Getting Married Overseas

Finding myself single again at a later age was not much fun. Back to living in a small apartment was a very lonely experience. To help things in the evening I would go online and email ladies all over the world. We had all met through an international dating site and it was a way for me to keep my sanity. One lady I met was in the Philippines and we became very close online.

Some people find it difficult to accept that people can become very close online but it is happening more and more now. I think because you are not face to face you can feel safer revealing more of the real you. Anyway, we eventually decided to marry so I arranged a return airline ticket for her and sent it over. I arranged a wedding celebrant and booked the honeymoon suite. She left her job and applied for a tourist visa. The idea was for her to come for 30 days and we would get married and then she would return home while we applied for a spouse visa. However, they refused her visa on the grounds that she was an unacceptable risk of non-return.

So much for that. It took months to get a refund on the air fare. I finally arranged to get away for a couple of weeks to go over there to get married. She met me at the airport with one of her daughters and we piled into a taxi for the ride back to her house. I was absorbed in the place and enjoyed the taxi ride as I just watched out the window at everything that was so different. I found it fascinating to see all the different things in this strange new country. Eventually we arrived at her house but only to drop my bag because she had arranged our government interview for that afternoon. This was to get a permission to marry and so it was back into the taxi and off down town. Another fascinating ride for me through the city in a place where there didn’t seem to be any road rules. The taxi driver seemed to be quite skilled as he could maneuver through four lanes of traffic all going in different directions, while he was texting on a cell phone. Sometimes we were in two lanes and sometimes we were in three as he commandeered one of the other lanes so we were technically going the wrong way.

We arrived safely and into the government office and filled out the quick questionnaire. I passed that OK which gave us entry into the full day seminar that was on the next day. This was a compulsory seminar for all couples intending to marry. That was interesting as most of it was in Tagalog, the local language and not much good to me anyway. But it covered everything from relationship issues to birth control and was a really good idea. This gave us a certificate at the end of the day and from there it was back into the taxi to catch city hall before they closed. That was interesting in itself. We went into the marriages section and there must have been 20 or 30 ladies there all sitting at old typewriters. Not that they were using them as most seemed to be having a coffee and chatting or texting on their cell phones. texting is a major industry in the Philippines as it is very cheap and is the main way Filipinos stay in contact.

We filed our application to marry with the seminar attendance certificate and had it all stamped and authorized which meant now we were free to marry but not for at least 10 days. That gave us time to visit the pastor of my wife to be and arrange for our wedding in her church the following Saturday. We had a week to relax now and get to know each other which was a lovely time as she showed me round some of the city sights. We were walking home one day not long after and the next door neighbor rushed out to catch us and asked could she make our wedding cake because she had heard the wedding was close. No worries. We hadn’t arranged one anyway and she only wanted something like $10.

The big day finally arrived and we were married in my wife’s church by her pastor who was a guy from the US. We were married in the morning and my new daughters sang at our wedding while their big brother played the keyboard. A very talented family and it was all very good. Then it was off to a buffet restaurant for a lunch and the pastor and his wife came too. My wife’s family and friends were there and we had a separate room private from the rest of the restaurant. A lovely meal and the wedding cake was on a table when we arrived. That was amazing in itself. I have never seen one so huge. It was made of many decorated cakes on a spiral system round a pole and stood about 5 feet high. Instead of giving the guests a slice of cake to take home we had to give them a whole cake each. Amazing. A good time was had by all and I went to pay the bill. It was something like $2.50 a head which is incredible.

Everyone headed home and we went off for our first night together as a married couple. We hadn’t got round to booking anything so headed for one of the better water front resorts and just fronted up at reception. Yes there were rooms available. Did we want a basic, deluxe or a resort suite. This is our honeymoon so we wanted the best they had. We booked in for a total cost of about $60. The prices there are really unbelievable. We had dinner in their water side restaurant which was way out at the end of a long jetty in the middle of the water. It was lovely and we had an outdoor roof top table. Evenings there are your typical tropical balmy waterfront heaven.

The room was OK but there was no hot water for the shower next morning and the kettle didn’t work to make a cuppa in bed. Never mind. It can’t be all perfect. The buffet breakfast was good as was the rest of my stay. I will tell some more next time. Nick

Getting Married? Think About the 1950s

With the cost of weddings rising exponentially – the average wedding now costs around £20,000 – and with the age of austerity imposing more and more financial pressure on the average family, perhaps it is time to take a more traditional view of our marriage celebrations. Newly-engaged couples, or those considering whether to tie the knot, could do worse than to think about the way weddings were conducted in the 1950s.

Family Ties

By the 1950s, the younger generation were beginning to move away from their family homes in search of work. However, in comparison to today’s atomised society in which family ties are stretched to breaking point, family structures in the 1950s were far closer. This meant that intimate weddings were far more the norm, with young people seeing the celebration of a marriage as a smaller event which should focus on the family. The extension of weddings to a large group of family and friends has crept up on us in the last fifty years, and stands in sharp contrast to the attitude of the mid-twentieth century.

The wish to make one’s marriage vows before witnesses is an intrinsic part of the process, but doing so in front of more than one hundred ‘close friends’ is perhaps missing the point of this very personal declaration of intent. Refocusing on the heart of a wedding – the promise of emotional and physical support between two people – may well lead to a wish for a smaller event which allows you to share your day with loved ones without diluting that in a bigger party.

Vintage glamour

The 1950s are synonymous with the glamorous look of iconic film stars. Think Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, and Lauren Bacall. With the trend for vintage clothing at its height thanks to hit television shows like Mad Men, why not take advantage of this and invest in a vintage wedding dress? Style doesn’t come much sharper than the 1950s, and there are a huge variety of show-stopping wedding dresses on the market. You can either surf the web, or enjoy hunting through second-hand shops which specialise in the 1950s for that hidden gem. Not only will you look stunning, with a look which is all your own, but the chances are your dress will cost far less than most modern dresses.

Back to basics

Marriage is a curious mix of the public and the intensely personal. No two marriages are the same, and getting married is a very public declaration of a private relationship. Glitzy weddings should not be confused with the sometimes challenging daily life of a long-term relationship; what counts in a life together is the ability to compromise, and to enjoy the small happinesses which a rewarding partnership brings.

Perhaps, in an age of global financial meltdowns and regular apocalyptic warnings from our media, we should all stop for a moment and consider the important things in life – friendship and families, not large and expensive parties.

Where to Get Married: Hidden Wedding Venues in Los Angeles

Today’s brides are so savvy, and often thinking outside of the box on every aspect of their wedding, including where to get married. Below you will find a list of unique wedding venues that will host your wedding in a very unconventional way. Hopefully you will find one of these places for wedding receptions perfect for you.

The Smog Shoppe is probably the most unconventional and unique location for you not so run-of-the-mill kind of bride. This location has been converted from an old smog shop into a rustic and swanky venue to host your wedding. And if you are looking for an eco-friendly venue the Smog Shoppe is a top rated sustainably designed urban space in the U.S.

Dodger Stadium is a home run for any couple that is a die-hard Dodger fan. This unique venue allows for a couple to say their “I do’s” right on home plate. No guest can deny the feeling of being a part of legacy of the LA Dodgers when attending your True Blue wedding.

LA Live is a chic and sophisticated location in the heart of downtown LA. The glitz and glimmer of having your wedding in this location will wow your guests and leaving them feeling like they attended one of LA’s most exclusive weddings.

Peterson Automotive Museum is a location for couples that are car enthusiasts will drool over. It offers a stunning rooftop view for guest to enjoy while witnessing the bride and groom say their vows. The richly decorated detail of the venue is dramatic, entertaining, and exciting all wrapped up in a perfectly neat package that everyone would enjoy!

Calamigos Ranch offers both a whimsical and fun experience for both you and your guests. There are four different locations within the ranch that can host your wedding that the possibilities are endless!

Nixon Library is most exclusive because it has the only replica of the White House East Wing. The rose garden is impeccably maintained to perfection. For those of you who dreamed of having a wedding that is unparalleled this location should definitely be at the top of your list.

The El Rey was converted from a movie house for 50 years and is now one of LA’s historic landmarks. It offers an art deco feel throughout and is perfect for unconventional couples that enjoy entertaining their guests.

Carondelet House is stunning with beautiful textures and natural lighting. It was built as an Italian Villa with an urban feel. This location has so much character from the architecture to the design that makes it a charming location for your wedding.

To find out more information and see a complete list on where to get married, visit my website at to see the TOP unique wedding venues in Los Angeles.