Exactly one month ago today, I walked down the aisle towards my best friend, my partner and now, husband. The day couldn’t have been more perfect. Did things go wrong? Sure. But name cards, seating assignments and other details are ineffectual when you’ve waited 38 years to find your partner.
Doug and I – clearly – married later in life. We’re among the last of our friends to say “I do,” and we dated for 6 years before making the commitment. As my husband says, “we did our homework.” We’ve shared exciting times together, made many happy memories, but also went through some really tough, hard times, so when we stood before God and our friends, we knew without a doubt that we were the perfect partner for each other.
We are traditional and had a service that reflected our values. We were married in a church, where we did our pre-marriage counseling. The competitor and type-A person in us was secretly thrilled when the pastor told us “You have worked through a lot together already, you have a strong relationship and complement each other well.” I wore a ball gown style off-white dress, because, let’s be honest – when else could I get away with dressing like a princess? I wore a veil (something new), my grandmother's aquamarine ring (something blue), my friend's great-grandmother's earrings (something borrowed) and a locket that my dad gave to my mom on their wedding day (something old). My father walked me down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D, played on the piano. Tears rolled down my eyes as I walked down the aisle, but were balanced by a huge smile, which didn’t leave my face all day.
Doug and I rode to our reception in a white 1957 Bentley. We took photos on the Georgetown waterfront and walked into our reception, where our friends and family greeted us. Our first dance was to Leona Lewis' cover of Roberta Flack’s timeless hit “The First Time Ever I Saw your Face.” My dad and I cried through “You’re the Inspiration” during our Father/Daughter dance. We laughed, we ate and everyone danced. We sipped coffee and ate our wedding cake – vanilla cake with salted caramel layers and a white butter cream icing.
Our wedding was early in the day – 10am – so we were home by dinnertime and both exhausted. Doug and I came home, changed into sweats, ordered a pizza and were asleep by 7:30pm. We were still smiling when we woke up at 3am the to catch a plane for a quick get-a-way.
What have I learned the first month?
- Dating 6 years before getting engaged was a great idea – we both knew each other so well that there were no doubts, no questions, no concerns.
- Planning the wedding in 6 months was quick, but if we had waited, there would always be more to do. Plus, we wanted to start a family, so why wait to plan the wedding?
- Marriage is a true partnership in every sense of the word – we’ve talked about summer travel, family planning and creating a household budget, we are a team.
- We don’t agree on everything, but we respect each others opinions, thought process and the fact that we are different human beings.
- We complement each other well. Although I already knew this, we definitely have our characteristics and roles that define us in the relationship. Doug is the protector, the problem solver and logical. I’m nurturing, caring and emotional.
In some ways, it seems like the wedding was yesterday and other days, it seems as if we’ve been married for years. Either way, each day is a gift we give one another and I’m grateful for our love, relationship and now marriage, everyday.