Ed and I have been married 13 years today. I have a few wedding photos to share. I’ve never really shared any online, other than a bad iPhone photo of a photo, because we got married in 2001. That was pretty much the dark ages as far as photography is concerned. All of our photos are old school – nothing digital, nothing Photoshopped.
And then on top of that, I think we made the worst choice possible for a photographer. But I’ll just leave it at that.
(Also, the matte makeup? I mean, really?! I wanted to do my own makeup and was very committed to the cause. Once I saw how that translated into wedding photos, I had my makeup professionally done for every wedding I was a bridesmaid in after that.)
I was 20 and Ed was 27. For 20-year-old me, an ideal wedding entailed Ed, a princess dress, a huge cake, lots of flowers, lavender bridesmaid dresses and a tiara, of course. For Ed, it entailed what made me happy. This was very nice of him. Or convenient for him. Maybe both.
Our wedding was perfect. Not because I wore a giant princess dress or because we had a huge cake with lots of layers and flowers or because I found the tiara of my 20-year-old dreams.
Actually, for being so OCD and a horribly afflicted Type A perfectionist who had not yet even acknowledged my issues, let alone begun to address them, I was laid back. It worked out great in many ways, not so much in others (see above about the photographer, who was actually quite pricey, but one of the few options left by the time I got around to finding one for our wedding that took place the weekend before Valentine’s Day).
Our wedding wasn’t even perfect because we had a rockin’ full open bar and skilled bartenders and a margarita machine from Mr. Margarita, all important, of course.
It was perfect because it was fun and memorable for all the right reasons and we enjoyed ourselves and didn’t worry about anything. It was perfect because our friends and family were there to celebrate the day. Weddings aren’t exactly the best use of money, but I’m really grateful to my parents for hosting one that created amazing memories for us.
So first, I present you with a photo of us kissing in front of the cake (don’t worry: no tongue; I’m not a fan of PDA), which cake was huge and fantastic and offered guests many options – each layer was a different flavor – and was covered with some of my favorite flowers. All things that mattered to 20-year-old me.
This one made the wedding album and in fact is probably one of our better photos. Again, see note above about our choice of photographer.
And then of course there was a full back shot of my puffy princess dress.
I didn’t flinch when my wedding coordinator stepped on my giant train a tore a hole in it right as I started to walk down the aisle. Nor did I care when I ripped both straps off dancing and having fun. Thanks to our friend Heather, who sewed the dress back together with me in it, the wardrobe malfunctions weren’t even note-worthy. I mean, really, I have the full poorly-framed back shot. What more did I need?
Really, the picture that I always remember and think of is this one. It’s the one perfectly-timed moment the photographer caught. It’s too dark and it’s almost grainy and Ed’s legs are cut off, but it’s that split-second look Ed had on his face when he first saw me.
It’s a picture of the foundation upon which our marriage rests: how he felt about me (and how I felt about him, but there’s not picture of that).
Marriage isn’t always rainbows and hearts and leprechauns, easily balancing on the backs of fluffy white unicorns, while holding pots of gold and entertaining colorful butterflies that are happily fluttering about.
Sometimes it’s hard work. Sometimes it’s easy and fun. Sometimes it’s just coasting along to get through whatever thing you’re going through.
Kids and life changes and stress and moves and jobs and travel and health issues, they all take their toll.
Love and happiness and fun and kids and memories and trust and support, they all make it work.
I wrote this last year. It applies every year.
Parts of life and therefore marriage are occasionally rocked, often at the worst times. But when the foundation is strong, there’s reason to believe it will weather the storms.