I thought it would be special to share the story of our marriage from each of our perspectives. M has agreed to write his own post on his perspective of our wedding, too. For starters, here are mine…
Deciding to marry semi-secretly, privately, and quietly was something we almost knew we wanted to do from the day M proposed. I always joked with M that I never got the ‘wedding gene’ and he is lucky I am so even keeled about the whole thing (wink), but in honesty, we *both* shared a similar view, so it did not take a lot of convincing.
It all began last year, on our annual ‘pilgrimage’ to Healdsburg, where we were in the gardens at the house we rented, and M wrapped his arms around me from behind, and whispered in my ear…wouldn’t it be awesome to get married here? Like, right here? We weren’t even engaged yet, but in that moment, everything fell away and I just knew…if the stars aligned and we were going to marry, it would be right there, in Healdsburg.
At the time, it felt like a pipe dream.
And when M proposed a few months later, the thought crept back in. At first, I had started warming up to the idea of a small ceremony by the water where I grew up (30 mins from where we live now), or at a park, or on a beach, but the more we looked into locations, the less excited I got, and the more I wanted to break out in hives thinking about the stress of hosting a wedding. When we added up ‘just family and close friends,’ the list topped 50, and to me, that *was* a wedding and a wedding, in the traditional sense was not what either of us wanted for ourselves. To me, the thought of speaking the most personal and sacred vows in front of so many people felt daunting, far too public, and not personal. I realize my views are narrow here, and most people love bigger weddings, so if you are shaking your heads, believe me, I understand!! I love *going* to weddings. I love celebrating. But in this instance, it was simply not what we wanted.
So we landed back on Healdsburg. And the idea excited us. It just felt right. But we also considered everything logistically and wondered…could we really pull this off? How would we do it? How would we figure out who to invite? And *would* we invite people? The last question being the toughest. We went back and forth with a lot of ideas, but after much consideration, we realized what we truly wanted was to re-live our trip last year, and just ‘throw in’ a short wedding while we were there. We just had an incredible time last year, and we didn’t want a lot of fanfare, we didn’t want to complicate it by feeling like we were ‘hosting’ family and friends that came, and we also didn’t want to burden anyone with the expense of attending a wedding 3,000 miles away. Since we had already planned this very trip for June, the starts started to align and we pulled the trigger.
We chose June 30 to get married, giving us a day-ish to settle in, do a little mini ‘rehearsal’ dinner type celebration (the most epic wine and food pairing ever, I might add, pulled off by my sister Jess!) and then get married on June 30th, giving us the remainder of the week to celebrate, enjoy and recharge. We shared our plan with family and friends, who were supportive and understanding, for the most part. One of the hardest parts for me, was knowing that this decision to marry far away would mean my sister Jen would likely not be able to attend, given my 2+ year old niece. We celebrated quite a bit beforehand, tied in FaceTime while we were away (we attempted to FaceTime her during the wedding, but the reception was too shoddy), but knowing she was there in spirit, and in heart, and in bracelet (sister bracelets we each wore from Alex and Ani, thank you sisters!!), meant the world to me.
And finally, our decision to keep our wedding largely quiet until we married? Just for fun. We liked the surprise aspect of it and seeing the excitement of it all unfold as we texted, tweeted, Facebook’d and instagram’ed details after was simply amazing 🙂 (do you have us a little now for keeping it a secret?! it was so fun!!)
We made what some may think was a hard decision…but for us, it felt the most natural and ‘us’ in respecting and honoring what *we* wanted to do most, and not what anyone else would have considered. And the day itself? Was the most relaxed, fun, happy, and emotional day of my life. I turned to M last night as we were ‘reliving’ the week through pictures and said that the wedding and the week felt like an out-of-body experience…and he nodded in agreement. It was just surreal. Perfect. Beautiful. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about our day, not even the 105 degree temperatures.
A wedding should represent the two that are marrying and our wedding represented us to a “T’ – the way it is meant to be. I sit here feeling incredibly blessed, loved, and more settled than I have ever felt. Being M’s wife (wife!!), sharing our lives together, for the rest of our lives.
As part of our vows said (I will share them in full in a later post):
“I am giving you my hand to hold, and my life to keep, from this day forward, in this world, and into the next.”