A wedding story
by, 04-13-2012 at 07:16 PM (2306 Views)
With our anniversary trip to Negril fast approaching, I wanted to share something personal that I wrote 8 years ago in my journal:
“When I was seventeen, I thought the minute you got married your life was set. Basically you become a mature adult, you have life figured out, everything is taken care of. Life becomes predictable and secure. I was weary of settling down too early because I wasn't too keen on losing the excitement of life...I decided that I was going to get married at age 26.
But then I met Markus…
I think back to the tale of our wedding, It probably wouldn't make it on TLC's "The Wedding Story". It wasn't conventional enough, but it was special and unique. We did it on our own and we did it the way we wanted. We didn’t let ourselves get too caught up in the drama that can sometimes surround the preparation that causes you to lose sight of what it's all about in the first place.
We had both just graduated college and were living together with our two closest friends in a rented house in Florida. I was 21 years old. We were working together at a Mural painting company, which didn't earn us enough money so I also did commisioned portraits and Markus worked weekends as a waiter. The rent at our house was pretty steep, but we were able to split the cost with our housemates and it was a dream to live in, with tall wooden arched ceilings,an art studio and an expansive backyard filled with orange, grapefruit and palm trees and a vegetable garden. It was from the 1950's so it had it's share of leaks, cracks and fire ants. But we were happy.
When we became engaged, all our friends were surprised and somewhat impressed, Although Markus and I had been best friends for 3 years and been dating for 2 years. We were the first of all our friends to even speak of marriage.
So noone had any idea how we should do it or where to start.
Markus and I flew to my home state to visit my family. My Mother assumed it would be at a Catholic church since I was raised Catholic. She said she would help me pay for it and arrange for a dance hall afterwards for the reception. When we went to visit the church deacon, He began to drill us "are you living together? Are you two sexually active? There is a compatibility exam you are required to take. Are you aware of the dresscode? The church regulations on the music? I have to see Markus's baptismal certificate! This is the procedure.."
While the deacon was talking, I felt myself sinking lower and lower into the pew seat. I felt the whole wedding slipping out of my fingers and becoming this horrendous conventional ceremony that I have to go through the motions of to please everyone else. I glanced over at Markus and I could see he was feeling the same way. This wasn't what we wanted… This wasn't what we were about. It would be fake and contrived. We wanted a celebration of our love and commitment, not this somber loveless procedure.
So we decided to have our own ceremony outside of the Catholic church, My Mother was completely understanding. I told my parents that we didn't need financial help, (times were hard then, it was after 9/11) Just their presence at our wedding.
So now we were on our own, and had NO clue where to start. We worked nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a month. All we could muster up was an extra 500$ dollars!
We put the money on the table and had to make a decision. We could work like this for a six or seven more monthes,postponing the wedding for next year or we could have a wedding with the little money we had, and start using the money we earn afterwards to begin our life together.We opted for choice 2.
Finding a church was easier than we thought. There was a metaphysical Christian church only 2 blocks from our house. It was an amazing church filled with the most open and giving people I had ever met. It was a christian church with a blend of buddhist ideas. It wasn't dogmatic but accepting of all faiths. I had never entered a church like that before and haven't found one remotely like it since. I knew the preacher and he when he became aware of our financial situation he agreed to perform the wedding ceremony free of charge. The organ player cut his price down to only 50$. I couldn't believe it!
We didn't know where to have the reception. All the dance halls around the area had starting prices of 1,000$ and were all tacky-looking. My roommate suggested we have it at our house. The living room was Huge with lots of windows and high ceilings, we had a lanai, and a lot of space in the backyard.
My closest friend was a photographer and graphic designer, she offered to photograph the entire ceremony and she created a photocollage for our wedding invitations and designed the inside. When I saw what she had created for us I nearly started to cry because it was the most beautiful image I had ever seen.. We sent out the invitations to about 60 close friends,teachers and family.
Now with the wedding only one month away, I had no dress, cake, decorations, wedding favors, entertainment, catering, flowers..NOTHING! I wondered how we would pull this off. But when Markus pulled me into his arms and whispered “I love you so much..”, I knew that all those little details were so unimportant and everything would work out in the end. I couldn't panic and lose perspective of what this was all about in the first place.
I went to a second-hand wedding dress shop. It was immense and there were just aisles and aisles of dresses wrapped in plastic. Most of them starting at 300$. I was ready to give up hope after two hours, but then I found it: a dress with a sleeveless creme colored corset top and flowing dress bottom...I tried it on, standing in front of the three mirrors. It fit perfect and I stared at amazement of myself in a wedding dress.
"I'm getting married...", I whispered, this feeling of excitement started to truly well in my stomach for the first time. I think I was telling that 14 year old inside of me that thought she wasn’t worthy of anyone's love. I couldn't describe in words how sad,confused and afraid of life I used to be. For the first time in life I felt truly happy and in love. It's an amazing feeling
The dress was only 75$ on clearance!
Markus decided not to wear the traditional wedding tuxedo, he refuses to conform that's not his thing. Our friend made him a par of hendrix-style velvet green bell-bottoms. He flipped when he saw it and decided to wear that with a flowing shirt.
We cleared out the livingroom entirely, putting all the furniture (besides two sofas to sit on) into the studio, and decorated the house with chains of daisies, vines, strings of lights and candles.The church lent us 5 long tables that we covered with satin tablecloths and put in the backyard. We planted flowers everywhere. Our friend was a DJ and he offered to provide the music. I spent two days burning official wedding soundtracks on CD’s as wedding favors, and creating original CD labels and covers.
I told my bridesmaids and maid of honor to wear anything they felt comfortable in, My only request was that it was blue. They were surprised at the freedom and relieved. The day was approaching and we still didn't have the cake or catering. We were low on money, after buying all the wine,beer and champagne we were nearly broke! All my friends said they would bring homecooked meals and dishes, making it potluck. They even donated all their plates and cutlery. It was amazing, How everyone pulled through at the last minute.
The night before the wedding I was so excited I couldn't sleep. I was also nervous. My family was sleeping in the other room, Markus was with his Best Man at a separate house. My heart was pounding so hard..Everyone was going to be there, I had friends flying in from my home state, teachers, friends..all coming together to see Markus and I say our vows. It was intense for me..So many thoughts racing at once, I couldn't collect them.
When I woke up it was sunny outside, the doorbell was ringing..My friend ran in hugging me and crying...my other friend was putting together the wedding bouquet. All Daisies with a single white rose in the center. I looked around the house and it was beautiful. My hippy wedding.. I started putting on my dress, My friends weaving Daisies into my short bleached hair.I was actually shaking.. My friends Tara and Nancy arrived, they flew in from New York. I was so happy to see them.
Then the ringbearer came to collect the bands, and I realized that my wedding band was missing! I searched everywhere..I couldn't find it. I panicked completely! My friend jokingly suggested I buy a box of cracker Jacks or get one from a gumball machine.
I tell you, stuff like this only happens to me....