Thursday, July 30, 2009

Part Two

By: Cleary O'Farrell

I know what you’re thinking at this point. Yes, yes I do. Why are these photos so crappy? Isn’t she a photographer? Well the truth is that my camera is so darn heavy I didn’t want to bring it with me. A Canon 5D weighs about 6 pounds and plus with the 16-35 and 24-70 lenses I carry around it would have been a total of oh… about 12 pounds on my shoulder.
So we had 2 disposable cameras and a Flip camera which takes video. I know what else you may be thinking… what the weather was like? Well it was how you say h-o-t at 105 degrees and a very dry heat. Lastly I bet you are wondering what the hell happened. Ok I will tell you.

I said, “I don’t know whatever we want. What do you want to do?”
Dave said “I know what I want to do. I want to marry you. Tonight.”
“WHAT?!?! Really? Really??” I said, and he was laughing and made a joke like “of course!”
I was so jumbled and excited or freaked out or something and I said “Wait-wait-really? Wait-what are you saying?” and then he took my hand and said Cleary, will you marry me?” I screamed, then I laughed, then we had a kissing/I-love-you session right there in front of Vince Neil’s crazy tattoo shop. Very romantic. After a few minutes of this we both felt we needed to get back to our hotel room like now, so we ran across the street into our hotel…. and about 25 minutes later emerged a happily engaged couple.
Since it was getting on 4 pm and we hadn’t eaten since that morning, we decided to go to BLT Burger to look over a list of chapels we had gotten from our concierge. Dave recognized “A Little White Chapel” so we called them and they said they were “Wide open. Come by anytime.”
At that point, Dave, in a rush of strange traditionalism, said “We need to get you a ring.” I said “Nah. We won’t find anything here. And I don’t feel like walking around forever looking.” He said, “Babe, we need to get you something.” So we headed next door to Caesar’s and found a ring for me at Banana Republic, and one for him at Chrome Hearts.

From here everything happened really fast. We got into a taxi, said, “Courthouse please” to which the driver responded with “You guys getting married?” We said “Yes.” He said “You know each other’s names and everything?” to which we said “Only first names.” He was fun.
When we arrived at the courthouse, there were chapel peddlers handing out brochures for places nearby, since you are not legally wed unless you actually have a licensed person perform your ceremony. It is quite an industry. A Joe Peschi impersonator was even there offering his services. We went inside the courthouse, and like any 7-11, we were in-and-out with within 10 minutes with a marriage license. We called the chapel, they said a limo would be there in 15 minutes, so we kicked back, watching several other people go in and out of the 7-11/courthouse and wondering just how many people get married in Vegas every day.
The limo driver’s name was Ed, and he was quite friendly. As we rode in the limo we shot a short video in our giddy state.

Once we entered the chapel, everyone greeted us and was very friendly. They asked what “package” we wanted and offered some choices: how many photos do you want? Would you like to buy a video? How about a ‘bride’ or ‘groom’ hat? Do you want a corsage or roses? Would you like Elvis to conduct the wedding? Would you like a tiara?

Now, there are so many things in Vegas which make it “Vegas”, but I think the most important thing to remember is that nothing about it reflects real life. But we are real people. And we need to keep it real. It’s only about the two of you and this is the one and only time this wedding will ever happen so it’d better be done the way you want it.

Ours was done in our shorts, tank tops, Dave’s favorite button up shirt and sandals. The ceremony was not conducted by Elvis, nor was not done with a pink “bride” hat or any more than 3 people, and it was perfect. And though I’ve heard them way too many times, those traditional wedding vows really hit home when you are actually saying them as a promise to the one you love. “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health… I will love you, honor you, comfort you… with this ring I thee wed… until death do us part.” All of a sudden they really meant something. And I really felt something.

Dave held my hands and said these words and then I said them to him and everything began to feel very real – finally something meaningful, concrete, and deep in this crazy Vegas-Sin-City world full of Elvis and Joe Peschi impersonators, silicone, cubic zirconium, excess glitz and fake glamour. It’s fun to be a part of but when this wedding happened, it was all shut out.
And then we were married!

The photographer took a few more shots of us and then the limo took us back to our hotel where we (ahem ahem) and then made just a couple of phone calls to my mom and sister, and to Dave’s best friend and big brother. Then we changed clothes for the first time since that morning and headed out to dinner at Zefferino’s at the Venetian (outstanding).

It totally felt like we had the best secret, we were in the most private club just the two of us; Dave would smile at me and I’d laugh because we still could not believe what just happened!
Being a married lady now for oh…. 2 weeks or so, I’ve had time to reflect on all of the events of that trip. I have to say I would not change a thing. I love how spontaneous it was, that it was just him & me. Unstructured, sweet, simple but rock & roll, it was just the right way to begin our personal marriage. It was just our style. And I can’t wait to see what’s ahead!!


Willow said...


Jacqueline said...

Congratulations Cleary! What a super fun, we are so in love, wedding story!