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  • Writer's pictureMandy Garcia

Yes, it's true! I was married in a hardware store.

Updated: Apr 8

Its hard to believe we've been married for over 20 years given we were only together for five months before he proposed and only engaged for a week before essentially eloping. I also learned a valuable lesson which I carry forward with my current clients! I'm getting ahead of myself though.

When I was employed as an assistant for a real estate agent my now mother-in-law worked in the same office. My husband's and my paths crossed as he worked for himself as a local handyman as well as at the small hardware store in town. Being a handyman he often completed work for the real estate agents in the area, including the agents in the office where his mother and I worked. The first time I saw him I thought he was very attractive but didn't give it too much thought as I was preoccupied with work, classes, finals, etc. I'm also very much an introvert. He called the office one day asking for me which wasn't unusual as he had completed work for the agent I was employed with. Low and behold he was actually asking me out for dinner. Apparently he already knew the way to my heart - food!

Skipping ahead, five months later he proposed and I said yes! Being as young as we were we didn't want to spend the money on a large wedding and decided to get married in a week. Yep, a week. Before you ask, no I was not pregnant - we just knew we wanted to get married. Even though we were eloping we still wanted to have something a little more personal than a courthouse wedding, but nothing that would interfere with either of our parents decorating and having the stress of prepping their homes.

Some of you may know, but in Alaska as with some other states a resident can officiate one wedding without being ordained. With that, we asked the owners of the hardware store where my husband worked to get married at the store that Sunday. The store was closed for the day as it was also going to be Easter and they agreed! I quickly found a dress on eBay, and thanks to my mom who purchased a cake from the grocery store and made a bouquet for me which matched the little flowers embroidered on my dress we were set. Small prep, no stress.

Still don't believe me? I've got proof for you and it's coming....

The town we worked in was a small town outside of Anchorage and when a few others found out where we were getting married the local paper asked if they could take our photo for the next issue. My husband who hates having is picture taken, let alone published, ultimately agreed as we both thought it would be a standard small wedding announcement.

A few days after our wedding (four to be exact) the picture was posted in the local paper. Instead of a small black and white photo and simple wedding announcement, they printed a full color, 10.25"x6" announcement. Yes, I measured it before posting here. And that's not all! Above our heads is an antique gun which hung above the cash register of the shop implying the "shotgun wedding" vibe and the caption under the photo was "Nailed Him".

Needless to say we received quite a few calls after the paper was fully circulated. While I probably still wouldn't have wanted something quite that large posted in the paper, it is something we can look back on and laugh at now. Something the announcement taught me though was to make sure I get permission from any of my clients before using any of the photos I take for them.

Hopefully you've been entertained by this and my previous posts. Make sure to Sign Up by clicking the button at the top of this post to receive notifications of new blog posts as they are published.

See you again soon!


PS - As promised here is the proof. Yes, the smiley was added as my husband still hates having his picture taken. Ha!

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