We wrote our own ceremony, including our vows. We did not share our vows with each other until the moment we said them to each other. I remember our minister showed up and said that I had never emailed him the vows. Of course I had. My maid of honor helped me to reconstruct them.
I remember my mom looking at me and saying "You look just beautiful," and getting misty eyed. My mom is a hard woman, at times, and for her to both compliment me unreservedly and get misty eyed was a Big Moment for me.
My favorite part of any wedding is not looking at the bride, but watching the groom as the bride walks down the aisle and seeing his face. I could not wait to walk down the aisle. My mom was escorting me, since my dad had passed away in 1989. She had to actually physically hold me back and whispered "slow down" after we started. I did. Then I looked at Jeremy. I didn't look away or at anyone or anything else (at least, not that I remember).
This is the place we were married. We crossed the little bridge and the ceremony was on the other side.
We faced each other throughout the whole ceremony, holding both hands, and grinning like fools at each other. He squeezed my hands repeatedly. He actually misted too, when we said our vows. I, of course, very nearly wept openly. He mouthed "I love you" to me during the ceremony repeatedly, and I blew kisses to him in return. And then when we kissed, he placed his hands on either side of my face and we kissed. Really kissed. I have a frame at home of five different angles of that kiss that our friends and family sent to me after. I have that kiss framed from almost every angle.
Since then, we've had, between us, four different jobs, one incredible and near-perfect honeymoon, one vacation to Kauai, three dogs, five miscarriages (one after Brody was born), and our greatest achievement and blessing, our beautiful son. I don't know how many fights we've had since then, but I know we've made up one more time than the number of those fights. We've waited through 12 surgeries and three hospitalizations for Brody, sometimes together, and sometimes apart. We've cried together, been in marriage counseling together, contemplated bankruptcy and losing our home together, laughed at inappropriate things together, made each other giggle uncontrollably, ranted and raved to each other about the world and its complete lack of regard for fairness at times. We've sat side by side and gave 10 vials of blood at once to find out why we could not have a child. We traveled to a foreign country to have a medical procedure that would make it so we could have a child. We've campaigned for Obama together, imitated each other's most deplorable habits, cared for each other through colds and flus and hangovers, celebrated our personal achievements and victories together, read with pride each other's glowing job evaluations, grown up into adulthood together, become parents together, annoyed the hell out of each other and loved each other for seven years.
Marriage is more work than we ever thought it would be on June 29, 2002. I cannot believe how naive we were about marriage, and life in general. But marriage has also become much more satisfying and means much more than we thought it would too.
Happy Anniversary to my handsome, creative, impossibe, beautiful husband.