BY: Stefani Chambers
When love is not madness, it is not love.
~Pedro Calderon de la Barca
We were engaged -- complete with a nice-sized ring -- and our wedding date was set for October 5th. We wanted to get married ten years to the day from the first time we had verbally expressed our love. We had been high-school sweethearts. Already engaged and planning a wedding a year away, we moved into a place of our own. Then we decided we just needed to be married right away. We made it legal.
It was a small affair with immediate family members and a few friends. Our dearest friends let us get married in their living room. We borrowed some folding chairs from the church and our pastor did a brief ceremony. We exchanged platinum bands, repeated vows, kissed and voilà -- we were married. The afternoon was made complete with coffee, two small cakes from the supermarket on the corner, and an arrangement of daisies that cost less than twelve dollars. My best friends wanted to make me a bouquet but I refused. They did, however, convince me to buy a new white blouse to wear with my khaki skirt.
We had the ceremony after church, and then did what we do every other Sunday afternoon -- we relaxed with friends. We played spades well into the night and my new husband re-strung his guitar. Peculiar, I know. But in all sincerity we were so ready.
That was my wedding day, well really, my marriage day.
As I consider all these things, it seems so very un-romantic -- all except for the fact that it was a secret wedding, because we were still planning our formal wedding for October 5th, my dream wedding in the rose garden with a white dress, a string quartet, and mini-quiches.
Is it weird that our marriage license has a different date than the day we celebrate our anniversary? That the minister who married us is not the same minister who conducted our wedding? That I still haven't told my grandparents? Are these things that will thoroughly confuse our children one day?
I admit that it sounds weird, but we have a "married" date and a "wedding" date. Even though I don't expect flowers on both occasions, I feel like this simply reaffirms the fact that I am high maintenance. I got two weddings to the same man.