Before I actually get into what married life is like so far (sorry, anonymous blog buddy, I'm getting there I promise!) I want to address a question Jackie posed on the first part of my married life discussion.
So was this planned or was it a spur of the moment type thing???
The short answer is: sortof. The long answer follows.
Waaaaaay back in December, Dean approached me with what he called "a plan". He suggested we fly to Vegas and get married sometime within a year. That would give him time to save up for a ring and for a trip and it would be romantic. At first I was unsure. Ever since moving to Florida I had wanted to get married on the beach. The reality of beach weddings though is that if you want them on private property they are quite expensive. If you are content getting married on a public beach there will be fat ladies in bikinis in your wedding photos. Florida has problems with red tide, the weather can be unpredictable and an expensive white dress will end up salty and dirty. I loved the idea of a beach wedding but I realized the logistics were too much for me. So after some debate I shrugged and said, "Okay, let's do it."
We managed to keep it completely secret for a few months. As time went by I felt more convinced that this was the way to go. I wasn't sure my extended family would fly down to Florida for a wedding and I sure as hell wasn't going to try to plan one from 1600 miles away. At the time he suggested it we didn't have a lot of money, I didn't have my felowship, Dean had just started his job and we were in transition. I knew my parents would help us financially with a wedding but I didn't know how much. I felt my mom out about wedding stuff and she jokingly offered me a large sum of money to elope so she wouldn't have to deal with wedding stuff. Good enough for me.
Dean's original idea was romantic. Once every few nights we'd cuddle up on the couch and talk about "the plan" mostly void of any details except running away and getting hitched. He didn't want anyone to know. He wanted to call our parents from Vegas and shock them, imagining sheer delight at acquiring instant in-laws.
I agreed- I thought this would be great. And then I got greedy. Spring was coming, we were making grown up money. I waited 6 long years for an engagement ring and I could taste it. Dean wanted to get both the engagement ring and the bands at once right before we left. I wanted it now. I pled my case. I deserved to be a fiance. What would people think if I got my ring so close to being in Vegas? Would they think I got a cheap knock-off in such a gaudy city? This wouldn't do. The money was just sitting there, taunting me. So like any good boyfriend, Dean relented and I got my ring.
I never anticipated the firestorm of questions. Did we have any plans? A date? Before graduation or after? Honestly, I didn't think anyone would care so much. I'd been in a long-term relationship and I thought people would yawn and say, "well it's about time."
We had to rethink this. We had to negotiate our plans a little so that we weren't lying to people. Our parents would need to know. After the parents could know, there was the issue of having a party or something in which case more people would have to know. We ended up in a compromise where our parents and a couple of friends knew. My mom discreetly planned a party and told people only a couple weeks in advance and most of my friends, lab mates and you guys were still in the dark , not to mention the people in the periphery of my life.
All in all we started with a plan and like most plans, things didn't go exactly the way we wanted. I joke that this is what happens when a boy plans your wedding. We reached a point where we decided to just go with it, let whatever happens happen and don't be disappointed with detours because no matter how much time, money and effort you put in it, things will never be perfect. I still love that it was Dean's idea. That we did it privately, low pressure, low cost. We spent a little extra money on my engagement ring and wedding band because I will enjoy them the rest of my life. Like I mentioned before, we have money waiting for us when we want to buy a house. We spent time with family with absolutely no stress. I'm so happy it's obscene. More later. And if you are sick of this lovey dovey crap, too bad. I'm a newlywed.