When my soon-to-be-husband asked me to marry him, I initially wanted an elopement with just our immediate families somewhere on top of a mountain. This was not a shared desire, so we compromised. We eventually decided on a July wedding with 100 people and a humble reception in a small beach town’s community center. Within a few months, my mom and I had mapped it all out. The logistics, decorations, my dress; everything was taken care of. I had been completely swept up in the allure of planning a wedding.
Like many brides who dreamed of a 2020 wedding, my plans were shattered abruptly by a new virus. Many factors played into the halt of our union: small businesses were no longer able to serve the public, gatherings were limited to ten people, travel and marriage licenses were deemed non-essential. For the first few months, I thought everything would be okay by July. Hope withered away, and one day, I finally cried about it. The idea of an elopement no longer appealed to me and I asked myself why. Initially, I had been so opposed to following the norm when it came to weddings. I found the person I wanted to love for the rest of my life and didn’t think I needed to spend tens of thousands of dollars in order to prove it. Bridal showers, engagement pictures, save the dates and wedding invitations, bachelor and bachelorette parties, registries, and all the politics of a wedding got to me. That’s why I was crying. None of these are wrong or bad in themselves, but when you start to lose the focus of WHY you are doing these things, then it becomes a problem. COVID-19 brought me back to the heart of marriage and the meaning of our unity.
If you had asked me five years ago if I’d be married, the answer would have been “No way”. It is an incredible thing when a person can change your whole view on marriage. I used to think that it would feel like an entrapment or that I would lose some of my “freedom”.
When I met Jake, all of this faded away. I realized that having a partner to unconditionally support me would be the most freeing thing in my life. To have someone who can keep me accountable, to challenge me, and to inspire the goodness within me brings nothing but peace. While my current freedoms are on the fringe, I have great confidence and peace knowing that I’ll be free to be myself and to be free spiritually and emotionally with my husband for the rest of our lives no matter what the world throws at us.