We got to Vegas about 4:30 and checked into our hotel. We chose a small unpopular place off the strip as we were planning to get married, go to sleep and then head home in the morning. After all, I was the only one over 21 years of age so that limited our options of leisure. Plus none of us had much money. Damian and I didn’t even have rings! And that was ok too. It’s not the rings that hold the value. It’s the relationship.
We unloaded our things and then drove to the 24 hour courthouse to get our marriage license. It was packed out with all kinds of couples doing the same. We didn’t know that you could actually get married there and we thought, for a moment, we could do it there, but decided to stick with a chapel. I mean, we had wedding clothes and everything back at the hotel! While waiting we made a few calls to find a chapel that was available and wouldn’t you know it, they all were!
After leaving the courthouse we stopped at a liquor store to grab some alcohol and snacks and decided we would eat after the ceremony. We headed back to the hotel for a few drinks and to get ready. Damian was in the bathroom shaving and I pulled out my little white sundress that was simple and plain with a beautiful white sheer over piece that hung longer and added a veil and train like touch. I had my white fishnets, white Doc Martins and blue diamond hair beret. I wore my head shaved or in a pixie most of the 90s so the beret really stood out.
Damian came out of the restroom and stopped to look at me. He had the biggest smile as he scooped me up and kissed me. He still had some shaving cream on his face that got on me but I did not care. All that mattered was he would be mine til death do us part. He went to the closet and started digging around in the duffle bag. “Where’s my suit?” He asked. I looked up at him. “It’s not there?” I asked ready to freak out! “It’s not.” He answered. He went down to Dougs car to check, nope not there. “I don’t remember grabbing it out of the closet!” I gasped! “Your mom came in and startled me and in all the confusion I must have forgot! I can’t believe I forgot it!” Tears forming in my eyes. He walked over to me and gently took my face! “It’s nothing to get upset about! I will rent one!” He immediately started to call around but all rentals were closed. I felt terrible. I undressed and put back on my regular clothes and we decided to go eat dinner and worry about it tomorrow.
While having dinner we were all just laughing and sharing stories And I mentioned again how terrible I felt to forget the suit! And I was sad because I wanted married now. “You know,” Damian said “it is Vegas! Do I really need a suit? I don’t like suits anyway!” “Ya” Kim chimed in. “You don’t need a suit to say I do!” I looked at my watch and it was already after 10 “It’s late already! Are chapels even open?” We headed back to the hotel where Damian called a few chapels and they were indeed open 24/7. “Let’s get married at midnight!” He suggested! “Yes! I love that!” Who does that? Fun fact…in the Bible it was common to be married at midnight so there’s that.
I changed back into my sundress but left of the sheer covering and fishnets. I also wore sandals instead of my Doc Martins. Damian was in plaid shorts and a white teeshirt with a no smoking emblem, and we loved it. We decided on the “world famous chapel of the bells.” The address was the same street so we pulled out the parking lot, turned right and there it was! Directly behind the hotel. Literally we could have walked!
As we were waiting to get started Kim came up to us and wrapped her arms around us both. “I love you both so incredibly much and I know you didn’t care about rings, but here!” She held out her hands and had a wedding band for each of us. I instantly started crying as I took the ring that in just a few moments, I would be slipping onto my forever humans finger. Damian did the same, without the tears of course.
When it came time to glide down the aisle, I couldn’t stop laughing. Here we were, in Vegas, almost midnight, a bright yellow empty chapel with tacky velvet chairs and gaudy oversized flower curtains that reeked of stale tobacco! And at the alter a woman who looked to be 120 years old waiting to join us in holy matrimony! 10 years later we returned with some friends who decided to elope and it was the same woman…don’t smoke y’all! It ages you. We giggled and chuckled as we stood there listening to her deep raspy voice, our own hands and voices shaking as we repeated our vows and placed the rings on each other fingers. And at 12:01 am august 5, 1995 we shared our first kiss as husband and wife and I wouldn’t have changed it for anything!
How mind blowing to think that just 3 months earlier we had our first date! And here we stood, man and wife. We had already decided we wanted a lot of kids, which we weren’t trying to prevent, so naturally we couldn’t wait to get home and put that next step into effect….or was it already in motion