Four years ago today, my then-fiance-now husband and I drove to Columbus, OH and got married. There were no announcements. No guests. It was just me and Johnny and an officiant we met for the first time.
My decision to elope wasn’t an immediate one. I had a beautiful New Orleans wedding pictured in my mind, officiated on the Langles Bridge in City Park. It was wonderful, in theory, but I decided to go another way because, quite frankly, other people can be a pain when planning a wedding.
I planned a beautiful event to celebrate our love. I was so excited! Then, I wasn’t. Some of the guests were more concerned about who would be the designated driver after the reception than the fact that we were getting married. Somewhere, the purpose of our wedding got lost. There were disagreements. I cried. Then I tossed a handful of frustrations to the wind and planned an intimate elopement for two.
Johnny and I drove to the wedding chapel with the guidance of our GPS. The chapel was inside the wedding officiant’s home, and Johnny drove slightly past the driveway. When he realized that we had reached our destination, he quickly swerved toward the driveway and nearly landed in a ditch. Our officiant saw it happen…as well as another couple who were there for a sign-and-go. It was a bit embarrassing, but we survived.
The woman who married us has did a beautiful job with our ceremony. She had converted the top floor of her home into a wedding business, and she made the process of getting married quick and easy. To this day I have no idea what she said during our ceremony. The excitement of marrying the man I loved overshadowed her words, but I remember that in the moment it was beautiful. Minutes later, I told Johnny that I, too, would like to marry couples one day because she made made our wedding special. Little did I know that I would own a wedding officiant business one day.
Today is the anniversary of that wedding trip to Columbus. I woke at 4:00 A.M., like most days, and taught my online classes. I have a crazy work schedule. I teach English as a Second Language to students in China; I am a wedding officiant; I am a photographer; and I am a ghost writer/editor for individuals who publish books and websites. I am busy. I split my sleep most days into two three- or four-hour naps. I sometimes forget what day it is. Today was no different.
When I woke this morning, I had forgotten that today was our anniversary…and so did my husband! It was a Facebook “happy anniversary” wish from my sister-in-law that reminded me. Johnny and I had to laugh. I knew our anniversary was this week but with my wacky sleep schedule, I didn’t realize that today was October 9. He thought today was October 8. It may not seem romantic, but this is what marriage is about… learning to laugh at our moment-to-moment faux pas, as well as staying together when the rough patches hit and neither of you feel like laughing.
How will we celebrate?
He’s making his delicious white chicken chili for our anniversary. (My husband is a great cook!) We plan to go Halloween costume shopping and then spend the evening watching a movie together. Although we’ve celebrated our anniversary with fancy dates in the past, today we want a quiet celebration. Through the good times, the obstacles, the laughter, and the tears, we’re still going strong. That’s reason enough to celebrate.