We drive to the clerk's office, present our application and identification, and wait. There are some serious brides here - a couple with their son, a bride in full regalia, People taking this seriously. While we wait for the chapel to open up, I see someone trying to get into my car in the parking lot. Charles runs out, I watch through the windows as he pulls a knife on the guy. Please, i think, don't get arrested on our fake wedding day.
The guy is smart enough to plead ignorance and run away, and charles stays un-incarcerated. My witness (best boss ever) and her boyfriend show up, and eventually our name is called. We stand at the altar. Charles holds his hands in front of him. I hold my hands behind my back - fingers crossed, just to make sure. This is a fake wedding, after all. We go through our vows, very quick and generic. No god, no obeying, no rings. "You may now kiss your bride ..."
and the best, most touching, most meaningful kiss i've ever had. The thought of that kiss brings tears to my eyes, and probably will for years to come. Nothing has ever felt quite like that.
And then we're married ... but we're not, this is just for insurance. The real wedding is next year. We've decided that this is just an overly official, prolonged engagement. We want to do it right, with friends and family there.
It may not be normal, it may not make sense, it certainly has pissed off my family, but this is the way we do things!