Wedding Vows on a Cigarette Boat

           Back in 2003 you could get a license to marry someone anywhere in Virginia, but you could only use it the one time. My future father in law got such a license to marry Matt and me. Less than a month before our wedding, Fairfax County changed the law. No grandfathering in or anything. So the one time license that was supposed to be good anywhere in the state was only good in Fairfax County. But Matt and I were not getting married in Fairfax County. We were getting married in King George County. On a hill overlooking the beautiful and soothing Potomac River. In my parents’ yard.

            Oh, Fairfax County. You pain in the ass.

            After a day or so of panic, Matt, my dad, and I worked it out. Upriver–nearly an hour–from Fairview Beach, Fairfax County land went out into the Potomac River a ways. We needed a fast boat. A REALLY fast boat.

            Enter Roger Cook’s Donzi. It was perfect.

            We worked out a plan where Matt and I would go upriver in the morning (much faster and prettier and more romantic than taking 95N in a car), do the technical and lawful wedding vow thing (very few words!), race back down the river, and go our separate ways until the real ceremony.  I refused to seal anything with a kiss until our real vows were said in front of our family and friends at our real ceremony. I refused to let anyone know what was happening, which was that Matt and I would already be legally married at our wedding.

          Looking back, the part that caused me the most stress and annoyance is now my favorite memory.

          I got married on a cigarette boat in the Fairfax County part of the Potomac River. I wore a navy blue tube top from Banana Republic, Levi’s 501s cutoffs, my friend’s long wedding veil, pink sunglasses, and no shoes.

        In my mind I add all our friends and family attending in a flotilla, and to me, that was the best wedding.

ang matt wedding on donzi

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