My step daughter Jamie got married last week. I’m so glad to sit here and write that we didn’t spend months, weeks, or even days on Pinterest, trying to put together the perfect affair. Oh no, not my girl. She has ALWAYS done things on her own timeline, and her wedding was really no different. She and her now husband Michael have been together for eight years. Since she was 16. They have two children together, including Brady, and have been through every thing you could ever imagine (even the death of their first child). When I tell you they do things on their own terms, I really mean that. It’s her life – and we respect that, so we support her in whatever way we can.
So one Saturday night while we were having family dinner, she tells me this beautiful story about how Michael had slowly saved up $5 and $10 bills so that he could surprise her by purchasing their wedding license. It took him two months to save up that $100 – and I’ve never seen a man more excited about getting married in my life. But they couldn’t find someone to marry them. We’re thinking of this person and that person, and everyone who could perform the ceremony that didn’t have huge religious ties (her requirement.) We’re walking through the house while I’m spouting off politicians I know who could perform it, and Lauren pops up and says, “I can marry you. I got ordained online.” Jamie and I both stopped prepping dinner, turned and looked at her all at once and said, “WHAT?!?” Apparently she’d done it for a friend a couple of years before and was still legal to marry folks.
Jokingly I said, “Well, I guess you can get married tomorrow, then.” And she did. I had no idea that I’d have literally 12 waking hours to prep my house and get together a memorable event for her – but we did it. There’s no Pinterest perfect ideas, just a simple at-home wedding, but the memories we made were unforgettable.
She didn’t ask for flowers, but I made her a grocery store bouquet anyways from $10 worth of roses to walk down the aisle in a dress she borrowed from her “ordained” sister. Because every bride needs flowers.
Because, let’s face it, if you’re going to have a wedding at my house, especially without major planning, it’s gotta be done in aqua. Everything I own is an oceany shade, and it was super easy to pull out all our aqua folding chairs, let her borrow a dress from her sister, dress ordinary stuff up with aqua ribbon, pull out those aqua candles I’ve bought but never used, etc. There was no excuse for us to not make it pretty when I had everything on hand.
Close family members gathered in our back yard and then had cake on our front porch on a picture perfect Sunday afternoon in June. I don’t know if we’d have had a better time if we would have worked on it for an entire year.
As someone who had a court house wedding, I’m here to tell you – her $100 wedding will bring her just as much happiness as the $100K weddings. Because at the end of the day it’s not about that one day…. it’s about everything that comes after it.