10 June 2010

Equinox Love: Goin' to the Courthouse and We're...

Gonna get married??

After leaving dinner with our families Monday evening, Mr. Bear Cub and I got the opportunity to spend some time alone, strolling the streets of downtown Portland.  This was such a welcomed breath of fresh air!  We talked for a little while about the days to come - last minute plans, tactics for avoiding stress - and then Mr. BC asked me the question.

"Let's get married!"

"Umm... OK dude.  Sounds fantastic.  How does Sunday work for you?"

"No, let's get married tomorrow."

We had planned to go to the courthouse the following morning (Tuesday) to get our marriage license.  My dear fiancé was suggesting we get the license and sign it at the same time!

This caught me a little off guard.  I mean, sure, of course we'd be getting married - what difference would a couple of days make in the long run?  The real concern was making sure our marriage would be legal before we left the country after our wedding.  We'd planned on leaving for our honeymoon the day after the wedding, and flying back to Chile two weeks after the wedding - what if we couldn't get the documents finalized before we left the country??

No matter when we signed the documents, our "wedding" would still be the one we had planned for so long.  Our real wedding - the date we celebrate for anniversaries, the one we share with family and friends, the one that links us in our minds and hearts - would be the celebration on Sunday.

I must remind you - we had done NO research at all on courthouse weddings!  We were blindly assuming at this point that you could show up, sign a document, and be done with it.

We decided we'd hedge our bets with the courthouse - if we could sign the documents Tuesday morning, great!  We'd be married!  No worries for legality later!  If not - oh well!  We'd be getting married anyways come Sunday!

This was all so EXCITING!  We might be husband and wife (technically) the next morning!  A courthouse wedding!  I'm not much for crowds anyways, plus Mrs. Mary Jane's courthouse wedding was so incredibly beautiful.  You know what this means?


I heart you, jcrew!

I had already bought this dress - the JCrew linen-silk rosette tussah - thinking it might be nice for a reception back-up dress.  All you short-dress ladies out there: this dress is SO beautiful!  And it has pockets!

So, Tuesday morning Mr. Bear Cub and I dressed in our nicest "we might be getting married" clothes, and hopped on over to the Multnomah County Courthouse.


Even though the Portland Courthouse is downtown and surrounded by other buildings, I was still quite impressed with it.  Plus, Portland has trees everywhere downtown - even at the courthouse, you feel like you're in a park!

Inside the courthouse, we got to the task at hand - get those documents!

You get your marriage license in the tax collection office.  Oh tax collection room, you're so romantic!

Aaaaand... we got our marriage license documents.  And obligatory pictures in front of the courthouse.

Aren't we cute?  Young and in love!

As for getting the license signed, apparently you're supposed to plan ahead for that one.  When we asked if we could have a judge formalize our marriage that day, the lady behind the counter informed us that they were booked solid until the following month!  Yikes!  So much for romantic spontaneity.

At least we got our marriage license taken care of!  And I got an excuse to wear my short wedding dress!

Even though we had a walk-down-the-aisle-with-family-and-friends wedding, I still love the idea of courthouse weddings - they're so romantic and intimate!  Have you and your future intended ever thought about getting legally married before the wedding day?

Catch up on the tale!
Equinox Love: New Beginnings
Equinox Love: Through Our Friends’ Eyes
Equinox Love: Reticence
Equinox Love: The Tipping Point
Equinox Love: Preparations Before the Family Storm
Equinox Love: Meet the Parents!

01 June 2010

Equinox Love: Meet The Parents!

Less than a week before the wedding, our parents had yet to meet!  This, I think, is among the strangest things about adulthood - the stark realization that your parents have yet to even meet those who will become deeply entwined with your future.  Your fiancé's parents - they will be your parents.  And your parents, the people who have guided you, molded you, counseled you, bathed you - they will be his.  For me, this truly solidifies the notion that you and your fiancé are really, and finally, becoming a family.

So naturally, I was a little anxious about the first meeting.  I mean, our parents made us, and we like each other - so they must like each other, right?  (Sorry, Juliet.)  Even though Mr. Bear Cub and I are astronomers, we're lucky not to be so star-crossed. ;)

Amidst the mayhem of preparations, my parents (Momma Bear & Papa Bear) and siblings (Sis Bear Cub & Bro Bear Cub) flew into Portland from Oklahoma Monday afternoon.  Mr. Bear Cub's mom and two sisters also flew in from Wyoming that day.  And then Mr. BC's step-grandma (his step-mom's mom, and also our officiant) trained in.

We decided that a good common ground would be dinner at a restaurant - this was such a good idea.  We made reservations at a nice sushi place in the Pearl District (agadashi tofu OMNOM), and everyone trickled in around the same time.

And you know what?  The "meeting of the families" went fine.  I think I was anxious because as much as I love my family, they're weird.  For that matter, everyone's family is weird - in their own way, of course. :-p  I have this theory that the magnitude of familial eccentricities is directly proportional to the density of family members present (ie - my whole nuclear family + his whole nuclear family = A-bomb of eccentricities??).  Then throw more family (and friends) into the mix, and you might as well call it a "Manhattan Project Wedding".  ;)  I kid!

The dinner conversation was going smoothly for a long while (ie, everyone was talking about how awesome Mr. BC & I are ;) ), and then someone (I can't remember who) added the enriched uranium to the noun and verb soup: church and/or politics.

If Mr. BC and I are star-crossed in any way, it's that his family is staunchly progressive democratic (Oregon, hello!) and deist, and mine is values-voter conservative (straight outa Oklahoma!) and very Catholic.  Being the progressive humanist that I am, I've learned to choose my battles over church and politics very wisely.  Read: AT ALL COSTS, don't add this reactive substance at the first meeting!  (Subsequent tests are at your own discretion ;) ).

I think it was something about single-payer health care.  Someone on the left (literally - his family was sitting to the left of us) said something like "Why don't we have single-payer health care already?  It makes so much sense!"

I saw my dad (sitting, ironically, just to the right of Mr. BC's dad) suck in a long wind of air, firmly place both palms on the tabletop, and then retort with, "And raising taxes to pay for it makes sense? [grmblgrmbl]..." (this is largely paraphrased, by the way!)

Mr. Bear Cub and I froze, our chopsticks mid-air, sashimi halfway to our previously blitheful mouths.

There was some sshhh-ing on the left of the previously unknowing provocateur, the world [for us] stood still for a few seconds longer, and then it all passed.  Sashimi hit mouths, wedding chatter continued, and atomic warfare was averted!

All in all, it was a pretty successful first meeting for our families!  (Just add sushi!)

How was your Meet The Parents experience?

Catch up on the tale!
Equinox Love: New Beginnings
Equinox Love: Through Our Friends’ Eyes
Equinox Love: Reticence
Equinox Love: The Tipping Point
Equinox Love: Preparations Before the Family Storm