The happy couple, many years ago. I married the same woman twice. Once when I was 28, and then again at 33. I didn't have to marry her again; I wanted to.
The first time, we eloped to a small town along the coast of Maine. A very nice woman there, named Brenda - the town clerk as it happens - provided us with the necessary documents in order to be issued a marriage license. We completed them in the woman's presence and with her help. Afterward, she wished us well and said that, for a $5 fee, she would mail the license to our home in New York just as soon as it was ready. It would be ready, Brenda said, once the justice of the peace we'd hired to perform a seaside service forwarded to the town a document noting that she had, in fact, signed off on the nuptials.
Only Brenda never did get around to mailing us the license. And my wife and I never bothered to follow up. Our lives were full and very busy and little details like $5 documents just didn't rate high on the to-do list. Besides, no one had ever asked us to present our marriage license, for any reason. "One day, we'll track it down," was basically our position on the matter.
Then, on the occasion of our fifth wedding anniversary, I got the idea to surprise my beloved by inserting the license into the card that I would give her, with the wooden gift that I had made for her. Around a month before the date, I dialed the Rockport town office in Maine and got none other than Brenda herself on the line. After I'd explained what I was after, she put me on hold to search for the documents, but was back on the line in no time flat with bad news - the application was tossed due to some misunderstandings.
That night, I was forced to ruin the surprise I'd planned and ask my wife if she would marry me. Again. That was more than 20 years ago. We now live in a small town along the coast of Maine, very happy.