over the ‘moon

As I mentioned last week, we got married five days before Christmas.  When I mentioned my anniversary at work, a co-worker asked incredulously why I’d get married right before Christmas, using a “what could possess you?!” tone.  So in case you’re having the same reaction, I’ll tell you.  There were several reasons.

-Hubby and I had been dating for a year and four months before we got engaged, but only seven months into that we already knew we wanted to get married.  So we’d had some time to think about it.

-I was still in school.  I didn’t want to wait until I graduated to get married.  By the time we made it to the altar we had been dating a year and nine months…and remember, we’d been ready to say “forever” for a year and two months.  I wanted an October wedding, and my school gave one long weekend every October.  Unfortunately–well, looking back I see it as unfortunate–someone who advised us about marriage felt strongly in favor of two-week honeymoons.  Knowing myself, and us as a couple, I should have realized that two weeks was way too long.  (We’re kind of homebodies, in case the recent holiday posts–here and here–haven’t made that clear.)  Anyway, going on that advice, we postponed until a wide-open time slot known as Christmas break.

-Getting married at Christmas is cheap in terms of decorations.  The sanctuary we used was all spiffed up; we just changed the red candles to white and called it a day.

Our decor still looked simple in comparison to a lot of weddings I’ve seen, but it required nearly nothing of us, so we didn’t mind at all.

-As a matter of fact, Christmas is off-peak for pretty much everything wedding-related.  We had no trouble getting a cake, a cellist, an officiant, or flowers.  Our biggest snafu had nothing to do with the season.  Ready for it?  My sister and I shared a storage unit, which is where I stashed the wedding decor Hubby and I were buying in the months leading up to the wedding.  Sis and I took turns paying the rent on the unit–she’d pay one month and I’d pay the next.  Somehow we miscommunicated and neither of us paid for December.  So the day before the wedding we found an enormous padlock on our unit, a less-than-subtle demand for payment.  We got it ironed out, but not without some headache.  Thank goodness for a patient Grandma and some steadfast sisters who helped me through the setback.

The wedding itself went just fine, although–sorry, family and friends–we didn’t throw a great reception.  We laugh about it now, but we put so much effort into making the ceremony smooth and symbolic that the reception was a total afterthought.  We did have an amazing cake, though.

Our ride into the early winter sunset didn’t culminate at a glamorous tropical location.  No, we parked it for a week at a rustic little cabin.

We wandered along the nearby creek, taking photos, basking in a winter even warmer than the one we’re having this year (see proof below!), and soaking in the reality that we were married.

Since this blog is actually supposed to be about home decorating, I suppose I should show you the interior of the cabin.  Here ya go:

“Um, wow,” is just about the only thing I can say about that.  Our original honeymoon dream was Hawaii, but we were just babies–too young to rent a car.  (Upon arriving on an island, I mean.  I’m not great at geography but I do realize one cannot drive to Hawaii.)

So there you have it.  Our first Christmas.  Each Christmas so far has been pretty different; we haven’t settled into any traditions yet.  But each has been good in its own way.  What Christmas traditions do you uphold?  Which are your favorites–things you love to do for reasons besides “it’s what we’ve always done?”

**Some of the photos in this post are a credit to photographers much more experienced than I.  The engagement photo at the top is from M. Wisner.  The wedding decor photos are from Galyon Bartel Photography.  You guys are excellent at what you do!  Thanks for preserving these memories for us.

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