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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

International Wedding plans--Wiccan and British

It is with great Joy 
we announce our 
upcoming nuptials:

Les C. Biggs
Jaqueline M. Almdale
will be handfasted
in an official 
Wiccan wedding ceremony
Saturday, June 18, 2011
10:00 am
Kamiak Butte
Pullman, WA USA
 Private luncheon 
to follow at the home 
Jim and Karen Barron
320 NW Joe Street.

An open reception 
will be held on
Saturday, July ninth, 2011
Keith and Chrisi Kincaid's farm
1251 Enman-Kincaid Rd. 

Living on a narrow boat 
means space is at a premium;
We ask guests to bring 
a pot luck dish to share 
in lieu of wedding gifts Please!
Join us for dinner, 
wedding cake, sparkling wine,
and dancing under 
the summer evening sky!

With joy and 
for having 
found each other,
Les & Jaqueline Biggs
will reaffirm 
their vows of marriage
in the presence 
family and friends,
sometime in September, 2011
at a British church
to be announced. 
Reception after
also to be announced. 
We will be
in residence at home 
aboard NB Valerie, 
somewhere on the
canals of England!

Hi everyone, 
     It's me, Jaqueline--or Jaq. Les asked me to write this blog post--typical init? The wedding plans always fall to the Bride!! ;) 
     Given that we come from two different countries with different laws regarding marriage and immigration, we have an international wedding team!
     After a thorough perusal of the U.K. Border Agency web site we determined it is less time consuming, far less expensive ($2400.00 vs. $3600.00 and one less visa step) if we married here in the States and I applied for a Spouse Visa.
     In the United States one may get married literally anywhere. One goes to the county clerk's office in the county where one resides, pays a fee of $58.00, flashes one's birth certificates, tells the clerk names, dates of birth, and place of birth of one's parents, show a photo I.D, and the marriage certificate is issued. 
     The happy couple wait a minimum of three days, and then get hitched by the judge or clergy of their choice, in the presence of a minimum of two witnesses. A church wedding will have additional fees attached.
Kamiak Butte, Washington USA
We will be married in the morning on Kamiak Butte in a Wiccan handfast. My dear friend Patti Gora McRavin has gone and gotten herself ordained by the Church of Scientific and Spiritual Humanism, and the Right Reverend Patti will officiate at our ceremony. (For her inspiring love story which is intertwined with ours please continue to follow my blog.)   
     Since we will already be married when we return together in late August, we will arrange an affirmation of our wedding vows through the Church of England. These arrangements will be firmed up while I am over visiting from May 22nd-June 11th.
     While I may visit England on a visa waiver for a period of six months, Les may only visit America on a visa waiver for a period of three months. Les and I will fly back to Pullman together in June, get married, and begin the daunting Spouse Visa application process.
     There is only one shot at this--make a mistake or leave something out--the British Embassy issues an automatic denial and there is no appeal process.
     It can take up to three months--and sometimes longer for a Spouse visa to be issued, and if the British Embassy clerk in Los Angeles, California has any questions about my application they may request an in person interview at their convenience. 
     We must file a five page application, pay an initial $1200.00 fee, and include my passport, our birth certificates, Val's death certificate, my divorce decree, our marriage license, six months worth of our bank statements,  a year's phone records and any emails we have sent one another; a letter from my employer about telecommuting from the U.K., and I must have my biometrics taken at the Federal courthouse in Spokane, which will be kept on file for ten years. (And this is the easiest route for lovers from our respective countries to make legally abiding arrangements to live together until death us do part!)
     In the meantime I must find a good home for my feline friend Wee Man, who would never survive the six month quarantine required by the U.K., put my home up for sale, and winnow out most of my belongings, paring everything down to the essentials. While I am blessed with a home full of lovely things--they are only "things" and with very few exceptions, most of them are meaningless without Les.
      My deepest thanks to all who have offered their good wishes and blessings to us both. I look forward to meeting you all on the cut.
May you have joy in your journey!


sailor said...

My best wishes to you, I wish you all the best for the future. Gordon

sailor said...

My best wishes to you, I will be thinking of you on that day

Unknown said...

Absolutely fabulous news. Congrats to you both xx

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Jaqueline,
I've just received my UK visa and although they stated 3 months it only took 6 weeks. But you must enter the UK within two months of the entry date on the visa otherwise start all over again.
Cost in Australia was about the same and I had to fly interstate to have my biometric details collected. I loved the questions about whether our marriage was arranged and had I met her before the wedding!

Enjoy the adventure

Tom & Jan

Bev said...

Oh How exciting!!! Such a shock too he he he!! Can't wait for our get together now, hope the weathers gonna be kind to us all eh!! I do hope they'll be lots of pic's for us back home to see on the Big Day?? Lots of love to you both
Bev,James,Jordan & Jack xxx

KevinTOO said...

Congratulations to you both and good luck with both the US of A and UK authorities...

Looking forward to the party in the UK... yeah!!


life afloat on nb tickety boo said...

That's great news! Congrats to you both! Debbie xxx

John Witts said...

"Fill every glass!
Let wine inspire us!
And fire us, with Courage, Love and Joy!"

Blessings and love,

Johna and Jackie Pippin

Anonymous said...

Gordon and Carol,
Thank you for your kind thoughts for our wedding day and for sharing our journey.

Les Biggs said...

Tom and Jan,
thank you for sharing your visa experiences--it helps to hear from others who've run the gauntlet.
:) Jaqueline

Les Biggs said...

Ahh Kev--thanks and rest assured there will be Angel Bars in my luggage in May.
Big hugs!

Les Biggs said...

It means a lot to have your support for our blogs and I'm so glad you are a part of our adventure.

Les Biggs said...

John & Jackie,
Well spoken my friends! We are grateful you are following our adventures and a part of our journey. Thank you for your good wishes.

Les Biggs said...

Darling Bev,
Thanks so much for your loving kindness and support. I cannot wait for the BBQ and to meet everyone! I look forward to us all working on the British ceremony together.
Big hugs,

Alleycat said...

Good grief Jaqueline - you have only 7 days until the wedding after you fly back! You must be super organised! Exciting times for you both, I hope it all goes very smoothly and most of all that you enjoy your various celebrations and gather many happy memories. I love reading about your adventures! With the very best of wishes to you both, regards, Aly

Les Biggs said...

LOL! Thank you Aly. I am blessed with amazing friends, fabulous family, and an incredible fiance--all of whom are helping out. I am so happy you enjoy following along on our journey...

Sue said...

Well I am so pleased that you are reaffirming your vows in England, I do hope that we will be able to attend.

I was devastated when Les said he would marry in the States..

You have such a great life to look forward to and not long, although it might seem long to you both at the moment.

Jaq, the waterways with a beautiful guy beside you is just the best place in the world to be.. It just doesn't get better than that.. I promise.

Jaqueline Almdale said...

We knew we had to have a ceremony on both sides for family and friends--so yes we look forward to it and hope you and Vic can make it--after all Sue you are responsible for my finding Dear Sir's blog to begin with!

You are my role model for a life on the cut, dear friend. Thanks for showing me the way.
Big hugs,

Andy said...

Congratulations to you both, lots of love Andy Sarah & Aimee xxx

Les Biggs said...

Thanks, happiness is there for us all, it just sometimes takes effort(+ a wad of paperwork) to achieve. Life will be good because we will make it so.

Manda said...

Cant wait to finally meet Jaq, and I agree with Bev, make sure there are lot's and lot's of pic's for us xxxx love u both, from me and Owen xxxxx

Sarah said...

I know Andy has already posted but i thought i would write something too as I'm now reading the blog myself and find it quite an interesting read in all fairness, anyway can't believe the complications involving the wedding etc but I'm sure it will all work out fine for the both of you in the long term and pleased for both as is Andy, hope you and jaqs will post up some pictures on the blog in the future for us all to see, and i also agree with your reply about finding happiness as I have too and your right it does take a lot of effort from both sides we both know that but do know what it's 10 months tomorrow and we are still as happy as the first time we met,anyway take care Les and happy boating lots of love Sarah x

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs