Sorry for the cliff-hanger. Life has been bananas to say the least.
Anyway. Our journey to the altar. Sometime in August, I sent my mother our marriage application and Dave’s birth certificate and she took that, my birth certificate and the nominal fee and went to the courthouse to file the paperwork. We asked for a date just prior to Christmas and when given a choice, we chose December 20. I think our flights were booked at this time and it worked out that I would be back home in the first week of December and Dave would arrive a few days before our date at the courthouse.
Now, in November, I interviewed for a job and two days before I left, I found out I had got it. I was so happy as I had not worked since late August. However, my papers were a bit off at the time. My working holiday visa was set to expire in September of the following year, but I had used up my 12 month work allowance. Then I got this job. So that meant I would have to apply for my spousal visa which would allow me to work for an additional two years ASAP. But I could only do this one I had my marriage certificate. But this small matter did not detract from marrying my love.
On the day of our wedding, we woke up extra early to ensure that we’d get there way before out 11:30 kick off time. I turned to my soon-to-be-husband sleeping in the bed that had been mine in high school and felt so happy and so sure. My mom was up too (thank god, she takes African time to a new level!) and we all got ready in a stress-free environment. He wore a suit (old) and I wore a new shirt and skirt I had picked up with my mom at a Jewish apparel-cum-yard sale. We wore our kick ass winter boots and brought along a change of shoes. We picked up our other witness, the awesome Uncle Solomon, and headed to the Palais du Justice.
The salle de celebration was lovely and our Justice of the Peace was so nice, but it was a little bit nerve-wracking. Dave was so nervous he messed up his mother’s maiden name. But we walked up the aisle together, said our legal bits and promised ourselves to each other. We had to hold hands at this part and I cried a couple of tears and then we kissed. To me, it was beautiful. The second best day of my life.
We signed the legal papers, as did our witnesses, and had a mini photo shoot outside the courthouse (my mom was our photog). A while later, we bid my mom and uncle adieu and went for a walk by the old port. It was freezing, -12 at least so we went to the Marché Bonsecours and I changed into warmer jeans. We made our way to one of my favourite Chinese places, V.I.P., and had our wedding lunch (oh General Tao’s Chicken, how I miss you!). We wandered about town for a while and decided to catch Slumdog Millionaire at the Cineplex. It was bliss.
Shortly after we returned to Scotland, I started my new job and got busy sorting my paperwork. Our marriage certificate got sent to me promptly and I sent my spousal visa application and the exorbitant fee (£475) to the UK government. I was then subjected to biometric tagging (photos and fingerprints) and in April 2009, I finally got my leave to remain in the country until April 2011. It was such a hard slog and I also got a bit of stuff from a higher up at work due to my immigration status plus I was sent to France for a work trip and had to frantically get a temporary passport from the Canadian consulate, but all in all, it was OK. I wouldn’t change meeting Dave, moving countries or marrying him for anything, but I’m so freaking happy I won’t have to do it again.
So C7, from the time it took from me submitting my paperwork to get married to get my new visa, it took about 8 months. It took 4 months of waiting to get my visa which apparently is not so bad. We could have done things faster, but we were going on what would work best for us.
And there you have it. The story of how I was a wife before I was a bride.