Reno, NV : May 20th, 2000

Things weren't going well at work. I was frustrated with my boss and with the UK management restrictions on how we ran the office. I was very frustrated, to the extent that I really didn't want to work there any longer!

So, at 8am on a Saturday morning, Jay & I decided that we'd "run to Reno" so that I could get a work permit and another job.

We phoned Dagny & Sean and Anet & Sean who all agreed to drop everything and come with us to Reno. A couple of hours later we assembled at Dagny & Sean's house and piled into their van (with their neurotic dog, Herne, who can't be left at home alone for long) with Anet & Sean following in their (then, relatively new) Green Bug (st*rbug). About three and a half hours later we pulled off the freeway and stopped at the first gas station we found (Texaco, next to Circus Circus), to stretch our legs. That's when we started to wonder where exactly to get wed! Anet's Sean suggested we just ask in the gas station. So we did and they gave us a $10 voucher off a wedding at Chapel of The Bells!

Chapel of The Bells is one of Reno's "conveyor belt" wedding parlors and although they had reservations for weddings every 30 minutes, they said they could fit us in if we didn't mind waiting. After about five minutes, a driver appeared to take Jay & I to the court house to get our license (in a white Cadillac!). Ten minutes later, we're back at the chapel with our license where we sit and wait for a reverend to become available...

We get to watch various entertaining scenes played out in the waiting room: a full production wedding with the big dress, bridemaids, flowers etc and they were talking about a big reception later (why spend so much money and not go to a decent church for the ceremony?); a double Mexican wedding with mom and her daughter marrying their respective boyfriends (very cute!); and an unfortunate 'shotgun' wedding played out by a crying young black girl, very pregnant, and her couldn't-care-less boyfriend (very sad).

After about 20 minutes, this senile old lady is introduced to us... Reverend Setzer. We decide that the gazebo outside is a lot less tacky than the chapel room indoors so we get ready, with Anet's Sean as my best man and Dagny as Jay's matron of honor... five minutes later, we're married!

The senile old lady has the strangest diction ever so we had to really resist the urge to giggle throughout the 'solemn' ceremony. The worst part was when we got to the bit about "what God has put... together, let no man tear as... under." She also spoiled our joke: we were just waiting for her to ask "Do you, Jay, take Sean to be your lawful wedded husband?" to which we would have responded "Which Sean?". Never mind, we thought about it.

We had turned down the offer of 'professional' photographs and flowers but couldn't resist the "Just Married" souvenir T-shirt: it's a lovely shade of purple with a cartoon bride and groom on the front, in silver!

Then it was back into the cars and back to Oakland for the wedding feast at Fondue Fred's!

Many, many thanx to Dagny & Sean and Anet & Sean for making the eight hour round trip at no notice!

We will eventually put up the photos from this wedding. You can also read my eGroups report of this weekend, from which parts of this page were drawn.