We’d been together for two years when on Christmas morning, Nate got on one knee and asked me to be his wife. We were BABIES! I mean, look at us! <3
And look at MY HUCK! :)
While I might not remember every sweet thing Nathanial said in his proposal, I’ll never forget how shaky his voice was when he asked me to be his wife. Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas is Coming” was playing in the background, Huck at our feet, and the Christmas tree lights made my ring extra sparkly. :) In a time when proposals have become such a production, it was extra special that Nate knew exactly what I needed- something sweet, genuine, and most importantly, private. (*Cough*FORESHADOWING*Cough.*)
We spent our engagement day seeing family to share the news, calling friends, and staring at the most beautiful engagement ring. We were sitting on the couch when Nate first asked the question- Reality and budgets aside, what kind of wedding would we want? We never went ring shopping and I wasn’t prodding him to get on one knee- The proposal had caught me completely by surprise, so I certainly hadn’t dreamt of our wedding. Being his wife, of course, but a bride? Never.
Only a few hours engaged and we both decided if we could have it our way, we’d elope. We knew that wasn’t gonna happen with our families, especially because we were the first kid on each side to get married. We immediately joked that the perfect scenerio would be a private ceremony on an island or something with our families on a boat watching from afar- We could have the private ceremony we both wanted, but they could also sort of still be there. The next year brought a plethora of off-the-wall wedding plans, from throwing a surprise wedding to a Christmas in July themed country club wedding. (Because nothing says Christmas like your guests sweating at an outdoor July Floridian ceremony while sipping hot cocoa!)
After a year or so of being engaged and flip flopping around what we wanted to do, we finally mailed adorable save-the-date cds with our favorite songs and a loose plan for our guests: We were going to marry in the morning but we’d love to celebrate with them at our evening reception. My wedding dress was purchased, Casa Feliz booked for the party. December 16th was good to go, all we needed to book was our ceremony venue!
We finally decided on having our private ceremony at The Tampa Theatre, a theatre built in 1926 for silent movies. This place is gorgeous, and my only elopement regret was not being able to use this stunning venue.
Then the not fun part happened: Life. Family drama, my parents’ messy divorce, more family drama, and an increasingly large reception bill we were mostly footing ourselves- A party we were throwing just to make everyone else happy. But it seemed the more we tried making everyone else happy, the more push back we got. No one was happy, especially us. I was crying myself to sleep all the time. Friends asking about how wedding plans were coming along made me physically nauseous.
We kept finding ourselves saying things like, “If we could do it all over again…” and, “I wish we’d just eloped.” I was only a few months out from our wedding day and dreading every second of it. It wasn’t until Nate and I were up late working on our wedding invitations that I completely lost it- It took a 2am breakdown for us to realize this isn’t working. This isn’t us. Something had to change.
And so, instead of sending out wedding invitations, we sent out handwritten “Sorry- We’re actually eloping” notes. I think I said it best in a note to my aunt, “You know when you’re on the freeway and there’s a bad accident up ahead and you take the first exit to avoid the mess? That accident is our wedding and we’re eloping to avoid the mess.” Most everyone we told was incredibly supportive and understanding. My mom knew how upset I was and completely saw it coming, others, not so much. I had to come to peace with the fact that no matter what we did, someone was going to be hurt. But we could take control of the situation and make *ourselves* happy. You know, because it’s our wedding and all that I cared about was becoming Nathanial’s wife.
We decided to take the holidays easy and elope on Leap Day, which was our 4 year dating anniversary. We’d have Brian Adams, our best friend and wedding photographer, marry us as well. That was all fine and dandy until December 19th, when Brian was visiting his Mom in Connecticut for the holidays. When he told me it had just snowed, I got the craziest idea… :)
Wedding day story tomorrow, kids! <3