We were always planning to get married in the US, mostly because it was a requirement for my Fiance visa.
My immediate family were all saving up for their once in a lifetime opportunity to come to the US so it just didn’t occur to me to have a second wedding in Australia.
As it turned out nothing went to plan.
In August 2001 I left my job and came to the US to chill out before the wedding. My fiance visa was still being processed so I knew I would have to go back to Australia one more time before the wedding for the interview in Sydney. Well September 11th happened and my family got caught in the aftermath and were left with no tickets and waiting for compensation that was not going to arrive before the wedding. In addition to that the flower girls (my half-sister and 2 nieces) mums were not about to let their babies on a plane to America. So here we were less than a month before the wedding and it looked like only my nana was coming over.
Shortly afterwards our honeymoon got cancelled because the cruise line went bankrupt and then I got the letter from the INS informing me to be in Sydney for my immigration interview 3 days after the wedding….
We decided to go ahead with the ceremony in the US and not sign the marriage certificate. Then the day after the wedding we would fly back to Australia for the immigration interview and have our honeymoon there. My dad was really upset that he wasn’t going to walk me down the aisle and kept telling me how he wanted to see me in my dress so I suggested he pay for a wedding in Sydney. Anyone who knows him, will understand that I really didn’t think he would; but after 3 days he agreed to give me $3500. I planned that wedding in less than 48 hrs for approx 40 people and stayed under budget but that will have to be another post.
So in October 2001 we ended up exchanging vows 3 times.
Wedding # 1 – Las Vegas, NV at Sunset Gardens with approx 80 family and friends
Wedding # 2 – Sydney, Australia at the Quay with approx 40 friends and family
Wedding # 3 – Las Vegas, NV (the official wedding) with mother-in-law as a witness.
I got to wear my dress to both the 1st and the 2nd ceremonies and opted for a more casual look for the 3rd ceremony.
My dad thought it was funny that we were having 3 ceremonies in 1 month; whilst JD thought it was cheaper than having 3 different ex-wives… like my dad.
What issues came up in your wedding planning?