bashful because now I am quoting every freaking line of that movie in my head. 🙂

    Ahhh weddings….they bring out the ugly and evil in ones extended family members while simultaneously causing one to go broke! That being said, I planned a somewhat traditional wedding and had a fantastic time. We also spent a crazy amount of time picking out songs and creating special touches that meant a lot to us on our day.
    Not that you asked for advice but my advice to any engaged couple is do what makes YOU happy. Yes the day is also about your families, etc, but creating a party that reflects the two of you as a couple, includes some of your favorite things and feels like your dream party will make your wedding into a day that you will remember all of your lives.
    Congrats and good luck with the visa insanity!!!


    I was one to have our wedding in a gazebo on the courthouse lawn with a jp. I wore a blue sundress that I still wear (it’s been 10 years). I was never into the big weddings, which is sort of funny considering I’m a wedding photographer now. I still don’t see all the sense in spending that much on a day, or $2000 on a dress. I even feel bad charging what I do for the photography, but they pay it. Crazy.

  • iamtherachel

    My mother would love, love, love, LOVE to plan a wedding for my fiance and me, but considering I end up popping a xanax every time the subject comes up, we’ve decided to just do the courthouse thing, and then tell everybody after the fact. I am apparently not cut out to plan a wedding. My mother brings up bridesmaids dresses, and I want to curl up in a corner somewhere and twitch.

    After much discussion about whether my issue was with getting married, or with having a wedding, my lovely boyfriend said “why don’t we just elope, and then you don’t have to stress?”. That boy is my hero. Just sayin’. The whole process freaked me out, and we live in the same city. I can’t imagine having to deal with it in different countries. Just the thought of that is panic-attack inducing.

    But congrats! And good luck!

    And now I must go watch Steel Magnolias. Thanks.

  • meredythbyrd

    I second the Off Beat Bride website and especially A Practical Wedding. I’m glad someone else already mentioned them. Even if you’re not doing anything more than the courthouse they have great stuff. I read it alot and I’m not even properly engaged yet.

  • ela

    I do think it sucks that you have to go through this process, but as a gay woman who had to travel out of the US to get legally married, it sticks in my craw a little to hear such a long litany of complaints. Many gay people with immigration issues who can’t legally be married either can’t get visas to begin with, or wind up deported. Frankly, I wish I were able to jump through those hoops to enjoy the right.

  • Tricia

    Great, now I’m going to be walking around repeating “her COLORS are PINK and PINK” in my deepest southern accent all day.

    Congrats on the hot English fiance! Do you ever make him read aloud to you and just turn to jello? What is it about that accent? Instantly adds a couple points on the hotness scale.

  • dooce

    @cmajeski said: “If our government is so completely screwed up that two lovely people can’t get married without forking over tons of cash and jumping through hoops set by mindless bureaucrats who probably couldn’t pass 2nd grade, then why why WHY do you think they can handle our health care system!?!”

    I know, right?! Can you imagine if our government were in charge of something as huge as the military?

  • chicgeek75

    Though my ex hasn’t come out of the closet (yet) my first clue that the marriage wouldn’t work was when I said that I wanted to do something simple for our wedding, like, go to Vegas or a beach. Nothing fancy, nothing too planned – just us getting hitched while on vacation… His response? *HE* wanted a more ‘traditional’ wedding. Seriously, I thought all guys would be up for a stress-free hitching ceremony? It’s cheap, it’s fast, it’s SUPER EASY.

    Then, guess who had to plan it all? Me. He did want to be involved in choosing the location and the tuxedos, but it was yours truly who (though I did a FABulous job!) had to pound the pavement to situate everything.

    And hardly anyone came – another reason I didn’t want to plan a big wedding, because we really didn’t have many friends and we both come from small families most of whom do not live in our state.

    I have fond memories of the event, as I did a pretty darn good job. But… we divorced 4 years later, and even before then I kept thinking, WHY? Why did we spend all the time and money on a PARTY?

    FYI: My dress was my favorite part of the whole thing. I spent about 5 times as much as my original budget, but that was well spent 🙂

  • Pollypanda


    I’ve been researching the conditions of the Spouse Visa available for Australians to settle in the UK and was really pleased to find that this visa applies to all couples.

    It’s a damn poor substitute for being able to be legally married in your own country, and it doesn’t apply to U.S. citizens but just thought you’d like to know that there is some headway being made on the visa front.

  • solaana

    I’m not even close to getting married, but I don’t think I could ever have a wedding. I’d really rather spend all that money on a trip around the world. Because it costs about the same, right? But I love attending weddings because I get to eat and drink for free, bask in all that love that’s (usually) emanating from damn near everyone in attendance, and dance without someone surprise-humping me from behind. To me it’s what prom really should be.

  • Aunt Baaa

    I am so with you. I have been in too many weddings, had to deal with too too many bride/groomzillas. I practically run when I hear the word “wedding.”

    I think my father’s proudest moment as a parent was the day my husband and I got married in Vegas, at a drive-thru window. Cost: under $200. Value as a story we can tell for the rest of our lives:priceless.

    The tab for my brother-in-law’s wedding: $90,000.

    Makes me want to cry.

  • muse2323

    I married a Canadian (in a cute little ceremony in my parents’ living room–I wore a red party dress) and went through Canada’s immigration hoopla. My immigration application was well over 400 pages of documenting our ongoing relationship, including a few very steamy e-mails. I was worried that the fact that we couldn’t find the few pictures we’d taken together would matter, but apparently it didn’t.

    A few thousand dollars later ($3000 for the immigration lawyer to check the application over and $1200 to Canadian Immigration) and a year and a half of waiting around in Canada (processing time) while not being able to work or do half of the volunteer work I wanted to, and I’m now a happy permanent resident of Canada.

  • wicked opinion

    “It doesn’t have to be the most PERFECT PERFECT THAT EVER PERFECTED or anything.”

    @missaudreyhorne – Thank you for making my day!

    I am so not a “wedding” person. I enjoy attending them (especially GOOD ones) but my dream is about the PAR-TAAAY! I am doing the courthouse thing, then saving all our quarters for a “reception” next summer. Hopefully, my family will have forgiven me for my secret eloping and come and dance and eat BBQ chicken and watermelon with us. I’m already starting to plan the music so I can DJ my own party. I’m more interested in the marriage than the wedding.

  • Mrs. Kennedy

    Yeah, I hear you on the Biff thing. Did you ever see the Biff Song?

  • weebits

    Once people say “a princess _________.(fill in the blank…cut, gown, style, for a day, tierra, etc.) I start to taste bile in the back of my throat. What is it with people loving their own weddings?! I once went to a party where instead of art, the couple hosting it had pictures of their wedding everywhere!! No joke…even in the bathroom! Be warned… if you know anyone with a poster size wedding picture hanging above their fireplace, they are headed for D-VORCE. Just an observation I’ve made. I believe in marriage, just not the trumpets, swans are tule.

  • mandinka

    I’m still stuck on “hot English boyfriend”.
    I’m so jealous.

    And you’re living in London.
    I don’t think I like you very much.
    You’ve stolen my fantasies.

  • desiree.mac

    Are we twins separated at birth? Because I too just planned a wedding, feeling all the while like a deer in headlights. Thank God for my mother and my graphic design background, otherwise the colour scheme would probably still be up for grabs.

  • riogringa

    Ahh an international post! Yay.

    So I also did the fiance visa for my Brazilian husband. We applied in December 08 and he was issued the visa in June 09, which is actually not as long as I’d expected. So about the money, just you wait! That’s just the first part. Wait until you pay nearly $1000 for the government to process his AOS so he can get his green card. That was especially fun when we were unemployed and had no health insurance. There are also all kinds of fees for other things, plus the delightful mandated medical exam before his visa interview that can only be performed by a US government approved doctor. (PS – ask the doctor to make a copy of his immunization records, because even though he will have to turn in his medical papers at immigration, the USCIS will ask you for this record later, even though you can’t possibly have it because you already gave it to them). Basically this process is insanely frustrating and expensive and irritating, but it pays off in the end.

    Also, we had a courthouse wedding and have yet to start planning our “wedding” wedding – I was sad we couldn’t do them together, but it definitely makes for a lot less stress.

    In any event Sarah, good luck and feel free to let me know if you need any tips – we did the visa without a lawyer with the help of friends who had already gone through the process. If you haven’t already, go to – it is a HUGE help.

  • Brea

    This post answered my unasked question about how you wound up in London. It all comes together!

    Marriage is the bomb – and I am happy to hear that you are close to tying the proverbial knot.

    I am approaching my twenty-year wedding anniversary, and all I can think about is how quickly the time went. If we didn’t have a wedding photo, I’m not sure I would remember what my dress looked like.

    The stuff that got me all cracked out in the months precending is barely a memory. Sorry if this sounds trite, but enjoy what is important – each other. Many congratulations!

  • kimb

    We just went through all that red tape with my son and his South African fiancee. Ai yi yi. At first their plan was the same as yours — quickie wedding once the visa was obtained, followed by a party for friends and family. Then somehow it developed into a wedding in all but legality in South Africa for her friends and family (which we, his immediate family, attended) and then a quick wedding here once they came back from South Africa with the visa in hand. The idea was still to have a party here later, but by the time they got married here (in a very nice little ceremony that was held at the wineshop where my son works) we were all so tired of the whole wedding thing they decided we were done and no further partying was necessary.

    They started the paperwork in May 2009, planned the wedding for January 30, 2010 in South Africa and lived on tenterhooks from May to late December when she was finally called to the Embassy in Johannesburg for her interview and granted the visa. It all worked out beautifully in the end, timing-wise, because they had the faux wedding at the end of January, went on a little honeymoon in the South African summer, and then were able to fly home together. They arrived home in a small window in the second week in February between snowstorms here on the Eastcoast when planes actually managed to land at Dulles Airport. Of course, once they were settled here as a married couple they had to start the same damned paperwork dance all over again to try to get her the whatever the heck temporary/permanent residency card whooha that she has to have to actually be able to live, work, and drive here. So far she has a letter saying “congratulations, you are now allowed to live in the US — the card is in the mail.” It’s been in the mail for about a month, I think, maybe longer. Until she gets the actual card she can’t get a driver’s license (her South African license expired right before she left and she didn’t have time to get it renewed), but she can, apparently work? Who knows.

    All of this is a longwinded way of saying GOOD LUCK! And congratulations on finding the man of your dreams.

  • SuzieQ1

    The wedding’s over in minutes. It’s the marriage that counts.

  • reluctantcrafter

    I freakin’ love Liberty. Love the crazy building, the hats, the bolts of Armani fabric for custom made. I have always been tempted to sneak past that thin little rope and burrow thru that bridal boutique. But, alas, I never have.

  • SOLO dot MOM

    Happy for you…hang in there on the wait. And Ava Grace is not such a bad name for your firstborn girl, right? Anything for true love 🙂

  • WhatForMomma

    Vegas, baby. The only guests were those that could afford the plane tickets: our parents, his brother, and my best friend. Wedding dress from a consignment shop, bouquet as part of the Vegas wedding chapel package (also pictures and limo). Cheap and fun as hell. The little touches that made it special were the chorizo omelets for 5am dinner in the hotel cantina.

    FTW – That was enough for us. 🙂

    P.S. My captcha is “italians had.” Had what? Coincidentally, my husband is Italian. Hmmmmm.)

    P.P.S. Dear Ela – my state welcomes you any day. Love from Iowa. I wish we’d been there for you sooner.

  • Lindsey H

    Closest I got to a sexy accent is a Minnesota slur… and my husband was born and raised in Utah!! Love your posts, Sarah!

    Heather~ I’m sure you already know this, but those pumpkin colored Lilies are Daylilies. They are my absolute favorite and I have a front yard FULL of them that my husband has been begging me to thin. I live in Salt Lake, so feel free to come on over and steal some of mine by the roots! 🙂

  • Cinthia

    I married my Malaysian sweetie who was here on a student visa and went through the nightmarish process of getting the paperwork ourselves, without any help. It was ridiculous, we were given three different answers from three different people about the simplest things… Anyway, long story short, it didn’t take as long as we thought and as long as you know each other well and look like you’re in love, you should be fine. Oh, right, and as long as you have a good thousand bucks or so, because it’s kind of pricey.

    My friend Susan (who is American and married a Brit, like you), recommended that I visit a site called I found a lot of useful information and knew what to expect or do if things didn’t turn out the way we thought they would. Also, they let you know what is necessary and what isn’t, because if you overpay for something you didn’t actually need, they DON’T REFUND YOU. The money goes into the government bye-bye pile. Make sure you get what you need, and nothing more.

    Oh, and yeah, we were married at City Hall on Halloween because it was the only day we had free. My mom bought and mailed my wedding dress, shoes, honeymoon outfits, etc. a few days prior and we booked a quick honeymoon to SF two nights prior. Really though, making a huge deal is soooo pointless.

    On New Year’s Eve my parents threw us a quick blessing by the pastor church saying the vows thing, followed by a reception and that was that. No point in getting stressed.

    Best of luck!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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