Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Logistics V's Romance... Where to marry when Visa's are involved!

Logistics V's Romance...?

When my now husband and I agreed to tie the knot, it wasn't long before we were hit with the reality of being citizens from different continents. Buying a ring, planning the proposal, sharing the news with family and friends and cracking on with the guest list were all wonderful moments in our courtship, but in many small ways they were overshadowed by the sheer logistics of our marriage being legal and us being on the same soil as a couple.

The (not so) simple task of researching venues, knocking out guest lists and chatting to vendors became a little more complex when faced with the challenge of deciding where we wanted to live (UK or USA?), how long we planned to live there for, who could afford to make the overseas trip for our big day and who would be left behind. Not to mention how on earth are we going to plan a big wedding 4,000 miles apart and in less than 10 months?! Phew! It was all a bit much to tell you the truth...

Back at the beginning we dreamt of $30,000 worth of 'special day' but as we began to realize who couldn't make it, who we couldn't afford to bring overseas and how far our budget really was going to be stretched by plane tickets, accommodations and family events we had to come back down to earth.

Where to Marry...?

Deciding we wanted to reside in the US for our foreseeable future (due to a more favorable job market, already owning a home, 2 cars and 2 pooches among other personal reasons) my traditional English wedding became far less accessible. Other than the cost of a big white wedding, England made no sense due to the immigration policies currently in place. My husband would have flown over to marry me after several months apart (due to his needing to be at work in the US and my tourist visa running out), stayed for a short local honeymoon and then returned to our home in America where he would have waited (and felt rather like rhubarb without the custard I imagine!) for around 2-5 months while all my paperwork was filed and I was interviewed...

Not the newlywed experience I initially envisioned, I have to say.

Working Around It...

So the big wedding celebration plans went on hold and we decided to romantically slip away to a beach Stateside, to exchange vows and legalize our union. It was beautiful and intimate and meant the world to use both. This way we got the dreaded 5 month wait out of the way prior to becoming spouses, plus we were both able to save a bit of money for the move and grow together as a team, facing the challenge of the long distance relationship.

Yes, I do in part regret the physical absence of our families... of course I do. But we made sure to include them in all our organizing; from choosing the dress/suit, to picking out the flowers. My half Skyped from England on the morning of the big day and laughter was shared over champagne.

Memories were still created and shared, husband and wife spent a long honeymoon and beyond together and the paperwork afterwards was minimal. Bliss.