Setting The Date When Your Passports Don’t Match
The burning question: So when’s the big day?
The answer: We have no idea.
Jared and I got engaged three months ago. Since then, a handful of people I know have also gotten engaged. Most of them have already set dates.
We don’t even have a location in mind.
So, of course, people are asking questions. What makes it so difficult to set a venue and a date? Well, I’ll tell you why.
As you’re probably aware if you read the blog, I’m American and Jared’s Australian. That means we’ve got to figure out where we want to live. There are three options:
- The World
Doesn’t really narrow things down, does it? The key factor for us is flexibility. We’re happy to be tied to each other, but not to be tied to one country on a permanent basis.
If we choose America, Jared’s got to apply for a Green Card, and that complicates things. Applying for a Green Card is basically saying that you want to be a permanent resident of the US. You intend to make your home there, you pay US taxes, and – here’s the clincher – your trips outside of the US are ‘temporary or brief.’ If we want to live in France for a year, there would be a good chance that we’d return to the US and Jared would have his Green Card revoked.
I understand where the US government is coming from (sort of), but it frightens me. It’s like those hypothetical questions where they ask which would be worse: not being allowed to leave the borders of your home country or not being allowed to return.
The regulations for a partner visa in Australia seem slightly less restricting, but the application is still time consuming. It could take up to a year before my visa is approved. And the catch here is that if I apply from within Australia, I need to be there when the visa’s approved. If I apply from outside of Australia (more likely), I need to be outside when it’s approved. So what would we do for that year?
Which leads us to the next question…
Our Next Big Thing isn’t the wedding, but our impending trip to South America. This is a year of transition – on August 25th, we’ll finish 2 years in South Korea and follow it with four months of slow travel through South America. We’ve booked an apartment for six weeks in Buenos Aires, where we’ll relax and take Spanish lessons. On October 5th we’ll head to Rosario for the Pumas vs. Wallabies rugby match. After that, our schedule is completely open. My only rule is that we’ve got to be in Indiana by Christmas.
But after that? We really don’t know. And how can you plan a destination wedding if you don’t have a home base? And, more pressing, if you don’t have a job?
Meeting In The Middle
Because it’s going to be a destination wedding for someone, regardless of where we choose to wed. And from what I understand, it’s sort of the done thing is to give your guests some notice before you ask them to fly across the world for your wedding. Especially when you’re asking them to spend $2000 on a plane ticket.
The next sensible thing is to find a spot halfway. Somewhere like…Hawaii. That’s the whole reason we vacationed there in February, because it was roughly equidistant between Australia, Indiana, and South Korea. It seems logical to do the same for our wedding, but I’m not convinced. It sounds awfully complicated to arrange when we don’t really know much about the place, especially on a budget.
In fact, talking about getting married in Hawaii sparked our first wedding-related disagreement. In a blaze of inspiration, I suggested a pineapple-flavored wedding cake (AWESOME) and Jared asked if we really needed a cake.
Asked if we needed a cake.
We’re having a cake. It’s the whole reason I go to weddings. (Uh…except my own…of course.)
I digress. The point is, the wedding is going to be costly for everyone involved, so we need steady income before we can make any of these decisions.
So Now What?
One thing is certain, this is going to be a small, casual affair. I always said I only wanted two things for sure:
1. A pretty white dress
2. My dad to walk me down the aisle
Then I realized that wasn’t all:
Oh, and obviously:
It was a given that we both want our closest friends and family there, so that makes five things. (And please note that those things are not listed in order of importance.)
But the biggest thing I want out of this is not a wedding.
It’s a marriage.
Yes, I’m excited about the wedding. I’m excited about being married to Jared. And sometimes I think, “Screw it, let’s just elope.”
But we’ve got a lifetime, so what’s the rush?
Like everything else we do, we’ll go with the flow. We’ll analyze our options and decide what to do after South America. And once we’ve done that, we’ll turn our attention to the wedding.
Australia, America, or the world? What would you choose?