Some quick details:
My grandmother, mother, and sister flew in Thursday. We ate dinner, celebrated my sister and my belated birthday (we are born a day apart) and then went to bed. Friday we went to the market to buy fresh flowers, stuffed boxes with chocolate, I put all the flowers together in the vases so they looked pretty, and after about 4 hours of work, we went to bed. Saturday we bought food for the party from market – garlic olives, nuts, tomatoes, and so forth. I then went home, sat around for an hour, and then threw my hair up, put on some blush, and headed out the door to my moms hotel.
Once we go to the party location we had to set everything up – food, flowers, sign in book, etc. And after about an hour of moving stuff around we were ready to go. That being said, I threw my dress on in the coat closet and the doors were open.
Background information out of the way, the party itself ended up being pretty close to perfect. About 50 people showed up for the first half (from about 8 – 10:30), they talked, drank, ate, and so forth. About an hour into the party, TJ and I talked about why we decided to get married, mom then gave a toast, TJ’s best friend gave a toast, we cut the cake, and then it was time to dance.
After 10:30 we turned the music up and got down to business. I can say with certainty everyone, yes everyone, danced. About 25 other friends showed up after 10:30, so we have about 65-70 people dancing on the floor. We danced until 1, drank way too much, and sent everyone home.
TJ and I stayed behind. We gathered everything up and then had a “Here’s to marriage” shot and walked out the door.
All in all the party was just that, a party. And that is what we had really wanted.
Now to the sentimental stuff – The best present I got at my wedding was two ring guards from my grandmother. If you don’t know the background of why I decided to get married, you can read about how my grandfather’s death this past January made me want to get married.
That being said, my grandmother gave me a set of her ring guards and said “your grandfather would have wanted you to have them.” My wedding ring, more like rings since I now wear 4 rings on my finger, have become a symbol of marriage and all the history leading up to me getting married. I have the ring guards my grandmother gave me, the ring TJ bought me, and the ring my grandfather made me when I graduated college. The rings are a collection and a reminder of why I decided to get married.
Let me explain:
1. The ring TJ and I bought reminds me of my own choice to get married, but also of the compromises you make. TJ and I bought each other our rings. They were both the same exact price and instead of me expecting him to pay for everything we did it together. It was a mutual commitment - mentally, emotionally, and financially.
2. The ring my grandfather bought me reminds me of how far I have come, how much TJ has taught me, and how much my grandfather learned to love me over the last three years of his life. There is a lot of history that would take pages to explain. But in the shortest terms, TJ was instrumental at teaching me to understand and appreciate my grandparents, and also at teaching my grandparents to understand and appreciate me.
3. The ring guards that go on either side of my wedding ring and grandfather’s ring remind me of how much my grandparents worked at being married. How they were broke for the first 25 years of marriage, nearly killed each other, but how the valued each others differences, and how the learned to show appreciation for those differences.
The whole package of jewelry reminds me that it was because of my grandparents and my grandfather’s death that I learned the true value of marriage. And I find it awesome, that my rings have become a very clear symbol of that. I know my grandmother had no clue what she was doing when she gave me the ring guards, nor did she know what the time spent with her after my grandfathers death did to me. But it is because of them that I wanted to get married, that I finally saw the value in marriage, and in the end have been able to teach TJ the same thing.