What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas(?)

I’m sure you are familiar with the pink cloud feeling when you don’t listen to anyone or refuse to see any warning sign, because you know better. Well, being in love is like this, isn’t it? To this feeling add the huge relief that you feel when you don’t have to worry anymore about meeting society’s requirements and pretend you are perfectly happy living with a guy. When you have all the above, you get that euphoric feeling I had when we decided with my first official girlfriend to get married. So here’s my little novel about it.


Chapter 1: From coming out to the altar

I had been in the closet for four years in a comfortable straight relationship when I met a girl at my workplace, who pushed me out of the closet. It all started with harmless flirts, then of course we ended up working on projects together. Eventually I broke up with my boyfriend, packed my stuff and moved back home. At first my new relationship wasn’t official, to tell the truth it was exciting that nobody knew. Little by little we started to tell people that we are together: first to friends, then colleagues and finally to the hardest nut: my family.

The story of our wedding started with a vacation plan to Vegas. We laughed so much about the fact that we could even get married there that it soon became a serious thought and I bought a ring just to be on the safe side.

As for the wedding rings, we purchased them together, of course we both wanted the “male” version. The shopping procedure was hilarious by the way: I could tell by the lady’s face that she would pop the question where the hell the soon-to-be husband was at any time, but then she must have realised it was for the two of us.

There’s a saying “Don't make decisions when you're angry. Don't make promises when you're happy”. The idea to get married was the perfect mixture of these two, and I’ll kill the joke here: we are three years after Vegas and on separate paths. Nevertheless, I don’t regret my decisions and how my life turned out.


Chapter 2: What’s left out of the movies

It was a huge amount of paperwork and permissions that we had to arrange in order to get married in Vegas, and I would like to shatter an illusion here: couples who go to Vegas, get super drunk and wake up in their hotel rooms the next day with a wedding ring on their finger and some pictures about them getting wed by Elvis - all just a big hollywood lie. Apart from the paperwork to arrange, you have to pay some fees and taxes to get a so called marriage license in the state of Nevada. Only with this license can you go to Elvis (no, it was not Elvis who married us) and then live happily ever after. Or at least you hope so.

We found a very nice lady, specialised in gay marriages, who agreed to marry us. She was very professional, starting from her first email we knew that our wouldn’t be her first ceremony. She sent us two following options to choose from:

  1. Legal only: it basically means a meeting somewhere within city limits (yes, this was in her email like this) where we check the paperwork, she asks some questions, yes-yes, done, over. This by the way costs $75.
  2. Simple ceremony: It is already a 10-minute long happening, whoa! It’s for example in a nice chapel, it’s also recommended to prepare a short wow, because there’s also time for that, then exchange of rings, I do- I do, done. It costs $160.

Given the fact that it was only the two of us, we decided to go with the $75 version. Not because of the money, but because we could live without the chapel or a red carpet.

We had 2 other things to take care of: we needed a witness and the above mentioned marriage license from the state of Nevada ($60 if you are already counting). Getting the license took us half a day because of course the office of the Country Clerk is not located in the center of Vegas between two casinos, but at the edge of the desert in a cold office building. We had been prepared, filled out everything beforehand, so we just went there, paid and off we went.

Finding a witness was easy, we just asked drunk people in the casinos if they have 5 minutes for a quick signature. Ok, fine, I’m joking. We wrote to the wedding officiant lady if it would be possible for her to bring someone as a witness as there’s only the two of us going. She replied that she cannot provide a witness as it’s not on her service list, but she can arrange it for $30. Well, this is America, nothing is for free. By the way our witness that she brought was a photographer, what a coincidence. Of course she was very kind as well and we got 5 pictures for free, the rest we could buy.


Chapter 3: Back to reality

Back to Hungary we were faced with reality quite fast and started thinking: should we even wear the ring as we aren’t even legally married here? Plus my family was just shocked about the fact that I’m a lesbian, now a I’m a married lesbian. Just wonderful. The ring stayed at the end, but I got some funny questions like “Oooh did you get married with your boyfriend?” and the answer was quite surprising when I said it’s actually with my GIRLfriend.

If you get married in Vegas as a Hungarian, the paper you get is not legal in Hungary. We could have arranged the civil union, but completely separately from the American papers. We didn’t go for it as it was enough for us that we got married in Vegas, end of story. Similar to other European countries, our marriage would only be recognised if nationalized it.

There’s another twist in the story: getting divorced is almost impossible. I got the response from many places that the marriage is not even legal here, why should I care? Well, thanks, but even if only on paper, I’m still attached to a part of my past that I cannot erase from the back of my mind. So if you think about getting married, consider this fact as well, because if the happily ever after is not so happy, you will have troubles. Of course in that pink cloud who thinks about these things?


Chapter 4: Lesson to be learned for future generations

In our lives we constantly have to adapt to the circumstances: sometimes you change them, sometimes you have to face others’ decisions, but one thing is for sure: there’s always change. Keep in mind that when you are 80 years old and a kid is asking you what cool things you’ve done, you could answer them that you rode a bear on icy mountain peaks or that you got married in Vegas with your girlfriend in your twenties.

I don’t want to take away anyone’s glimmer of hope that the perfect blonde prince(ss) on a white horse is on the way. You can wait of course, but you can also get on a horse and ride, because it’s so much more fun. Moreover, you live your life, not just wait for the magic to happen. And who knows, maybe you ride into someone else’s life at the end.

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