Today is my two year wedding anniversary. When most people consider wealth, they imagine having a mansion, fancy cars and creature comforts. Although, monetarily speaking, I’m of the modest variety, the day I met my husband, I became exceptionally wealthy – the 1%. I am not going to fully explore the intricacies of our relationship in this blog post, and I doubt I ever will, honestly. It’s an unspeakable synergy, what we have found in one another; my husband is the greatest human being I have ever known, and I consider myself someone who won the lottery in this world just for knowing him, let alone having the joy of sharing a life with him. I never have or will or would have reason to speak ill of him; he’s just a genuinely good person (better than I am, for sure).
I don’t often relive our wedding day, and I’m not sure why. It was hyper-emotional, and I try to keep those feelings at bay in the routine of life, but the moments in which I do allow myself to travel back in time, it is special and evokes the emotion all over again. (Perhaps that’s why I save it – to savor it.)
Sometimes I look at my life and wonder how I got here. Am I really married? Have I really been married for two years already? (Disclaimer: I’m aware this is not a lot of time in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a micro-level reminder of how quickly time elapses.) I don’t want to re-tell the story of my wedding day in this blog post, but I want to memorialize some key moments.
When searching for wedding photographers, it was important for us to find someone who was an expert at telling the story of our day. We found the perfect photographer to tell our story. We explained to him that the staged photos weren’t really our thing so much. We wanted him to capture the genuine, candid reactions and moments, and he was a ghost in the shadows of each magical moment in time, truly capturing the tale from start to finish.
This picture resonates with me because it brings me back to the way I felt when I saw my mother and two grandmothers on my wedding day. I spent the morning with just my bridesmaids getting ready. At first, it was fun to have girl time with just my closest friends, but, at a certain point, I wanted my family to be sharing in the moments. Just when their absence was starting to make me morose, they showed up, right on time. The photographer had just arrived, my hair and make-up was finished, and it was time to put on my dress. I’m glad the relief I felt when they arrived was captured on camera.
For two weeks leading up to the wedding, I anxiously watched the ever-changing weather forecast. I did everything next to a séance to send “sunny day” vibes into the universe. But – as fate would have it – rain and thunder crashed down on my day. As I sat listening to music, getting primped, well aware that my hair would definitely fall immediately in the Texas humidity, I didn’t mind the thunderstorm outside at all. I felt totally at peace with the weather. There was some ironic symbolism in the scenario. Life and marriage won’t always be sunny, so it’s necessary to remain calm and remember what is important during the storms. No matter what the weather was like, I would marry my soulmate that day, so I sat and appreciated the beauty of the rain.
I can’t speak for my husband’s internal monologue while getting ready, but I wanted to share this photo to show you part of his side of the story two years ago. This is one of my favorite pictures from the day. His pride and his mother’s genuine happiness shines through. People say that how a man treats his mother and sisters is how he will treat you, which is a true statement. Their relationship is special; she’s a great mother (and she is a fabulous mother-in-law, too).
One of my favorite aspects of the day was the letter exchange. We wrote letters to each other that morning and read them with a barrier in between us. I didn’t want to see him before the wedding or do the first look thing, so I was being very careful not to sneak a peek (although that did accidentally happen later. He didn’t see the bride, though, so I guess that’s better!)
Before the ceremony, my bridal party was trapped in a little room for longer than expected. (Unbeknownst to me, my preacher was running late. Thankfully, no one informed me of this.) Being trapped in a small space is challenging for anyone, but especially a baby. My precious niece needed some entertainment, so we all sang and danced for her. (I’m fairly sure we were singing the wheels on the bus go round and round.) She stayed plenty happy and even made it down the aisle successfully! She stole the show, honestly, which I am more than fine with.
Eventually, however, the small space closed in on me a bit, but I was lucky to have my best friend there to rub my back and help ease my anxiety. I’m fortunate enough to have two soulmates in this world; this is my other one. This picture captured the nuances of our bond that are indescribable.
My photographer truly was a fly on the wall during the intimate moments of the day. Literally, most times I wasn’t even aware of his presence, allowing him to capture some very genuine (and interesting) expressions. This was the moment when my bridal party had already filtered out toward the ceremony, and I was alone in the room (or so I thought.) I gazed at myself in the mirror, thinking holy bananas. I’m about to get married. My dad peeked in the door and told me it was go-time.
Although I accepted the weather as beyond my control earlier in the day, the clouds dissipated and allowed for the sun to shine down on my ceremony; it was serendipitous. Only twenty minutes or so before this picture was taken, it was pouring.
Our ceremony, as requested, was short and sweet, but memorable. Here, we were unsuccessfully lighting our unity candle. The wind just wouldn’t quite allow this to happen, creating a comical (hopefully not too symbolic) moment. As you can see, my husband was thrilled when he finally figured it out. (I had already given up; he is the patient one, clearly.)
My husband and I wrote our own wedding vows. The “theme” for our wedding was the next chapter, which was a nod to how we met as writing tutors and both became English teachers. Naturally, we had to have original vows. I was ready, too. My vows were insightful, the language was fluid, there was even some light humor. I won the vow contest (or so I thought). As my husband read his vows, my internal monologue was spinning. Is that iambic pentameter? He wrote me a sonnet. He won the vow contest, certainly, and the camera clicked away, preserving my realization.
There is nothing like being hot-off-the-press married. It’s a whirlwind and exhilarating. What an interesting societal structure we have in which we can walk down an aisle, exchange a few pleasantries, then be bound to another person for life. The feeling is completely surreal and one of the happiest life moments, by far.
As aforementioned, we really aren’t big on the posed pictures in the first place, but I know that taking pictures with family is important. However, our staged pictures had to be rushed for a couple of reasons:
1. Texas heat in a big dress
2. The rain was closing back in
We had just enough time to snap some family shots, then get a few portraits. (Fun fact: the last one is truly candid. I was asking him how he felt about my dress, and my photographer caught me mid-swirl in my Disney princess glory.)
Before long, the rain crept back in, but that was okay. The reception was all indoors anyway, and I was really just thankful that the skies opened up long enough for the ceremony and pictures. You can see the drops beginning to fall as we walked back inside. I love the picture of my husband holding my train because it conveys his giving nature. He never has to be asked to be considerate; he always has my back.
Our reception, as a whole, was lovely. Everyone was having a great time. My husband couldn’t resist mashing some cake in my face, but it’s all par the course, right?
My husband is a gifted musician, but he never plays publicly. He made an exception on our wedding day and played three songs that are meaningful to our relationship. I’ll never forget hearing his singing for the first time. I’m not going to lie – I have a terrible poker face. I remember telling him that it was okay – he didn’t have to sing. (I could foresee some embarrassed expression hurting his feelings.) However, when he played and sang, I was genuinely impressed. He could have had a career in music, but his introversion prevents that from being a dream of his, so I get my very own musical entertainment from home. It meant a lot that he was willing to play publicly during our wedding.
The night couldn’t have wrapped to a close more perfectly. My husband and I are both those Disney people. Our last Dance was to Tale as old as Time, and it was the best book-end. We spun around and around, the dance floor all to ourselves.
Our wedding was the best day of my life. I keep catching myself writing in clichés in this blog post, but I just can’t help it. People like my husband are the reason such clichés to exist. He is my happily ever after, my wealth in this world.