Friends and blogosphere, after nearly two and a half years of dating, and almost a year of living together, Michael Kelly and I got married. Here’s a little reflection and recap of the occasion.
The private ceremony was on June 12, a gorgeous Iowa summer day with the bluest skies and a golden sun. I was lucky to have my mom come all the way from Venezuela (via Mississippi) for this beautiful event. (It was also the start of the FIFA 2014 World Cup!)
The days before the wedding were frantic. I was trying to keep it all under wraps (and thus, planning it mostly myself, with the help of two wonderful women), my co-worker was transitioning out of her position, my workload tripled in the two weeks before the wedding, and I had to keep thinking of the little things such as the license, the pre-nup, booking the judge…
All in all, though, it was very close to how I had envisioned it.
Mike and I got married at one of my favorite places in Des Moines, Iowa — the Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens, which feature a colorful Chinese pagoda, memorials honoring the Asian diaspora in Iowa, and a view of the river and the budding Des Moines skyline. I wore a lovely flowing teal dress, and Mike looked fantastic. We do not have rings yet, but those will be coming soon.
The judge’s words were very kind and wise — something that really stuck with me was when he said “When you are older and look back on your life, on the moments you spent together through your marriage, I want you to be able to say… not only did I spend my life with my husband/wife… I spent my life with my best friend.” He also reminded us to never go a day without saying “I love you” to each other, even if we’d argued or had a misunderstanding.
I felt so special and lucky while I was holding Mike’s hands as we were saying our vows to each other. I love and value Mike so much, as he has been an incredible source of wisdom, support, love and laughter in these two and a half years. He has been there for me in the highs and the lows, through the distance and cultural differences, the ridiculous workload and busy community involvement, the radical feminism and idealism, among so many other things. Mike has been there, with a listening ear, a warm hug, a funny laugh and a delicious baked good. I couldn’t be a happier bride/wife!
There were only 8 people at our secular wedding ceremony: the inner sanctum — my new family, my biological family (or at least our matriarch!) and two loyal friends. My brothers, one in Mississippi and the other one in Germany, were sure to send their best wishes.
After the ceremony, we went to one of my favorite Des Moines restaurants, Eatery A on Ingersoll Avenue. Eatery A has a chic atmosphere and an affordable happy hour, with pizzas and craft beer at half price every day from 4pm to 6pm. The wait can be a little crazy, but the firewood oven roasted pizzas are worth it. Chef Nic Gonwa of Eatery A is bold and creative with his flavor combinations in his pizzas, which make my mouth water just thinking about them. Can’t miss if you’re in Des Moines.
For dessert, we went to another Des Moines city feature, Creme Cupcake. It was only my second time at Creme, but I had been so impressed the first time, it only made sense for Mike and I to have our unconventional wedding cake bite at this lovely business. Yum. We had fried cake balls, strawberry-vanilla flavored. Good times, good people.
Does it feel any different? Yes and no. Our living arrangement is the same, and we’re a silly couple that likes to stay in and watch a lot of movies or shows, so that has not changed too much. Yet it’s still a little weird to hear Mike refer to “his wife”, and I think… wait, what? Or when I no longer say “my boyfriend”, to say “my husband”. The biggest change is getting used to saying my new last name: “Hi, I’m Vanessa Marcano-Kelly”; it’s also one of the coolest things. I’ve always thought hyphenated names are neat.
I do feel like a typical newlywed, though, and it’s like my feelings for my husband have been put “on blast” all over, just like when we’d started dating.
It’s certainly the beginning of a new life, new opportunities, new commitments — but all with the familiarity and support of a person that I deeply love and care for.
This has been kind of a rambly blog, but I wanted to share this with all of you. I’ll finish with a quote from the late Bruce Lee: