I got married!! In a total spontaneous kind of way. And it was imperfectly perfect! It was a representation of what our relationship is: effortless, happy and spontaneous. ❤
Jerry got us a trip to Vegas for our three-year anniversary. Six days, five nights. On the third day some of his family showed up. We met up with them in downtown Vegas and hung out in their hotel room while they caught up – one of his uncles lives out of the state, so they hadn’t seen each other in a while.
There was no romantic proposal (at least not in the typical way), or even a ring. From what I remember, someone asked us when we were going to get married and Jerry said we could get married that day. Everyone got really excited about that idea. I freaked out. I pretty much started hyperventilating. I didn’t have anyone there and it was all happening so fast. But, it also made me realize that it was perfect for us. We had talked about eloping and foregoing the whole wedding thing. So when it turned out like this, it wasn’t totally unexpected. But, it was still shocking. Hence, my freak-out. I like to think that “traditional” brides go through the same emotion, but probably over the course of an engagement. Mine was just a speedy version. And it turned out to be exactly what it should have been. Even though I didn’t have the proposal, what Jerry did to help calm me down was, for me, even better. He told me how much he loved me and all the fluffy stuff, but what really made it for me was that he said I was “it” for him. And while that may not seem like a big deal on a screen, it was all I needed to hear to know this wasn’t just a drunken proposal.
We didn’t get married that night. Unlike the movies, it is not as easy as it seems to just say ‘I do.’ The next day we had a busy morning, which left us (especially me) very tired. We took the longest nap in America. By the time we woke up, his family was ready to go. I had ten minutes to get ready, which meant doing my makeup and throwing on random clothes. It’s not like a brought a white “just in case” dress, so my options were limited anyway. We’re not the flashy kind, so he wore a Hawaiian shirt and I wore a blue tank that matched the color of his. Makeup took priority, so that meant my hair went up. By no means was it wedding attire, but it was definitely “us.” And that’s all that mattered.
First we had to go to the courthouse, which is in downtown. That took a while since we were on the strip. We filled out our paperwork and by the time we were done, there was only one chapel open. So, we went to that one. Super simple. Smelled kind of icky, but whatever. The lady who married us gave us this long speech about marriage. I won’t go too much into detail because that could be another post of its own, but WOW that took AGES. I’m assuming this is also something that normal engaged couples go through when they do marriage counseling before their big day. But, the ending, our part, was the best part.
Making our promises to each other about how we will be there for one another and vowing our unconditional love and support was better than perfect. In that moment, the best dress, makeup, photographers, bridesmaids, etc. wouldn’t have mattered. At all. #SorryNotSorry It may sound sappy, but looking into each others eyes and saying out loud what we may just bundle up, and take for granted, when we say “I love you” was THE moment that changed our life. It wasn’t the one-day planning to figure out what we needed to do to get married. It wasn’t the outfits (or lack thereof) that we wore. And it wasn’t even the trip itself. It was the moment when we exchanged our vows that made it real. It was so intimate and vulnerable – just like what marriage should be. Just like what real love should be, right?
It has been three months since that day, and maybe we’re still in our honeymoon phase, but I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Regardless of what people believe – those who think that a marriage can only be made if you have a wedding. Those who say you can’t really get married if you don’t have a ring (or a big, flashy ring, I should say). And those who disapproved (especially when they were the ones that I counted on most for support) of our choice. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s not what a marriage is about. It’s not a party for everyone else to criticize and judge. It’s a celebration between two people. Like Mooj in the 40-year-old Virgin says, “Life is about love. It’s about people. It’s about connections.” I like to think that that’s also what marriage is about. The love between two people that makes the most unique, most important connection.
So, kudos to all y’all who did or plan on getting married on your terms. Not because it’s what society tells you to do, or because your parents think that it should be done one specific way. I had a close friend basically put down our choice because it was not the right way to do it. And drilled me on questions to find out if there was “any hope” to do it the right way…even if it was in Vegas. So rude, huh? Yeah. But that’s what the idea of marriage does to people it seems. Not the reality of living it every day – not that I have much to compare it to, but I hope that I’m entirely wrong.
On the positive side, the rude comments made me realize that there are always going to be people like that. Even those who you value might let you down. But marriage, and really your life overall, is not about everyone else. Who cares what people say? It’s not about them, it’s about you. So don’t just get married on your terms – heck, don’t marry at all if you don’t think it’s for you. But live on your terms. At the end of the day, you’re the only one you need to satisfy. If you’re happy, that’s all that really matters.