Perfectly Imperfect is another title I thought about for this particular entry, but really it is about what I remember. What is it that matters the most, that I hold on tightly to in my mind?
There has been a lot of wedding talk around here recently and it made me reflect a lot about my own wedding proposal, our wedding, and our life we've built together. (I have a friend who may be having a wedding very soon and her friends and I are trying to help her plan so we can pull it together at a moments notice. When you fall in love with a Marine you can say goodbye to being able to plan anything...) I'm about to take a trip down memory lane so if you're not interested then you may go back to your regularly scheduled programming.
The Proposal: Which one would you like to hear about? Technically there is more than one. Bivins first proposed during Airport Rendezvous Weekend in February 2005. He asked me to marry him Sunday morning. I said yes. Then he called my mom and sisters to ask their permission. I went home and he mailed me a turtle ring to wear. The second time he asked me was in July 2005. I had flown to DC to meet his parents and he had purchased a diamond solitaire ring. We were in his room at the barracks and I was sitting at his desk. He knelt down beside me with the box and simply said "marry me?" I remember them both vividly. They weren't elaborate. It was simply a man asking the woman he loves to marry him. I'm so glad he did!
The Wedding: It was the on again off again wedding...not the actual wedding part, but the when and the where part. We wanted to be married before he left DC because we knew he would go to a deploy-able unit once he left the barracks. (Deploy-able means a unit set to deploy, not to be confused with deplorable. That word doesn't exist in the Marine Corps.) We also were trying to figure out a cost effective wedding plan with people from two different states-Alabama and Ohio. I don't know if you've looked at a map recently, but they aren't exactly side by side. Can you say nightmare? Ok, maybe not a nightmare for everyone but I wasn't excited at the prospect of planning something. Throw in the ever changing Marine Corps schedule and I had an ulcer before we even began talking. So we began hatching the Augtember plan. I can't tell you how it began...something about getting married on the beach when we came to Alabama to visit during his post parade season leave. The logistics of that kinda made me freak out so we altered the plan to get married in the lobby of his godfather's law office. There were other details to sort out, but here is what I remember...
I remember shopping with my mother for the perfect outfit to wear on my wedding day.
I remember shopping with my mother and picking out the satiny ribbon, lace, and red white and blue button she used to make a garter.
I remember hopping on the plane to fly to Dulles and meet up with my Marine so we could fly together to Alabama and get married. (Ok, technically we flew into Atlanta and Mr. B picked us up and drove us to AL.)
I remember telling Mr. B in the car that the wedding was back on for this weekend.
I remember telling Bonnie that the wedding was back on for this weekend when we met her at Sal's for dinner. (This was when Sal's was in Odenville.)
I remember going to church the Sunday before our wedding and meeting everyone at CPC. I received sooooo many hugs from people that I know cherish as friends and family.
I remember getting ready to meet with Burt on Sunday afternoon for a brief premarital counseling session and praying he would agree to marry us on Tuesday. (If he hadn't agreed we wouldn't have married then. To me, it would have meant it wasn't God's time for us to marry.)
I remember Bonnie asking me if I was sure I wanted a simple wedding. She wanted to make sure I wouldn't regret not having a white dress, family, etc. I told her I wanted a simple wedding. (I thanked her this past Friday for planning such a beautiful small affair. I told her I'm so glad we did it that way. No regrets!)
I remember Lori Booth decorating the carrot cake Bonnie made for our wedding. She did such a wonderful job. I couldn't have picked a prettier cake if I had tried.
I remember getting up bright and early Tuesday morning and riding to the courthouse in Pell City to get our marriage license. (Mr B. and Bonnie made a frantic run to Sam's and I have no idea where else to grab stuff for a mini reception.)
I remember going to the flower shop to order a small bouquet. I ended up with three pink roses and a calla lily with the stems wrapped in ribbon.
I remember reading the letter my mother e-mailed me for my wedding day.
I remember taking a nap on my wedding day. We were so tired from a busy weekend of visiting in Alabama and we were up early to get our license.
I remember Mr. B and Dave leaving to take half of the stuff to Curtis' office and swinging by to get the flowers.
I remember gathering my things to do get ready at the office and riding in to Birmingham with Bonnie.
I remember a trucker and Bonnie exchanging friendly honks that translated into Semper Fidelis. The truck and Bonnie's car were both sporting Marine Corps stickers.
I remember curling my hair and applying my own make-up.
I remember carefully getting dressed and asking Wendy Russell if I should wear the heart necklace Bivins gave me. She said if he gave it to me I should definitely wear it. She also tied the lovely bow at the back of my top.
I remember walking down a hallway holding JT Gosnell's arm and at the very end of that hallway and across the lobby was the man of my dreams-dreams I didn't even know I had at the time.
I remember marrying Bivins around 6:30pm on a Tuesday evening.
I remember it being one of the best days of my life...