The Big Day (4-11-16)

Wedding day thoughts:  I love this girl so much!  I remember the day I knew I would gladly, easily, readily spend the rest of my life with her.  At that point we were only friends.  We’ve been through so much to be together.  Each day I reflect on how unbelievable it really is that she is with me, sometimes it’s mind-blowing.  Our wedding day was simply a ceremony to legally and publicly seal what we have committed to from the day we decided to pursue our relationship.  We made commitments to each other starting on day one.  It’s unusual to start a relationship with a promise for forever but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Why we basically eloped:  We were both in total agreement about our special day.  We’ve both been married before and had already experienced our dream wedding day.  The fancy white dresses, the flowers, the attendees, the family, venue, photographer, parties.  We had very special weddings to our ex-husbands.  We didn’t want a big event again.  We figured you get one chance to have a huge bash.  We also agreed that since we had already experienced the big event, no matter how you slice a wedding cake, it’s really not about the couple as much as the people surrounding the couple.  It’s about looks, pleasing everyone, stress, and distraction.  We wanted our wedding to each other to be just about us and our kids.  As little about pleasing others as possible.

What the brides wore:  Our dresses did end up being white, but simple.  I stumbled across mine at a consignment shop for $35.  My wife insisted that I sew hers, which I did gladly but it was my most challenging sewing project to date.  Our shoes were custom made converse, in Wonder Woman colors, and stitched “Love Wins” in the back.

Our attendants:  The kids were an important part of the wedding party and signed our marriage license as honorary witnesses. The kids were decked out in sweaters, slacks, and black converse, and our daughter wore a cute little black and white dress with red converse.

Our rings:  We had our rings picked out within a month of becoming a couple.  My wife had found the perfect rings and had shown me early on.  We had been shopping to find the perfect set at several stores, but we had been having trouble finding a shop that could make them.  Our rings are 2 solid bands linked together but move freely.  The bands are silver and gold.  We were in Las Vegas last summer with her family and wandered into a Tiffany’s for fun to look.  Lo and behold, they had our rings already made!  We knew then we should just snatch them up and have the fun of at least finding our wedding rings in Vegas.  And at Tiffany’s!  They weren’t any more expensive than the other places we looked, and we were able to go back the next day to pick them up in our size.  I love that they match.  Simple, strong, solid, symbolic.

The venue:  We decided to rent a house for the weekend in a nearby city for the excitement of making our day special for the kids.  It turned out great to hang out at a full home complete with kitchen and laundry, cook meals, and get married in the living room!  So much better than trying to rent a venue, get hotels, drive to restaurants, and keep 5 children happy.

The officiant:  We hired a “celebrant” deciding to go neutral with the officiant.  She did a great job at letting us make our own vows and write much of the ceremony.

The guest list:  We really wanted to focus on our love for each other and make it a significant day for the kids, making sure they were included and not ignored.  So technically they were part of the wedding attendees.  My parents really wanted to come and they had been so supportive for us we gladly invited them, as well as my wife’s dad and little sister, because she is more like a daughter than a sister.  The last minute guests happened to be our ex-husbands.  They had been invited all along, and decided they wanted to share the day with us.  I know it was a very hard decision and emotional to have them there for all of us.  But we loved that they came to support, share, and in a way, a final detachment from us.  A dear friend was invited and hired as a photographer.  She surprised us that night by forgoing payment as her gift to us!  Such a blessing!

The Vows:  We wrote our own, as you may have guessed.  It’s something we take very seriously and under much thought.  It’s humbling to look back on the vows we had made so long ago to someone else and to then decide to make forever promises to each other.  In a way it makes our vows to each other that much more serious and conscientious.

Vows to the children:  We also wrote vows to our children.  It was important to us that we weren’t just marrying each other, that we were forming a permanent family.  My wife’s vows to my children were so beautiful, so emotional and touching.

In every way our wedding day was a symbolic day that reflected our relationship.  There was joy, happiness, family, children, our ex husbands, tears, bitter-sweet emotions, complex feelings, but most importantly, a whole lot of love.  Love for each other, for our children.  Love that covers over everything.  Love wins.

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