I'm A Runaway Bride!

by JoAnne Kenrick

Tis the season, folks.

Wedding season that is. No getting away from it. Normally, unless we know someone who is getting married, or are getting married ourselves, we can go about our life as if the season didn't exist. Not this year, though. Nope. Not a chance of that. Not with all the media coverage on 'The' wedding of the year... of the decade. Seriously, who cares if it was fairy tale. Some do, I know. I understand that. But, not me; what do I care if a couple, who are complete strangers to me, get a fancy smancy wedding on UK tax payers money? Yeah, I'm so NOT a Royalist. But I get why people were interested in it, why they tuned in on the big day (AT 4am! in the States), and shared their wedding ecstasy all over Facebook and Twitter. Happy ever afters, we get a happy glow when reminded they exist. That's why I write, and read, romance... it's like a drug is that HEA! Just, some of us have different ideas of what exactly a happy ever is, and how it should be celebrated.
Wedding dress image from OnSugar
When I Was Just A Little Girl.
I'm not big on formal weddings, or the costs and hassles of them; for a romance writer, I'm pretty narly like that. I know, my family tells me often enough. Yeah, they missed out on 'my' big day and are happy to remind me about it, often, calling me the runaway bride (no, I didn't runaway from my groom -- rather I ran away to get married). But it wasn't done in secret, and if they actually wanted to be there, they really could have. Let me explain...

...This is the dress I wore on my big day. No, that's not me. But our wedding photos are hiding in a box somewhere... I ain't going in the attic to hunt them down. Eek. No way -- image from Davids Bridal
My dream wedding, from as long as I can remember, has been to get married wearing in Vegas. And I'd be wearing a long, red dress. It's not something I ever really talked about with my now husband. So it's funny how that's exactly what I got. I admitted my little fantasy after he suggested it upon news of our Aussie friends dropping by for a visit; though it'd make the day extra special with our good friends there as witnesses. He's a sweetheart, when he realized it something I'd dreamed about, he handed over all booking plans to me. I was in control of the venue and Vegas hotel. Yup, how easy is that? When a man usually hands over the wedding plans to his fiance, they have to run around like headless chickens for months, to make sure everything is done like favors, balloons, bridesmaid dresses and presents, flowers..oh my, the list goes on. My arrangements took ten minutes via email.
LOVE IT! The no hassle, dream wedding. Hey, maybe that's why it was always my dream. I love HEAs, but I hate hassle. Although that doesn't explain the red dress? I think we can blame Scarlett for that.
Runaway Brides.
Americans have Vegas for quickie weddings, thank goodness, because the marriage license wait is minimal. Gretna Green is the runaway wedding destination for Brits. The reason behind that is that it's on the Scottish Borders, so it's one of the main first towns you come across if traveling to Scotland. You see, Scotland have different laws to the rest of Britain when it comes to the
legal age to get wed. For the rest of the UK, it's 21, for Scotland its 16. But back in the day there was no age limit and so it quickly became the go to place for young couples to wed without their parents permission. And quite frankly, had we lived in Britain still, we probably would have run off and eloped in Gretna instead of Vegas. Although it would not have been anywhere near as fun, or warm. Because to us, a wedding day is special for the couple committing to each other. It's not about family. And it's not about how much money you've spent to put on a show. Obviously we're not alone in our thinking... Vegas is world renowned for quickie weddings! And I had to book the Little White Wedding Chapel months in advance; see, months in advance. Had certain family members wanted to turn up, they really could have because they had lots of notice. (tip, if you're doing this in the White Wedding Chapel, make sure you get morning or late evening booking; the sun is in a bad position for afternoon photos outside. Yes, I speak from experience) Gretna Green Image from SmithsGretnaGreen.com
Dream Wedding.
So that was my dream wedding turned realty. I was a runaway bride...with my groom. We ran away to Vegas and signed up for our HEA without the family hassles and debt offered by a traditional wedding. Instead, we road tripped it to the Grand Canyon, Vegas and Hollywood...and spent all our pennies in the slots! Ahh, memories. And we didn't do it in secret, either. Everyone knew when and where. No one bothered to make the effort to show up, though. That's good, it's what we wanted. But enough with the moaning that they missed out. They missed out because they didn't come. Plain and simple.
What was your dream as a little girl. Why? And did it come true? Did it meet your expectations, and would you do anything differently if you could. Happy wedding season, may all the happy ever afters you experience be memorable and glowy...whether they be real or fictional.

Chin, chin!

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  1. I love that you got married in Vegas. My son lives in Vegas so it's a place my husband and I visit often. When I was dating my husband, way back in the early 70's, we took a trip to California and then a side trip to Reno, NV. I wanted to get married in Reno, wearing my cutoff jeans. My husband is more traditional and wouldn't do it. So we had a church wedding years later, but I still wish we'd gotten married in Reno.

  2. Hi, Cara xx How wonderful, to be able to visit Vegas often..it's a fun city! Cut off jeans, now those would have been some rocking wedding photos :) But I'm sure you still had a very special day xx it's special no matter where you get wed, right?


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