Saturday, August 14


I never had one of those weddings that little girls dream about.

The first time I got married, I thought my mom would enjoy the whole wedding gown shopping experience with me, but I should have known better. A half hour at David's Bridal with my mom high as a kite and me completely mortified was enough. I literally grabbed a dress in my size and was out the door for 250 bucks. That set the course for the entire wedding. Let's just get it over with...

The dress was ugly. Not just now looking back due to style differences, but it was ugly then and I knew it, but strangely did not really care much; or at least that's what I'd convinced myself.
I was fresh from the accident that had left me a paraplegic, so looking back, I know I had not fully accepted what had happened, and I had it in my mind that I would look stupid anyway, not walking down the aisle, but rolling - so I just had a "why bother" attitude.
There was so much going on in my head at the time. I was living with my sister, trying to figure out life as a woman with a disability. Well meaning people kind of shoved my first husband and I together, and before I knew it, I was getting married.
One good thing came from that marriage, and that's my son, Nathan. He's now 19 years old and a great kid!
By the time I met my soul mate, my best-est friend in the universe, my hunny-bunny, etc... who is now my 2nd, and last husband, I was 29 and had been in a wheelchair for 10 years, so had come to terms with it. I'd even begun to thrive by then. Yay!
This time though, having gone through an ugly divorce, being financially drained, and not wanting to ask my dad to pay for a wedding for an almost 30 year old. We went to the justice of the peace.
I so wanted to express the deep love, romance, and joy I felt for him in the form of a memorable day, but it just was not to be. As I often say, "it is, what it is."

Now, pushing 43 years old, I find myself watching wedding themed shows like a hungry orphan!
I 'oooh' and 'ahhh' over David Tutera's magical wedding transformations! I shake my head at the 'Bridezillas' and wonder how they have a friend in the world left, much less a husband! I get tears in my eyes when a girl comes out in 'the perfect dress' on 'Say Yes to the Dress.'
I occasionally let myself daydream about a wedding I'll probably never be able to have. My husband and I both work for ourselves and the economy has put some serious restraints on our spendable cash. I figure maybe by the time we're in our 60's we'll be able to afford a beautiful wedding, but by then, I'm not sure whether I'll be up for one. Spinal cord injury is known to take years off of ones life expectancy, so...well... we just won't even go there right now. Right now I am happy, healthy, and still in love with my husband after 13 years together. So I will just count my lucky stars and thank the heavens. Epictetus said, "He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."


Myrtle Beach said...

The ceremony lasts but a day, the marriage a lifetime. Enjoy the love!

Yenta Mary said...

Very, very wise words at the end of your post, that I sometimes need to be reminded of. Everyone but me had a say in my wedding -- my ex-husband wanted it to be short and (I suppose to his credit) didn't want to wait for warm weather so we got married in dreary December -- 11 days after my birthday and 6 before Christmas, so every celebration came within 2 weeks and then nothing. My parents had read in an etiquette book that THEY invited people, so it was THEIR event. Yup. My mother didn't want to upset my sister Borderline Personality Disorder, so she didn't go dress shopping with me because that would focus too much attention upon me. You can see how much fun it all was! So I sometimes watch the shows, dream about what could've been, think about what may possibly someday be perhaps ... there's a twinge, there's no denying it. But I, too, have a sweet and handsome 19-year-old son, and my life is infinitely more together than my ex's; so HE got the wedding, and I made out better in the end ... :)

Jamie said...

I was married by the JP in a borrowed wedding dress. We're together 30 years , 23 of those married.
I never much cared for the pomp and pageantry of that day BUT I missed out on all the prezzies on account of it.

Leanne said...

Such an honest post, my dear ... and I so thank you for sharing your feelings with us. I had a semi-formal wedding with about 150 guests - the fancy gown - the bridesmaids - the pomp and circumstance. If I could do it over, it would be so much less than it was, for when it comes down to it - the day means nothing. The union is what it really is all about. Isn't it funny - that we often want what we don't have? One way or another? ... hmmm ... there's a therapy session in there somewhere! ;) You have your prince - that's the best part of it all!

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Corine said...

I'm with you on thinking of what we have and being thankful for it! :D I didn't have money for a fancy wedding and didn't even care. :O I am an odd ball! My mom offered her dress, and being the sentimental person I am I eagerly took that yellowed with age dress... took out the seams that were taken in for mom so the dress would fit me, and away I went with never a moment of regret. :) The sad thing is that my sister was the only one who had a camera at the wedding, and she lost the film. I do at least have a few photos from friends who came to the reception... and memories. :)

PS - I'm so glad you had a happy ending with your second marriage. That's the part that matters afterall; it sure beats a fancy wedding with a loser! ;D

Happy day!
Corine :D

Michele Chastain said...

Myrtle Beach, amen to that!

Mary, I always love not only your posts, but your comments. You have a lot of good stuff going on in your head...I hope you know who knows how blessed he is to have you. My nephew recently married a beautiful girl, and I got to (a little) live vicariously through her planning. She had the kind of wedding I would have planned -- simple, yet elegant...under a pretty chuppah that was draped with fabric that she's written meaningful phrases on...oh, I could go on forever -- I will have to share pics with you sometime. :)

Jamie, Congrats on 30 years! ♥ Love your attitude!

Leanne, thank you...and yes I do have my prince! ♥ Thank God!

Mitzi, My hubby does make me at least feel like I am glowing most days! :)

Corine, thanks so much! I love that you used your mom's dress! I'm sentimental like that as well.

Kat's Out o'the Bag said...

I guess I am of the minority but it may be because of my own mother's checkered past marriages. I never cared for all the 'wedding' things. Sure I love a pretty dress and get presents and people oohing and ahhing at me would have been nice.

But ultimately, I just wanted the commitment and it didnt even have to come with a ring. I never got a diamond til my 2nd marriage. :D

PumpkinButtKitty said...

I love watching David Tutera! Some of the faces he makes are just priceless! It kills me when they are spending thousands AND hundreds of thousands even on some of those shows. I know this is bad, but I always wonder how they are going to feel about that money, and how much they'll spend on their second one! lol
I didn't have anything the first time.
I met my second husband three years (I was 37) ago as my world was crashing in on me. I had gone through some really bad things and just actually getting through each day alive was a major accomplishment. I had just ended a 13 year relationship on top if everything else so marriage was not even a thought in my head.
I met Robert while I was in the hospital. All within a month of meeting him, I was told I had to quit working due to health issues and put on disability, we married, I became a mom for the first time to his three kids, left everything I had and it has been the best thing I ever did. I married my best friend like you did. We were just going to do the JP thing too. His mother wouldn't let us do that. On 07-07-07 they went to too much trouble, gave us a wedding in their big beautiful home, and even though I spent that entire day working in their yard (I had never done yard work before and hated it)It couldn't have been a more perfect day!
Take care and have a great week everyone!


Manzanita said...

You are such a beautiful person. A beautiful soul. I awaken to a new meaning in my own life when I read your blog. Thank you for all the joy you bring to others.

You will get your treasured wedding in the beautiful dress of your choice. I just now it. Renewed vows are always better.

Wanna buy a duck

Bringing Pretty Back said...

Why not start planning a beautiful anniversary vow renewal. maybe for your 15th wedding anniversary? Start planning something - it doesn't have to be big and expensive. Maybe a Friday evening with lots of white lights , cake and champagne. and of course a beautiful dress.

Refried Dreamer said...

What a beautiful post. I had the David's bridal dress, but because of family issues, we took off to vegas. I do the same... every now and then, i see one of those shows and think,"wow, that would've been nice..." but then, we would have been broke and prolly divorced due to financial issues. I love my BFF and couldn't have asked for a better marriage. I agree with the previous gal.... a second honeymoon perhaps?

Jen said...

We ladies never stop dreaming, do we? And that's a good thing.

I love the quote you ended this post with - it's so important to remember.

And if it makes you feel better, I dream of the wedding you had with your second hubs - just an intimate, simple ceremony no bells or whistles - just the love. :)

Anonymous said...

Lordy Michelle, I don't know if you're following me or not - but I'm following you!That was absolutely spectacular writing. No sob story here - just heart, grit and guts. I love you. Thanks for visiting my blog and your lovely comment. I'll be back for sure and aren't those Bridezilla horrible - how do they have a friend in the world is right!


Anonymous said...

Hi, new follower here :)
Loved this post; you are one gutsy lady & have my full respect.
I too didn't get the wedding day I wanted, but I got the guy I wanted - and we're still going strong, 30 years later.
I love 'Bringing Pretty Back's suggestion of having a special celebration, it could be a real family party, with you completely in control.
And why not hide your wedding ring for a few hours and head off to some bridal boutiques, try on gorgeous dresses and have a friend take pictures? It's free and it's fun (and I am going to do it myself some day soon, just to 'see' what I could have looked like ...) :)

Mansi said...

Michele, I'm visiting from The Lady Blogger's Society. Your post reminded me of all my dreams as a little girl of having an elaborate wedding. I would clip photos of models in bridal wear ... but years later when I found the love of my life, the "need" for something elaborate simply fizzled away. We got married in the local courthouse and our Indian wedding was conducted in my parent's house (their living room, to be precise). I wrote a blog post about the two weddings two months ago. Have a look:
I agree with the other commenters in that it is what ensues after the wedding day -- your LIFE together -- that really matters. The D-day is just a symbolic event to say you'll honor that commitment in front of family and friends.

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

I don't even remember how I got here at this point but, I've now read 4 of your posts. You are a wonderful writer. I really like your style. I find your blog captivating and look forward to reading more. I'll definitely be checking in for the rest of that love story.