So Jeremy and I were officially engaged as of December 26, 2008!
I posted it on my Facebook that day (of course!). Remember when Facebook statuses had to start with “Alison Hettema is….”? Yep, old school! My status read, “Alison Hettema is ENGAGED!”
We drove back down to San Diego after the Christmas holiday and started to talk about picking a date for the big day.
We knew we wanted to do it fairly soon, for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, we wanted to live together. My lease was up in May and Jeremy and I were ready to move in together, and since he was an E-4 at the time, we had to be married in order to get BAH (housing allowance).
We thought about having a small wedding in April over Spring Break, but that was shot down because Jeremy’s brother was deploying to Afghanistan in January for a year, and if we were going to have only one wedding, we wanted his brother to be up there with him. But that would mean having to wait at least a year and a half, and we didn’t want to wait that long to live together.
So we decided to just go to the courthouse and elope, and then have a big wedding the next summer when his brother was back from deployment. It seemed like a fabulous idea to me at the time, best of both worlds! We get to live together and start our lives together, but have time to plan a “real” wedding where all of our families could be there to celebrate with us. (If you’ve read my previous post, I have come to somewhat regret that choice). But at that moment in time, it sounded like a perfect plan, and I was 100% on board.
I started planning a small elopement. I bought an off white summer dress, Jeremy got some slacks and a dress shirt. We found a nice restaurant to go to lunch at with my family after the ceremony. We set a date for Valentines Day, 2009 (which sounded super romantic at the time, 100% regret that decision now lol. Ever tried to go out on Valentines Day?! Everything is over crowded, over booked and over priced!)
My family, however, were not on completely on board. My Dad expressed that he was disappointed that it wouldn’t be a “real” wedding. He said that he had always dreamed of walking his daughter down the aisle in a white wedding dress. He laid on the guilt hard core. I see now that he just wanted to give me a perfect wedding so I didn’t have any regrets, but at the time I couldn’t appreciate that and I found his opinions to be incredibly frustrating and “unsupportive”.
But as a result of his incessant comments, I caved and bought a wedding dress off the rack a few weeks before the big day (which I am forever grateful for since our photos from that day turned out like actual wedding photos thanks to that dress and my Dad’s photography). I also let him get Jeremy and I a hotel room at a fancy winery for our wedding night.
So less than 2 months after we officially got engaged, Jeremy and I drove back up to my hometown and eloped at the courthouse on February 14, 2009.
To be continued….
My last minute off the rack dress + the winery my Dad got us a room at + a bouquet from my BFF/Maid of Honor = amazing wedding photos ❤