Dave and I were married in a private ceremony on June 16th, 2011 in Alexandria, VA with just my parents and his mom as witnesses. Our ceremony was performed by a marriage celebrant and all that means is that she is "appointed by the Alexandria Circuit Court to perform civil marriage ceremonies for the Commonwealth of Virginia." It was a perfect and intimate ceremony and one of the happiest days of my life.
Our story is complicated with him being sent out to Arizona for six months for Army training. But in a nutshell, while he was out there he researched and bought a ring, and planned to propose once he came home. In his mind he would propose and we would get married in the fall. Wellllll of course the Army had to complicate things even further by telling Dave he was set to deploy in about two months. So while prepping for his deployment and moving him out of his apartment (which we had just moved him into!), he proposed like he had planned. We decided we didn't want to weather the deployment unmarried, so 16 days after he proposed we got married. We spent a little over a month together before he left for his year long deployment to Afgahnistan. It was a tough first year of marriage and definitely made us grow closer and stronger.
Which brings us to August 18, 2012, the day we had our religious ceremony with all our family and friends. Dave and I never hid the fact that we were married, in fact we sent out announcements to everyone and celebrated our union. I believe that even though we were married in a civil ceremony God was still present and approves because of our intent to spend our lives together. But I'm glad that for the second ceremony it was officiated by a Chaplain. It was important to us, and especially Dave, that we have this second ceremony for our friends and family. And now I'm really happy that we did. It was amazing to have almost everyone we love in the same place, and it's especially moving to have them their celebrating Dave and my marriage. It was one of the best times of my life, truly.