Okay, so you like the wedding talk? Thanks for letting me know. I'll let Austin edit me if I start putting too much out there.
For now, here's a sneak into one of the big decisions at which we've recently arrived. Not sure if you know, but the state of Tennessee does not recognize ministers who were ordained online to officiate a marriage. In 1997, they ratified the rules on this matter to state that any minister/priest/preacher must have a congregation (specifically, "care of souls") in order to qualify. Sure, we could use an elected official instead (that's what both my sisters did, and that worked out great), and we even met with our city councilman about performing the ceremony, but it never really sat right with me to be standing up there in front of a near-stranger (I could say "sat right with us" but that would probably not be accurate. It should come as no surprise that I'm the one overthinking this matter).
So we weighed our options. Near stranger = legal marriage, not very comfortable. Get a friend to perform the ceremony = cozy ceremony, not legally married. Yikes. The part about being legally married *does* matter. It does. I'm sure every one of us knows couples who aren't technically married but might as well be (or maybe who don't know any different!) but, if the whole point is for us to be lawfully wed by the end of all this planning and excitement, well, there it is. Luckily, I'm a Jansen, and when presented with an A/B equation like this one, I always pick C. I come up with a workaround. Workaround we have.
So we're going to have someone close to us perform the ceremony, have a great big party surrounded by all our loved ones, spend the next day (Sunday) with all our visiting guests, and then, on Monday morning, before we leave for our honeymoon, we're going to head to the courthouse and get hitched. Just the two of us. Say the words and sign the papers. By the power vested in the county clerk by the State of Tennessee.
Sure, it's nontraditional. As I've mentioned before, that's not really something we're going to worry about. My only worry originally was that maybe it would make our public ceremony, the one in front of all the folks, seem less significant. But that's just not possible. That will be a giant moment, the one we've been leading up to for more than six years by then. I'll be in the dress, he'll be in the suit, our moms will be crying on the front row. And then Monday morning will be just for us. A private, formal ceremony to bring closure and gravity, to solemnize the hoopla surrounding the wedding.
And because I'm sure you're wondering, that person close to us who will perform the family ceremony is my Uncle Bill. He's my mom's oldest brother, a true gentleman and also a bona fide pirate. He has offered to wear an eye patch for the wedding; I told him we'd see...
Thus we have arrived at a solution that feels absolutely right.