Screw The Divorce Rate

Somebody told me today that Ben & I are about to beat the national divorce rate. Apparently marriages that result in divorce only last 5 years (I heard this from a person I consider a semi-jackass so don't quote me on it). But that lead me to think that this anniversary is a milestone for us. Let me bore you with our story:

You all know how we met. If not, read about it here. Here's how we got married.

I was at work one day in November of 1999. Ben calls me on my lunch break to tell me some embarrassing news. See, he had gone to the jewelry store to buy me an engagement ring. But he was turned down for the credit. I thought this was so freakin cute I burst into tears right there in my micro cubicle in the middle of the Marketing department. When I got home I made him tell me immediately what the ring looks like, so I could co-sign on the credit of course. "Well, it's got this pear-shaped diamond on this gold band..."

I know he said more, I had just stopped listening at that point. Now, there is nothing wrong with the ring he described. It's just the complete opposite of my style. I never wear gold & I like the more modern looking diamonds like round & princess cuts. So I took matters into my own hands, shoved Ben in the car & headed to a jewelry store I knew carried the types of rings I liked. I had MAYBE been there once or twice. Researching. Yeah, that's it. So we picked out a ring. It had to be ordered from Germany and would take weeks to arrive. Go figure, I’m difficult that way.

So one day, I’m sitting on the couch watching Jeopardy. Ben comes out of the bedroom, with a teak box in hand and kneels down in front of the couch. I didn’t even know that the ring had come. The rest I’ll keep to myself because I’m selfish that way.

The following month his parents gave us a week at their timeshare in Hawaii as a Christmas present. We got to pick when we went. So we decided to make it our honeymoon sometime in July. As we started to plan the wedding we realized that we had very different ideas of what this should be like. I just wanted something small, on the beach, with immediate family. Ben kept saying things like, “Well if I invite my mom’s aunt then she’ll need to bring her daughter and grandkids or they will never speak to my mom again.” After some long thinking we decided that this wedding would be for us, and screw everybody else. So we broke the news to our families before we went & told them that we were getting married on our own. We went to Hawaii the first week of July & got married on July 4th 2000. The choice of dates was purely out of convenience. You always have fireworks and you always have the day off of work. Score. Looking back, I would have done it all over again. The wedding consisted of me, Ben, our wedding coordinator, a photographer and an Irish priest who read from Shakespeare during the ceremony. The whole thing cost $750 and included the wedding license, pictures and a video. We got married barefoot on the beach at sunset. Just the 2 of us.

After we were done with the ceremony we heard applause from down the beach. I guess we had an audience. When we got back our parents threw us a reception and invited all the people they wanted to. I didn’t care, I was already married at that point. And I was totally tan. Since that day, when I hear friends stressing over their wedding plans, I once again am reminded of how I would do it over again 1,000 times. I wouldn’t change a thing.


Stacy said...

I love this!So many people forget that a wedding is for the couple actually getting married.How romantic to do a wedding like yours just for the two of you.I love the idea it is just yours and your one else has memories of it in the whole world except you two...and all the beach on lookers I guess, but they don't count.Happy anniversary!!!
I never wear yellow gold either.

katie said...

Cute story! And thank goodness he was turned down for the original ring. It's nice that you got to pick out what you want since you will be wearing it forever.

I go back and forth on the whole wedding thing. I see myself having one in the near future (if things go accordingly) and I have seen people do it both ways. Big and small. I really like aspects of both. I totally agree that it is just about the couple and not your mom's aunt and her kids. But I also like the idea of all my family and friends sharing in our day.

Happy Anniversary on MOnday!

Christine said...

What a lovely story! Happy anniversary today! Hope that you are doing something fun together.

Jessica said...

My husband & I eloped in Scotland in 2003, and I'm with you - it's totally the way to go! Every time I heard friends talking about their horror story wedding plans, I'd cringe inside... Now when I hear that stuff, I pull the bride-to-be aside and whisper, "ELOPE!" in her ear... ;)