Background: Mark proposed in February 2008. Of course immediately I jumped into wedding planner mode, but we had a dilemma. A big one. See, Mark's student visa was going to expire in June of that year. Long story short, his company could get him another visa, but only for a certain amount of time, and then he would have to leave the country. BUT, if he were to be married to me, then the visa issue wouldn't matter because his company would apply for a green card for him. Well, we were already planning on getting married, now we just had a deadline to make all this immigration stuff work. Now I would have loved to have planned just ONE wedding, the real deal, but we had a June deadline. And a 4 month engagement is t-o-u-g-h. But I really didn't want to have two weddings, because, well, who does that? But, after many discussions, we decided that that was our best plan... two weddings.
The plan: My first thought was that Mark and I would get married and not tell ANYONE, not even our families. It would be a no frills kind of thing, and then it would be our little secret until wedding round 2. But, the more we discussed, the more we knew our parents would NOT be pleased if we did this. So we changed our plans. We decided that really, this was a REAL wedding, and just because it was going to be small, that didn't make it any less important or real and forever. So we decided to include our immediate families, and make it a special occasion. So now, let me share that day with you!
Our first wedding day: June 19, 2008. It was a Thursday. We ventured all the way down to Seascape resort in Aptos, CA. It was an absolutely beautiful day for a wedding. My sisters Jennie and Katherine helped me get ready in my $75 dress from Macy's, and then we walked out to this ledge, overlooking the beach, where my parents, my grandma, Mark's parents, and Mark were all waiting for us. I had made my own bouquet of pink roses I bought from Safeway. Here's some photos of us pre-wedding.
Now supposedly the first year of marriage is meant to be the hardest. But the thing is... I could use a lot of words to describe our marriage so far, and "hard" would not be one of them. Not even close. Our first two years of marriage have been nothing short of wonderful. Maybe even perfect... in the last 2 years since we've gotten married, we've moved to a new country away from all my friends and family, bought a house, gotten pregnant, and almost (as in, in the very near future) had a baby. And it has been WONDERFUL. I think the biggest fight we have had is... I can't even remember one. Do I ever get frustrated when dishes pile up and I have to do them? Of course. Does Mark get annoyed when I make him sit in a cold house in order to save money on our heating bill? Sure. But all these things are minor, and we talk about them, compromise, and voila, problem solved. I am still totally in love, and could not be happier!
Now apparently the next big challenge is adding a baby into the relationship. And I can see why that could put a strain on a marriage. But something tells me we're going to be just fine. I'll get back to you next year at this time, you know, once we've had a little bubba for a while. :)