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AN INVERNESSIAN IN AMERICA: Diane Knox on how her secret wedding, with no stress or fuss, proved absolutely perfect

By Alasdair Fraser

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Diane Knox.
Diane Knox.

September 4, 2021: The day Garrett and I got married. I’m writing this as we’re in Tulum, Mexico on our honeymoon. I don’t mean to rub it in, but I’m seriously milking this newly-wed period for all it’s worth!

As I said in my column last week, we kept the wedding a secret. The only people who knew were my mum, dad and brother. Oh, and my hairdresser, nail technician and photographer – the essentials.

We always knew we wanted to get married this way; low key, no fuss or stress, and our original plan was to tie the knot in the Jacksonville Courthouse. The building is stunning, with its white stone, picturesque staircase and tall pillars along the front. But, much to our disappointment (for many reasons) the Duval courthouse stopped offering civil ceremonies when same-sex marriage became legal. Such an out-of-date take, so even if they started up again we’d boycott them.

However, a retired Navy chaplain seized his opportunity to open up a walk-in wedding chapel, and for $199 we could exchange vows and legally be wed, with my family in attendance. Perfect! And to make it even more appealing, it was next door to a pizza restaurant.

Diane and Garrett’s bulldogs featured on their wedding cake.
Diane and Garrett’s bulldogs featured on their wedding cake.

That Saturday morning, Garrett and I got ready together (with our doggies) and were picked up by a driver to chauffeur us around for the day. We had to afford ourselves a few wedding day luxuries.

The ceremony itself was perfect. I keep using that word to describe our day because it truly was; it was everything we’d dreamed of and more. I didn’t expect to get emotional during our eight-minute vow exchange, but thirty seconds in I was verging on complete breakdown. Garrett was trying to make me laugh to stop the tears.

Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah was playing so I am blaming my episode entirely on that sad song. But the chaplain’s words and messages of love were incredible.

Garrett was word-perfect with his vows. I, on the other hand, was a mess – and I’m supposed to be the media professional. I think I was just too excited, and proclaimed “I do” a good minute too soon. It made us laugh through my tears at least.

And just like that, we exchanged rings, kissed and were married. I have a great video of the moment, and Garrett turning to my family right afterwards and saying “perfect” – it was the word of the day. We then made FaceTime calls to our nearest and dearest to give them the news and everyone said they were shocked, but not shocked.

A photographer I knew from the PGA Tour met us at the aforementioned courthouse to take some pictures (I told you it was pretty) and we then went to the iconic clubhouse of TPC Sawgrass to eat lunch – a cheeseburger, spicy margarita and wedding cake for me!

Our two bulldogs are our pride and joy, and even though they couldn’t attend, my mum made sure they were part of our day, as figures on top of our wedding cake.


And our big day was over. Mission accomplished in our most romantic, ideal, intimate way. The following morning, my husband took me for breakfast; we ate pancakes and shared pictures on social media, welcoming the hundreds of lovely messages. As I sit here (with another spicy margarita) I am smiling from ear to ear. We wouldn’t change a thing, and I’m beyond excited for my life as Mrs B.

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