Facebook tells me this was a year ago today

I bought my wedding dress in the Netherlands, at a wonderful store in Arnhem, with my mom and sister and two really good friends.

I didn’t particularly enjoy a lot of wedding planning. I didn’t care about so many of the details, I don’t like being the center of attention, I was overwhelmed by all the options (take the usual options and multiply it by three to account for our different cultural, national, and religious backgrounds), my family was so far away and I never have been very good at asking for help so I did most of it by myself, and I thought about eloping every time we figured out how much something was going to cost. I thought about eloping extra hard when we moved to California and suddenly I had to plan the wedding all over again, or so it felt. In the end, I wanted a marriage more than I wanted a wedding.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy with how our day turned out, I don’t regret not eloping for a second, and as soon as we get our pictures back I’ll share some of the details I did care about with you.

But this day? This I enjoyed. I had the support of my favorite people, I came home with the best dress (and so different from what I imagined!), and although I never really experienced the manic joy that movies show brides having, I did have the magical “say yes to the dress” moment.

I thought that was complete and utter bullshit made up by the wedding industrial complex, but it wasn’t–at least not for me. I thought I’d end up with a short, A-line, practical dress, something pretty and inexpensive, but when I tried some on, I just felt meh. I felt fine, but not especially special. After I tried on a couple longer dresses, but still wasn’t really feeling it, the saleslady came bearing a dress that didn’t look like anything I would like. But because I am very non-confrontational, I tried it on anyway. And as soon as it slipped over my head, I knew it. I hadn’t even seen myself in a mirror before I knew I’d found my dress.

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We ended up spending more money on the wedding than either of us really wanted, but I don’t regret buying the dress one bit. It was made all the more special and meaningful because I got to buy it with some of my favorite people. In that sense, it was a good foreshadowing of the day: everything that I loved about our wedding is tied to the people who made it possible.

reader, I married him

It’s still a little hard to believe, but I’m married. Sunday night, after the ceremony and reception, we stayed the night at the Claremont hotel in Berkeley, and then returned home bright and early on Monday morning to have a last breakfast with L’s family before most of them left town. And now we’re home again, and everything is different, but also the same.

On Facebook, I posted the following:

I washed the makeup off my face last night, took the pins out of my hair, and hung up my dress. There I was, the same Saskia, but also a little different. We’re back to normal now, the two of us. Except we carry the love of so many people with us going forward, and that makes all the difference.

Thank you to everyone who made our wedding day happen. Thank you to my family, and Loel’s family, who are now also mine. Thank you to our officiant, who helped us craft a ceremony that reflected who we are and what we value. Thank you to our friends and family who came, and those who loved us from afar. We are so blessed.

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I have a husband now. I am a wife. L. and I have been joking around all day, saying things like, “this is our first breakfast as married people!” “hey, look, this is our first time walking Josie as married people!” and calling each other husband and wife. Per Dutch tradition, I switched my rings from one hand to the other, and although it’s a little jarring to feel them on the other side, I think I’ll get used to that pretty soon. It might take me a little longer to get used to these new identities, though, and this new reality  in which I am mine, always mine, but now also his.

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We leave on our honeymoon tomorrow: the Grand Canyon, Vegas, and then a stop in Salt Lake City, both so we can go to all our old haunts, and because I have a paper to present at the annual Mormon History Association conference up at Snowbird. (What, you didn’t spend two days in a conference hotel with a bunch of nerds on your honeymoon, talking about Mormon history? just me? Oh.)

I have some posts planned about our ceremony, what we wore, how much I cried (so much!), and how happy I am (so happy!). But first, I have to go enjoy this feeling of being L’s wife.