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Posts Tagged ‘wedding’

Isn’t there a saying that laughter is the best medicine? In a very unscientific way, I declare it the truth.

Sometimes we take ourselves entirely too seriously. My husband and I laugh often. We can already laugh about the wedding. Like how long it took us to plan the drinks list. We carefully named some drinks after friends in the wedding party. We discovered – after the wedding – that we’d misspelled the last name of the Chief Wonderful Woman (laughing, but still sorry!) We can laugh at the venue’s bad jokes about putting the “boys” in the bank vault before the wedding. We can laugh that the venue put a waitress in charge of me when the ceremony started. She actually said to me, “I’m in charge of making sure you actually walk down the aisle and don’t run away.” Earlier, we laughed about how our first date was on April Fool’s Day three and a half years ago.

We are even allowed to giggle at the seriousness of this union. Why not? Why not laugh at what is expected of us and what we decide to actually do?  Someone recently told me that when she first moved in with her husband, she couldn’t stand how messy he was. He left his dirty socks all over the apartment. After endless conversations and some fights, she decided to laugh about it. She took out her camera and photographed all the funny places the socks ended up – from the bathroom to the kitchen counter. She and her husband had a hearty laugh about it and then compromised about how to keep their home. 

Gregory Corso’s poem Marriage, which I briefly discuss in yesterday’s post  makes me laugh. You can read the poem here. His second stanza made me giggle in the library chair:

When she introduces me to her parents 
back straightened, hair finally combed, strangled by a tie, 
should I sit knees together on their 3rd degree sofa 
and not ask Where’s the bathroom? 
How else to feel other than I am, 
often thinking Flash Gordon soap– 
O how terrible it must be for a young man 
seated before a family and the family thinking 
We never saw him before! He wants our Mary Lou! 
After tea and homemade cookies they ask What do you do for a living? 
Should I tell them? Would they like me then? 
Say All right get married, we’re losing a daughter 
but we’re gaining a son– 
And should I then ask Where’s the bathroom?

We take ourselves so damn seriously, from the courtship to the wedding vows. I think we all know, deep down, that we are in love when we find someone who can make us laugh.

In our vows, my husband and I named things that the other represents for us. It turns out I am his scotch and he is my zucchini flower. We smiled when we said it and some of the guests laughed with surprise. 

In all humor there is some seriousness. Scotch is my husband’s favorite drink and he takes it seriously. I have never turned down a fried zucchini flower, either made by distant relatives in Italy or my mother in New Jersey. We meant what we said.

A writer friend asked me recently why I haven’t written a blog post about what it means to be married. What it feels like on the other side. I think I don’t entirely know yet. We are happy to be married, relieved to no longer be wedding planning and generally just enjoying ourselves. 

This is the life!

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I recently took Bartlett’s Poems for Occasions out of the library. As a writer of occasion poetry, I enjoyed not only the poems, but how they were organized. The sections range from the seasons, to holidays to celebrating to family to life cycles to the human condition. There is even a “Public Moments and Ultimate Matters” section.  My favorite section was “The Unknown and the Unknowable.”

Back to wedding poetry… 

I particularly enjoyed being introduced to beat poet Gregory Corso’s poem “Marriage.” You can read it online here. His poem moves through various emotions: desire, rejection, humor, lost love. I laughed aloud and later read the poem to my husband. Now that we are married, we can more easily laugh at the more humorous aspects of weddings and even marriage itself. (More on that tomorrow.)

You can find a great collection of poems for every occasion at Poets.org. The list ranges from weddings to aliens to birds. You never know what you might need.

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Live Love Bead hair vine photo by Tony Richards

When I was thinking about how to do my hair for the wedding, I fell in love with a Swarovski crystal hair vine that I saw in a bridal magazine. A hair vine is a swiggly piece for your hair that can be wrapped around your head with bobby pins. The crystal part of it means that it costs hundreds of dollars.

I was surprised to find out how much it cost. I hadn’t been expecting that. After a quick search on Etsy.com and Ebay.com, I found this company, Live Love Bead, which makes “crystal inspired designs.” That is to say, affordable designs.

The one I ordered lasted through a styling test and the wedding day. It only lost one crystal in the end and I hope to find an occasion to wear it again. I’m open to invitations.

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Dad and Chloe' before the wedding

 My dad asked me to write a Personalized Wedding Poem and he read it as a toast at our wedding.

At first, I had no idea how to proceed. How could I write a poem for my own wedding to be read by someone else? I was baffled. 

After he filled out the Questionnaire (which I created especially for this unique situation), I thought long and hard about what I know about his voice and the advice that he has given to me over the years. This is what I came up with and what he read at our wedding.

Thank you, Dad, for being you.

PS: I used to call my dad “Daie.”

 

 

 

From the Father of the Bride, Your Daie

 

Thank you for being you,

as I’ve told you so many times.

 

When I put my hand on your mother’s stomach

and felt you shift under her skin,

I lowered my eyes,

wondrous at life.

 

You’ve continued to grow

east, west, north, south.

I watch you tug on your dreams,

fall deeper in love,

turn a corner in this developing union.

 

You and Hans

care for each other in ways I can see

and ways I know.

 

Let the wind always be in your sails

as you move together through life.

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Tony Richard's photograph of us just as we were pronounced married

My husband and I married one week ago this weekend. We probably won’t know for years what the ceremony and union ultimately signify for us. Immediately, however, we were joined legally. I have the pink, temporary marriage certificate to prove it. 

Since noon last Saturday, I have felt both completely different and exactly the same.

We have been slowly committing to each other throughout the last three and half years. Moving in together in a state neither of us had ever lived in before was a big step. We learned more about each other’s habits and lifestyles. Since we’d been long distance for two years and spent chunks of time essentially living together in each other’s apartment, nothing was shocking. 

For this reason, as I looked into his eyes and we said our vows before our closest friends and family, I knew I was marrying my best friend. Someone I trust, love and know.

When we walked out of the center of the circle as a married couple, I was jubilant. Simply jubilant. I knew that we were not only bound by our emotions, but also by a legal and public commitment. We had made a public vow to care for each other and our union throughout our lives. This vow would be recognized by our government.

I like calling him “my husband.” I like being a part of an institution that allows others to know and understand our relationship without question (of course, if I had taken his surname, this would have been more obvious.) I like that I could be on his health insurance. I like that we can hold hands in public.  

“Society” wanted us to marry. The word “society” is a vague one that often serves as a crutch. However, I think you understand, without labels, who I mean when I write that “society” did not always approve or recognize our relationship when we were living together as an unmarried couple. When we stayed in hotel rooms with one bed. When we accompanied each other to the doctor. We are lucky that our “society” only took it that far, considering what happens in other, less forgiving “societies.” 

We did not marry in order to please this or any other “society.”

We got married because it was important to us to share our vows of love publically and be bound legally.

I recently wrote an essay on this subject and a friend reading it noted that I sounded defensive. Perhaps. I feel compelled to explain myself to those who vote against gay marriage or see marriage as only a religious sacrament instead of a civil right with legal implications. 

For these and related reasons, we asked my husband’s friend Dr. Jonathan Ladd to read this during our ceremony:

Goodridge v. Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health

By Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall

Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects.

 Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.

 

We are not the first couple to include part of Chief Justice Marshall’s statement in their ceremony. We will certainly not be the last.

May all consenting adults be allowed to marry and experience our jubilance, publicly and under law.

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Wedding favorsTwo more days. It is hard to begin these last few blogs with anything less than surprise about how quickly time is moving!

Today is the last day of preparations (we hope!) We are going to drop everything off the venue for the set-up, including table markers, chocolate favors, etc. Last night we took a final dance class with my parents, which was really fun. (I particularly love how we’ve learned some new things because of the wedding.) 

Guests are starting to arrive and the fun frenzy – rather than the planning frenzy – is beginning.

I imagine that many of you thought I am crazy to think that I could blog everyday before the wedding. Indeed, it is hard to think clearly and focus on important things to share with you.

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