Two little words promising eternal commitment: “I do.” A wedding day is one of our most cherished memories. The love, the romance, the thoughts of “happily ever after” swimming in our heads, the anticipation of our honeymoon night, the endless possibilities the following years may bring… all consume our thoughts. Well, at first, anyway… until the excitement gives way to planning.
This unforgettable event must be planned, after all. (Eloping is incredibly underrated, but can only be fully appreciated once planning has engulfed us and devoured on our brain.) Suddenly, we’re bombarded with more mundane decisions than our sanity can bear. How many guests? Who will we invite? Who will sit where during the reception? Whose feelings have to be considered over sitting arrangements, invites, or brides’ maids choices? What colors do we want to use as our theme? What kind of cake? What kind of dress? What kind of music? What food will we serve? Will there be dancing? What should the centerpieces look like? What flowers do we use? What is our budget? The questions hit us without relent as if we’re the target of a 10 year old boy with a new BB gun, a hell of an aim, and an ample supply of BB’s. They overwhelm us, frustrate us, stress us. The days leading up to the “big day” are filled with anxiety, nerves, what ifs, and…yes… excitement.
Once the planning is done and we’ve reclaimed ownership of what’s left of our sanity, it’s time. The guests await our entry. The much anticipated moment has come: walking down the aisle. Once we do, the stress dissipates and the elation hits us. All in one moment, the decisions, the anxiety, the frustration all melt away…because this is the moment…this is our moment. The second we see our soon to be spouse dressed more amazingly than ever imagined and eager to become one with us, nothing else matters. Who cares about the flowers, the food, the colors, touchy feelings of relatives you probably won’t speak to again for years? No one exists in that moment except the two of us. We lovingly repeat our vows, or butcher them, whichever our nerves allow. We exchange rings, we kiss, and we’re announced husband and wife. Time to party!
The cake we’ve obsessed over for months is now adorning our face, as well as our clothes, thanks to the traditional “feeding of the cake” Kodak moment. The guests are inhaling the food like vultures at a roadkill theme park. Everyone is dancing, eating, and congratulating. The day was absolutely perfect – more than we ever hoped for. Now for the honeymoon.
Fast forward a few years. Like any married couple blindly feeling our way through the unknown cobwebs of marriage, we have our ups and downs. We have those moments when we still feel as blissfully happy as the day we wed, if we’re lucky. We have those moments when we wonder how in the world to communicate with this creature we love so very much. And, yes, we have those moments when we’re not sure if we’ll ever figure out this thing called “marriage.” But with all its ups, downs, ins, outs, trials, and more trials…with all the difficulties, we still take that one day each and every year to remember – celebrate – the day that forever changed our lives…our anniversary.
We remember how cluelessly, naively happy we were on that amazing day… how we couldn’t have possibly been privy to the trials that awaited us. On that day…our anniversary… as our vows reiterated, “We Did.” With each passing year, we think about the good times, and bad, that year has presented us. We celebrate our union and the fact that “We Do” today just as much, if not more than on our wedding day. Then we think about the years to come. We realize how much we’ve learned since our day at the alter. We welcome, and fear, what the future years may bring – however incredible OR daunting it may be. And we realize how unfaltering our love is, even in the face of adversity. We become aware that the person celebrating alongside us is our partner, our lover, our best friend. That’s when we know that next year, and the year after that, “We Will” — yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” ~Mignon McLaughlin
Happy Anniversary Mitch and Melanie!
Chick Hughes writes an advice blog about love, relationships, and sex. Check it out at http://chickhughes.com/
A few sample articles are:
Sexual Fantasy, Reality, and You
Bound By Criticism
Chocolate: Eat, Drink, Be Frisky
Sexual Standoff: My Needs, Your Needs