Ten years ago, I married my BFF. It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade already. I don’t know if I’ve done any wedding-y posts (a few anniversary shoutouts, yes, but no details) so our ten year anniversary seems like a good time for a wedding story.
We dated through nearly all of high school and college. I graduated in December 2004, and we were engaged in February of 2005. The whole thing was a pretty good indication of our future relationship: One afternoon we decided to get married, and I chose my own modest ring. That’s the story we will tell our children, and while it may not seem very exciting, it’s perfect to me. There was something very feminist about making a joint engagement decision and choosing my own ring.
In a few months, with the help of our moms, we planned a low-key outdoor wedding. We chose a nice reception center that handled most everything, and we outsourced the flowers and cake to some budget-friendly local businesses. My dress was maybe $400 off the rack, and my bridesmaids dresses were cute little sundresses off a clearance rack at Macy’s. (Trust me, it’s a better alternative to custom, spendy, and usually terrible bridesmaids dresses!) No engagement party, rehearsal dinner, wedding dinner, bachelor/ bachelorette parties, open bars, etc. We’d have skipped most, if not all, of the traditional wedding stuff if we didn’t feel a bit obligated to do it for our families. We were ok with the compromise. After some quick Googling, I found out the cost of the average wedding in 2005 was $31K. I’d be shocked if we spent over $5,000 on ours and I still felt it was a little indulgent!
We did spend on hiring a good wedding photographer (I was concerned about preserving memories from the day more than anything), and I’m so glad we did. I love looking back at the photos, and as I’ve been working on Project Life I have been enjoying them again. We also tapped a talented cousin of my husband’s to take candid shots and he did not disappoint. (He also made us a cute wedding slideshow with photos of the two of us growing up and then our dating/engagement photos- SO fun. I still watch it from time to time).
Our Honeymoon was in Vegas – we road tripped it down and had some fun on our teeny-tiny budget. We came back to our teeny tiny apartment and started our lives together. ♥
In ten years we have had two homes we put a LOT of work into (after that teeny tiny apartment), been on lots of fun trips, raised two puppies into spastic-but-sweet fur-children, and had one beautiful little girl who makes the world brighter for both of us. I look around daily with so much gratitude for my life. I’ve worked on my education and career, and am now lucky enough to take a hiatus and be a full-time-mommy/work-from-home part-timer. While I have days I stress about work, or guilt about failing at total mommy-perfection (it happens), overall things feel really in balance. Hubby and I have both worked so hard over the years (at our jobs, fixing up our homes and yards, pinching pennies). There have been grueling times. Stressful times. But we’ve been in it together and that makes all the difference. I plan, he navigates. Weekend warriors. Team Mom and Dad. You know life’s good when you feel like high-fiving your spouse at least once a day. We are lucky.
If I have any wisdom on achieving marital bliss, it’s mostly this: pick a good one. 🙂 And then.. live in the present. Don’t dwell in the past or wish away the present. Plan, have adventures, be spontaneous, be goofy, have fun. Make your current situation the best you can. Practice gratitude for each other, focus on the good, make memories. Keep it simple and authentic – don’t try to compete or compare to how others do it.
We are celebrating by going out to dinner when we can swing it – probably this weekend sometime. We rarely have/make time for just the two of us anymore, so I am looking forward to it!
Happy ten years to us, and many happy more to come. ♥