Monday, May 16, 2011


If I could do it all over again, I'd probably get married outside in a park somewhere, completely laid back and relaxed. Just family and a few close friends and we'd all chow down at a cook-out and a bonfire. I'd be in a simple dress, my hair down, a flower picked from nearby. He'd be himself: pants, a nice shirt. Definitely no bridesmaids or groomsmen.

We got married in a lovely church and had about 60 guests, but the reception part will always be disappointing to me. We held it in the basement of the church, which was fine, really. I wanted it to be simple and so we had ordered platters of sandwich fixins' and a sweet store-bought wedding cake. Unbeknownst to me, the night before, at the rehearsal, also held in the church basement, my soon-to-be-in laws ordered identical platters of sandwich fixin's for the rehearsal dinner.

I had labored on making a music mix tape and it never got played beyond the first song of "We Are Family" and we never had our first dance. The pastor left immediately after the ceremony, too sick to stay and join the celebration and the janitor rushed us along, anxious to clean, lock up and go home.

I always felt we got home too early, sometime around 4 and as Andrew and I sat in our apartment living room, surrounded by gifts, we didn't know what to do. It felt too soon to be alone, where was everybody? We went to the nearby mall to eat dinner at the food court. I didn't want to cook--I got married today!-- and I was in the mood for a pizza turnover and he wanted something else, so to the food court we went. To this day I still think it's funny to see our car in the mall parking lot with 'Just Married' written on the back window.

Looking back, I got caught up in the traditional wedding arrangements. I was determined to not spend money we didn't have, but I wanted the wedding I thought I was supposed to have. We paid for everything up front-- there was no debt after the wedding was over, and I am proud of that, but I look at those pictures and I'm not sure who I'm looking at. My hair was all curled and fixed up and my face painted. Andrew was all gussied up in a rented tuxedo. Bridesmaids in lime green dresses and groomsmen in more rented tuxes. We look like a nice couple, but it isn't who we really are.

Part of me thought that it would be a once in a lifetime chance to dress up and get my hair fixed and get married to a man in a tux. But now? Who cares about the clothes! I have a dress hanging in my closet that I'll never wear again-- thank goodness I only paid $75 for it. I have shoes and make-up I bought just for the wedding that never got used again. The wedding didn't really reflect who we were and I really think that we were being who we thought we were supposed to be that day.

I don't regret that day, we did get married after all. These 13 years together have been wonderful and I wouldn't change a thing. All of the happy moments, the rough spots, the time spent together, the children we created, the home we have made for each other-- all of it was meant to be. I couldn't imagine being married to anyone else. He loves me exactly the way I am, never asks me to be who I'm not. I never have to pretend around Andrew. He never has to be anyone else but himself around me.

I love who we are, the family we have become together and what we stand for. Thank you for asking me to marry you and for being my husband these 13 years. Happy Anniversary Andrew! May we have many, many more! I love you!



Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Awww MM you just FILL UP MY HEART! :) And I'm not even your hsuband! :D Happy Anneversary!! And silly woman, why don't you start planning that perfect park and jeans wedding now - to renew your vows! Chino and I are gonna do it one of these days so that I CAN wear a dress! :) I want for my family to be there this time. :) So?? Maybe for the 15th anneversary?? You'll have flower girls for sure!! You could even grow your own flowers! :) Whatcha thing??

barefoot gardener said...

Happy Anniversary!!!

I agree with Gringa. There is no reason you can't renew your vows in a park somewhere, wearing simple stuff, with a party for your friends. Make it a potluck! It would be great.

I have a lot of the same regrets about my wedding. Mr. Barefoot wanted tux n tails, I wanted barefoot in the woods. And there was NO $$ for anything! We ended up with a strange combo of both worlds, and now I wish we would have just gone whole hog one way or the other.

The most important thing, like you said, is the years in between. You have a wonderful relationship with a wonderful man. It is so nice of you to let us see through the window of your blog into your life!

Mama Skates said...

i can SO relate to this post! happy (belated) anniversary!!! ♥