Groomzilla and the Visas

After being told by our lawyer that we may unexpectedly be moving to Guatemala for anywhere from 10 months to 10 years, we were considering this possible new path for our life together. It came as a huge relief, then, when our lawyer called us back a day or two later.

“I forgot,” he told us. “You can apply for a replacement I-92. The government keeps a record when they are issued.” He quickly filed the paperwork, charged us a couple hundred dollars, and we received a newly minted I-92 in the mail. Not a visa, but at least we didn’t have to worry about an ambiguous timeline and an international move.

We moved forward with wedding plans: booking a venue, choosing dresses and flowers, selecting cake. Billy was surprisingly opinionated about wedding-related decisions, leading me to coin the little-used word “Groomzilla.”

My favorite moment during the planning was when Billy learned that the groom and groomsmen typically wear the same attire. This was unacceptable. Billy just kept repeating, “How will people know who the groom is?” I assured him (through unstoppable laughter) that I would not be confused, but that did not comfort him.

In the end, Billy decided on a faintly pin-stripped suit compared to his groomsmen’s solid slacks. He would also be the only one wearing a jacket. There would be no confusion as to who the groom was on his special day. You'll notice how he stands out in the photo.

Also in preparation, we began the visa application process for Billy’s parents to attend our wedding. You know, we wanted them to come “the legal way.” For that to happen, there was a $150 USD fee and vague requirements for what would lead to a tourist visa.

They needed to show bank accounts and proof of property owned in Guatemala. These assets were to support the expectation that they would not be staying permanently in the States. Again, the class implications for who is offered a tourist visa and who has no chance is obvious.

They applied, with all the known requirements in place, and were denied. No explanation was given. None has to be. They were simply instructed to “try again.”

So we forked over another $150 and tried again.


Now we were at a loss. Do we keep trying and paying money with no idea how to improve our odds? Or do we accept the reality that Billy’s parents would not be allowed to attend our wedding?

We cried. We promised to videotape the ceremony. And we made plans for a Guatemalan reception in the future.

If you want to catch up on all the posts about how we met, click here. If you want to read more about my husband's immigration experience, begin here. Or continue to the next post Engagement Rumors & Lies.


  1. Sarah! The suspense is killing me! What happened next?

  2. They got married, got a dog, had a baby (spoiler alert: about to have another one), the kids grew up and Billy and Sarah got old and died. It's a story made for the movies.

  3. Hi Emily! I'm so glad you're enjoying the story. And Shane... well... wow. That's all I can say to that.


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