So this next real wedding post is hilarious but also so filled with young love and the utter anticipation and eagerness of Kate and Trevor to just get it done and be married. Also? It’s very much an example that whether you plan or not, something may go wrong. And you can either roll with the punches or you can choose to have a fit. Kate and Trevor really rolled with the punches and when Kate first explained their wedding to me, it was impossible not to have a full belly laugh about it. And while they don’t have any photos from their Vegas nuptials, (which, BTW, I really wish they did just so I could see her rockin’ outfit!) they have some pretty cool old-school ones of their confirmation back in Jackson.
Name: Kate Cope
Occupation: Office Manager
Wedding location:Las Vegas, followed by a confirmation in Jackson,WY
Wedding Date: June 7th 2004
Length of engagement: Approx 10 months
Tell me about your wedding: Our wedding in Vegas was the most ridiculous thing ever. The “Chapel of Dreams” was anything but. I was moving down to Arizona to be with Trevor and we knew that we were going to live together and we’d already planned on getting married, so we decided to stop in Vegas and make it official (tho some people might say we eloped). We had a basic ceremony (no Elvis, but we did have a tiny, heavily accented Asian woman to help things along) in a tiny house that had been converted to a chapel within walking distance of the courthouse. We wrote our own vows and because we had no rings, we exchanged kisses and little pieces of silver elastic I had saved from a Christmas gift.
Our confirmation was done in November after we were married at my parents house in Jackson. At this ceremony I had all the fixins, bouquet, cake, friends etc. It was another traditional ceremony where we again wrote our own vows except this time we exchanged the rings we had purchased after our Vegas wedding.
What was your favorite part of your wedding? Our Vegas wedding was definitely fun filled, looking back my favorite part is how many times the lady called us by the wrong names (Christopher and Danielle), it was at least 3 different times! Also our wedding attire was pretty fantastic. I wore a 1950’s style “homemaker” dress that was white with blue and yellow flowers, my Chucks and Jack Skellington hair chopsticks, Trevor wore Chucks, black pants, a shiny red shirt and a sweet Jack Skellington tie. At the time, I would have said getting out of that chapel was my favorite part!
My favorite part of our confirmation was my bouquet which had dark orange and maroon calla lilies which are my favorite flower.
What disasters did you avert … or not avert and how did you deal with it? Our Vegas wedding was disastrous on the whole, the “chapel” was a bedroom that had been converted with a cheap trellis and plastic flowers, and our music consisted of a tinny boom box playing the wedding march. I’m still not sure how a boom box managed to produce that warbling old 8-track feeling, but it did perfectly. In the video of our wedding you can see our “minister” counting out the beats in her head before she headed back to turn off the boom box. She then called us by the wrong names and when we corrected her said “well who are you then?”… stellar!
That lovely moment was followed by a prayer that went on and on and was mostly unintelligible, in the video you can clearly see me trying to stifle my laughter and Trevor mouthing several times during the ceremony “I’m so sorry”. Also in the video, during the prayer the lady had her hand up as if blessing us… she was tiny tho so it looks like she’s trying to grab my boob. After Trevor and I exchanged vows, kisses and rings, which in my mind means we’re married, our “minister” sat us down and gave us a 20 minute Jesus talk that was about 19 minutes longer than our ceremony had been.
Then there was the random man who poked his head in during the ceremony. After our ordeal we were taken in a back room to pay, there we were called by the wrong names again and we were told it was “customary” to tip the minister. She didn’t get a tip, we didn’t get any photos… but we did get a VHS copy of our wedding.
That’s right in 2004 we received a VHS copy of our wedding, which we then had to buy a VCR to watch it on. In many ways I am so glad that Trevor and I were the only witnesses to this event, but the video and story make for great talking points! I guess I dealt with the whole thing by laughing, the whole thing has become substantially funnier over the years but it was still pretty funny then.
Our confirmation was much smoother. I think we only really had 2 major problems. The first, one of my dogs took a bite out of my cake. Of course, I was horrified but with some rearrangement of the flowers on the bottom tier, no one had a clue. I was also a little worried because the cake was chocolate but there seemed to be no ill effects on the dog. The other major problem was when our videographer caught on fire. That’s right! He leaned back into some candles while shooting our vows and his shirt instantly ignited. My poor friend, who is horribly afraid of fire, was standing right next to him but was too scared to put him out. Luckily his wife jumped in and beat out the fire before he was burned too badly. In the end only the shirt and a small patch of skin were injured in the blaze. That also makes for a lovely video moment!
Was there anything you would have done differently, or do you have any regrets about how something went? If I had it do to over, I would have checked out some different chapels in Vegas. If you are planning on getting married in Vegas you should know that outside the courthouse there are about 75 different people who are all intent on getting you to their chapel. Fights will break out, you will be grabbed, yelled at and generally traumatized by these people who want to “put you in a limo right now and take you to the chapel”. They will descend upon you the minute your shoes touch the sidewalk in front of the courthouse with marriage license in hand. They will yell obscenities at the other chapel people and generally behave in a frightening manner. We were NOT prepared for this and so, taken by surprise we went to the closest chapel. Looking back I think I should have just asked if they had Elvis.
What was your biggest challenge in planning? I didn’t really plan either my wedding or my confirmation… I guess I really lucked out there!
What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself? I learned that your dream wedding may not happen, but if you’re marrying the one you love it doesn’t matter if you get called by the right name or if someone catches on fire… you’re just happy and in love!
What was your biggest “holyamazeballzI’mfreakininlove!” moment? I fell for Trevor the first time I saw him but I realized I truly loved him on our first date, while talking about books… nerdy, I know! The first time I knew Trevor truly loved me was after his first disastrous meeting with my mom. When he picked up the phone the next day and treated me just as sweetly as ever, I knew he really really loved me!
What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?
Our wedding outfits (Vegas)
My bouquet (Jackson)
Not getting Christopher and Danielle’s wedding license (we were SURE we would)
Running through Vegas to our car, laughing hysterically about our terrible wedding
Our silver elastic rings, I still have those somewhere
Top 5 least favorite? You know what? I could bitch about everything, and I think I probably have, but both my ceremonies were beautiful in their own way and I wouldn’t trade them for anything!!
What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received? I didn’t really get any wedding advice, people were just kind of shocked and horrified that I was getting married so young .
The best? My Grandma told my Mom (and then she told me); “if you can stand the thought of washing his dirty underwear for the rest of your life, you’re ready to get married”… on second thought this might belong under worst wedding advice!
If you’ve been married for more than a few years, what have been some challenges? Living with someone is hard, seeing someone every day makes it really easy to lash out at them or take a bad day out on them, apologies, though hard to make are crucial. I married my best friend, so when we face challenges, from outside (or inside) of our relationship, there is no one I’d rather have by my side!
What from your wedding vows/ceremony still holds the truest? Everything, since we wrote our own vows, we wrote was truly in our hearts. We genuinely respect, love and honor each other. Also I’m considering changing my name to Danielle J
Any other bits of wisdom? Go for it! If you truly love someone and want to be with them, don’t let anyone stand in your way. When I got married at 18 the first question anyone asked was when I was due. Trevor and I have been married almost 7 years now and while we hope to have kids, we have none so far. No one else’s opinion matters and you don’t have to validate your marriage to anyone!