I couldn’t believe I had done that. Through tears I shakily I flipped open my phone (yes I had a flip phone) and dialed his number. It rang and rang and rang – no answer. This wasn’t something I could just let go of, I know he needed the sleep but this couldn’t wait. Literally. I hung up and tried again. I would call him til he picked up…that or I would awkwardly drive over to his parents house banging on the door waking up the entire Yentzer family. Luckily for them after two rings he finally picked up and groggily said, “uhello…?”
I was crying so that I could hardly speak straight to tell him what happened. How could I be so stupid!
He was home on leave just graduated from boot camp leaving just 10 days later for training in California. He through a hazy sleepy fog calmed me down and said not to worry – we would drive through the night get the birth certificate and make it back in time for the small ceremony at our church the next morning. It was 10pm. 3 hour drive to VB, 3 hour drive back for our courthouse wedding. Ceremony at 930am, courthouse opened at 9. You do the math.
We may have been EXHAUSTED. No we totally were. We stopped at a bunch of rest stops to sleep intermittently and keep from driving off the road. Looking back on that now I want to hit 19 year old Tianna in the head. What were we thinking? Seriously it was by the grace of God we survived that night. I know I personally swerved more than twice realizing I had sleepy closed an eye or two.
We got to the courthouse around 915 – 930am. Still in our pajamas. Dishelved hair. Tired eye. But so excited. This was happening. We were gonna get MARRIED. I cannot imagine what the courthouse workers must have though of us. Two kids. 18 & 19, in their pajamas, with all the right documentation in hand applying for a marriage license.
We were a good 30 minutes late to our own nuptials but we still got married on that warm December 21st morning all those years ago.
He wore his Navy dress blues, I wore the short white dress I had wore a few months before to my college freshmen Winter Formal. Surrounded by the people who loved us most. My mom, our best friends, his parents, and our Church Youth Group pastor.
Ya’ll I cant tell you what we said or even show you guys photos because this was before the days of us knowing of hard drives and they have long since been lost. But we remember all the feels. I’m sure we said the basic to have and to hold, and I do’s. But the feels, my gosh the feels. Nervous – so nervous I could hardly look anyone in the eye. Excited so much so that my hands were shaking in his. Ready – so ready to finally be each other’s. Forever and ever. Through all the crap we’ve been through I wish I could tell those kids there were doing absolutely the right thing. That it was all gonna be better (and sometimes worse) than they couldn’ve imagined.
This is our story. Our courthouse wedding. And its not perfect. We were married before the creativity of pinterest and before we could afford the extravagance of centerpieces and even a real wedding dress.
But we LOVE it. Because what mattered is that two Jesus-loving kids got married in front of the people most important to them. And while some days I ache a little still wanting that dream wedding (a story we are saving for another week) our marriage has lasted longer than any of those ‘things’ ever would. And it’s strong. And that’s all that matters.
To our friends whose wedding may not have been perfect I encourage you to embrace that imperfection and cherish YOUR story. Be it a courthouse wedding, in a field, on a beach, no one but just the two of you – in whatever it is – it is beautiful.
Love, Andrew & Tianna
If you love this post, share the love! SHARE or LIKE this blog post to help us continue to photograph other amazing couples.
Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Outer Banks, Washington DC, Richmond & Destination Fine Art Wedding Photographers