Media Naranja

With my media naranja…and our media naranja wedding cake!

Like unwanted, irrepressible weeds the chickenpox bloomed in spring. To be exact, the spots appeared two weeks before the wedding and two days after we bought the plane tickets to the US. (Insert bad joke about in sickness and in health.) This upped the to-do list to:

  • Write vows
  • Find Justice of the Peace/Minister????
  • Buy gifts / Pack suitcase
  • Translate Andres’ birth certificate (por si acaso)
  • Make up missed hours at work
  • Hope Andres recovers from the chickenpox—if not, change tickets/wedding date and start again.

The to-do lists from January and early March had nothing in common. Our plan to get married in Spain was spun on its head mid-February with the news that no, we couldn’t get married by June after all. The hoops were already dizzying, but add the long, snaking lines at Madrid’s registro civil to a mini strike and *poof*! Plans A, B, and C had barely been dreamed into existence before they were snatched away.

Spoiler: everything turned out fine

The formidable to-do list was made more difficult by unforeseen circumstances and most assuredly several black cats. When I Skyped my parents at the end of January, I warned them at the beginning of the call that I had both good and bad news. By the time I’d descended to the third rung on a list of lows, they asked me to let them know if I’d skipped the positive stuff.

I told them about the derailing of our initial plan. This mini huelga threw the date of a Spanish union back a few centuries (and therefore out of any realm of possibility). Alternatives like Gibraltar and Denmark sparkled with the cool factor, but came with a hefty price tag. It made much more sense to go to the States and celebrate the event with my friends and family. The good news: we were coming to Arkansas to get married!

Posing with my parents

With Sara and Brian

Why was it so important that we get married quickly? Well, with my current paperwork I can’t reside in Spain after June; Andres needs to claim me as his spouse for us to stay together. We need to be married for this to be possible. We’ve known for a long time that we want to be married, so why wait? The longer we wait, in fact, the longer we’d have to be apart this summer. Cue dim lighting, stress, and Pachelbel’s Cannon.

Andres reviewing his vows before the ceremony

And that is precisely what we did, weaving a wedding together in the space between work and sleep, Spain and Arkansas. It wasn’t the ideal amount of time or even the correct continent to plan a US wedding. We didn’t have the luxury of eloping, either (which, let me assure you, sounded appealing at the moment).

There was Spanish cheese, of course

Thankfully, neither Andres nor I never wanted a big wedding to begin with. So we celebrated the best way we knew how—a small event with friends and family, in the same place my parents started their own marriage. No grandiose shin-dig, no signature parlor games, and no keepsake totes of our smooching faces. We did have hand-written vows, a jolly minister, a few tears, and lots of good cheer.

Marriage certificate: signed! 

We weren’t the first to cut the cake–my grandpa found it first

The back-to-back scares of watching Andres get sick, as well as wondering how —and where!—on earth we could get married—made the event even more meaningful. It reinforced how much we want to be together even when it seemed the world was conspiring against us. From exchanging vows to watching my grandpa snitch the first piece of wedding cake, I was glad that in the end we weren’t celebrating alone on a Danish island. Throughout the evening, I couldn’t stop grinning. Andres and I may not know where we’ll live in two years, but we know we’ll make it work—chickenpox scars, red tape, and all.

An old married couple in a rocking chair

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24 Comments

  1. Many congratulations to you both!
    I wish you a long and happy life together – wherever you end up living!

  2. Muchas felicidades!! Very happy for you and wishing you two a long and happy marriage.

  3. Ahhhh! Crazy congratulations! I can totally relate as I was in tears multiple times trying to register in Russia because it seemed like it wouldn’t happen fast enough & my parents might not make it. All’s well that ends well, though, although I know the stress isn’t fun.

    Congrats again & I hope you all are enjoying the oh-so-exciting married life 🙂

    • Cassandra

      I bet you really can understand the ins and outs of the situation, Polly 🙂 At times it seemed like nothing would fall into place. There was so much stress at every stage, but of course it’s worth it in the end.

      Thanks so much for your comment, and for the well wishes!

  4. It was fun to re-live the event as I read your post.

    I got a bit misty-eyed when I thought about you two sitting in the rocking chair. That was my Grandma Stuhr’s chair. It’s been a witness to many generations of happy family members and will continue to do so.

    • Cassandra

      Aw, thanks Mot 🙂

      That’s so interesting about your Grandma’s rocking chair, too. It’s in such great condition that I didn’t realize how old it was!

  5. Huge congratulations to you both,you make a very beautiful couple,i wish you a life time of happiness and joy, plus many hijos

  6. Congratulations, I’m so very happy for you both! I’m sorry that your plans were messed up, but you did it in the end. I adore the intimate setting of the wedding, big celebrations have a tendency to be overwhelming (and impossible to do in such a short amount of time).

    • Cassandra

      Thanks Ashley!

      I’m glad you enjoyed seeing photos from our wedding. We are fans of small gatherings–I agree with what you point out here–and this one definitely fell into that category!

  7. Bellísima historia Cassandra, que la vida les regale mucho amor para darse. ¡Felicidades! Un abrazo.

    • Cassandra

      Muchas gracias, Kenia! Agradezco estas palabras tan bonitas y espero que tu tambien estés genial estos dias!

  8. Muchísimas felicidades, Cassandra!!!!!!!!!

  9. Kristen

    Congratulations, Casey and Andres!!! I loved hearing the story of how everything came together and seeing more photos! <3 Your dress is gorgeous!

    • Cassandra

      Thank you Kristen, that’s really sweet! It was a crazy couple of months but then life can be so unexpected at times.

      I was really happy with my dress, too! I wish I could have worn it all week 😉

  10. I can’t believe I haven’t comment here! Congrats to you and Andres! I was curious about the small wedding but also kind of jealous! This is what I would like to have. No muss, no fuss, no drama over bridesmaid dress style or color, flower arrangements, catering, venue… You seemed to have a sweet, intimate ceremony. And your dress is so cute! So glad Andres recovered in time (was it chicken pox he got or the adult singles virus?? In any case it could not have been easy for you to watch him be sick!!)

    • Cassandra

      Thanks so much, Amelie!

      I know a small wedding isn’t for everyone, but it worked well for us. I’d be way too overwhelmed by a large event, and I liked that we got to spend quality time with those who were there.

      Andres actually had the chicken pox–he’d never had it before!

  11. congratulations you two lovebirds! I looooove that dress and your hair! so pretty!! oh, grandpa 😉

  12. Christine

    Gosh, I’m so late to the party. A big Congrats!!! How exciting… all the best to you both. 😉

    • Cassandra

      Thank you, Christine! It’s been an exciting year for us 🙂

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