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