into the woods, and back out again

i would walk 500 miles

I got married yesterday.

But let me back up…

Liam and I went on our first date May 9th of last year.  We talked on the phone for the first time the night before our date, and talked for four hours.  I met him at 1 in the afternoon at Barnes and Noble, and got home a little after midnight that night, after riding the big wheel in Seattle, playing pinball in the International District, eating at two different Irish pubs (the second had live music), viewing a sculpture garden and walking all over town… or so it felt.  For our second date, we had intended to go to swing dancing lessons, but there was no class that night, so we sat and had dinner and drinks and talked.

On our third date, he came to my house for dinner, advised my landlord on the leak in my ceiling and did dishes.  I had company staying from out of town, and I told my friend that night (as Liam was up on a ladder outside my apartment, telling my landlord how to fix things) that I was going to marry this man.  There were a lot of dates after that, a lot of talking; there was the meeting of the parents and siblings and kids and late in November, we decided to get married, which is how we made it to yesterday.

The weather was beautiful, everything went according to schedule and thanks to some very kind friends who offered a living room to get married in, decorated, handled rentals, who set everything up and then cleaned it all back up again, who donated services… it was a good wedding.

I got our cake at a little Mexican bakery in the town where I live.  I had asked for the cake to be ready at ten, and I was a little early, so I waited while the cake was finished.  The man working at the front counter asked if we were having a party, and I said we were having a wedding.  He asked if I was the one getting married and, when I said yes, he hugged me and told me that this day, and every day after it, would be like a honeymoon.  I laughed, and said I hoped so.  The cake was loaded (in an open box to leave room for the plastic bride and groom on top) into my trunk, and I drove to the house like I had a baby in the trunk.

My friend Shannon came to do my make-up, and my sister Peggy roamed in and out, alternately photographing Shannon’s progress on my face with Maribeth and company’s progress on the decorations.

Gradually, the family came in, Liam showed up with the food, and we mingled and chatted until the judge came.  He was a friendly man, who had agreed to marry us just a week before–after teasing me for having set a date and sent invitations before securing an officiant.  He went over our paperwork with us briefly before putting on his robes.  Peggy started the music and everyone sat down, and then it was time.

The judge led us through a very simple reciting of our vows and exchanging of our rings, inviting Peggy up to take a picture of us putting our rings on each other, and then he paused.  We’d been clicking along pretty quickly, so I wondered at the pause, and I whispered, “Is this where you tell him he can kiss me?”  “No,” he replied with a grin, “First I have to pronounce you husband and wife.  But someone obviously took a lot of trouble to make this a beautiful formal wedding, so we’ll just let this moment sit a bit.”  So we waited a quiet moment, and then he pronounced us husband and wife, and told Liam he could kiss me.  Which he did.  We turned and faced our family and friends then, and Peggy started our recessional.  I gave Liam’s hand a tug and we headed into the kitchen.

After the ceremony, the family chatted and the kids hovered around the cake until we cut it, and then they frolicked in and out of the house the rest of the time.  We had a ‘first dance’ in the living room, and then Liam danced with my mom, and after eating and drinking and talking for a good long time, the wedding party gradually dispersed.  Liam’s parents took his kids home; Peggy took my kids home with her, and we packed up the car and left… almost, but not quite, the last ones to leave.

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