This past weekend I had the opportunity to renew my wedding vows with the hubs. It was an unplanned spontaneous event on a stage with 50 other couples in a repeat-after-me thing — totally low budget. Hubs’ hands shook and tears filled his eyes just like they did 15 years ago. It was a very emotional thing, especially to us after overcoming some difficult obstacles.
Made me think back to my wedding day. We were both in school, so I told everyone I wanted something simple — simple elegance. The truth was we had no money and simple elegance was simple necessity. But, when it comes down to it there are a lot of expensive bells and whistles that we lived without and don’t miss.
If I had to redo my I Do, I would pay for a photographer. A professional photographer, and I would’ve had a plan for our wedding night that didn’t involve driving to a motel almost an hour away.
A Student-Themed Wedding.
I paid $100 for my dress fabric (well, my dad paid), and $40 of that was for pearl buttons. I did yard work for 2 days in trade to a friend’s mom who was a seamstress. I paid $70 for silk flowers, and a lady at our church donated her florists skills and made all the bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, and decorated the church. My dad joined the Lions Club so he could get the hall rental for $50. My aunt worked at Glamour Shots, so we didn’t have to pay a sitting fee — just for the photos. We made our own invitations, the church rental was free, and the official accepted a donation instead of charging us his regular fee. We had a DJ and a catered meal, but all told my entire wedding cost just under $1200.
I spent hours visiting wedding shops trying on dresses that cost $900 (in bronze – the white version was more expensive) and more. I heard other people talk about spending $10,000 on their weddings, that just wasn’t going to happen.
And you know what — fifteen years later none of that matters. The emotional highs of that day faded and the ups and downs of regular married life settled in. Worse than the highs and lows, are the months of just flat-prairie-road-living with no bends, no dips or bumps. Just same old same old day after day. That’s when the vows we spoke on that day really matter. You stay because you promised you wouldn’t leave. You lie and say ‘I love you’ even on the days when you don’t ‘feel’ it. Because to say anything else would devastate the other person, and deep down you know you do love them no matter what, and you need them to know that, but you just don’t like them at that moment, that day, that week, that month, that year.
Marriage is hard. It’s supposed to be hard. Romantic feelings fade, feelings wane, hearts are broken and mended — it’s the mature love and commitment that sees you through the years. I read about a couple who’ve been married for 80 years. 80 Years! For me to be married for 80 years to the hubs, we’d both be over a hundred – but I bet it’s a sweet ride.
What about you? If you could redo your I Do, what would you change? Would you spend more/less? Would you worry more/less about that detail? I’d love to know.