Today is our wedding anniversary. Twenty-six years to be exact. Anyone who has been married this long, knows that it is not what it looks like on tv, in a romance novel or even in a song. What it looks like is hard work, commitment, forgiveness, laughter and a whole lot of love.
I was 23, my husband had just turned 29 and we had been dating exactly three weeks when he asked me to marry him. We had actually met a couple of months earlier, but since we lived over four hours apart, had only a couple of opportunities to get to know one another before we had our first “official” date. We were engaged in early September, moved to the same town over Thanksgiving weekend and were married in front of a Christmas tree on December 28, 1985.
For some reason, this anniversary has made me more introspective than usual. I guess 26 years just seems like a really long time. But as my husband reminded me this morning in his beautiful card, Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A” came one year earlier and we are still singing it today.
We were planning the typical big wedding (which I might add, is NOTHING like big weddings today) and after only a few weeks of figuring out guest lists, wedding invitations, divorced parents, and costs which were beyond our means, we threw in the towel. No, we didn’t call off the wedding, we just accelerated and simplified it.
We made the decision on Christmas Eve, after some encouragement from my mom and her fiancée, to get married on Saturday at her house and to have our reception as originally planned on February 1st. Fortunately we already had our marriage license, and my mom’s house is always decorated beautifully for Christmas. So now all we had to do, was to find a minister. And believe me, that was NOT an easy task!
Finally, we gathered together with close friends and family (those that were available on such short notice) in front of a beautifully lit Christmas tree before a Episcopalian minister we met earlier that day to promise ourselves to one another.
And here we are twenty-six years later, still loving one another, looking forward to whatever the future brings – as long as we are together.
What does this have to do with food or photography? Not much, but it is what is important to me today and I thought I would share. It is also a reminder that a great marriage, doesn’t begin with the perfect dress, food, venue or honeymoon (we still haven’t gotten around to that yet), but with love and commitment.
The glow and giddiness of “new love” fades and you must be prepared to work for the deep, lasting love that will take you through the years.
And for the record, we had a FANTASTIC party for our reception. The pressure was off because we were already married, so we simply put on our wedding clothes and joined in the party. There is nothing like a decorated fire hall, several platters of food from the local Italian deli, a good DJ and several kegs of cold beer to get a party started with 100 of your closest friends!