Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dat Dweam wiffin a Dweam

Three years ago today Neil and I were married. We got engaged in March of that year and I immediately began procrastinating planning our wedding. I knew that I wanted a destination wedding, but I did not know where, how, or when. My initial thought was Ireland in October. I had visions of a romantic castle wedding. Unfortunately, the logistics of pulling off that dream were just too much for us. So, I began to look into Mexico. It offered us the convenience of being easily accessible to all of our family members located across the country and was much more affordable, a relative term here, because it was still no cheapo deal.

We finally nailed down the date for the wedding, January 21, 2006, somewhere around mid-November. There's nothing like forcing loved ones to go on an expensive trip on short notice. Lucky for us, pretty much everyone was game and not once has anyone held it over my head. Not even my mom, and she LOVES that sort of thing. (Just kidding, Mom, love you!!)* The only downside was that we would have to jump through a bunch of hoops for our wedding in Mexico to be legal in the US. To simplify things, we decided to get married at the courthouse here first and then have the "real" ceremony with friends and family in Cabo San Lucas.

Because I didn't want the legal ceremony to be a big deal, we didn't invite family or friends (except for Aparna**) to come. It was just to be us. No rings, no dressing up, no pomp. My parents had planned a visit to Baltimore for the first weekend in December and on the Tuesday of the week leading up to it, Neil and I decided that we might as well do it on that Friday, December 2nd, so we could have a mini, wee, petite celebration with my parents at dinner that evening.

On the day of our wedding, I went to work like any other day. I don't think I even told anyone. I was quite serious about keeping it on the down low. At lunch, I left and met Aparna and Neil at the courthouse. Despite the fact that I KNEW this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, I was vibrating with nerves. All I could think was, "we're really doing this, we're really doing this!" I had prepared myself for the January wedding date, but I had only had a couple of days to come to terms with this.

We went up to the window and got our number. There were several other couples awaiting their turn. All of them had large groups of people with them and most were elaborately decked out in wedding finery. One groom wore a purple velour tuxedo. Purple Velour! You could probably have powered a small city if you could harness the static electricity pouring off that thing. I have absolutely no recollection of what his bride wore, but I think it is safe to say it was nowhere near as garish as her soon-to-be husband's attire.

I felt conspicuous just the three of us in our everyday clothes and I began to regret my decision to play this down, because it WAS a big deal. Despite my denials of the importance of this ceremony, this was the one that counted in the eyes of the law. There was no turning back now, though. Finally, after an eternity of 45 minutes, they called our number and we went into the small Astroturf and fauxliage covered room that served as the setting for weddings.

We took our places in front of the podium and the woman began to walk us through the vows. When they came to the part where we would exchange rings, the woman looked up from her sheet and asked us if we had rings. I began to say "No" because we had not planned to exchange rings until the ceremony in Mexico. But before I could get the word out, my beloved said "Actually..." and pulled out two velvet boxes. I wish I had a picture of myself in that moment, because I am quite certain my jaw hit the floor. I was absolutely stunned. Unbeknownst to me, he had gone out and gotten us matching white gold bands for the occasion.

It was the most wonderful, romantic gesture and exactly the thing to make that day, the day that wasn't supposed to be a big deal, into the memorable occasion that it should be. Now we celebrate both of our anniversaries and they are BOTH special to us.

Happy First Third Anniversary, hunny bunny!

*I'm not really kidding, but don't tell her that. Shhh.

**Aparna is my bestest friend in the whole world and has been a part of every major, and minor, event in my life for the last 20 years. I couldn't have kept her away even if I'd wanted to.

18 comments:

  1. Oh, that's such a nice post! Your husband is special...he's one of those guys that thinks on his own! IMPRESSIVE!!!!!!!!! Anyhow, the whole story is very interesitng. Thanks for sharing! And I wonder what happened to the guy in the purple suit? I'm not sure I could marry a guy in a purple suit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awww, Happy Anniversary! What a sweet man you snagged! And I, too, wonder about the purple velour-clad man. Although stuff like THAT happens in Vegas all. the. time. We get all kinds of crazy here.

    ReplyDelete
  3. An anniversary the day after a birthday! Well let the celebration continue!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's a great story! How cool that he got the rings--perfect!!

    And LOL at fauxliage!!

    Happy Anniversary!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's so sweet. Happy anniversary!

    ReplyDelete
  6. that is such a cool story! How romantic indeed. Happy Anniversary to you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a great surprise! I actually married my husband at a steakhouse with just my parents and best friend (in colorado you just have to sign the marriage license)... 3 days after we got engaged, and 3 months before our actual wedding.

    Happy First Third Anniversary!

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's a cool story! And you get two anniversaries! We celebrate the day we met, Aug 1, almost more than our anniversary, Sep 10. We knew we would get married after like four weeks of dating so it's like it actually began closer to when we met than when we actually said the vows.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm crying. SO SWEET. Remember that sweetness when you want to throttle him on occasion. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh wow. What a sweet and romantic thing for your hubby to do!

    And I'm not even sure I'd go for the purple velour.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Aww so sweet!! love it tears to my eyes that he got you rings!! so special

    ReplyDelete
  12. that's a great story! bruce and I did almost the same thing! on st. patrick's day, we got our four kids off to school and headed to the courthouse (obviously this was a second marriage for us both and we wanted to move in together before the wedding in august) so we didn't tell anyone and snuck off to the courthouse! bruce surprised me with a bouquet at the courthouse...very sweet! we celebrate that anniversary (this year was our 13th anniversary!) and actually totally missed the august anniversary!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Happy Anniversary, Cara! I love this story...it's shades of a Nora Ephron movie.

    Wuv...twuu wuv...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy Anniversary . . . I'd happily watch that movie Lula! sees in your story!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Happy Anniversary! (a little late) That story is great--and how sweet of your husband! If I were to do my wedding all over again, it would all be very different. I got married in 1994 (at the age of BARELY 22) and had the big dress and big hair...sigh. Now, it would be just a simple dress, on a beach somewhere (love the destination idea) and Chinese take-out for the reception food (cuz that's our favorite.) Oh well, maybe for the next wedding...LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  16. This story made me cry. Also: I LOVE the title!! The Princes Bride is an all time favorite!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Awww, sweet! Happy anniversary!

    ReplyDelete

Give me some sugar, baby!