We had both been dreading the visa process for a long time. Everything we have read online made it sound horrible. It is expensive, and complex, and there is very little official advice. Aside from Brandi going on forums, we were going in blind. On top of that, it costs £875 or something, and you have to pay it again each time it is refused.
Over a few months I collected a load of documents together. I made copies of everything to do with my house, my work contract, and my bank statements. I got my phone bills and highlighted all the contact we have had over the years, and made screen-shots of my inbox showing mails between us. We had letters from our parents, and photos of us together.
Even with this we had read that it could take a long time because the government is looking to change the immigration rules, which means everybody is rushing to apply now. When Brandi went to the immigration office they even told her that she should expect it will take a long time. Brandi asked if she could fast-track it, and they said she could for £200, but it was still expected to take a number of weeks.
Three days later we got it approved! I (and mainly, Brandi, with all her forum reading) haven't ever heard of it happening that fast, so we got really lucky. And now the tickets are booked, and on the 16th of June 2012 Brandi will arrive and we will move in our house together. How exciting.
I also haven't had chance to write my memoirs for the wedding or Mexico, but for the time being, here is a photo I took the other day. I was bored, decided to shave a moustache and dress as a 'Mexican'.