There are so many different thoughts and memories I have from our wedding. We were married a week ago to this day. I’ve been patiently waiting for a moment to write about the day, knowing that thoughts, feelings and memories would eventually slip away, and I don’t want to forget a single moment from that day. Photographs tell a huge story, and I am SO excited to get our wedding photos and video back and relive our wedding day, but words, words for me are equally as important, and so today, I have found time to write.
Let me start by saying that I am not really a wedding person. I’ve never been the type of person to plan my wedding since I was a kid, know the colors of my wedding, etc., etc.. Plus, I’m a feminist, and not that feminists don’t dream about their weddings, but I’ll admit it’s always been more of a back burner item for me. And so, I will also admit, that our wedding day was beyond magical. It was more than I could have ever imagined and it was genuinely the best day of my entire life. I’m still in (joyful) shock from it all.
Eric and I eloped in what was probably the most planned elopement of all time. What I mean by this is that it was most definitely planned (the location, time, day, and what not), but we tried to keep it a secret and to keep the expectation of the day low. It’s not that we didn’t want the day to be important or monumental, it’s simply that we are both introverts and both hate being the center of attention. Anything big, crowded, overly decorated and filled with traditional expectations is not our style (but seriously, props to all of those who can pull off a big, decorate, traditional and fun wedding because oh my gosh, planning a super small elopement was enough work in itself). We celebrated the day with our immediate family and a few of our closest friends and I cannot tell you how special this was to me (well, to both of us, but I’m speaking from my perspective). Being able to share the day with such a small group allowed me to actually focus on the ones I love and be present during the entire day. It's a good thing, too, because from the moment people started to arrive until the end of the day, everything went into tunnel vision. It’s so strange… I’m a big picture person and Eric is a details person, but I could not see any of what was going on throughout the day except what was in my immediate line of vision. Everything else became a blur and went by so incredibly fast. And so, the intimacy of it was very needed and gave me the space to see everyone, interact with everyone and laugh with everyone.
Our ceremony took place on a ferry boat that took us all to Orcas Island. No one knew about the ceremony and so to see everyone’s faces light up as they realized the ceremony was happening at that very second and on the ferry is such a cherished memory and something I’ll never forget. I remember peeking through the door and seeing everyone sitting on the wind protected deck, eagerly waiting to see what was going on. I remember sitting down to wait and the man sitting across from me reading his newspaper. With his eyes glued to his newspaper and without looking up at me once, he asked me if I was actually about to get married right now.
“Yes, I am! No one out there knows either, so I’m really excited!”
“Wow. In my 27 years of taking this ferry, I’ve never seen anyone get married on a ferry.”
He smiled, wished me luck, and continued on reading. Why did we get married on the ferry? Well, nothing was working out with our original wedding plans and we were both exhausted from trying to make a more traditional wedding work. And so it just kind of happened. The idea came into our heads and I was reminded of the spoon ring Eric originally proposed with, and on the ring, the image of two little people standing on a boat in the ocean. It just made sense, and so we canceled the original wedding and decided to elope instead.
My dad couldn’t stop laughing, asking me if this was actually happening, and if the wedding was actually taking place on the ferry. He knew we were getting married that day and that he was to officiate our wedding, but I didn’t tell him anything else about how the day would go. With huge grins on both of our faces, we walked out onto the deck as Eric’s best man played the guitar. I’ve always had huge anxiety about this moment, this moment being walking down the aisle. I’ve walked down two other aisles before for my two best friends' weddings, and each time I almost passed out from nerves (and I was only a bridesmaid). The anxiety stems from the fear of walking down the aisle and in the back of my head knowing I was marrying the wrong person (because I've heard that story happen). Instead, I remember turning the corner and seeing Eric standing there and I’ve never felt so much happiness, joy and certainty than at that very moment. In fact, that is probably my favorite moment from the day: walking with my dad down the aisle towards Eric, his big, brown eyes beaming and his soft, gentle smile waiting. I could relive this moment over and over again, and I know I always will. I never really believed in the saying of “when you know, you know” (when it comes to finding the right person), but I sincerely knew walking down that aisle that Eric is everything I could have ever imagined and more. He’s my human.
I remember the sway of the ferry as it rocked back and forth in the water. I remember having to hold onto my dad's arm during the ceremony so I wouldn’t fall over from nervous excitement and the swaying boat. When my dad started to cry, I remember quietly saying to him “mawwiage,” the way they do in The Princess Bride, to help him laugh and continue on with the ceremony. I remember watching Eric’s face as he intensely focused on every single word my dad was saying to us. I remember saying our vows, I remember looking out at everyone who was there with us and seeing a few crew members who stopped to join us, I remember seeing my sister standing behind Eric in her coat with a huge smile on her face, I remember our mothers sitting together, I remember seeing my two best friend’s faces and being eternally grateful for all the years we have shared together, I remember everyone laughing when the ceremony was interrupted at a few different times because of an intercom message saying that “the car alarm of the vehicle with the British Columbia license plate is still going off,” I remember putting our rings on one another, and I remember my dad pausing before saying “you may kiss the bride” and finally being able to kiss (and kiss again). The ceremony was my favorite part of the day, and I’ll never forget those twenty minutes.
But I’ll also never forget getting to Orcas Island and having a few minutes to go back to our room together and be alone, because after a whirlwind of a day, finally we could just sit there and say hi. Hi, husband! Hi, wife! We’re married! Oh my gosh we really are! The day was a beautiful blur, almost like a painting, and it was in those few minutes where we could finally take a breath and realize everything that had just happened.
The rest of the night was filled with food, games, laughter and dancing. I ripped my dress but it didn’t matter at all because the only thing I cared about was being there with Eric and those who have been our greatest supports.
Someone later asked us (jokingly) if it felt any different being married, and how it was sort of like turning a new age where it doesn’t really feel different, but it happened. I agreed, although, now I would have to disagree.
Being married does feel different. I don’t exactly know why, because I still feel like me, we still feel like we and life will continue in a similar way to how it was before we were married, but still, something does feel different.
Permanency feels different. There is a new sense of love that comes with permanency, that I could have never felt before. There’s the I’m in love with you feeling and the I love you feeling, but then there’s also this new feeling of love that comes when you realize that being married means we are permanent. I can’t describe it beyond that. It’s a type of love I’ve never felt and it’s a type of love I can’t imagine having for anyone else in this world, because it’s our marriage (and our commitment to our marriage) that is the permanent love. It’s being a unit together, no matter what comes our way. Somehow, this permanency allows us to know one another more intimately than anyone else will ever know us. It’s the good and most definitely the bad and ugly. It’s everything from here to the sun, and it’s ours, together, to figure out.
I’ll admit that already in our first week of marriage we had a decent sized disagreement that had us both frustrated beyond belief. As the fight was happening, I kept getting sadder and sadder realizing, oh no, we can’t undo this, we can’t undo the fact that we fought during out first week of marriage. But then I realized I had some weird expectation in my head that everything had to be perfect (beyond just this first week). The truth is, Eric and I have never been perfect, but we’ve always been willing to work it out, or agree to disagree and put love first. That’s what marriage is, it’s putting love first, and putting the other person first. It gave me such a sense of joy to remind myself of this, when during this disagreement I realized that our issue wasn’t even what really mattered, what mattered was Eric and our marriage, and knowing that what mattered to him was me and our marriage. Again, this permanency was what allowed me to love him a new way, and to quickly forget, forgive, and also say sorry myself. As our marriage therapist also has said, “When a couple walks into my office and I ask them what they fight about, if they say that they don’t fight, the first thing I ask them is, ‘so which one of you is lying?’” In past relationships, it’s always been me who was lying, hence the lack of any fights or disagreements. But finally, finally, I have someone that I don’t have to lie with. I have someone who I can completely be myself with (and vice versa), even when it causes us tension or disagreements. And so, our fight during our first week of marriage, I suppose it’s perfectly normal, and I know as we continue to learn and grow together, we’ll get better at understanding one another’s cores, and we won’t have to fight.
I love Eric so much. It’s weird (okay, well not really), but I didn’t think I could possibly love him more than the day we were married, but every single day, my love for him grows deeper. I know that one day we’ll leave the honeymoon phase and some days it will be hard to love one another, but I know that he’s the only human I would ever risk marrying, if that makes sense. Everyone I’ve known has said that marriage is hard work, and with the divorce stats, it’s even risky, but as I said in my vows to him,
We’ve already been through a lot together, both good and bad, and as much as I’ve hated the bad, it’s shown me that there’s no one else in this entire world I’d rather experience the bad with than you. I know there’ll be hard times and I know there’ll be amazing times and I know there’ll be all of those mundane things in the middle. Today, through all of those moments, and the moments to come, I promise to be by your side through this adventure we call life.
Marrying Eric is the best thing I have ever done. I remember, too, when we had our “first look” photos. The moment I saw him standing in the field with his back to me, I couldn’t walk, I had to run to him, because finally, the day was there, and we were finally making it (legally) permanent. I am so excited to do life with him, permanently him.