Ten years ago, I was 22. I was a brand-new college graduate. I was working as a substitute teacher at the local high schools. I subbed right up to the day before our wedding. “Why on Earth are you here?!?!” some of the students and faculty asked me. Honestly, I had nothing better to do; everything was in place, ready to go.
Ten years ago, after spending the morning getting my hair done, I went to McDonald’s for lunch with my maid of honor wearing my veil.
Ten years ago, I put on the deeply discounted off-the-rack prom dress that would serve as my wedding dress. It was white with black floral embroidery on the top. I bought it by myself on an impulse for $60, and brought it home on the city bus. My poor college roommate/dear friend was thoroughly confused when I dragged it through the apartment door that night.
Ten years ago, someone opened up the doors to a church sanctuary filled with people awaiting my arrival. The incredible gut-punch feeling of seeing so many of your favorite people smiling at you all at once is one I’ll never forget.
Ten years ago, I wasn’t nervous at all. When you wait six years to marry someone you knew you would marry six weeks after your first date, you’re not nervous.
Ten years ago, our best man drove myself, my new husband and my maid of honor to 7-Eleven to get Slurpees before heading to our wedding reception. You haven’t lived until you’ve walked into a convenience store wearing a wedding dress.
Ten years ago, I danced with my husband to this song, partly because I love the Beatles, partly because it’s a beautiful song, and most importantly for my husband, because it’s short.
Ten years ago, we spent the evening laughing, dancing, and eating. It was a dry wedding, but you’d never know it from the pictures.
Ten years ago, we left our wedding reception in our old blue minivan with the hand-drawn “Just Married!” sign (which is now hanging in our laundry room) plastered to the back window. We hit the vending machines down the hall from our hotel room, using our loot from the Dollar Dance and bought a goddamn mountain of candy and snacks. We ate like kings that night.
Ten years ago, I married the love of my life.
It wasn’t a bad day.
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