In the end, however, we decided to do a more traditional wedding. We picked a venue. I was looking at dresses. I was buying wedding magazines for inspiration. (What? This was pre-Pinterest. I've been married forever.) But I was also asking about once a week, "You sure you don't want to elope?" I was only half-joking. I had it stuck in my head that I was going to do something that would embarrass me as I was walking down the aisle. John, though, wanted a wedding. He was one of the very last of his friends to get married and he wanted to do it 'right.'
This is why, only three months after we became engaged, what he said to me one day in our little apartment completely shocked me. I was knitting on the couch and he was reading in the chair when suddenly he said, "Soooo... you want to go get a marriage license?" I stared at him for a long time before I realized he wasn't joking, then I jumped up and grabbed the keys.
As we were driving to get it, we quickly discussed our plan. Sometime within the month we would have a super small ceremony with a justice of the peace and our closest friends and family. It would be small, sweet, and simple. It was December, so it would probably have to be indoors, and we were brainstorming location ideas as we were walking to the car after we had purchased our license. When you receive a marriage license, they also give you an info sheet of contact numbers for Justices of the Peace, so I decided to call one just to find out his availability, his rates, and any other information we needed, such as witnesses.
What he said next would change everything.
"Well, if you have a fella and can meet me in half an hour, we can do it today."
And just like that, our spur of the moment idea to plan a simple, quiet ceremony became a spur of the moment idea to get married THAT DAY.
He wore flannel. I had on jeans and a golden cardigan. We met the JP in a little gazebo in a small park on a rapidly getting colder December day. We have exactly three photos of the day before our little digital camera's batteries died. One of the gazebo, one of us smiling at the camera, one of us kissing.
We've talked about a vow renewal. It may happen some day, but I would really want something quiet in the woods with our kids and a small handful of people. Something not much different than what we did a decade ago, only this time we would have a photographer. ;) In the mean time, I take thousands of photos of the two of us and our family. It makes me happy.
I recently took a photo of my wedding ring just so it would get some love. I haven't worn it in years and years, but I adore what it represents, so I wanted it documented. <3