Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Why you should listen to Bohemian Rhapsody and also my wedding

We got married on the hottest day of the year.
I know I am prone to exaggeration but June 4, 2016 was indisputably the most blazing, hot muggy day that Oregon has ever seen since the creation of Earth. #notexaggerating
I will admit, I was worried a few weeks out that we would have rain interrupt our outdoor wedding, but it became very clear closer to the BIG DAY that the heat would be far more uncomfortable than standing outside getting rain-soaked while my makeup ran down my face, thus making me look like the fifth member of KISS, would have been.
But I digress.
Let me start from the beginning.
In mid-April, Mark called me at work and asked me to lunch.
It was a Monday (which he typically has off) and I thought nothing of it.
He frequently asked me to lunch because we were dating, needed to eat, and liked to do stuff at the same time in the same place.
He suggested we grab lunch and eat down by the river.
Again, no bells went off because it was a beautiful day, and what good is living in Eugene surrounded by so much splendor if you never go outside and enjoy it?
So I agreed and he picked me up early (he is always early), and we drove to the park totally normal, like regular people.
We sat down and whipped out our lunches and starting talking about houses.
We did this a lot because we knew that once we decided to get married we would need a bigger house for our blended family to live in.
We were currently looking very seriously at a few and he was about to put his house on the market.
As we were going over future plans, he became quite serious.
"You know I want to marry you, right?" he said with his eyes shining.
"Oh, I know," I replied nonchalantly, looking down at my sandwich.
"Will you?" he said. "Will you marry me?"
All of the sudden he was at my side, kneeling next the park bench holding open a ring box that encased the most delicate, glittering band of diamonds.
I looked up in surprise.
I had been feeling a little edgy for a few weeks prior — impatiently waiting for him to know what I had known all along: that we would be happy together, that we could make this complicated thing work, and that he should propose.
"Really? Are you serious?" I squeaked, my voice rising in pitch by several octaves.
His eyes were brimming with tears and they spilled over now as I threw my arms around his neck.
"Of course!" I screamed. "Of course I will marry you!" I was manic and a little too shaky.
He laughed and slipped the ring on my finger.
I knew that I had made the right decision.
I couldn't wait to marry him.
And it turns out, I didn't have to wait very long.
After I texted every single person that I knew or would ever know to share the good news, we buckled down to figure out our wedding.
In the next few weeks, we put an offer down on a house, started showing his house, found a buyer, and looked at our work and the kids' school schedule respectively.
We knew we didn't want a long engagement and we also knew moving, changing schools, and settling in should happen in the summer, THIS summer.
So we decided that because we wanted a small, intimate wedding that was un-fussy and fun, we would just pull it together and get married 6 weeks later, at the beginning of June.
I continued started looking for a dress and we discussed our budget and a venue.
We were both getting married for the second time so we knew that we didn't need a gift registry.
And we also knew we just wanted a low-key party.
My sister and friend Claudia started coming over once a week to help me organize everything.
I was also picking paint colors for the house that we had just purchased because we were doing some minor renovations.
I didn't feel like we were busy enough and/or making enough major life choices simultaneously so we also began planning a major medical mission/honeymoon for early fall.
Oh, and I got in a car accident for good measure.
However, the details quickly fell into place.
We nailed down a guest list, sent out Etsy invitations, begged our neighbors to let us use their beautiful backyard for the ceremony, and talked to my brother, who is a culinary master, about food.
We (read: me) decided on a woodsy, casual theme with lots of texture, plants, and candles.
My best friend Tracy flew into town two days before my nuptials and basically orchestrated the whole thing single-highhandedly with the help of my siblings.
Saturday morning dawned and I couldn't stop smiling.
I literally smiled the entire day.
My family
His family.
My wedding day.
An hour before the ceremony, my sister and I were squeezed into my parents' tiny bathroom as she precariously applied my fake lashes.
We had two fans going at full speed to keep the makeup and the skin from melting off my face.
A dozen family members and friends were running around between the kitchen, the neighbors' yard, and other various errands.
Mark arrived, unbuttoned his dress shirt and tented himself over the other rotating fan positioned in the kitchen.
My dear friend Christina arrived to take our pictures and anyone without a job was commissioned to help the kids get dressed and ready.
3/4 of the Beard children.
I walked out of the bathroom, lashes at the ready, hair braided, dress zipped up and feeling pretty; my eyes found Mark.
He let out a breath.
"Wow, you look beautiful."
I felt beautiful. Which is not always the case.
Most of the time I feel like an unwashed hobbit with crazy grow out and pimply legs.
We all wound our way over to the yard next door to find it transformed from its usual manicured beauty to manicured beauty with tables, chairs, food warmers, and twinkle lights.
My face the whole day.
The day went off without a hitch.
Or if there were any hitches, I certainly didn't notice them.
Mark's best friend married us in the shade while Mark cried and I stood grinning like a fool.
As soon as we kissed as husband and wife, applause erupted along with the soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy.
In fact, type "Guardians of the Galaxy" into your Pandora station and listen to it all day every day. It's amazing and will change your life. Trust.
We ate and mingled and dripped sweat all afternoon.
Mark said that all he could think of when seeing this table was "Bowel Movement." Nice.
I was surrounded by the people I love the most, married to the man of my dreams.
I could have died right then a happy and content person.
But then I wouldn't have been able to enjoy our wedding night.
Which I did.
Very much.
Isn't this backyard dreamy?

Next up is the honeymoon or the house? I am not sure which one will win but either will most likely have to be split into a few installments.
P.S. I am listening to the Guardians of the Galaxy station right now and the Bohemian Rhapsody just came on.
My life has reached its pinnacle.


  1. Elated to know about the marriage planning. My friend suggested me one of grand Los Angeles wedding venues for my engagement in a couple of weeks. Booked it online and got amazing discount as well. Hoping to have a grand party.

  2. Sweet girl, congratulations on your wedding! I don't remember how I found your blog, but I stumbled across it again tonight, and I have to say - your insights on grief, love, humor, and life in general are spot on, and I love your voice. I hope you post more soon.