Chris and I met in May of 2016, went on our first date in July, and got engaged in October of the same year.
We eloped on November 30th, 2016.
We were officially married at the courthouse in downtown Charleston on a Wednesday morning. It was just a few weeks following our engagement. Our logic was: we found an apartment, had an engagement ring, and we “just knew”.
We applied for a marriage license soon after Chris proposed in late October and after we received our copy of the application, we looked at it and saw one brief line of signature that made the difference in us being married or not. And both of us thought, "Seriously? It’s that easy?"
It's difficult to describe to anyone - the feeling of complete certainty that you want to spend the rest of your life with this person you met five months ago. But we both knew it would be impossible to ever love anyone else this much. So we went with it, together.
Chris had a hat on. My hair was still wet from the shower. We pulled up to 100 Broad St. and walked through security. The guards said something like, “Y’all are heading to Marriage License Office, correct? No one else comes to court smiling that big." TRUE.
We walked into the Marriage License office and told the clerk that we wanted to get married. Besides Chris' parents having a slight suspicion, no one else knew what we’d decided to do, and most people wouldn’t know until a few weeks later. We were still planning a small ceremony for some friends and family, but this would be just for us.
My favorite photo of that day was taken by a stranger in the lobby.
Then two weeks later, on December 16th, we woke up in our apartment, got dressed in our wedding clothes, and went to take portraits with photographer Olivia Rae James. We ran around downtown taking photos, got breakfast, relaxed, and later met about 50 friends and family members for our ceremony. A family who attends the church where Chris works, allowed us to use their backyard for our wedding. In addition, another member of the church made benches for everyone to sit on, and Chris’s dad officiated the ceremony.
Everyone came together and offered their help - which we say all the time - is one of the biggest reasons why we could afford to do an additional celebration.
It's not a concise, organized story of how we got married, but it's ours and we love it. I wanted to share this story because well, we love reliving it, but also for the sake of other couples to know that your wedding can look how you want it to. Big or small, in a bar, or on a boat. In the middle of the woods with five people, or with a couple dozen friends at a dinner party...
Whatever you choose to do, I'll be there to document and cheer you on.
happy marriage everyone!