A Time to Remember

Alex and I lived together for a few years and even owned a house before we got married. We had been together through four years of college plus a few years after college and survived that transition into adulthood flawlessly. Because of those big details I didn’t really think that marriage would change our relationship. Boy was I wrong!

People get married for a variety of reasons: love, passion, business, pressure, religion, security, and so on. The reasons we got married were more than just our love and adoration for each other. We chose to get legally married in advance of our wedding day for security purposes. Our love for each other was so strong we were able to put it aside and make a true business decision to provide security and stability in case something happened to one of us. While we hoped this would never happen, we wanted the other person to be able to make the difficult decisions and to be financially secure. 

At the time we made this choice I had recently been laid off and was working a part-time job. I was paying an arm and a leg for health insurance and student loans and we needed a new car. So, truthfully, it just made sense for us to put our dreams of a wedding on hold and elope.

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March 14, 2011 is our official date of marriage, according to our marriage certificate. We had a lovely civil ceremony on a beautiful spring day at the Seattle Courthouse with our witnesses Chris and Carrie, both of whom are very close friends. While that day was special in its own way, it was certainly not the wedding either one of us had in mind, nor is it what we think of when we think of our wedding day. Before our marriage we had talked about when and where we wanted to get married. We decided we wanted to have a small wedding in the mountains that next winter.

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Fast forward six months. We were days away from a trip to Colorado that we had planned to take to scout out wedding venues. We were “married” but not engaged yet {are you lost yet?}. You read that right. There are few traditional things about us and the way we went about getting married and engaged proves that quite well. Thankfully Alex realized it might look silly to wedding planners and venues to have us appear at their site with a ringless bride. He had grand plans of proposing on the top of a mountain, or so he says, but one night he couldn’t wait any longer and when I fell asleep on the sofa in front of the fire in our living room he said it reminded him of all of the days when he would sneak into my freshman dorm room before his 8 a.m. class to kiss me goodmorning. He knew that was his time to pop the question. It was perfect.

We set out to Colorado that very next weekend as a newly engaged couple and found the most incredible venue where our wedding would take place seven months later.

The Donovan Pavilion

The Donovan Pavilion

Today is our anniversary. When people ask us how long we have been married we’ll answer with the number of years we legally have been married, but our anniversary and wedding day is and always will be the day of our wedding in Vail, April 14th. To us, our courthouse wedding was just a formality, but our Vail wedding was the most special day I think either one of us will ever have.

Happy Anniversary, my love!

Happy Anniversary, my love!

I’m not sure how that marriage distinction has changed our relationship but I really feel like it has. It intensified our bond and I think that we both cherish each other and the time we spend together even more than we did before we were husband and wife. While important, our marriage today is far more than our tax status, our joint bank accounts, the health insurance we share together or the piece of paper we have that proves our union. We stood up in front of 90 of our closest friends and family and made a commitment to support each other through it all. That meant something to us. Our wedding day was strictly about love.

It is always fun to think back to our wedding day, but today especially I am reveling in the memories. There were a lot of small moments that made the day and weekend so meaningful……

The groomsmen sure knew how to get ready in style

The groomsmen sure knew how to get ready in style

They clean up nice!

They clean up nice!

A special moment with Nana

A special moment with Nana

Enjoying a laugh with my mom

Enjoying a laugh with my mom

Wedding-day toast!

Wedding-day toast!

Spending a few minutes with the FOB

Spending a few minutes with the FOB – one of my favorite photos from the day

Admiring my dress

Admiring my dress

Final details coming together

Final details coming together

Our "first look"

Our “first look”

Entering Vail Village for our photo shoot

Entering Vail Village for our photo shoot

One of the funniest moments of the day. Someone came out of a shop with a ball and chain that we used as a prop for our photos!

One of the funniest moments of the day. Someone came out of a shop with a ball and chain that we used as a prop for our photos!

The groomsmen and ushers

The groomsmen and ushers

 

Blushing bridesmaids

Blushing bridesmaids

Trying to figure out how to bustle my dress

Trying to figure out how to bustle my dress

Our officiant, also known as Uncle Dave

Our officiant, also known as Uncle Dave. He did a bang-up job presiding over our wedding.

The moment we pulled up to the venue it started to flurry. By the time the ceremony was to start it was a full-on snow storm.

The moment we pulled up to the venue it started to flurry. By the time the ceremony was to start it was a full-on snow storm.

Walking down the aisle

Walking down the aisle

The fathers of the day

The fathers of the day

A special moment with Alex's proud granparents. Papa was in his prime this weekend and we are so thankful for the extraordinary memories of him from our wedding.

A special moment with Alex’s proud granparents. Papa was in his prime this weekend and we are so thankful for the extraordinary memories of him from our wedding.

The best mother/son dance in the history of weddings!

The best mother/son dance in the history of weddings!

Thanks for the great party!

Thanks for the great party!