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I’ve Got A Secret... And It’s A Biggie!

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Okay, I’ve held on to this for too long and it HAS to come out. I’ve been deceiving you.

The Boy and I are already married.

*GASP* Shut up! I KNOW!

dad officiate

We didn’t mean to… I promise! It just happened! I don’t know how! We were both wearing clothes – I swear!!! Heh… here’s how it all went down. Remember how The Boy and I got engaged in January, bought a ring together, planned a ceremony, planned the reception, and choose our wedding parties? Yes? Right on track, y’all – Right. On. Track. But, sometimes, life gets in the way of all your great plans. In this case, I got a phone call out of the blue from my mom one day early in July. My dad had just been diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer – he had 30 days to live. And one of the first things that he said to my mom after finding out was, “I won’t be able to officiate Cris’s wedding.”

dad officiate

You need to understand something. I never expected to get married – it’s not that I’m against marriage or determined to be single. I just know me and, frankly, I’m not that great. I always assumed that, compared to all the awesomeness available out there, no one would want to settle down with me. I was okay with that but… when I did daydream about maaaybe getting married someday; I knew I wanted one thing: to have my dad officiate the ceremony. Not walk me down the aisle, not wear a fabulous dress, not be a princess for a day. Nope. I wanted my amazing father (a man who fought to adopt me and give me my name) to be the one who actually married me to my future spouse (and one of his closest friends). And now he was so worried that that wasn’t going to happen.

dad officiate

Over my dead body. I immediately turned to The Boy and asked him if he would marry me in Alaska. He said yes. We bought our tickets. And we were married. In less than three days, in clothes we picked up at a local thrift store, at the local fairgrounds, with a thrown together wedding party, a DIYed wedding band (for The Boy), and a potluck reception. But, we were married by my dad. And I even got to dance with him (to Trace Adkins’s “Then They Do”).

dad officiate

And that’s all that mattered in the end.

dad officiate

Oh, we’re still planning our gorgeous outdoor wedding for next May and it will be amazing. But it will be without my dear, sweet daddy who passed away on December 11th (at home and surrounded by four generations of his family). I don’t quite know who will officiate that one or how I’ll handle the daddy/daughter dance. But I just don’t care. I got the only thing that I really wanted in a wedding – my love, The Boy, and my dad. And that? Is TRULY all that matters.



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Jessica Bishop Headshot

is the founder of TheBudgetSavvyBride.com, and author of the best-selling book,The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer. Jessica's expert wedding advice and money-saving tips have been featured by Good Morning America, COSMOPOLITAN, Glamour, and more.