Friday, July 13, 2012

Nine years ago


Mr. Jean Jean and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary yesterday! We got married when we were pretty young - I was twenty-two and Soren was twenty-four. We married two months after I graduated from college, on our college campus by one of our professors.

We didn't have much money or much time to plan (we were engaged for only 6 months), so we accomplished most everything with the help of friends and family. We made our own boutonniers and bouquets at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market the day before the wedding. My mother-in-law tailored and modified my grandmother Velma's 1950s wedding dress for me to wear and also made the bridesmaids dresses. My friend Katrina did my hair and make-up. My Hebrew teacher, who also happens to be a professional violinist, played this waltz for us during the ceremony. We had a homemade, family dinner at the home of Soren's parents instead of a catered meal. Friends provided jazz music and singing at the reception. My sisters-in-laws did the artwork for the programs and made our favors, which were rocks collected on the North Shore of Lake Superior stamped with our names and the date of our wedding.

I loved our wedding. It was a perfect representation of our lives, and the people that we loved, at that time. The best part of the whole day was a part of our ceremony that we did Quaker Meeting style, inviting people to stand up and say something if they wanted to. We didn't know if anyone would speak or, if they did, what they would say. There were a few moments of silence at the beginning but then, one by one, people spoke. What followed was unforgettable. Both our fathers said something, as did Soren's sister. My great-aunt Princetta talked about my grandparents, both gone, and how much they would have enjoyed the wedding and how special it was to see my grandma's dress again. Soren's uncle, poet Roy McBride, recited a poem for us. And Soren's grandma, who is about 5' tall and the mother of ten children, simply asked, "Has anyone told you that this is going to be hard?" and then sat back down.

I was thinking what she said yesterday, during what felt like a really long, really hard day. Soren and I had a big fight in the morning and, stubbornly, stayed mad. Our plans for an anniversary dinner turned into cheese and crackers at 9 PM. I went for a walk by myself. We fell into bed, exhausted by the pace of life. You get the idea. But it is OK. Bad days come with the territory. Happily, they are far outnumbered by good days, especially now that Severen is with us! I am grateful to have such a loving family. I hope we get to spend many, many more years together.

9 comments:

No Carnations said...

Happy Anniversary dear lady : )

Anne said...

I love this post, and I love the clarity that only comes with time. That's what real love is <3.

Wildfell Hall Vintage said...

first of all what a dress! and yes you guys sure did it young...but it sounds like you have the marriage 'muscle' to make it work well into the future...have a lovely weekend D!

steph.kelley said...

What a beautiful bride. It's good to remember that the good days outnumber the bad — because on a bad day, it's too easy to delude ourselves that everything is bad all the time! Keep up the good work. xoxoxo

Melissa said...

oh my god i got all teary eyed reading this post! So beautiful, I hope my wedding is half as good <3

GirlRural.com said...

Congrats on 9 wonderful years! I LOVE the photos you shared with us. Marriage is hard, it's work, it's frustrating and tiring. However, marriage is also the best of life alongside a best friend. My strategy, celebrate your anniversary a week in advance becomes something always comes up on the actual day. Ha ha

Wild Tea Party said...

Happy Anniversary! I love this post Duff - not only did you look so beautiful in your grandmother's dress, but your honesty is refreshing. I think more people need to hear Soren's grandma's advice before they get married!

And I love the Quaker element to your wedding. I think that's far more open, fun and beautiful than having formal speeches. I've got a friend doing this at her upcoming wedding.

Emily said...

Happy anniversary Duff! It sounds like you had a beautiful wedding day. And thank you for sharing your wedding photos - you look so lovely! I think Soren's grandma was spot on - sometimes it is just plain damned hard but that is balanced out with a lot of happy times :)

Teresa said...

Aw! Happy anniversary!
Your dress is gorgeous and I love your hair.

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