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This has been on my heart to share for a couple weeks as people kept asking us why we were getting married three months before our destination wedding. Our most common response was, “You have to get married in the United States before your destination wedding, and courthouse weddings only happen during the week. Andrew had a random Thursday off of his crazy schedule, so we picked that day.” That entire statement is true, but why three months before the “actual” wedding celebration? I’ll get there, I promise.
#1 Getting Married Out of Country is Complicated
First, we knew we had to get married in the United States before flying down to Mexico for our destination wedding. The requirements for making your Mexican marriage legal in the United States are absolutely crazy. We are talking, go down AT LEAST three days before your wedding to apply for paperwork, get a blood test, and an X-ray. Have your ceremony officiated by an appropriate person, and then run all your signed paperwork back to a government office afterwards. Not how I want to be spending my vacation! For this very reason, our wedding planner mentioned that 95% of US Citizens get married in the states before or after their destination wedding in Mexico, so we decided we would do it before. I didn’t want to have our wedding and honeymoon and still not be legally married!
#2 Andrew Has a Crazy Schedule
Medical residency is not the most fun time. Not only is Andrew super busy with work, his schedule is constantly changing. He runs around from clinics to hospitals to nursing homes.I can’t keep track of his work days for the life of me. Some months are much worse than others. In February, he worked two weeks straight, some days from 6AM - 9PM.
It’s really hard to put in for paid time off. The hospital requires at least three months in advance, so when we realized we needed to get married in the US on a weekday, we checked his schedule from now until the wedding and February showed two weekdays off. One was Valentine’s Day and the other February 28th. Getting married on Valentine’s Day seemed way too cheesy, so we opted for February 28th. I called the Country Clerk’s Office, made the appointment, and reached out to our families.
#3 We Wanted to Act in Obedience to God
Here we are. The most compelling reason to get married three months before our big, destination celebration. Andrew and I both follow Christ, but for most of our relationship we have been so wrapped up in each other that we weren’t exactly putting God first. It’s blatantly obvious that we have been “shacking up” for over a year without being married. A few months ago, we had a wake up call that we were living life out of alignment with our core beliefs and something needed to change.
I think the thought and discussion of kids really stirred up this conversation. Would we want our kids to live like this? No! I don’t foresee us telling our kids, “Hey, live with your boyfriend/girlfriend before you are married. You should really just test it out.”
As we started refocusing on our relationship with the Lord, we both had feelings of guilt and conviction. We had gotten really good at coming up with justifications for living out of alignment with God’s will for our lives. “But we love each other so much. We aren’t hurting anyone. It’s no one else’s business.” Until we realized, whoa, but are we hurting God? This was when we made the choice to abstain until we were legally married. In moments of weakness, all we had to do was think, “Do I want to dishonor God right now?”
A few weeks later, we sat through a sermon in church that was all about being obedient to God and getting baptized. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks… For me, being obedient to God at this time in my life meant sanctifying my relationship with Andrew through marriage. With this realization, the choice to get married as soon as possible became bigger than myself, and that my friends, is what Andrew and I had been working to get back to in our faith.
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The good news is that it’s never too late to make a change! I am not “preaching” and telling you to change anything specific. What I am saying is that if something doesn’t feel right in your heart, you have all the power needed to realign your life.
Photography: Alyssa Denhartigh // Flowers: Wasserman’s Flowers & Gifts // Hair & Makeup: Dockside Salon // Dress: Lulus // Jean Jacket: Zara but Thrifted Free People (Similar) // Shoes: Mix No 6 (Similar) // Hat: GiGi Pip