I never thought my wedding would be like this, but I don’t regret a thing

Sometimes things don't go as planned for a reason.

My spouse proposed spontaneously. They hadn’t even purchased a ring the night we went to see my favorite band play my favorite album from top to bottom, ten years after its initial release. They looked me in the eyes and sang me one of my favorite songs and then, during the lyrics of the bridge, leaned in and asked if I would marry them.

I said yes, of course, and then cried and we kissed. And kissed. And kissed.

It took a while for that initial high to wear off — frankly, it still hasn’t. We’ve been married since November and I still get goosebumps when I so much as glance at my left hand. The knowledge that we were engaged filled me up with warmth. Now, the knowledge that we are married makes me feel soft and fuzzy around the edges, blessed and loved in a way I cannot properly articulate.

[bctt tweet=”We’ve been married since November and I still get goosebumps when I see my left hand.” username=”wearethetempest”]

When we first stepped into the nebulous territory of planning our wedding, it looked vastly different from how the ceremony actually went. We debated who to invite, where to host the event, whether we should cater or bake things ourselves, and how many people should stand on either side of us when we said our vows.

I was stressed about the obligation I felt to invite extended family, friends I’d known forever, friends with whom I’d recently grown close. Then we had to think about food, accommodation, the venue, and so much more. I worried that we wouldn’t be able to please everyone while also having the wedding we wanted, and it didn’t help that my idea of a “Good Wedding” was vastly different than my partner’s.

All I knew was that I wanted to get married somewhere that I didn’t necessarily have to wear shoes; ideally, the beach, though I was flexible on that.

[bctt tweet=”I wanted to get married somewhere that I didn’t have to wear shoes.” username=”wearethetempest”]

During the course of our 21-month engagement, we changed our minds a hundred times. We also changed the date a few times. Initially, we planned to get married in the summer of 2018. Then 2019.

We got married far earlier than we planned, for reasons that aren’t really mine to tell.

Here’s what I will say: our wedding took place in a friend’s backyard, overseeing the ocean. That friend officiated our hand-binding ceremony, using vows we wrote ourselves. We invited four other friends, including our photographer, and the ceremony was simple, carefree, and absolutely stunning. We opted not to invite any blood relatives; we’ll be celebrating our nuptials with my parents in the new year.

No one catered. We baked some chocolate chip banana bread, special ordered a small cake from Whole Foods, and then went out for pizza, wings, and fries post-ceremony with the friends who didn’t have to run to work. My spouse placed a small order for a bouquet of peonies and a matching boutonniere, both of which they picked up an hour before we said our vows.

It wasn’t how I ever pictured my wedding. The few times I fantasized about it as a kid looked so different, but honestly? I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

[bctt tweet=”It wasn’t how I ever pictured my wedding.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Asking friends to help with officiating, hosting, and photographing the wedding helped us pull together a beautiful ceremony on a tight budget in very little time. It also made the whole experience feel even more intimate, warm-hearted, and good. Though pushing the wedding up so far wasn’t ideal, we had a ceremony that felt like us and didn’t have to compromise much in order to do it. That felt amazing.

Even though we got married outdoors in late November, the weather cooperated and we had a beautiful, sun-filled morning. It wasn’t even particularly cold. While the environmentalist in me knows the reasons for that aren’t great (hey, global warming!) I’m still grateful for such a perfect day.

My spouse always surprises me in simple, small acts of love that make my heart soar. I would never have dreamed of such a tiny, laid-back ceremony — but standing by the ocean, holding their hands, and saying our vows brought me to a whole other plane of happiness I had never experienced before. It went beyond any other moment in our relationship, including their perfect proposal.

It was our moment. And the simplicity of it made it all the more beautiful.