A note about me: I despise liars, which has made me honest to a fault. So here is my story in all its glory.
I’ve mentioned before that I had a less-than-traditional path to growing the family I now have. For the first few years of our relationship marriage wasn’t even on our radar. Our only goal in life was becoming financially stable. Once we made the moves to make that happen we still had growing to do. I knew I wanted our baby to grow up in a happy, healthy home preferably with both parents, but up until that point everything had just been about survival. We needed to learn to live together as a couple and as parents.
We fell in love with each other over and over again. I loved who he was as a person, as a parent, and as a partner. We would both separately tell other people we didn’t feel we deserved such an amazing partner in our lives.
I was ready to get married. Something I had sworn off my whole life. I really shocked everyone when I made that clear. He has ready to spend his life with me, but didnt feel the need for a certificate to prove it. We talked about it a lot. He still only partially agrees with the entire idea of marriage, but what is important to me is important to him as well.
One day his job sent him home early because of the weather. We decided to go to the city government office and get our marriage certificate on a whim. It was our little secret. Something so important that it was just between us. BUT….. I was too excited and told two people. Unfortunately for us, by the time we got a notary the word had spread like wildfire. It really put a damper on things for me. The next week the papers were signed and notarized and we were married! The day after that my water broke for our second child. 12 weeks early. I was put on hospital bedrest and had him 3 weeks later. Talk about putting a damper on the festivities.
We were back to survival. We wanted a healthy child. We were tested in ways we never thought we would be, but we pulled through. I started dreaming of a beautiful day to really express our love to each other. Everything went wrong on our little escapade. We were still dealing with doctors and therapists for our preemie. I wanted SOMETHING to be perfect. Big dreams.
6 months later I began planning our wedding. I still wanted something small and intimate. I wanted to be surrounded by love to celebrate OUR love. I had no idea how to plan a wedding and had no help or direction. TB was working 6 days a week, but would go to cake tastings and venues with me. As much as he was against marriage, he really seemed to enjoy the wedding planning. We set the date for our 1 year anniversary and started putting things in place.
I was a nervous wreck. I had really only ever been to two weddings in my life. I just wanted it to be over with. I didn’t want to write my vows. I didn’t want to get up in front of people and talk about my feelings. I was re-thinking everything. We were already married, why was I stressing over what was essentially a party? But I knew if I backed out I would regret it.
Our wedding was in March. It had already snowed twice that year, unusual for our area, and the Farmers Almanac predicted another snow. Our wedding was set outdoors in a beautiful park in downtown Charleston. We rented a beach house, and hoped for the best. The day came and the weather was GORGEOUS! We had a beautiful ceremony with the most important people in our lives. My big brother flew in all the way from Washington to walk me down the aisle. I felt like the world was catering just to us. It was perfect! I made it through my fear of vows. His vows were so beautiful. TB went out of his way to get me a wonderful ring- something I had told him was unnecessary. We had our reception at the aquarium. We had a beautiful view from the balcony, and later walked around to see the animals. I’ve literally never had a more perfect day and I am so thankful we made it happen.
This is probably the most sentimental item on my list. I was not sure about sharing the journey to get there, but it’s our journey and we should own it. With everything we had been through as a couple we deserved this day. Marriage really did not change our relationship at all. We continue to fall in love with each other. We continue to insist we don’t deserve each other. We continue to try our best and love our hardest. The day was magical, but the lifetime is priceless.