Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guest Post: Military Bride Part 2

Welcome back to the second post telling the story of one military bride's journey.  Here is the link to the first post in case you missed it.  This post is about the civil ceremony Abby & her husband planned before they were stationed in Guam and her introduction to being a military wife.  To keep up with her fascinating life, check her personal blog.  Enjoy!


We chose to have it in Maryland because it was faster than Virginia, and the courthouse was a stone building with a lot of character in a Historic District. My mom and I shopped for a white dress, my wedding dress. At the time the only wedding dress I was sure I would be wearing. I wanted something not too formal (there was still hope for a wedding gown later) but serious enough for the occasion. As soon as I put it on I knew. It was fitted, with ruching, knee length and a cute little criss-cross in the back. Nicole Miller had hit the mark. I came out to oohs and ahhs, I gave my mom the look that this was it. I double checked that it wasn’t too sexy and given the okay we bought it. The love for this dress is equal to that of my Wedding Gown. But I can wear this one all the time! This was shortly after the first Sex and the City movie had released and it just so happened that I had a pair of hot pink Manolo Blahnik shoes which I had purchased (on sale) with my first Big Girl Job paycheck. Oh yes, I wore them. My mom gave me her diamond necklace as something borrowed and my best friend gave me sapphire earrings as something blue. I was set! The groom’s outfit was probably picked out in less than an hour, but he looked incredible in sand colored slacks and vest, with a baby blue shirt and tie. I was impressed. And let the flip flops slide.

We decided to have a few wedding like elements. We went cake tasting and ordered a small cake decorated with a beach scene to represent Guam. We picked the Chart House in Annapolis for dinner after; his father had attended the Naval Academy so it was a nice touch as well. The staff there was fantastic and had menus printed with Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. H. They even ushered the family to a small corner of the lounge/bar when we first arrived as a make shift cocktail hour. Growing up, my mom and I would go to a florist every Wednesday to get flowers for the house, so the ladies there were more than happy to help us pick out some flowers for me to put together in small vases. They also surprised me with my Yellow Calla Lily bouquet wrapped with ribbon and pinned with pearls. How could you not feel like a bride? We also put together little favors of snack-sized bags of chips to represent where we first met and a few other favorites. We used my mom’s rice basket from my parent’s wedding as part of the decor which was a beautiful finishing touch.

The Day Of the Ceremony. Oh the nerves. I was happy, but the butterflies were in full force. I had a hair appointment to have a blow out and when I told the woman, nonchalantly, that I was getting married that day I’m pretty sure she thought I was a nut. My best friend from college, the girl who was with me at the grocery store, had driven up from Virginia, and both families including grandmothers were gathered. I was ready early and hid up in my room with my best friend, my mom periodically poking her head in. I just knew once I went down those stairs there was no going back. When I did finally come downstairs, I searched the faces for Chris. He looked amazing, and just as nervous as me which made me feel better actually. Hugs were given, a few words were said and then we all piled into cars. We played a CD of my favorite love songs, and my mom commented that the line of cars was my processional. Once settled at the courthouse my Dad walked me in and the lovely woman and judge? began the short vows. My voice shook as I looked into his eyes reciting the vows, knowing that I would love him for the rest of my life. There was no question.


Hello, Reality. I dropped Chris off for the 28 hour flight to Guam. Before leaving, he had taken me to get my Military ID card and enter me into the DEERS system. I was officially his spouse. You also become used to people asking you for your social security number, but they really mean the active duty member’s social. It can make you feel like you don’t exist. Sometimes, rarely, I give them mine anyway just to go through the whole, “Oh you meant my husband’s...” Anyway, we still had a few more boxes to check before my ticket to Guam could be purchased by the Navy. I needed to have an Over-Seas Screening done. Although it took some persistence, patience and a sweet call from my husband to the TriCare office, only weeks after our vows I was hugging my parents goodbye, flying across the dateline, 16 hours from Newark, New Jersey, to Narita, Japan, and then 4 hours from Japan to Guam. Taking a deep breath, I walked through Customs and into his arms again.

*Photo courtesy of the bride

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