nd post at least!
Let me start by saying to any couples out there going through the fiancee visa process be strong, if you don't drink you may want to start, if you do you may want to look into getting some sort of discount card for your local liquor store/wine mart and really try and keep your sense of humor during the whole thing because it is set up to suck the life and soul out of you and start about 1000 fights between you and your intended over the stupidest things ever. This doesn't even cover the "discussions" you may have with family members about the wisdom of them purchasing plane tickets to your wedding BEFORE you have said visa or about why you haven't sent out friggen Save the Dates yet (not much point in saving a date if you're not sure the bride will actually be allowed to attend is there? Just saying....).
Being organized helps when you are digging your way out of the mountain of paper work as does having a minion or two to help you put the mountain into a nice orderly presentation binder (hole punching 6 months worth of phone records alone is enough to make you reach for the wine, have it near by. It's also useful to lure the minions with.)
Once everything is punched, (including the wall, countless times) prepped, and proof read to the point of blindness; once you've driven a considerable distance for less then 5 minutes of finger printing, bound it all up and handed it over to the Fedex guy to deliver it to the courier who will in turn take it to the consulate- You exchange one incredible weight for another. The weight of waiting. The weight of second guessing. The weight of trying to squash the urge to tackle the Fedex guy, rip the application package out of his hand and double check it one last time even though you know it's irrational and you're pretty sure such action would lead to you either a.) being arrested b.)being banned from Kinko's for life or c.) both.
So instead you walk out of there (looking over your shoulder no less then 12 times in case you catch them drop kicking, setting alight to, or otherwise mistreating your precious package) and try not to think about the fact that you and your love's fate now rests in some stranger's hands and their interpretation of all the information compiled in that 4 and 1/2 in binder. You push all the What If's out as much as possible and send out a silent prayer to any Deity that will listen that whoever that stranger is that they will look kindly (and god help you, swiftly) upon your love and grant that small but Oh So Important (and none to inexpensive) piece of paper in your passport that allows you to travel un-hindered to England and marry. Because in case you'd forgotten in the 6 months it's taken to put the damn thing together that is in fact the point. Since you are going to be on the computer anyway (compulsively checking your emails for some sign that the consulate has received your baby, I mean package..) now might be as good a time as any to re-acquaint yourself with the joy of weddings, the beauty in the details and the humor of things that didn't go perfectly but came out wonderfully anyway. Now is the time to pray that you and your love will have the chance to experience that all first hand.
On October 31st My Honey and I got the 1st and only official notice from the British Consulate that my visa had been accepted and that was when Fedex knocked on my door and returned my carefully prepared application binder (minus the application of course but with all the supporting documents-result! This is not always the case). I hadn't slept at all and when I ripped into the box and dug out my passport I was shaking. We never received a confirmation email or any other communication from them. In fact they had the application for less then 24 hours, all told from the time I sent it to the courier till I got it back was 4 days. We were incredibly lucky that it was so quick (oddly enough though it only seems quick afterwards...) it can take A LOT longer.
I still check my passport periodically to make sure that the visa hasn't magically disappeared. So far so good, now on to the business of getting ready to move to England and actually planning the wedding... Yikes!