Posted by paulrivas on:
Dear Family and Friends,
Clare and I got married on December 22 in the Cayman Islands. Clare’s younger sister Julie was the only guest and served as Witness #1. The photographer doubled as Witness #2, something he hadn’t been expecting. I’d insisted we not tell him ahead of time so he couldn’t charge us extra.
Julie has a Santa Barbara friend living on Grand Cayman. This led to Clare and I booking a trip there and Julie booking a flight there, too. When a friend of Clare’s heard about our vacation plans, she accused Clare of conspiring to elope. In fact, it had never occurred to us that getting married in the Cayman Islands was easy.
I signed us up for the Simply Basic: location, ceremony and $200 in Caymanian paperwork for one low price. They even threw in the wedding vows. Once the official learned we weren’t Christians, she gave us a choice between Mystic Union and Visitor Type 1. We went with Visitor Type 1, which seemed to be exactly what we wanted and one more step to happiness skipped entirely.
The location choices were beach or tropical gazebo. Not wanting to get my nice shoes dirty, I chose gazebo, which ended up being in the official’s front yard in a down-market and occasionally dodgy part of the town of West Bay. The gazebo had a crimson astro-turf runway, and the photographer insisted on abandoning it for the beach as soon as the ceremony was over.
We stayed at a fancy B&B run by lovely people, whose other guests included a guy called Paul Reavis. This Paul Reavis guy works on drones for Northrup Grumman in Afghanistan, which their website says means, “bringing new combat multiplier capabilities to the warfighter faster”. I asked him if when he left Afghanistan in a military cargo plane he got to wear one of those seatbelts that comes down over the shoulders, like in the movies. He said he did, and I got a kick out of it.
Julie arrived two days later than expected after being snowed-in in Boston. By the time we got back to our room after picking her up from the airport is was 3:45 pm on the day of our five o’clock wedding. Clare only got to freak out about her wedding for an hour instead of months, and I only got two tries to tie my tie a passable length. Julie had to help us both.
Clare drove us from our place on Sticky Toffee Lane to the ceremony, on the left side of the road, as she had done expertly all week. “Here Comes the Bride” played on the gazebo boombox until the official told Julie to pause it. We each wore a ribbon of tartan flair around one wrist and had tropical flowers. Our rings weren’t made yet, so we used twine. When the official said “holy” the first time, we thought she was just being nice. Then she surprised us with a prayer not previously discussed in Visitor Type I, and all we could do was do our best.
We ate an extravagant dinner that saw me devour the biggest lobster ever on my first time ever eating lobster. Julie’s friends joined us later and treated us to desserts that included the sticky toffee pudding after which our little lane was named. The next day Clare and Julie played with dolphins at the lagoon down the road. I took pictures and talked to Joe Tourist from Connecticut and tried to remember that this was my life and to refer to Clare as my wife.
P.S. Clare’s back in Manhattan now. I’m going there for six days in February and she’s coming to Goleta for eight days in March. If you’ll be in either of those places, please look us up: Clare Nisbet or Paul Rivas. (But we’re married now.)