This summer, I eloped with my best friend. We’re married! We kept our plans secret for as long as we could prior to our city hall date, but the secrecy (that part was so so so fun!) helped to keep the planning-stress at bay, and everything else in perspective.
I suppose, elopement isn’t technically true, since we did spend some time planning it, however, avoiding the word “wedding” publicly prior to the event actually made it much easier to say no to things that didn’t align with our desire for a low-pressure and fun day. The wedding-industrial-complex is strong (and real), and neither one of us wanted to be pressured into traditions that felt like obligations which would ultimately stress everyone out.
For years, we’ve known we’d skip anything wedding-related that felt stressful or unnecessary, (like an official engagement period, or bridal parties) because we didn’t want to be pressured into doing something that didn’t feel right to us. Also, all the money! We knew going into all this, spending, oh say, the average thirty thousand dollars per american wedding on a single day just doesn’t make sense for us. Our families didn’t need it, our friends didn’t need it, and we did not need it either. What a relief. We did not even spend a fraction of that, though it was hard to sort through all the decisions, once that door was open. We wanted a simple ceremony, a very good meal, and close friends and family to share it with us. Oh, and we wanted to feel and look like ourselves, glasses and all. That was it. No registry, no showers, no matching dresses or rehearsals, and no ugly crying. The celebration was planned quietly over a few months, then revealed to immediate family and close friends as we got closer to the date. Everything was held here in San Francisco, in the city that we’ve made our home in together. Following the celebration, we shared our news with our larger circle of family and friends with an announcement in the mail in the week that followed the ceremony.
All of that explaining out of the way, it was the most fun, most relaxing and emotionally wonderful day ever. It has been difficult to sit down and write about the day, simply because it feels so hard to describe, and I haven’t been able to get the details or feeling of it all just right. Every time I look back on that day, I feel grateful for our supportive community, and family and I just feel so happy and excited about the person I get to spend my life with. He has always been referred to as my Intern here on my blog, but now he is my husband, but more than that, he is my partner in every way.
Our out-of-town friends and family stayed in rentals near our house so we could meet up for drinks, picnics and pizza in the days before and after our wedding. The weather was warm and surprisingly lovely for a Thursday in July. Phones were left at home, and the ceremony was performed in the Rotunda at City Hall by the tiny and funny Justice Bernice, and it was all over in under 10 minutes. We kissed, we cheered, we hugged every.single.person within arms reach. After photos, we walked a few blocks to a tucked away bar in Hayes Valley for a little toast, dessert before dinner, plus music and socializing before heading over to our favorite neighborhood restaurant for a long and leisurely meal of deviled eggs, fried chicken and rosé.
Our “no ugly crying” rule was tested a few times during toasts, but quickly saved by a full chorus of our friends spontaneously singing “Islands In the Stream” for us. I thought I might cry, I was laughing so hard. Waitresses came and joined in, the restaurant clapped, and while I can honestly say that song was never significant to us before that moment, it certainly is now.