November 4th is one of my most favorite days because it’s my daughter’s birthday; the day our family expanded. But, today, November 15th, is my MOST favorite day because this is the day our family began. This is the day that my husband and I vowed our lives to one another and entered into a covenant with God.
Growing up, like most little girls, I dreamt of the day I would marry my very own Prince Charming. I had this great, grand idea of the perfect man, who would be the perfect husband and as I got older I thought about him being the perfect father to our perfect children. In high school, before Pinterest was popular, I was so obsessed with the idea of the most beautiful and perfect wedding, that I had compiled four different folders on my computer of my dream wedding organized by season. Yep, I had a perfect wedding planned for spring, summer, fall, AND winter; because you just never know, right? I had EVERY detail planned, down to the party favors and napkins. You could say I was like Monica from “Friends” with her big wedding binder. I mean, that show did influence me maybe more than a show ever should, but that’s a different story. So, needless to say, I was a bit obsessed with the idea of marriage and weddings. So when I met my now husband, he had some pretty big shoes to fill and so many expectations to meet that he didn’t even know about. I laugh at this absurd idea now of perfection, but I can also remember so vividly what it felt like to be so disappointed because I never found “perfection” in the way it was built up in my head. No, my husband isn’t “perfect” in the Disney fantasy sense of the word, but I don’t know any human who is. My husband is so sweet, he’s funny, he’s the most hardworking man I know, he is caring, he is so smart and he loves Autumn and I so deeply. Call me crazy, but that sounds pretty perfect if you ask me. Does he have flaws? UMMMM YES!!! He’s messy, he farts all the dang time and doesn’t care who knows it, he buys way too much fast food, and he’s so forgetful, but all that shows is that he’s human….and SUCH a dude….Oh, also, he proposed to me in a Dollar Tree parking lot with a 50 cent ring right before seeing a movie at the Dollar Theater. Which if you know my husband Preston, you know that is SUCH a “Preston” thing to do. It doesn’t sound very romantic, but it was actually the sweetest thing ever when you know the whole story, that’s a different post though…
I told you in the title of this post we are totally unconventional, and I’m guessing if you made it this far in the post, you’re beginning to see I’m not joking about that.
Our Wedding Day
More often than not, a huge part of the wedding is the wedding dress. I was an avid “Say Yes to the Dress” fan, but guess what, my wedding dress came from Target…and I think it was on sale… Unconventional.
I originally bought it as my birthday dress (a tradition I have with my mom, but she ended up surprising me with one that year so I saved this dress)
Ordinarily, the bride has champagne and O.J. and some fruit or something cliché like that with her bridesmaids in a hotel as they all get ready. I had to work that day, so I curled my hair the best I could to make it last all day, got my work uniform on (khaki shorts and a polo shirt and TOMS) and drove to work in Preston’s suuuper old and kinda dangerous pickup truck. I worked at a museum with all kinds of animals who were rescued and too injured to survive in the wild and there was a playground with a water table feature….that’s what I was doing hours before marrying my love. I was monitoring and cleaning up children playing and watching a badger did a hole. We both would have asked for the day off, but we didn’t even know the far in advance that we were going to this, I ended up texting a co-worker to cover the rest of my shift and went home to change into my cute, little Target wedding dress and attempted to salvage the state of my hair. Then after my husband got home he took a quick shower and put on his best pair of jeans and his only clean “nice” shirt and we headed off to city hall. Well, what we thought was city hall, we ended up in the wrong building and they told us where to go to actually get married, so we went. We filled out the marriage licenses and had Preston’s aunt and uncle meet us there to serve as our witnesses. The most “normal” thing about our wedding was the bouquet of red roses, and a “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” his aunt brought me. So we headed upstairs to the “ceremony room”, Preston’s uncle walked me down the aisle of white folding plastic chairs and it was the happiest I had ever been in my life.
Preston and I stared in each others eyes with all the love in the world and at that moment nothing else mattered.
We said our “I do’s”, exchanged rings, he kissed the bride and just like that, we were married!!
Following the ceremony, we went to a local restaurant called “The Post Office Saloon & Grill” and called the rest of my husband’s family to join us and surprised them with our news upon their arrival. At some point in the dinner, my mom had finally called me back so I could tell her the news, and she was able to hear Preston give a beautiful speech which made her cry. Of course, a piece of my heart ached not having her with me, but I could feel her love from 700 miles away.
From there we went up to Preston’s little hometown that has a population fewer than 600, where his aunt and uncle live. My husband who had celebrated a little too much *wink wink* was rambling on and on about Harbor Freight the whole 2-ish hour-long ride which made it feel more like 5 hours, but it’s something we all look back on now and laugh about. We stayed in a tiny hotel that was decorated in the cutest small town way, it almost made me cry. The next morning when we were out and about in this little town, everyone we saw congratulated us-which was the most special and strangest thing for me because I didn’t know any of them and coming from a major city like San Diego, I’ve never experienced anything like that. How did they all know we had gotten married?! That’s something else I look back on and laugh about. From then on, nothing we’ve done has been in “the norm”; unconventional is kind of our thing.
I was pregnant the first year of our marriage and we got to celebrate our first anniversary with our sweet girl who was just over a week old.
As much as I wanted a huge, “perfect” wedding when I was younger, I have to say, I love the way we did it. If I could change one thing, it would be to have my mom there, but other than that, it was perfect, in its own unconventional little way. It was the beginning of a lesson I am still learning and that is to let go of the idea of perfection. I’ve spoken about it before on this blog, and it’s something I am still learning to do. I love my husband and I love that between the two of us we are the most organized mess ever, a beautiful mess.