Wes and I have taken to repeating this to each other at random moments. It is both a reminder and a statement of intent.
“We are getting married.” It is that real people.
What was not immediately real or even assumed to be real was that we would have a wedding. Weddings are expensive and are for people with money to burn. We were too sensible for that. As my Grandmother said and continues to say, all we needed to do was go to the courthouse or the justice of the peace. Anything more would be a foolish waste of time and money.
Clearly we don’t spring from the most romantic of stock.
But . . . in these trying economic times we couldn’t help thinking that they were right. This is a goddamn recession, excuse me, alleged recession-what would we look like trying to have a big wedding? Wes had been laid off for over a year and our financial planning had shifted decidedly off course. We started with Plan B and were already on Plan X with unclear prospects. A wedding would be irresponsible. It would be a stressor we didn’t need. It would be an expense. It would be unnecessary. Marriage, a good, strong marriage is completely possibly without the wedding part.
We decided differently. I wish I could say we were very dashing and romantic about it, but as I mentioned earlier, neither of us have those kind of roots. We talked about it, debated it, crunched numbers, projected possible futures. There were tears, arguments, and despair. (It wasn't all me!)
We will have a wedding. It won’t be a large one, or a splashy one, or even one with all of the traditional elements—some will be left out because we don’t want them, others will have to go because we can’t afford them. People may not come. Our tiny budget might make for the most hood rich production the world has ever seen. It doesn’t matter.
We are having a wedding.
We are having a wedding because we want to have a ceremony that solemnizes our commitment.
We are having a wedding because we want to commemorate our life together thus far and into the future.
We are having a wedding because we want to prove, if only to ourselves, that weddings and marriage are not about and don’t have to be about wealth or the lack therof.
We are having a wedding because we can if we engage in a little self-sacrifice. And self-sacrifice is good for the soul.
We are having a wedding because yes, it is a goddamn recession but WE WILL NOT LET THE TERRORISTS WIN.
We are having a wedding because it would be easier not to and we always have to do the hard thing to prove that we are better than that.
We are having a wedding because apparently, black people don’t get married.
We are having a wedding because we want out families and our friends to draw nearer to one another.
We are having a wedding because we saw 2012. Maybe the Maya got it right and who wants to be second-guessing themselves while President Danny Glover goes down with the rest of the East Coast? Not us.
We are getting married.
*Or the wedding industrial complex