Why did you get married?
I think it’s a question we once-wedding-bloggers discuss often enough, and many of us probably think the answer is obvious. Because I’m in love. (sometimes with an added DUH.) But, recently a group of us really talked about it. Why did we get married instead of simply continuing to date, co-exist, even live together? What does “marriage” mean to each of us? It was fascinating how a single group of people could have such a range of reasons- so fascinating in fact, that the brilliant Rachelle suggested that we should compile everyone’s answers. It’s interesting to discuss. It’s illuminating about what the word “marriage” means for each of us. And hell, it gives us an excuse to look back at our awesome wedding photos. (win, win, WIN)
I never thought I would get married. Everything I knew about marriage was self-stealing and horrible. I’d never met someone I could trust to GET me, to FIT me so that I could be challenged when I needed to be, and that I could challenge when needed. I never thought I would find someone I could respect that much, could not only stand to live with but would enjoy living with every day. My past relationships had consisted of trying to make things work when they weren’t, of compromising important bits of myself, of slowly destroying each other because of stress and resentment. So when I finally met this person that I trusted that much, at a time when I trusted myself enough to make that decision, it felt like a big deal to me. Therefore, a marriage was about saying in terms society could understand: “I love THIS person. I am going to choose to love this person for all of my life, and him, me. This is it.”
I wanted people to know that. The actual marriage papers were more important to me than to him, because his parents aren’t technically married but are incredibly happy and committed and have been for years. All of the examples of marriage he has are similar to those that I have. But as I explained my reasoning behind it, that I wasn’t simply after a cake and a flouncy dress (of which I had neither!), he got it too. It resonated within him.
As we planned our wedding, we kept the purpose of our marriage at the forefront. An elopement, while most suited to our personalities, wasn’t an option because it lacked the community feel. For us, it wasn’t only the legal contract, but the fact that we were performing a socially accepted contract in front of our people. To that end, we designed our wedding that way. We sent out invitations as early as possible so that people could make it. We had people important to us read selected passages during the ceremony. His best friend performed the ceremony. We had both a ring blessing and a community vow to support the marriage: and that was the moment I hold dear. We spent two whole days camping out with people for our wedding to soak up the largest amount of time with them possible. My partner and I cooked brunch for everyone the morning of the wedding as an act of service and thanks for attending. The flood of love and support and people being there, as they were, for us, as we are…that’s what it was all about. It was serious, it was real, and it was our village.
Jo, on her photos:
“I love this second photo, because you can see how each person is themself, but they’re all they’re for us, as absolutely as they could be. I love seeing how that plays out for each of them. I love most of all that I could tell you an awesome story about every person there in that picture. Sure, there are people who aren’t in there who are very important to me, but I shared something very wonderful with all of those people.”
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