This left us with a very serious decision to consider. We had planned to get married a year after our engagement, but that would mean waiting two years to join the Peace Corps. Having finished my master's degree a few months earlier, I was ready to embark on a new journey. And Ben, only needed one year to finish his internship with UPS, and his master's thesis. What would our family think about us getting married after only one month of engagement? and what was engagement, if not a promise to get married? What was the difference in waiting one year or one month to get married? Some couples are engaged for years before getting married... if you know, you know, then why wait? It seemed like we were only focusing on what other people would think, because of our preconceived notions about how long a couple should date. We'd known for months that we perfect for each other. So then we made up our minds... let's get married!!
Since I was a little girl, like all little girls, I had dreamed of my wedding day. I yearned for all the bells and whistles. I dreamed of a beautiful beach wedding, with bridesmaids and flower girls, and a fun-filled reception with food and dancing for all my family. How does a courthouse wedding fit into that? And that's why we decided to have not one, but two weddings: one at the courthouse, and one a year later at the beach with all the family. So we called up my parents and told them our plan. We could tell they were surprised, but they supported our decision wholeheartedly.
The night before the wedding, my parents spent the night with us in our little apartment in Calibre Brooke. In the morning, Ben cooked us a delicious breakfast. As my mom helped me get ready, I'm pretty sure the guys were playing Resident Evil 4 in the living room (very appropriate for a wedding day). My mom and I realized that I needed something old, new, borrowed, and blue. My dress was new, I found blue socks in my closet, I traded one of my socks with my mom (borrowed), and my mom lent me one of her diamond rings as something old. When I was all dressed up and ready, Ben played "Here Comes the Bride" as I walked down our tiny hallway. At the end of the hallway, my mom presented us with a bouquet and boutineer of yellow daisies. Without much ado, we piled in the car and headed to the Marietta Courthouse.
Luckily, the courthouse is open for 1 hour on Saturdays just for weddings. We turned in our marriage license and waited for our turn. There were a wide variety of people waiting for their turns as well. A few were dressed up like me and Ben, others wore jeans and t-shirts, one middle-aged couple brought their kids in wearing Halloween costumes, and one girl who looked very pregnant. My brother, Jared, arrived at the courthouse, looking stylish in his suit, just in time for our names to be called. We all entered the private wedding room with our officiant, Judge Jennifer Inmon. The ceremony was brief but still sweet. We said our vows, I got a little teary eyed, and since we didn't have rings, we skipped straight to the kiss.
Our Courthouse Vows:
"I, Sarah, take you, Ben,
To be my husband.
To have and to hold,
From this day forward,
For better, for worse,
For richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish
As long as we both shall live."
Hand in hand, we headed out for some fun in the square. First, we went to Marietta Pizza Company and celebrated with pizza and beer. Afterwards, we walked around the square for a post-wedding photo shoot. We stopped in a cute little cupcake shop and enjoyed some impromptu wedding cupcakes. The whole day was absolutely beautiful and we loved getting to share it with my parents and my brother. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful and supportive family. We love you guys!
A month later, we visited our families in Georgia and Florida to announce our marriage. On the car ride there, we decided to write them a song. At first we told them it was a song about joining the Peace Corps, but soon, the lyrics reveal that we are already married. First we sang it in Sanibel to my grandparents, Jojo and Papa Don, and my Aunt Kim and Uncle Merrill. Then we drove up to Tampa and sang to Ben's family there: Debby, Rick, and all of Ben's cousins and their kids. Then, we sang it to my dad's family at my grandmother's 85th birthday party in Georgia. Their reactions were priceless! Everyone was surprised and thrilled! We are so thankful to have such a supportive family! Here are the lyrics and a video of us singing the song to my family in Florida:
"Oh the places we will go, but where nobody knows,
The mountains or the seashore darlin'.
I don't really care where, as long as you are there.
We're going to the Peace Corps darlin'.
But, we almost forgot! Before we get our shot,
We need to tie the knot. We need to get married darlin'.
What will everybody say? Will they love us anyway,
If they weren't there the day, the day we got married darlin'?
We became husband and wife on October 29th.
That's when we got married darlin'.
We wish you all were there, in Marietta Square,
in the courthouse where we just got married darlin'.
Although, we didn't have rings...
-But wait! You had a ring!
-Only my engagement ring...
-You want another ring??
-Of course I want a ring!
-But, will I get a ring?
-We'll both get wedding rings,
To show that we are married darlin'.
When, we both said I do, we knew our love was true.
There's nothing we can't do, now that we are married darlin'.
We want you to know that this was just a formality.
We planned all along to get married eventually.
We still want to have our wedding by the sea.
So please save the date (October 6th) to come to our beach wedding!
In actuality, we ended up having our 2nd wedding on August 18th due to an earlier than expected Peace Corps invitation... but that is a whole other story!