We were checking into the hotel on the day of our wedding. The receptionist was highly amused at my costume choice: a pregnant bride. Little did he know, I really got married on Halloween at 7 months pregnant. My wedding was far from the picturesque Pinterest wedding that every Millennial dreams of. It was chaotic, messy and beautiful. We broke all the rules and loved every second of it. We’re really anarchists at heart, fighting against the norms of society one mishap at a time. In fact, one of our favorite quotes says “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.- Albert Camus.”
So, here’s our small act of rebellion as it progressed, minute by minute.
OCTOBER 31, 2014
6:00 AM- My mom calls for an address for the ceremony. We provide her with 1 of 3 that have circulated. We are still asleep.
6:05 AM- We begin getting ready, together. Tom sees me in my dress before the wedding. A black cat walks past our room. (Okay, not really on the black cat, but we kinda play it fast and loose with the old wives tales.)
6:40 AM- We are in route to the location. Tom’s mom calls to let us know they have arrived at Coquina Key. Although this was the agreed upon location, we instruct her to head to the mystery addressed we provided.
7:00 AM- Tom’s mom texts to ask if the wedding is at “a trailer park with a dock like structure.” It is not.
7:10 AM- We call the pastor to alert him of the new location, granted we still aren’t quite sure where that location is.
7:15 AM- My mom calls to let us know she has arrived at the bagel shop by the Walgreens. We have no idea where we are sending people anymore. This all came about after I Googled “Beach in Bradenton” and picked the first address I saw.
7:25 AM- We are passing Holmes Beach and dub it “fart beach” due to the smells. This is shaping up to be a day we won’t soon forget.
7:30 AM- The entire wedding party (all 8 of us) arrives at the Walgreens parking lot. We discuss just having the wedding there. The pastor meets our parents. He looks concerned. We all head to the beach.
7:40 AM- We arrive at Holmes Beach where we discuss possible backdrops for the ceremony. Choices include a trash can, a sleeping hobo, a lifeguard station and a towel store complete with all-you-can-eat pancakes. For real.
7:45 AM- We head to the beach for our ceremony where our mother’s get in trouble for not respecting worship. Heathens.
7:46 AM- We find the ceremony is slightly more religious than we anticipated. Giggles emit from our families at random intervals.
7:48 AM- Tom realizes he has his phone and forgot to put it on silent. He begins to giggle. Meanwhile I happily (and obliviously) chomp on gum.
7:53 AM- The pastor says that a woman will be subservient to her husband. Tom shoots an “oh yeah” look at his mom who then laughs. Nick nods feverishly.
7:55 AM- Tom begins his wedding vows. He faces toward the pastor, not my. He is quickly corrected.
7:59 AM- We awkwardly exchange rings. I still have mine on and I’m wearing Tom’s on my thumb to keep it safe. We were not prepared for this.
8:10 AM- We begin taking pictures where it’s revealed that my dress is see-through. I had gotten in the night before in a tw0-day Amazon Prize shipment. Oops.
8:16 AM- We try to have breakfast at the all-you-can-eat pancake place. Things do not go well. You ordered pancakes at a window. This location was vetoed by all in attendance.
8:25 AM- We meet at the local Peach’s where we find two delightful garbage trucks parked outside.
8:27 AM- Our reception begins to spiral out of control when they try to seat us a separate tables. Our party does not relent. No worries, we were seated together.
8:30 AM- Nick sounds far too interested in my cousin, and then goes on to describe my underwear in detail. All in the family, right?
8:32 AM- Breakfast becomes mildly racist…..awkward.
8:35 AM- The conversation turns to alcohol choices. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve found common ground!
9:00 AM- The wedding disbands. Questions are asked about our honeymoon plans. We still aren’t even really sure where our hotel is located. No one looks surprised.
9:30 AM- We head to St. Augustine for our honeymoon.
Reading this, you might think Tom and I are the most unorganized, sloppy individuals ever. The truth is, our hearts were just set on each other. I didn’t picture the way the sun would look rising over the water, or how my dress would blow in the wind. I pictured the way Tom’s eyes would sparkle when he said his vows to me. I pictured the way his hand would feel as we stood there, making our marriage official. I pictured the way his lips would feel as we kissed for the first time as husband and wife.
Big ceremonies are beautiful, and they are perfect for some people. Tom and I feel they are anti-climatic. It’s a big show and then it’s over, leaving you wonder what happens next. When our wedding ended and we were driving to our honeymoon it felt like the beginning of everything. Our lives were ahead of us and anything felt possible. All I felt was our love and the beginning of something amazing. As we join the ranks of married men and women we do so with the knowledge that we didn’t listen to cultural norms. We listened to our hearts, we laughed, we faced the unknown together, but mostly we just embraced the chaos.