So the people that have known Byren and I for a long time will know that we didn’t have a whole “wow” and “big” wedding day. In fact, our whole ceremony was 12 minutes long, and the reception was us going to the hospital to book my hospital bed.
See, I was five months pregnant when we got married. No, I didn’t get to wear a white dress, or get married at the venue of my dreams, or had a cake, or a photographer that captured all the amazing photos.
Long before all this, long before I knew I was pregnant, we started planning. Almost every weekend, we traveled looking for the perfect venue. I already knew exactly what dress I wanted to wear, I knew what my bridesmaids would be wearing. I had an idea of the flower arrangements and I had an idea of how the cake should look.
Of course this planning doesn’t set in on the day you decide to plan the wedding. No, these thoughts start when you’re still a child, daydreaming about your big day. You even role-play your wedding with your friends when you’re a little girl. Except I never did this. I don’t remember once planning my big day in my head as a child. Maybe that’s why the way we eventually got married didn’t bother me. Love isn’t about having the best wedding day and trying to outdo the one’s around you, it’s about coming together as one – no matter where or how you do it.
Just when we found the venue we both loved, I found out I was a few week’s pregnant. This changed our plans quite a bit. When we worked out the dates, my due date and our wedding date were a week apart. There was no way we would be able to afford a wedding as well as a child in one year.
This wasn’t an issue for us. We considered postponing our wedding to the next year and doing a big thing then. However, I know couples that also planned it as such; have a baby now, marry the next year. None of them actually kept to that plan. Some only married three or four years later because cash was just too tight with a growing child in the house.
So we decided to get married before our son was born. Did we have the money to do a big thing at such a short notice? No.
We took the next best step and opted to get married at the Home Affairs. Sounds like the perfect wedding, right? Not to some. In fact, there were family members that were completely against it and didn’t even attend our little ceremony. My thoughts? They weren’t going to contribute to our wedding in any financial way even if we did get married the “proper” way, why should they have an opinion in how we did our “I do’s”?
We decided to stick to at least the date of the original plan – the 26th.
My mom bought me a flowing green dress (I didn’t care that it didn’t have a single white spot on it, green is my favourite colour!) which helped a little to hide my growing stomach.
My mom-in-law surprised me with a bouquet of flowers which matched my dress perfectly.
Byren stood next to me oh-so handsomely in a suit, looking a little nervous (I didn’t try to show it, but I was nervous as hell too!).
Our whole ceremony lasted less than 15 minutes. There were about ten of our closest people present, to witness two become one. Everyone who supported our decision and most importantly, our happiness, was there with us. My mom surprised me completely by handing my grandmother’s rings to Byren to give to me.
And we were married.
Afterwards, we didn’t go out for lunch or anything. We got married on a Thursday so a lot of our guests had taken off a few hours from work to be there, so as soon as we wrapped up, we said our thanks and goodbyes and headed off in different directions.
We never had a honeymoon either. Every penny we had went to our child’s birth and future care. Did we die because we never went to Mauritius or some other fancy holiday destination? No, we didn’t actually care about those finer things.
Do I wish things worked out differently? You might as well have asked me if I wish I hadn’t been pregnant so I could have had the wedding I wanted. Because no. I wouldn’t change how we did things. This is part of our love story. It might not be the happily ever after version as princesses have it, but who cares? Ours is unique and different, and I proudly tell it to whoever asks me about my wedding day.
What does bother me is the ‘sadness’ I glimpse in some women’s eyes that hear about my wedding day. I don’t need you feeling sorry for me. Do you see me crying every time I think or talk about my wedding day?
Be happy for me because I got to marry the love of my life. Because I don’t care how I got married, or what I was wearing or doing afterwards, I got to marry my best friend on that day (even though we had a fight just before the proceedings started lol). When you are marrying the right person, does it really matter how big or how small your wedding is? Does it matter if you say your “I do’s” in court or in a church? Does it really matter what you wear?
A wedding is not there for fashion statements or who had the best idea for seating announcements, it’s about two souls joining for eternity, vowing themselves to each other. Will wearing a wedding dress or eating wedding cake make those vows stronger and deeper? I think not.
We are thinking of doing a renewing of vows for our ten year anniversary. Although we still have a good few years before we reach 2022, I’m looking forward to it. We still won’t be doing a big do.
Just an intimate affair with our closest family and friends to celebrate love, commitment and eternity.