Sunday, April 01, 2007

Happy Anniversary (to Me)

The only piece of jewelry I wear.

My husband and I actually celebrate two anniversaries and this one is the one other people recognize as valid but we tend to view as less significant. Today is our 18th wedding anniversary. Time does fly when you're having fun. :-)

Unlike most little girls, I never grew up dreaming of big, frothy wedding or wearing a frilly gown. In fact, I grew up thinking I'd never marry at all and generally having a negative impression of the institution. Even after falling in love with my husband (who I've stated on several occasions is so wonderful that he should qualify for living god-hood), I didn't really care if we made it legal or not. My husband, on the other hand, did want to get married though he probably wouldn't have resisted if I'd have had more serious objections.

Circumstances ended up dictating to some extent when we had to get married as we were planning on coming to Japan and we knew that the visa situation might be a problem if we weren't legally tethered and one of us failed to get a job which provided visa sponsorship. We chose April 1st because it fell within the window of opportunity before my husband planned to fly off (alone) to Japan and find a job and because it was a memorable date. This has the added bonus of adding some depth and meaning (at least to us) to what is surely one of the most moronic and juvenile holidays in the history of civilization.

Our wedding was very small with only about 20 people in attendance. It was held in my in-law's home. My mother-in-law made turkey lasagna and ordered a lovely strawberry sheet cake for us. My husband's late best friend Greg was the best man and Greg's mother, Diane, bought my dress and shoes as a wedding gift. She also served as my matron of honor. I wore a light pink dress and my husband wore a regular suit with Birkenstocks. Our gold rings were purchased at a discount through my husband's aunt. I believe she worked at Zales at the time. We chose our particular rings because they were neither plain nor fancy. To this day, we both still love the rings we decided upon.

We were married by a man who had gotten a license to wed people through some sort of mail order agency quite some time ago. It was important that our ceremony not be religious in any way since neither I nor my husband are a part of a particular religion so we were happy that we didn't have to enlist a church minister to do the job. We wrote our own vows but the non-denominational minister still tacked something about "God" on at the end much to my husband's annoyance at the time.

My husband chose a piece of classical music and we walked in together since neither he nor I was interested in fanfare or showcases. We wanted it to be special but we wanted it to be ours rather than follow a traditional style. The ceremony was short as was the "reception" which was essentially all of us enjoying the food my mother-in-law had prepared and arranged. We spent the first night of our honeymoon at a really wonderful hotel in Monterey and the next three days in Carmel. It was short because my husband had to fly off soon thereafter and we were going to have to go seriously into debt to set up our life in Japan and we didn't want to blow a lot of cash on an extended honeymoon.

Our entire wedding cost about $600 including the rings, dress, cake, and paying the minister. My father-in-law covered the costs since my family was too poor to do so and he was so generous. In fact,
my family couldn't afford to fly over and attend though it was such a little celebration that it didn't seem all that important that they make the effort anyway. The entire "event" was videotaped so at least they could watch what happened after the fact.

I wouldn't change a thing about our wedding if I could go back and do it all again. It was very special and memorable and reflected the type of people my husband and I are in every way.


Helen said...

Happy Anniversary! It sounds like your wedding was wonderful. I was another person who never expected to get married....but here I am.

I wanted to have a low-key wedding like yours, but I wasn't able to. Hubby wanted the big ceremony. I would have been much happier with something small and personal. Oh well.

Enjoy your day. I hope you can spend it together!

Shari said...

Thanks for your kind wishes, helen. :-) Your wedding looked lovely (I looked at the pictures on your site) though I can, of course, understand the desire to have something smaller and more intimate. I think the social situation in Japan might make that harder though as there are more expectations to include family, coworkers and friends (at least in the reception).

Unfortunately, my husband had to work today but we've grown accustomed to celebrating "late". :-) Thanks again for you lovely comment!

Nanny Haha said...

Happy Day, Shari. Congratulations to you both. You're an inspiration!

Shari said...

Thanks, nanny. :-)

Joseph said...

Congrats to you both indeedy!

love, joseph

Joanna said...

Happy Anniversary!

I had a super low key wedding... we didn't even tell our parents about it.

I just invited my 4 friends and we eloped. It was less stressful... I wouldn't change a thing.