I know that wedding anniversaries are important. I know they are considered the valid anniversary date. To be honest, it’s a special date for me but not as important as society tells me it should be.
I guess it’s because I was with my husband for so long prior to getting married. The only significance to this date is that we officially became legal. I’m not sure what the fringe benefits are but apparently they are good enough for millions of people so why not us.
After a 2 year engagement, we finally did it. On March 3, 2003 at 3:30pm we officially became man and wife. We had an intimate ceremony. We both agreed that going into debt wasn’t the best way to start a ‘happily ever after’ story. We also agreed that either one of us would be taken away in handcuffs if we attempted to have a traditional wedding.
A traditional wedding in our family would have consisted of a church and reception area the size of Yankee Stadium. Sure our immediate families are small but our extended families are huge. Our relatives come from the working-the-farm rules of having children. It makes for great get-togethers when you’re a kid but hell when a wedding has to be planned.
The bar tab alone would have set us back from buying a new home. Then there is the whole clash of the traditions where my family would probably get insulted by something stupid and Lrudlrick’s family would have no clue why a line of whole pigs is paraded around the reception area and then given to each table to gorge on. Or the need to hire security guards for a gaudy Mr. T inspired piece of jewelry. Oh, and there was the my-dad-can’t-sit-next-to-my-mom scenario.
Plus, in Chinese cultures, there is an added business element to the whole deal. Business associates of the parents of the bride and groom are invited. “But mom, I don’t know them. Why would I pay for an $80+/head dinner for strangers?” “They’re not strangers. They are your ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’. Besides, you’ll get a wedding gift.”
Anyone thinking that a wedding is a break even event is misguided. If you are planning a wedding and hope to recoup the floral arrangement costs, think again. You’ll come back from Morocco, sort through your gifts and at some point will say, “Third cousin Bertha, husband Bert and their three teenage line-backer sons gave us $40.00? The floral arrange on their table cost $99.00!”
Chinese weddings are like funerals. They aren’t for the guest of honor. They’re more for everyone else. Ok, I’m going to be honest; they are for the mother and father of bride and groom. See traditionally, the groom's family are supposed to pay for a Chinese wedding. Hence my mother would tell my brother and me that I was required to marry a Chinese man and my brother was required to marry outside of Chinese culture. My mother was joking folks. I don’t want to hear my mother received a call from one of you asking her if she was serious.
A wedding is a way of showing one’s worth and not losing face within their circle of friends. The more who attend the better.
Sure, I would have loved a banquet feast that lasts 6+ hours. I love to eat. Sure, I would have loved the traditional changing of clothes nearly every hour for the bride. I love shoes. Sure, I would have loved the getting drunk while going to every table and sharing a shot of XO. I love alcohol. But those things are just material items that would have faded and mixed into every wedding I attended.
What we wanted was something that would be remembered by the special few that got to experience it. If we were going to make our relationship legal, we wanted to do it our way.
Tired of being asked when we were going to finally make it official, we set a date. Our close family and friends went down South to watch us become Lord and Lady Lrudlrick. We ate and danced the night away. Merriment was felt by all.
We kept some traditions to make my mother happy like the combing of my hair, the tea ceremony and the changing of the clothes. We also incorporated photos of our departed grandparents and my father into our ceremony. Lrudlrick even wore my dad’s favorite tie during the reception.
Looking back, it was a special day for us but I still feel the same; in the grand scheme this day won’t be the pivotal moment in our relationship. The pivotal moment was the day that we realized that we had something special. Something about each other clicked and we knew for better of worse, we wanted to share our life. Marriage doesn’t make you one entity. When it’s right, it just happens.
Lrudlrick deals with my cranky pants and I deal with his cranky pants. We drive each other crazy sometimes with our behavioral ticks but we don’t scold each other for them. We accept each other warts and all and still look forward to coming home to each other.
That’s what matters most to me not the day a government document united us.
Still tomorrow is our day and I must get home to wrap his present and make his card. Lrudlrick will probably come home late tonight because of some last minute shopping which should give me some time to shellac his card. I’ll explain later. Mothra had a ‘brilliant’ idea.
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