Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Las Vegas of Europe

Opened coffee creamers, Adam Sandler movies and European adventures.

It was one hell of a summer. Never one of those silly girls who declare after a week of dating that she is “in love” I felt totally out of my element.

Because I was…


In. Love.

After a mere two weeks of dating I knew this was it. This was the man I was going to marry, and Mr. Man knew it too.

But life is not like the movies. We knew to give our future the best chance at success we needed to wait. Our hearts may have said, go, go, go…

But our heads were much smarter.

After all, I was only in Europe to work and bum around for the summer. Then it was back to my studies at The University of Ottawa. I’d only completed 2 years of school and I still had 2 more to go.

Yup, I have never been blessed with good timing.

So after the requisite romantic weekend in Paris, it was time to say good-bye and brave the whole new world of…

The Long. Distance. Relationship.

Dun, dun, dunnnnnnnn.

It was a long two years, but thanks to surprise (and not so surprise) visits, really expensive long distance bills, choppy barely coherent webcam sessions and my summer work furloughs, we survived. We came out the other side knowing distance HAD made the heart grow fonder.

Watch out... I’m just full of clich├ęs tonight!

We got engaged after our first year, and when I finally returned to Europe for good, we knew we needed a plan. See, in order for me to accompanying Mr. Man to his next station we had to have a marriage certificate (not to mention easing the whole immigration process), but being located in Europe a big wedding was out of the question. We just wanted to get “the piece of paper”, and have our “big day” later.

After a little research we knew that getting married in Germany was completely out of the question. The bureaucracy and complicated translation required was just way too much work! But how about eloping somewhere fun and new instead?

Finally we settled on Scotland. My maiden name being MacNeil and my Mom’s being McLeod, Scotland seemed perfect.

And FYI, as the title of this post suggests, it’s like the Las Vegas of Europe.

Well, minus the gambling and singing Elvis.

We simply sent in our required paperwork and documentation, with our requested wedding date, waited and few weeks and, VIOLA! One easy-peasy courthouse wedding.

We arrived in Edinburgh the day before our official day, and did the tourist thing. We scoped out the Royal Mile and the castle. Upon rising the morning of the big day we decided to cram in just one more attraction before the big “I DO”. Believing the tour was a mere 20 minutes we chose the creeptastic “Mary Kings Close”. A guided tour of a portion of the city that was walled up during a time of plague, it was reportedly haunted and definitely intriguing.

As we followed the Guide through the dusty twists and turns of another time, hearing one chilling tale after another, we lost all sense of time, and when we emerged an hour later squinting into the afternoon sun our only thought was, “Sh$t! We’re going to be late for our own wedding!”

Barreling into the hotel room we tore through our luggage, hauling on the bits and bobs of our simple wedding attire, and in 20 minutes we were back in a cab and hurtling towards City Hall. Out of breath and slightly sweaty we rushed into the appropriate office, and were greeted by the calm smiling face of our Justice of the Peace.

“Relax loves, we’ve got loads of time!”

She ushered us into her office, got us a glass of water and asked, “Do you have witnesses?”

“Umm…. we were told we could find them here?”

“Oh, absolutely! Shall I go find them, or would you like to?”

Pointing out that this was our first time and we didn’t really know how to go about finding witnesses, she told us to sit tight and rushed from the room.

15 minutes later she returned with two women.

“These will be your witnesses. Julie and Julie… they are on their lunch break.”

Greeting the newest members of our wedding party, we quickly went over the paperwork and having confirmed the details were correct followed our Officiate into a small room, with a podium. I gave our camera to one of the Julies, asking her to take pictures, and then took my place in front of Mr. Man.
We joined hands.

Simple vows were exchanged.

Rings were given.

A kiss was shared.

And in the blink of an eye I was officially Mrs. Man.

We celebrated in true Scottish style with a Steak and Haggis diner.

I still can’t believe that was 8 years ago. It was our first adventure as man and wife. We’ve had MANY MANY since, and I know we have MANY MANY more to come.

And I can’t wait!

Time flies when you’re having fun,



Jessica Kane said...

I SOOO love your love story, much more romantic than mine of the truck stop :) BWHAHAHHA!!! Love you Mrs. Man and happy anny!!

Jkane :)

ps, I LOVE when you say bits & bobs :)

Mandy:) said...

Thanks Sweets! But remember everyone's love story is specail and romantic!


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