Mr. Lucky and I were married twenty-one years ago today on July 23, 1987, at the town hall in Odense, Denmark, birthplace of fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen.
At the time we were both in the Air Force, stationed in Germany, where getting married was a drawn out, complicated process that took months. Getting married in Denmark required only our birth certificates, our military ID cards, and a three day waiting period. We were both due for reassignment back to the States the following year, and we had to get married by that fall if we wanted to be eligible for joint assignment at the same base. So off to Denmark we went.
We took the overnight train from Frankfurt up to Hamburg on the previous Sunday night. Being in Europe, we shared a sleeping compartment with several golden-haired, luscious looking, scantily clad Rhineland sirens who surely must’ve given Mr. Lucky some second thoughts. We changed trains in Hamburg and arrived in Odense the following Monday afternoon, where we found the town hall and applied to get hitched. We were told we’d be married that Thursday at 9 am.
We weren’t the only Americans getting married there that day; there were at least three other couples that I recall, all U.S. military personnel from Germany. We were the second couple in line. It took less than five minutes. I couldn’t get Mr. Lucky’s ring to fit on his ring finger, so I shoved it onto his pinky finger instead.
Our marriage certificate is in four languages, Danish, English, French and German.
We got married again four and a half months later in Mr. Lucky’s home town of Valdosta, Georgia—not because we had to, as the Danish marriage was quite legal--but because I still wanted a traditional church wedding with the white gown and veil and cake, etc.
Neither of my parents—who divorced less than amicably after twenty years—thought I was cut out for marriage and motherhood. I’ve now been married longer than they were married to each other. At the very least, I think they were wrong about the marriage part.
Now to see if Mr. Lucky remembers what day this is!