San Francisco Elopement Part IV

(We were just at the point in our saga when it was discovered that Garrett’s driver’s license was expired)

When someone finally came out to talk to us it was to tell us no. Nothing they could do, this kind of thing had happened before, they couldn’t make exceptions, blah blah blah. Our only option was to make an appointment for the following day, have Garrett’s passport overnighted, and try again. Garrett’s parents were out of town and the passport was at their house so they had a neighbor get it for us and ship it off. I wasn’t really satisfied, I’d put on a full-length wedding dress, Garrett’s aunt had flown in from LA, Olivia was heading back to Chicago, Garrett’s uncle and his best friend had taken off work and this wasn’t repeatable for tomorrow.

I still wanted a ceremony. That day. Not to mention, my wedding invitations included an announcement that we would be getting married on August 13th! We weren’t going to have them reprinted. Garrett had a tie on that said 13! I wasn’t going to spend the rest of that day single, no way.

We had plans for lunch at 12:30 so we decided to head that way. I’d intended to change before lunch but we only had so much time after sitting in the City Hall for so long. So we made do and headed towards the piers where the restaurant was. We stopped in a wine shop and split a bottle of champagne between all of us, which definitely made the morning more bearable. I’m a lightweight, and two glasses was plenty enough to give me rose colored glasses.

(photography by olivia leigh photographie)

We would have our ceremony by the water! I looked up ceremony wording on google from my recently acquired blackberry and stumbled upon a forum where people posted their ceremony wordings. I skipped over the Klingon wedding (my sister would’ve been amused by it I’m sure) and ended up on Lyndsay and Rachel’s ceremony:

Introduction – Ladies and gentlemen, to commence the ceremony I wish on behalf of lyndsay and rachel to welcome you all, and to say how pleased they are that you have come to share this happy and important occasion with them.

To take a husband or wife may be the greatest act of love that any of us will ever make. we do not choose the family into which we are born, nor even those that are born to us, but in choosing to share our lives with another we make a voluntarily act of love.

Love can be one of the highest experiences that comes to humankind. at its best it reduces our selfishness, deepens out personalities and makes life far more meaningful. it is not to be entered into lightly but with certainty, with mutual respect and with a sense of reverence, which does not preclude beauty, humour or joy. We are gathered here today to witness the marriage of lyndsay and rachel. they have decided that they wish to share their love for each other, and their happiness, with those who are closest to them, during this ceremony.

The Asking (separate) – lyndsay/rachel do you take rachel/lyndsay to be your wife/husband to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until death do you part. Response : I do as you stand before us, with your hands and hearts embraced, please affirm the vows you have chosen…

Vows – In the presence of our family and friends, I lyndsay/rachel take you rachel/lyndsay to be my wife/husband my partner in life and my one true love. i will cherish our union and love you more each day than i did the day before. i will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and in bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. i give you my hand, my heart and my love from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.

Ring Ceremony – Introduction – “You are about to present a ring to each other. The wedding ring, a complete circle, is the symbol of the completeness a husband and wife find in a marriage relationship. The ring has no beginning and no end, just as true love is never-ending. The ring also is made of precious metals, just as true love is a precious treasure. As you place the wedding ring on each other’s hand, may it not only remind you of the endless love you possess for one another, but may it also be a reminder of the precious gift that has been given to make you complete.”

Exchanging of rings – i give you this ring as a symbol of my love with all that i have and all that i am. with this ring i gladly marry you and join my life to yours.


That seemed acceptable to me, pretty standard, not too cheesy (we didn’t write vows to each other, though I admire people that do, I think they would’ve turned out megacheesy, so this was a nice alternative). So we finished our champagne (they saved the label for us, I’m thinking I’ll frame it) and headed outside.



We got what we asked for when we told Matt to officiate. Lucky for us Garrett’s aunt was there to video, so we’ll always be able to remember his asides (things like “for richer or poorer, most likely the latter”). I was sooo giggly and happy. I wasn’t going to let legality ruin the day for me. And so it didn’t.


I mean, really. Come on! Despite what the State of California believed I had just sworn myself to this gorgeous man in a beautiful outdoor ceremony (I always kind of wanted an outdoor ceremony, even) with an amazing photographer surrounded by friends.

The rest of the day was wonderful. We had a delicious lunch with a San Francisco family style meal at the Slanted Door (the tuna collar was amazing, so was some eggplant dish) and they gave us free dessert including macaroons, which I’d never tried!

When it was time to head back to our hotel a bicycle cart approached and Garrett’s uncle insisted we ride it. Nothing draws more attention than a bride on a rickshaw. I enjoyed it though, little kids were especially excited and we’re probably in a lot of peoples’ vacation pictures. I got my dress dirty by accidentally letting it drag but it’s not really noticeable and at that point I really didn’t care.

We napped and stayed in all night, had room service delivered and the Four Seasons room service has the best french fries I’ve ever had, hands down. The room service phone attendant was extremely giddy and the room service delivery man referred to me as Mrs. Cummings, my new last name. It was really great.

But we still needed to get the government stamp of approval. Next stop, August 14th.