90 days

Bud Light.  Beer Pong.  Car Bombs.  GT Shots.  Corn Hole.  Flip Cups.  Weed.

AKA; American Initiation.

You will have spent the last three weeks attending parties, hosting parties and socialising until the early hours of the morning with your lover.  Embrace it.  Your countless weekends alone, communicating to your partner through your macbook screen, have given you full entitlement to at least three weeks of celebration together upon your arrival in the USA.

My advise: once you reach the three week mark, calm down.  Take two advil and get to work.  The process continues and the time bomb is ticking away.

Depending on your partying period, you now have less than 90 days to marry your American fiance.  This may be extremely daunting and overwhelming thoughts will cross your mind: Where do we start? Where do we go?  What do I do?

Certain aspects of the process from now on may not apply to you unless you live in the state of Pennsylvania, as the marriage process can differ from state to state.  So be aware. Do your research.

To begin the process, you will need to head to the City Hall to apply for your Marriage Certificate.  It will cost you $90; this will not be a shock as you are used to throwing your money in all sorts of directions in return for a piece of paper.  Do not plan to visit the City Hall on a whim.  If you do, you will realise that certain rooms in the City Hall are only open during specific days and times of the week and you will therefore waste your time, knocking on a a door to an empty room.

Once you have your Marriage Certificate, you will be able to book the date of your ‘Wedding’.  Remember, your Marriage Certificate is valid for 60 days.  Get a calendar and mark it out. My advise: book the wedding a few weeks prior to the end of your 90 day period to avoid any complications.

Again as you discovered since day one, everything is complicated; a journey of a thousand miles.

Simply booking the date of your wedding at the City Hall is a very unnecessarily, challenging task. You and your partner will need to return to the City Hall on the designated date that the ‘Marriage Book’ is open, where you will line up at 7.30am in order to gain a worthy place in line, and book your date.  You must both be present as you hand over the cash and sign for your date.  Whilst waiting in line with the other hopeful couples, you will wait nervously wondering whether or not you will have to battle with the strangely paired couple in front of you to win over your desired date.

Romantic, right?

Actually yes.  For want of a better word: unbelievable.

A few months ago the end was so depressingly far away and you were clinging on with every muscle in your body.   Do you remember that so very faint light flickering in the darkness?  Well it is now weeks away from blazing.

You are so close to closing the gap, forever.  To having a future with the person who you crossed the ocean for.

Take a moment to look back and remind yourselves of just how far you have both come.

Is the risk worth the reward?  always.

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