Elope Isn’t Really the Right Term

Well, I said I’d explain later why we went to Orcas Island, so here it is: we got married! We opted not to tell anyone (well, almost anyone) in advance, or include anyone we knew in the ceremony. There were a variety of reasons for this, here’s a few that come to mind:

  • I’m not just a bride kind of person, I’m not into girlishness and all the things that come with that stereotype.
  • We didn’t like those figures thrown around that claim the average wedding costs around $20,000. We could think of a million better things to do with that kind of money.
  • We didn’t want the planning stress, the requisite family weirdness that has to crop up at almost every wedding, the pressure of putting on a good show, manging out-of-town guests, the awkwardness of feeling like we’re on display, worrying over the guest list, and all that jazz.
  • Most of the people we could think of whom we know who have done a “big” wedding have later outright said, or at least implied, that they regretted doing it that way.
Mr. & Mrs.
Mr. & Mrs.

With all due respect to people who love “big white weddings”, they’re just not my  thing, and fortunately Kirk concurs, so our decision was easy. We just wanted to be married, without all the complication and fuss. We considered different options: Vegas has kind of a stereotype of a marriage that’s possibly done on a drunken whim and without much forethought or seriousness, so we opted not to go that route.

We thought it would be really cool to do an Alaskan cruise and have a quick ceremony in some port. But, the ol’ US government makes that overly complicated, getting the license sorted out etc (I WISH we did not have to get authorization from the government–that’s what our license said, was “authorization”– to marry in the first place). We found several cruise ship services that will set it up for you, but they charge a LOT of money for the service– over $2K!

We found that Rosario Resort on Ocas Island has a little “elopement package” where they will set you up with a nice suite, a “wedding officiant,” the two witnesses you need to sign the legal papers, a little cake and a bottle of champagne. The price was reasonable, and they had a good weekend open at the end of the summer.

We had a great time, the ferry ride to get there is beautiful, we drove the Porsche all over the island (and fortunately did not hit any mutant deer), we ate a lot, enjoyed the pool, sauna, hot tub, jacuzzi tub, and the great weather. Our “wedding officiant” was great, her husband played a few guitar tunes, she had a succinct but meaningful delivery, and it was all very easy. There were big weddings happening on the grounds while we were there, and we felt so thankful we chose to just relax and enjoy our weekend by ourselves while observing those big-dollar events from afar. I guess we are both introverts, so it seems pretty fitting; most of our friends and family were not too surprised. All we had to do was get the license, the rings, and show up!

A lot of people have commented that we “eloped”; but I think I have to disagree with the term. Dictionary definitions of elopement give it a negative spin- marrying without parental consent (from the days when culture dictated parents should have consent), running away in a hurry, or married people escaping with a lover. We got married in an official, pre-planned way; we just chose not to include family or friends in the ceremony. I don’t think there is really a term for that.

A little review on Rosario: we were intrigued by the place as it has an interesting history, and the owners do a good job of educating visitors on that. But, the place is, in general, a little rundown, the service is mediocre, and the food not-so-hot. So, anyone who is thinking of eloping on Orcas, I’d recommend checking out a different place to stay, and finding the wedding officiant on your own. It probably would not have been that much more work to do this extra web research. But, we were happy to have the easy route, and it was still pretty great, so I don’t regret it. (Besides, I would have been tempted to make a big spreadsheet of all  the options, and make the planning way too complicated if I had gone that route, defeating the goal of “simple.”)

The picture above is a snapshot taken of us; Kirk doesn’t like it, so I made it tiny- I wanted to post something! I’m hoping we can schedule some time with a portrait photographer soon, so that at least we have some nice photos of each other. I don’t have any good photos of Kirk, so all that’s on my desk at work are dog pictures, which is a little too “dog lady-ish” :-} I hope to remedy this soon!

2 thoughts on “Elope Isn’t Really the Right Term

  1. Wardeh says:

    Congratulations! I have an aunt by marriage who is a wedding officiant on Orcas Island, but it sounds like you didn’t get her, as she was married to my uncle and he passed away several years ago. For a minute, I was thinking, “What a small world! She got married by my aunt Nancy!” 😉 Looks like you didn’t though.

    Anyway, I’m so happy for you and Kirk and I like all your reasons for doing what you did.

    Love, Wardeh

  2. workingcollies says:

    Thanks Wardeh! Ah, that 6 degrees of separation thing, eh? I’m sure your aunt knows the officiant we used– it was Sandy Playa. There seem to be only two or three on the island. What a fun job that must be!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *