Three weeks in, we eloped
Tim and I texted our closest friends on the morning of Sunday, July 13th, 2014. We told them to meet us at the Chapel of the Bells in Reno at 7pm.
After our 2.5-minute wedding ceremony and $200 spent on the marriage certificate and chapel fees, our friends joined us for takeout and a few drinks at our favorite bar. Then we got our wedding bands tattooed (for free by a friend) and went home. It was beautiful, simple, and stress-free.
I moved in with Tim right after we got hitched... and guess what? We still like each other! We have been married almost two years now.
For a long time, Tim and I didn't fight at all. We fought so little that it almost felt unhealthy. Now we bicker, cry, get mad, and yell. But we always work through it -- and quickly. The coolest thing about our marriage is that it still feels like we are in the honeymoon phase, which I attribute to the precedent we set early on.
Divorce isn't an option for Tim. It's not an option for me, either. Mostly because we're both stubborn assholes -- but also because I promised myself a long time ago that I would get married once and only once. I want to give my children what I never had growing up: emotional stability, consistency, and parents who love and respect one another.
There's no one right way to get married
Tim didn't propose to me on one knee during a trip to the coast. We didn't date for the prescribed two years. We didn't have a long engagement full of planning and stress in order to throw a lavish wedding for a guest list that is entirely too big. We didn't have a two-week honeymoon to a tropical island. We didn't have a registry, receive thousands of dollars, monogrammed towels, or knife sets.
If that's how your marriage worked, then that's great! I hope it was perfect and beautiful in every way. But society makes us believe that this is the only way to get married. And at times, society has frowned upon Tim and me for having done it so differently.
We knew some people would be judgmental of our choices about getting married the way we did, as quickly as we did. We knew there would be bets made on how long we would last. We knew people would think we were absolutely crazy. We didn't care. And we still don't.
Today, Tim and I have a kick-ass marriage. We've got two painfully adorable cats, a beautiful home that we have made together, and each other. We laugh constantly. And we struggle every day. But we also love each other immeasurably.
Granted, this story would be completely different if I married a guy I kinda, sorta knew and he turned out to kinda, sorta be a psychopath. Tim is not. My husband is the shit. He is a wonderful man. And what I've learned is this: if you love someone and want to spend the rest of your life with them, tell them. Even if marriage isn't for you. Tell them how you feel. Tell them they're "it" for you.
Don't be afraid. If you want to marry someone, then marry the fuck out of them and don't apologize for it. It's your life.
You don't need to do what society expects of you in order to have a lasting, healthy marriage or relationship. You have absolutely nothing to prove. Listen to that gut. If weddings stress you out, elope. If you don't like white, here's an idea: wear fucking yellow.
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Elena (pronounced Uh-Len-Uh, not Ee-Lay-Nuh) was born and raised in Reno. She has a bachelor's degree in Spanish literature and translation, and works for Patagonia. She enjoys yoga, running, massaging her kale with lemon and olive oil, kissing her husband, and watching her two cats play with her hair ties for hours. Check her out on Medium, Instagram, and Facebook.