Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's a Nice Day for a White Wedding

I told you the love story for Valentine's Day. This story picks up practically where that one left off.

"I'm pregnant."

"Are you sure?"

"Peed on a stick..."

"What do you want to do?"

"I want to get married."

(hugging me and kissing the top of my head) "We will be the happiest family ever."

That was our romantic proposal. Jealous?

We talked about just rockin' it City Hall style given the circumstances, but my mother wouldn't hear of it. She and my father had eloped and she'd always regretted the fact that they hadn't had a wedding. I was going to have a wedding, damn it.

So we threw one together in three months. It was not a dream wedding. I realize this may be surprising to those of you who had always aspired to be 33 and pregnant when you walked down the aisle, but it's true.

My mom hired a photographer - the only one she could get at the last minute. She chose the cake (I couldn't make it to my hometown, where all of the preparations were being made). We bought a dress. It was not a lovely, feel like a princess dress. It was - what's the word I want? - tasteful, you know, given the circumstances.

Tom's aunt, who had served as a mother figure after his mother passed away, enthusiastically offered to do the flowers. Silk flowers. Oh, kids, I love fresh flowers. I try to have some in my home all the time. I can assure you that I did not want silk flowers on my wedding day, no matter what the circumstances were. Did I tell her that? No. I thanked her profusely and accepted her generous offer. I really wanted his family to like and accept me. A refusal of such an enthusiastic offer didn't seem like a step in the right direction. I didn't feel like I had much leverage, given the circumstances.

We talked to the pastor in preparation for the wedding. We stressed that we were equal partners in the relationship and that we did not want anything in our vows or in the service about a woman giving it all up to become subservient to her man. He smiled and nodded and made some notes.

Mom found a DJ who listened to every word we had to say.

The big day arrived. I spent the morning like most brides do, getting my hair done, pampering myself a little bit. Making sure the reception hall looked nice. Tom used the opportunity to peruse some of the places of historical significance in my hometown. Namely, the Johnstown Flood Museum. Yep. He spent the hours leading up to our wedding immersed in learning about the single greatest disaster my little home town had ever known. Despair. Disaster. Devastation. Now get me to the church on time!

We didn't have miles of attendants in matching dresses in my favorite color - we just had my sister and his cousin stand up for us. More, I was told, would've been inappropriate given the circumstances. The pastor devoted his entire sermon to women becoming subservient to their men. If it hadn't been for - you know - the circumstances - I may have walked out right then. Tom later confessed that he would have, too. This was not what we had agreed to agree to. But agree we did.

As our guests headed to the reception, we stuck around for pictures. Apparently when you hire your photographer at the last minute, you get what you get. We got a lot of JC Penney catalog worthy pictures of me in my tasteful dress with my silk flowers attempting to hide my thickening waistline.

"Why yes, I DO have the time..."

The popular 'newlyweds in front of the heating vent' pose.
Notice how strategically the photographer has placed the lovely bouquet. There are a whole lot of things about this picture that aren't fooling anybody...
And no, I'm not wearing a bustle and you're mean for asking.

Then we headed for the reception ourselves. I'm sure you know without me telling you that it was raining. I swear to God, if one more person had told me "rain on the bride is good luck" I probably would've greeted them with a roundhouse kick. Circumstances or not. No bride wants to be rained on. Luck, schmuck. (Chuck Norris has nothing on a pissed off/rained on pregnant bride!)

Things took a turn for the better at the reception. The food was delicious. The DJ had indeed listened to us and respected every one of our wishes. And best of all - the guest list was small. We were able to not only spend some quality time with each of our guests, but we were also able to have a good time with each other. We danced - and not only the obligatory bride and groom dances - we danced when we liked a song. And - remember? - the DJ had listened to us. We liked a lot of songs. Oh - for my Western PA readers who may be wondering - there was no money dance. My mother informed me that it would be inappropriate, you know, under the circumstances. But we had a blast. We started our married life on a very happy note indeed.

That was all fourteen years ago today.

Since then I've been to beautiful, storybook, dream weddings. I've been to elegant weddings. I've been to intimate backyard garden weddings. I've heard of insanely romantic proposals. I've seen wedding pictures that are so beautiful they make me want to weep. A couple of those marriages even lasted...

So, yeah. The proposal was lame. The wedding will not be used in any wedding planner's portfolio. The honeymoon did not exist. But the marriage? Solid as a rock. Maybe we should put the emphasis back where it ought to be. A nice wedding is, well, nice. But the happily ever after? That's the endgame, ya'll.

I think the past fourteen years have gone pretty well.

And the circumstances turned out pretty well, too.


Cassie said...

I wholeheartedly agree that for some now days it's more about the wedding than the marriage. John and I got hitched at the courthouse. He in jeans and me in shorts and a Grateful Dead t-shirt (only the best for my nuptials) but we have been married for 17 years now and we are still very much in love. Thanks for sharing your wedding with us. :o)

bassislife said...

That reception really was the best. Anyone who didn't have fun just didn't want to.

I wouldn't change a thing.

♥ Braja said...

Awww...happy anniversary Tammy :)

SparkleFarkel said...

Congratulations on the bliss! Boy, how I can relate to your "fiasco," I mean wedding ceremony-- right down to the silkies, and I don't mean underwear. (You didn't say, did a GIANT yellow, Fred-Flintstone rumbling school bus, instead of a limo, arrive at the church to take the wedding party to the reception site?) In hindsight, I wish I'd eloped. With John F. Kennedy, Jr.

Badass Geek said...

Awesome, awesome post. You are so right... It's not about the wedding, it's about the relationship.

Bibi @ Bibi's Culinary Journey said...

Happy Anniversary.

My proposal was very lame, my wedding simple, yet somehow it turned out to be a May we celebrated 16 years of bliss.

Wouldn't have any other way

Stopping by from SITS

Savvy-Motherhood said...

We will be married 14 years in Feb! Happy Anniversary !! YAY!

Unknown said...

You two are perfect together, and I sure do love both of your "circumstances."

Happy anniversary, and I hope we are around to celebrate many, many more with you.


that was great - i had one of those elaborate weddings and four years later was divorced - second one got married in the courthouse and we're going on our 9th year, so go figure!

Macey said...

Oh Tammy...sometimes you hit me with a post that for some reason makes me wanna bawl. Why? I don't know. It's a good post. A beautiful post. You look beautiful and Tom looks handsome.
I once got a book called, "After the wedding comes a marriage." I think I tossed it. But you're right. We weren't in any hurry, do to "circumstances" to get married, but we did it fast. Our wedding day was HELL on earth. I'm beginning to wonder if you have to have a "normal to crappy" wedding day to have it last...?
And I have no idea why, but for some reason, just reading the snippets about Tom in your posts makes me thing that he is a lot like my husband. They sound like they could be brothers. I have no idea why. Maybe cuz they both married such awesome chicks.

MaryRC said...

Wow thanks for sharing, given the circumstances. And happy ann!

My wedding was nothing to copy either. Silk flowers.. check Church Wedding... nope dial a pastor in a Jacyee's hall Professional photographer.... nope friend with a nikon Honeymoon.... nope too tired from doing the wedding ourselves we even had to stay late and clean the event up. People tell me they had a great time, for Mike and I it was a blur. Mike was so stressed, i think i have one picture where he is smiling. Wedding schmedding, princess dress up is what halloween is for.

Lifeofkaylen said...

Wow - this was a great story!!!
I think that spending MONTHS stressing over a wedding and spending a HUGE amount of money and forcing other people to spend a huge amount of money (flying to the location, they will need a new outfit, and then buying a shower gift, a wedding gift, and the money dance) is a bit absurd for ONE DAY!!!
A small tasteful wedding, with pictures in front of the heater and flowers that will outlast you is much more appealing to me. Great job on that! :)

Congrats on the long lasting love.

Rosa said...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TAMMY AND TOM! Don't kid yourselves, your wedding was lovely. And the reception was BIG fun, just as you remember it. I think the best part of all of it was how the two of you looked at each other and so obviously enjoyed each other's company every minute. And still do so many years later. I've often held your relationship up as an example of one I wished I'd had (the first time around). You two have DEFINITELY done it right. I wish you many, many more.

Mandy said...

No money dance? WHAT?! Your mom robbed you, circumstance or not. Great post and great reminder that a wedding is just for the family's sake anyway. Most people I know hated their own or didn't enjoy it. I did enjoy mine but it's because we didn't do the traditional style. I didn't even have bridesmaids. But all that matters is that I have a great husband now.

Happy Anniversary and congrats on 14 years!

P.s. - my pictures sucked too. I didn't buy a single one. The memories are there though.

Tracie said...

Happy Anniversary!!! I loved your story. It is refreshing to hear of a marriage that is "solid as a rock". They are few and far between these days.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Ahhh Tammy, the more I get to know you the more I love you! That was a VERY WELL TOLD STORY!

I've come to believe there is no such thing as a "dream wedding" for a BRIDE-- Cuz it's usually always all about keeping everyone one else happy on your big day. (Ala your silk flowers and the minister.)

But you got it right. It's all about the relationship! Wishing you and hubby a very happy 14th and many, many more.


Mike said...

Huh? Nothing like that happens when I pee on a stick! hahaha!

Jenni said...

Alls well that ends well!

Happy Anniversary!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for visiting me on my SITS Day!

Lynn said...

My marriage started out just like yours-circumstances and all!
Been married 44 years and we can still make each other laugh!

Liz Mays said...

It was all a blessing in disguise. The end result is the important thing!

Swine said...

Happy anniversary, Luvs!

Hit 40 said...

Tom and I both agree that we would elope if we did it again. Having a big wedding was not worth the settling with family or the money spent. Both my mom and MIL got more than a little wacky over the details.

Mama-Face said...

I can't wipe the smile off my face...such a good post.
What a cute couple you were/are. I love the obligatory heating vent photo!

I totally worry about kids and the enormous EVENTS they expect their weddings to be. Marriage has got be a huge let down after that. haha.

(my wedding dress cost $25; does that give you an idea of the kind of reception we had? oh wow, it was bad. Marriage good though! 26 years.)

Traci said...

Sounds like true love! Congrats on your very happy family (because of, rather than in spite of the circumstances).

My husband and I are closing in on 15 years and we had a minister go psycho on us, as well. When he started my husband developed uncontrollable giggles which my father misinterpreted as him crying. So he stood and gave him a handkerchief (yes, a handkerchief!) which started all the groomsmen laughing and the bridesmaids glaring and so on and so forth. You get the picture. Oh! pictures. That's a whole other story!

Sandy said...

OMG the looks on your faces in that photo! A million captions come to mind!

Happy Anniversary, kids! That's a sweet post and I'm so glad you shared.

Weddings are so overrated (and overpriced) that I think some people (mostly women) are more interested in the wedding than the marriage. Not you, that's for sure!

Wishes for many, many more happy years together.

Pam said...

Happy Anniversary, a little late! I love this love story and it's happily ever after ending. Geoff and I had a very small inexpensive wedding. And I've never been sorry. It's the marriage that matters, not the wedding. And I read a study recently that said that the more expensive the wedding the less likely the marriage is to last long term. Very interesting, dontcha think?

Gibby said...

This is SUCH a great story...under the circumstances.

Kidding!! After reading that I feel like I actually attended your wedding, which I am pretty confident, was a BLAST. All of that other stuff doesn't matter. I've been to so many different kinds of weddings and still Hubs and I agree that ours was the best, simply because it was ours.

Happy Anniversary to you and Tom!!!

Claudya Martinez said...

Happy Anniversary T&T!

The Grown-Up Child said...

I love this post! I agree, the focus should be on the *marriage* not the wedding day. My proposal was lame too. I was talking to my (then) boyfriend and I said "you know, I'd like a fall wedding. So if you were thinking of proposing, you might want to do that soon unless you want to wait another year. (how stupid do I sound?)" His reply? "So you want to get married like next October?"

That was it. I got the ring a couple months later. Handed to me. ;)

scrappysue said...

does my baby look big in this dress? you look so nervy!!! cute bouquet placement - very artistic.

what matters is that you're still together - happy anniversary to you!!!