A Bit About Why I Have Two Wedding Anniversaries

Bryon and Becky Real Wedding Picture

I realized I didn’t write about this yesterday and, looking back through the archives, I see I haven’t written about it at all here, but I have two wedding anniversaries. Most people assume my anniversary is February 23 because that is when we had the wedding. That’s when we had all of our friends and family into town and put out a nice spread with an open bar and a great DJ. That’s when we stood up in front of those same friends and families and repeated vows under the watchful eye of a gap-toothed minister who whistled when he spoke. This is also the date we exchanged rings, rode around in a limo, and collected our wealth of wedding gifts. The day after is when we left for our honeymoon.

So it’s easy to see why most people would assume this is my anniversary. But, until recently, nobody knew about September 14, 2007.

I was between jobs at that time and approaching my 31st birthday. We were deep in the midst of wedding planning and feeling a little overwhelmed by it all. So, for insurance purposes and to have a little fun with our marriage, we decided to elope. That was a Friday and we made a run downtown Ann Arbor to pick up our hastily procured marriage license then headed out to the Ypsilanti Township courthouse where the were having their monthly quickie wedding day.

We realized we didn’t have a camera (this was way back before everyone had a camera on everything) so we stopped at a CVS to get a disposable camera. That picture above is the only known picture from that day. It was taken at the  Sidetrack bar in downtown Ypsilanti where we went for lunch after the “ceremony” There were about five other couples there to get married and seemed to be a mix of older second marriage couples, foreign couples, and “expecting” couples. When it was our turn the judge (Judge Pope, how cool is that?) called in a couple of secretaries as witnesses and went through the ceremony and pronounced us legally bound, etc. We spent the night at the Embassy Suites in Livonia and began our life together on a wonderful lie.

Every once in a while I would wear my wedding ring around family members to see if anyone noticed, but no one seemed to catch on.  To make the story even better, Becky got pregnant with Spenser shortly after that so she was pregnant during our “official” marriage, which I just find all kinds of hilarious.

So there, now you know the story of why I have two wedding anniversaries. It works out great because because Becky’s mom takes the kids overnight for our September anniversary and my mom (who I’m still not sure entirely buys the wedding before the wedding story) takes the kids for our February anniversary.


13 thoughts on “A Bit About Why I Have Two Wedding Anniversaries

  1. Duane and I have two anniversaries as well… we were married by a JP on September 11, 1997 because we were running off to NYC for Duane’s new job at Details magazine. We had our vows blessed in a traditional ceremony with the gown, tuxedos and all that a year later (September 8, I think)

  2. We have two as well. The first was our civil union back in the days when that was all that was available, and then the actually wedding ceremony (which was needed to convert the cu to marriage.) Twice as many presents and twice as many parties!

  3. We eloped, btw. But we never did have a “proper” wedding. That’s too much hullabaloo for both of us, and we had no family or local friends to attend anyway. Just a quiet weekend between the two of us. It was perfect. 🙂 Craig T. McNeely

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