January 1, 2016

How We Said I Do

One year ago today, I married the man of my dreams. This is a second marriage for both of us, and this time, we got it right. So today I’m going to talk about how my husband and I got married. Why? Well, because it is unique and (I think) romantic. Not long ago we celebrated the one year anniversary of our engagement, which I gave you all the details here. That post made me want to talk about how we decided to get married, so here I am.

After we got engaged and everyone got over the shock of it, we started talking about how we wanted to do this. I got input from family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances. Everyone wanted to know what we were going to do, where we were going to do it, and where. All question we didn’t have any answers for.

I started looking online for ideas on second marriage weddings. There isn’t a whole lot. At least I didn’t find much. I stared a Wedding/Bridal Pinterest board. My daughter and I even went and looked at dresses. I found one I really liked but couldn’t commit. Something just wasn’t feeling right. I did find some cool shoes, though, and committed to them. At least temporarily.

We called a couple of locations for potential venues. Since we live in different states (for now) we were trying to choose a more central location, thinking this would be good for family and friends. One idea we had was to rent out a bed and breakfast where everyone could stay and we could just get married there. We found this cool place on the South Dakota/Iowa boarder. They do lots of weddings and the place would have been perfect. But this wouldn’t have really allowed anyone other than our families. We have close friends we wanted to include and the kids wanted to invite some friends as well. So we looked into another venue that was larger and would have accommodated more people. But it felt too large and impersonal. Nice place, no doubt. But we just weren’t getting the feeling we wanted.

That’s when it hit me. I was frustrated with trying to figure all this out when really, I just wanted to marry Kevin. It didn’t matter to me if I wore a wedding dress or a burlap sack. It didn’t matter if we had a big venue or got married on the back porch. It didn’t matter if we had a hundred people there or none. I just simply wanted to be married to Kevin.

With all this unease mulling around my mind, I made a Facebook post which looked like this:

This was posted on August 14, 2014. We got engaged July 30, 2014. As you can see it didn’t take long for me to feel restless about how the wedding planning was coming. And this post was flooded with comments from people that had actually eloped and said it was the best decision they ever made. One comment in particular really caught my eye though. It was from my (now) sister-in-law (she is married to Kevin’s brother).

After she had commented that she and Kevin’s brother had eloped and that she “highly recommended it”, along with all the others that had done the same thing, I had to know the stories behind all these elopements. The answer my sister-in-law came back with got my brain working. I shared my new found information with Kevin and even though he knew they eloped, he didn’t know the extenuating circumstances.

They were married in Colorado - by themselves. Our initial reaction was, “What? You can do that?” We tossed this idea around for a couple of hours and it really felt right. If we could really do this, we had already decided when and where in Colorado. We were both intrigued and so some research followed…

Colorado is one of only a couple of states in the US that allows you to “marry yourselves”. After a phone call to the county office of where we wanted to tie-the-knot I was walking on air! Indeed, we could marry ourselves. All we needed was a Colorado marriage license and to get married within the State of Colorado. We didn’t need on officiant and we didn’t even need witnesses. Just us.

Figuring this may not be the most popular of choices among our family and friends, we shelved the idea. Not on one of those shelves where you can’t see it and it collects dusts for decades, but more on a shelf you would display something special in your house, where you walk by and think about that something special. We discussed this….A LOT. We also researched some resorts to stay at as we wanted this to be really special and a place we could revisit.

Finally, one evening in October 2014, we decided this was it. This was how we wanted to get married, even if it wasn’t going to be the most popular choice among our family and friends. We were done talking about it and we had found the perfect place to stay. We went online and filled out the application for a marriage license. All we had to do was pick it up when we arrived in Colorado. We booked our room at the resort. It was settled.

Since we anticipated some push-back, we opted not to tell anyone right away. We really wanted this to be a true elopement.

As the time grew closer to when we would get married, we decided it was time to tell our kids and my parents, but no one else. We wanted to come back to our lives and work and everyone and just be married. Everyone else was going to be surprised. Those that knew were on board with it (some more reluctantly than other, but they came around) and supportive. The kids were surprisingly supportive. They thought it was a really cool way to get married.

Time to Go!

Keeping it a secret was much easier than I expected it to be. Not one person suspected we were eloping. We were simply taking a trip over the holidays to see Kevin’s brother and his wife. Of course, they thought we were coming to Colorado on Friday, January 2nd. We actually arrived on December 30, 2014. We had planned to make the trip in one day, but concerned about the weather, we headed out on the 29th and stayed the night in Rapid City, SD. South Dakota really can be beautiful.


The morning of the 30th we hit the road early to be sure we could reach the county office before closing. A quick stop in Wyoming for lunch and we were back on the road.


When we arrived in Colorado, there was a light snow falling and we had less than two hours before the county office closed. Honestly, I could’ve just signed the license right then and left his wife. It was so exciting to have the license in hand!

Now it was off to the resort!

Estes Park, Colorado

Driving through the Rocky Mountains and into Estes Park, CO is breathtaking…

The Resort

We would be staying at Stone Brook on Fall River located in Estes Park, Colorado…and it was magnificent!

Our room for the next four days.

We loved the room, but it was dark when we arrived so we couldn’t see a whole lot outside. The next morning though…man that view didn’t disappoint!

This bridge was just down the steps from our balcony.

This is the Fall River, you can see the bridge in the distance.

This is the beautiful (even when mostly frozen) Fall River.

Sometimes, in the early evening, we could hear the elk walk through the walkway under our door!

Everyone waits for the wildlife. Even the UPS drivers!

We toured the historic Stanley Hotel where Steven King has spent the night and was inspired to write The Shining.

This was such an interesting tour! If you find yourself in Estes Park, take the time to go on this tour. The history behind it and the building(s) are incredible!

Here are a few pics from inside the Stanley!

Amazing, right??

Of course, they couldn’t forget about The Shining!

Again, if you get the chance to take the tour…DO! (I am NOT paid to promote this landmark. I just think it’s awesome!)

This brings us to…

New Year’s Eve!

We went downtown in Estes Park to experience the local night life. We had a great time dancing, talking, laughing and making some new friends. I guess you could say we did things backwards and had the “reception” first! Ha!


It’s midnight and officially the day we will be getting married! Yay!

January 1, 2015 – New Year’s Day

Our Wedding Day!

After our night out celebrating, we slept in (a little) the next morning. It would be a relaxing wedding day since it was just us and we could really get married whenever we wanted to. We got up, got dolled up, and decided noon would do. We really didn’t want to wait any longer.

We gathered by the fireplace in our room and exchanged the vows we worked so hard on for this special moment. We exchanged rings and signed our marriage license in all the appropriate places. We were married!

We took some pictures and just had to incorporate the beautiful view outside our room into them! These are our first pictures as a married couple!



After snapping pictures with our favorite backgrounds, we enjoyed a yummy, steak meal! And of course, had to snap one more photo at the restaurant!

Every day I am thankful for this man coming into my life and loving me the way he does.

Did I mention there was cake?! Before we left town to get married we ordered a wedding cake! Well, it was actually a wedding cake top layer, but it was just the right size! Red velvet with cream cheese frosting! Yuuummmm! We couldn’t decide what we wanted on the top of the cake. We had this little saying going so we put it on the top! It was so fitting!

After our meal, we cut our cake and enjoyed it with a glass of wine. That evening, we let our families and close friends know that we had tied the knot, but asked them not to share with anyone. It was kind of fun to hear everyone’s surprised responses!

The next day, we were off to see Kevin’s brother and his wife. We had a great time touring around the city, doing out for dinner, and enjoying another piece of that cake!


The next day is was time to head back home. We had a HUGE sub sandwich we had planned to take with us, but forgot it in the fridge! Kevin’s brother wasn’t disappointed!

We could have used it too! We got caught in a blizzard and they closed the interstate on us. We had to spend the night in a questionable hotel. I think we were just lucky to have a place to stay! Luckily, since we had forgotten the sandwich, the pizza place was still delivering! We didn’t care if it took an hour, we just wanted something hot to eat!

Don’t adjust your computer screen!

This was our view while driving and trying to find the exit for a place to stay.


Early the next morning, the Interstate was reopened and we left before it was even light. It was time to get home!

Eloping was the best option for us and we would do it all over again. We are planning a vow renewal in a few years and we will have our family and friends gather for that. 

We couldn't be happier!

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