“You brought a camera?” asks officiant Toni Gore.
Neither Andrew McPherson, 26, nor Emily Buehler, 25, have brought a camera today. In fact, they haven’t brought rings, either.
“We’re trying to keep this on the DL,” Buehler tells Gore.
They’re not keeping it hidden from angry parents or scorned lovers or anything like that. Rather, Buehler and McPherson have a big-deal ceremony scheduled next month in Scotland. It’ll take place in a historic kirk in the lowlands near the English border. “The heather’s out right now, so it’s very beautiful,” Buehler says.
The two met more than five years ago in Grenoble, France, while studying abroad together. They went on to live for more than a year together in the U.K. Thing is, getting a marriage license there is a bit of a hassle. And it’s rather expensive—-upward of 300 pounds. So the District of Columbia, where they’ve resided for three years, is damn good bargain.
They’ve also got “stag” and “hen” parties set up in Europe. For his stag affair, McPherson’s grown a nice bit of facial hair—-a sort of combination Fu Manchu and soul patch he deems “Western, or trucker-style.” It will match nicely, he says, with the tuxedo T-shirts his fellow partygoers plan to don for the festivities. Buehler will be meeting up with friends in Amsterdam for her shindig.
Gore starts the ceremony. Since they don’t have rings, she omits the ring-exchange portion of the ceremony, turning a five-minute affair into a three-minute affair.
“You’re just practicing with me?” Gore asks. “That’s OK, you can practice with me.”
After the ceremony, the couple sits and wait for copies of their marriage certificate—-a relative bargain at $10 apiece. No party after that, or even brunch: It’s back to work for the both of ’em. McPherson’s headed to his international development job, and Buehler, econ textbook in tow, will head to her public health firm.