So we had our epic prank planned. We would leave for a long weekend, without telling anyone. We would simply be MIA, then return with very convincing evidence that we had eloped, leading all of our friends, loved ones, and random facebook acquaintances, to believe that we were married.

When I was 12 years old, I planned out the rest of my life. I had many specific things that I wanted to achieve throughout my time on this earth, but no real plan of action because my dreams were largely unrealistic, as most 12 year old’s are. I was not going to live a traditional life, but rather one filled with adventure and intrigue! I would travel, I would own a bar in Ireland with my best friend and we would live together in some adorable flat above the bar. I would be a writer and a teacher. I would work in theatre and probably become a CEO of some company on the side so I could walk around in fancy suits looking very important.  I would travel and have interesting friends. I’d  probably appear on talk shows from time to time as the general public would be so interested in hearing about my latest adventures or my insights. I would also get married 8 times.

I had a big imagination as a kid. I was also told as a little girl that I should spend my time dreaming about my wedding day. This ultimately resulted in the planning of 8 different weddings. I would need 8 to accommodate all of my brilliant ideas. And anyway why only have one perfect day when you can have 8? My love life was all planned out and looked a little something like this… My first wedding was supposed to take place in Vegas when I was 18. This husband didn’t actually matter because the marriage itself was only going to last 24 hours. If I had actually accomplished this at 18, I would have beat Kim Kardashian in the race for world’s shortest marriage; A serious missed opportunity on my part. My second husband would be Irish, my third would be a doctor and I would have two children with him, but I would have an early midlife crisis and leave him. I can’t remember who the four other husbands were supposed to be, but I was going to eventually remarry my irish husband who was my one true love the whole time, I just needed to marry 5 other men first to figure that out. I was not your average 12 year old.

Anyway life never goes the way we expect it to. Reality often falls short of our expectations. This was certainly the case for me as I am now 23 and have yet to be legally married to anyone at all! Can you believe it?! An absolute travesty. Especially considering that one of my later dreams was to marry into an Irish gypsy clan and, as I’m now matronly by their standards, the possibility seems to have passed me by… But I am one who takes my bucket list very seriously. Life is short. You have to take opportunities to knock things off your list as they come. And if the opportunities don’t come, you have to make them happen yourself. So I started doing my research. How could I make my Vegas wedding dream come true before growing too old to blame my actions on my youthful impulsivity and naiveté?

Step 1: Get the Significant Other on Board

This was not an easy feat. While I make choices based on… largely impulse and what I think would make a good story… my partner uses things like ‘logic’ and ‘good sense’. Fortunately I am incredibly persuasive! Or just persistent…

First- I convinced him that it would be a fantastic idea for the two of us to take a trip together. Second- I convinced him that Vegas would be loads of fun. Because who is opposed to spending a weekend in Vegas? No friend of mine. Lastly- I talked him into indulging my insanity by agreeing to pull of this wedding since WE WOULD BE THERE ANYWAY AND IT WOULD BE THE FUNNIEST PRANK EVER. This last step was the most difficult to accomplish. I would recommend backing up your argument with detailed research, which brings me to…

Step 2: Learn Things about Eloping in Vegas

My initial idea was to get married in Vegas, actual legal married, and then simply annul the marriage the next day. Easy enough right? It is insanely easy to be granted a marriage license in Vegas which is why it’s THE place to go to fulfill all of your elopement needs. Unfortunately getting un-married is not so simple? I was shocked to find that it costs money to do this? And annulments aren’t simply granted because you were kidding when you said ‘I do’. CRAP. What now?

Well I did some digging and found out that many of these in-n-out chapels offer the perfect solution for people like me. It’s called a ‘friendship ceremony’. Basically you do a whole ceremony and take pictures and everything but it’s all pretend. You get all the fun of your crazy Vegas wedding with none of the commitment, paperwork, or any of the boring technical stuff you were never into in the first place. The most reassuring thing about this is knowing that something like this exists in the world because THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE LIKE ME. I am not alone in cramming the Vegas wedding onto my bucket list with no intention of becoming actually married to anyone maybe ever.

The best news is that logical good-sense partners are much more willing to go along with impulsive crazy ideas if they don’t involve legal commitments! Was he still hesitant? Yes. Did he still think I was nuts? Of course. But on some level he must be dating me BECAUSE I bring this kind of excitement into his life, right? I am entitled to my beliefs… Anyway long story short he agreed to fake marry me in Vegas because he is the best. You should probably never get serious with someone who wouldn’t fake marry you.

Step 3: Book Your Trip and Go to Vegas

So we had our epic prank planned. We would leave for a long weekend, without telling anyone. We would simply be MIA, then return with very convincing evidence that we had eloped, leading all of our friends, loved ones, and random facebook acquaintances, to believe that we were married.

It was pretty awesome. The trip itself was a hoot and a half. And everyone is so nice to you when they think you’ve come all the way to Vegas for the most special occasion of your life…


Step 4: Impromptu Fake Engagement

My partner really got into the spirit of things once he was caught up in the excitement of Vegas. This one was all his idea! So we got fake engaged in the fake eiffel tower in fake Paris. I found it pretty fitting. 105_1748Then we had a real champagne toast to commemorate this momentous pretend occasion.

Step 5: Get Friendship Ceremonied

Before you go you have to be sure to take some of those very pensive “preparing for the wedding” photos where you stare off contemplating the commitment you are about to make and how it will affect the rest of your life.

Then you’re off to be friendshiped! We chose to get pretend married at the Little White Wedding Chapel. It’s about as famous as I planned to be by 23. It’s not that expensive. Especially if you get the military discount… which is why you should seek members of the US military to fake marry. Our ceremony was free so we just tipped the pastor (who had awesome dreads by the way.) and paid for our pictures, which are lovely and very necessary for convincing people you’re married. They also offer a complimentary limo to drive you from your hotel to the chapel and back which is fantastic and very impressive to German tourists who will stop and ask to take photos.

Now you are free to spend the weekend basking in the glow of your pretend newlywed bliss.

Step 6: Bamboozle the Masses!

Tell Your Friends!

I expected this to be more rewarding than it was. Expectation versus reality remember?  I honestly did not expect people to believe me AT ALL, which is why I compiled such detailed pretend evidence. But I guess the idea of two twenty-somethings eloping in Vegas right before one of them leaves to join the Air Force is NOT unheard of? Because PEOPLE BELIEVED ME. Should have done it when I was 18…by 22 you’ve lost the shock value. To me it is unfathomable that I could realistically be wed at this point in my life but APPARENTLY the rest of the world can fathom it. My roommate alone was doing enough fathoming for the both of us. When I waltzed back into my apartment after being MIA for 4 days, my roommates asked me right away if I was married. Evidently, in my absence, they had discussed the various possibilities of where I might have gone. They decided that I must have eloped, so they were not remotely surprised by this information.

My best friend knows me well enough to know that getting married is just not something I would do right now. I have what I feel is an acceptable level of commitment-phobia for a girl my age. She was shocked. I took her to lunch to tell her the news and she flipped. She questioned the legitimacy of it all but found my photos convincing. It was more the kind of reaction I had been looking for from the general public but at the end of the day the general public doesn’t care what stupid personal decisions you make because they remain unaffected.

Tell More People!

My boyfriend’s friends were like…really happy for us. Because I guess that’s how normal people respond to this kind of news. The two who knew first planned this elaborate thing to reveal the news. It involved an announcement being made in a bar, a lot of tears, and champagne. It was all caught on tape and it was really difficult to maintain composure through it all.

Then we all got to post our exciting news on Facebook for the world to see! Now literally everyone I knew believed I was married.

Tell Your Parents!

Then the time came to tell my parents. My parents were taking down the christmas tree and my father sent me a picture of an ornament I had given him with some sentimental message. I responded with a photo of my ring (Under $5 on Amazon) and a message that read “look, I got married in Vegas!” My parents thought I was joking. It took and extraordinary ammount of effort to convince them otherwise. And once I did convince them my mother began to cry and my father lamented  the opportunity of walking his only daughter down the aisle. I couldn’t do that to my parents so about ten minutes after I convinced them it was real, I told them the truth. They were incredibly relieved and exhausted from what my mother describes as a “roller coaster of emotions.”

As for my friends I let them go on thinking that I was married for about a month. It was ver difficult to keep this secret because I am a blabber. I have never had secrets because I can not NOT share a good story even if it’s at my own expense. This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do…

Step 7: Confession Time

Eventually I let my friends off the hook by casually mentioning at a party that my marriage was a sham. This time they were shocked! It was hysterical. They could believe that I had gotten married, but not that I would go so far as to fly to Vegas and have a wedding as a joke? I found out that most of my friends had taken bets on how long my marriage would last so mostly they were relieved to find that I was not in fact married. I am really proud of myself for pulling all of this off.

My partner kept this secret for much longer because he wanted to wait to reveal this news at his going away party. Again it was over the top, involving big announcements, alcohol, tears, and video evidence.

As for my Facebook acquaintances? They might still believe I am married… Oh well!

This was overall a fantastic idea and I would so do it again. It was funny, I learned a lot about my friends, I have had all the fun of throwing myself a wedding, and I had a great time in Vegas! I highly recommend attempting to pull off this elaborate prank.