Thursday, May 26, 2011

#16 - Wedding Seating...Without the Seats

For those of you who are following this blog and are in the loop, you might know that I am trying to plan a 25th wedding anniversary celebration on our land to renew our wedding vows.

If you have been married for 25 years, it is time to do some serious celebrating! As most people know, staying married is not an easy feat. I'd love to paint a Fairy Tale love story between my husband and myself, but it has sometimes felt like a dramatic Lifetime movie, almost unreal, but we all know that life IS a drama.

My husband and I seem to have invisible rubber bands wrapped around the two of us and when we try to run the opposite direction from the other one, those rubber bands snap us back together and become tighter than before. Yes, we are rubber banded together. I know, I is incredibly romantic.

In honesty, my husband and I have had a wild 25 years together, we've raised children, our own and "foster" children; we've lived the military life; we've faced the effects of temptation; we've suffered through a bad economy and bad tempers; we had our home destroyed by a Hurricane; we've lost treasured loved ones; and we've confronted catastrophic illness after it invaded our home, and I, as a young mother, nearly died.

During all of this, the world kept spinning and we kept returning to the day we said our vows to one another. A wedding day does matter and we are blessed to have had two wedding days. The rubber bands were stretching, but not breaking. The vows didn't insulate us from the world and it didn't make us do everything perfectly, but those vows did serve as a touchstone to give us remembered strength that would carry us through disasters that often left their mark. A lifelong commitment of love can sure help to buff away the scuffs of life.

Since we have already had two weddings...the first when we eloped and then another full church wedding several months later, we've been fortunate enough to exchange our vows a couple of times already. I think that having to say our vows repeatedly did help us to remember them.

Maybe this should be a REQUIREMENT before you can get married...maybe we should be expected to memorize our vows by heart. No cheat-sheets allowed. Simply mimicking the preacher's words won't cut it. Since most of us have such a hard time honoring our vows, maybe it's time that we really learn the words and the meaning of the words that we are going to say BEFORE we say them. It's a good thing that I'm not a marriage counselor because I think this would be an excellent way to torture my clients with "home-work."

During our elopement, I was so dang nervous that my legs shook severely and nearly buckled beneath me. In our pictures, my husband is seen holding both of my hands because he's helping to keep my body stabilized as I keep swaying and am close to fainting due to nervousness.

To complicate matters, I also have inappropriate laughing when nervous and I was in a fit of odd hysterics the entire ceremony. This is my weird way of responding to stress. So, I know I repeated words and it was sweet and awesome, but I might as well have been making a public speech in front of 10,000 people because I had zoned out. It was a blur, but I remember the room being full of laughter. My laughing was contagious and it caused Airman Dave to laugh, the pastor to laugh and my friend in attendance to giggle out loud.

Yep, in the middle of the "I do" part and I'm laughing harder and harder.
Three months later, on the day we got married in church, I was more calm because I was already secretly married. What was there to be nervous about? I was a pro by now! There were no jitters because I'd already been jittered-out during our eloping. This time, in the church, I heard the vows, loud and clear. I focused on the words because I didn't want a repeat of the day we eloped with my all-encompassing nervousness that shut out everything around me except my absurd compulsion to laugh hysterically and to shake violently.

However, even in church, I did still have moments of uncontrollable laughter which would set the entire wedding party at our sides into stifled chuckles and red-faced attempts to not fully burst out laughing. At one point, David and I couldn't even look at each other because every time our eyes met, we would start laughing as the pastor was giving his serious marriage sermon. How inappropriate! Don't look at me!

Even with a few laughs, it's a much calmer day than when we had eloped.
Let me remind you, I had been 18 but for less than one month when we eloped. My husband basically married a kid, so I had responded to the stress like a kid. Three months later, in church, I was vastly more mature and I had plenty of distractions around me to help prevent a nervous crash of laughter. Well, I guess I'm still a kid because I still laugh at the wrong times. Worse than that, my daughters do the same thing. Horrible.

Since our budget is no laughing matter, renewing our vows on our land is going to be a day without frills and without glamour, unless I win the Texas Lottery, in which case we'd probably hire a caterer. But, as it is with our current non-existent budget, we will stand among the towering trees and with clarity and hopefully without uncontrollable laughing, we will be able to let each other know how much our marriage has served to better our lives. We've built a good, beautiful life together.

One thing I can say about having solid wedding vows to recall is that the vows sometimes prompts you to hear that little voice, "You should not call your husband a $@*# because you promised to honor him!"

So, we'll renew our vows this coming September to honor our church wedding vows, the ones I do recall.

That's only about four months away and our land is no where near prim and proper to compete with our city dwelling, it is wild and unruly. There is no running water or electricity and we might even have to arrange for a company to deliver a couple of potty houses for the weekend. But, we will have a patch of land deep in the woods ready for our ceremony. It feels extra sacred in this particular spot. It's near the site where we will likely build our future home. The ground is covered with a carpet of fallen leaves and pine needles that are softened by time and there is very little underbrush to get in the way. A huge canopy of trees provides ample shade and incredible natural beauty that can't be rivaled. Who needs wedding decorations when Mother Nature is in the house?

I got this photo off the Internet and love this idea...
I love the idea in the photo above; I do believe that this will be one of the ideas that I'll be using for our third wedding to be held in the country. I'll have a few lawnchairs for any older people and for those who cannot sit on the ground, but the rest can sit on the soft ground using a sheet from our baskets. I'll probably go to Hancock Fabrics and buy more bundles of cheap of material scraps that are large enough to be used for little ground coverings. I'll tie them up with ribbons and put them in baskets for our guests to use for extra seating.

Being married to Deputy Dave has never been boring, but this upcoming celebration is surely going to be interesting, especially if I can't arrange for temporary potty houses to be rented for the weekend. Deputy Dave might be building a rustic, mobile sweet! Somehow, I think it will be another day filled with lots of laughter.


Chai Chai said...

Wonderful post, congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Sounds really cool !
I would suggest have the guests bring a lawn chair. The ground may be wet.
You could get some hay/straw bales.
Cut that giant tree up into short sections and turn them on their sides ..instant seating.
Vinyl tablecloths come in all different patterns and colors and would keep you from getting wet if you did sit on damp ground.
Everyone could bring a covered dish and you could have a furnish the meat and soft drinks/plates and forks. No gifts...if you do that.
I don't know what time of day you are doing it or how many guests you would expect. B,

Lana C. said...

B. Keep making your awesome suggestions because I am definitely going to use some of them - then I can post the pictures so you can see that I did!

The idea of hay bales is a really good idea or to lay fallen log segments.

I know Hancocks does sell the vinyl tablecloth material that I could do and have cut into portions that would allow for good seating, like you said, dry seating.

We'll probably have about 50 people, so doing all of this on a creative budget is lots of fun!! haha

I do have a large fallen oak tree that I would get chunks to the wedding site for good seating. The covered dish idea is good. I do think people will be bringing food and David will be BBQing a few briskets with baked beans and we'll provide drinks. I think it will be one of the most country wedding/renewal ceremonies I've ever seen and it'll be my own. Weird. Like my husband says, "We're having a Redneck Wedding this time around." haha

Thank you for sharing such great ideas, I'm putting them in my planning notebook. :-)