Leap Year Wedding Meme

As you know, I don’t often reply promptly to meme tags, but every February 29th, I make an exception … but really, it’s because I like this meme from Anthromama quite a bit because I loved our wedding. Many of our guests have described it as the perfect wedding because it was a great party and it reflected Mama and I so well. Or maybe they’re just referring to the house we rented for our guests on Perch Pond where my buddy D’s first words to Mama’s brother, who arrived with a half-keg of beer, were, “So, what are we going to do when we’re done with that?”

Yeah, it was like that at Perch Pond.

And my family stayed at a nice little B&B; and got to see more of Vermont and New England than I have to this day, despite Mama’s family living in Vermont. After hearing the stories from my family’s travels, I wish that I had family getting married in Vermont, so I could do all of those things too.

And Mama’s aunts and uncles—all 10 of them—were together on that day for the first time in years. I’m quite sure that their reunion had more to do with our getting married on the farm where they all grew up than it did with anything about our wedding, but it was great to see them all there together with each other and their mom and aunt.
OK, on to the meme…

  1. Where/how did you meet? We met when I hired Mama. Our first conversation was a job interview over the phone. Mama was at school in upstate New York, and I was standing on the balcony that overlooks the courtyard at the Plaza Theater. My first words to her were, “What’s your favorite Dylan song?”
  2. How long have you known each other? 11 years.
  3. How long after you met did you start dating? We didn’t date while working together, perhaps only because I am a believer in Beitzel’s axiom: don’t shit where you eat. But once we were together again in Madrid, which was maybe a year later, we did start dating, and we haven’t stopped since.
  4. How long did you date before getting engaged? Uh, let’s do the math…April 1998 to December 1999, so roughly 20 months.
  5. How long was your engagement? From January 2000—we got engaged on New Year’s Eve—until August 2002, so roughly 32 months. I wanted to get married much sooner, but Mama wisely thought that it might be too much to get married in the same year we moved from Colorado to DC and she started grad school. She was right; she’s the smart one.
  6. How long have you been married? Six years, although since 3B was born, we haven’t been able to remember that.
  7. What is your anniversary? August 3. Again, we haven’t been able to remember this in advance of the day since 3B was born.
  8. How many people came to your wedding reception? One hundred or so—I don’t know the final count. Some guests decided to come at the last minute, and we had some who weren’t on our official guest list—they just came with other guests. Did I mention that this wasn’t a very formal event?
  9. What kind of cake did you serve? Ben and Jerry’s sheet cakes—we were in Vermont, after all, and we tried to reflect that whenever we could. They had fabulous cow decorations on them too. And no, I can’t remember the ice cream flavors, although I can remember that we each picked two flavors.
  10. Where was your wedding? On the pasture out Uncle Pete and Aunt Jeane’s front door. They mowed it low where the tent sat, and didn’t use the manure spreader on it all summer, which was a nice touch. The tent was close enough to the barn that Dobbin, the old, blind horse could nearly reach over the fence and eat the wedding cake. Did I mention that this wasn’t a very formal event?

  11. What did you serve for the meal? Uh, some chicken thing and some vegetarian pasta thing. It was pretty custom, based on what produce was good at the time and what mood the chef was in. We gave some basic guidelines and let him go, and it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
  12. How many people were in your bridal party? Uh, I don’t recall about the bridal party, although I think we were symmetrical, and in the groomal party we had four? Five? Dude, I’m getting old.
  13. Are you still friends with them? One of the groomsmen went underground and is currently on the lam, as far as I know. Seriously. Otherwise, yes, we’re all still friends. And I’d still be friends with him, if I knew where he was.
  14. Did your spouse cry during the wedding ceremony? I don’t think either of us did—although that was in large part because we told our reverend that we didn’t want to say anything more than, “I do.” I’m sure that if we’d had to say more than that, it would have been waterworks for both of us. After the ceremony, however, absolutely.
  15. Most special moment of your wedding day? There are too many to narrow it to just one…my best man D came over to me as Mama arrived and stepped out of the car in her dress and said, “Your bride is beautiful. Radiant.” … watching my Mom talking and laughing and listening to the music with her brother … my uncle and cousin showing up just in time for the rehearsal dinner, which made it feel a little like a Thanksgiving dinner from my childhood … watching all of Mama’s aunts and uncles together … and oddly enough, perhaps, the photo session, which was wonderful because I got to visit with my family, and the photos were being taken by one of our best friends from Colorado.

  16. Any funny moments? Many. I don’t remember any specific moments, however. Did I mention the kegs of Vermont beer?
  17. Any big disasters? Other than losing our marriage license for a few hours the day before the wedding, no. There was also the issue of our vows, but we got those written at least 12 hours before the ceremony, so that worked out too.
  18. Where did you honeymoon? Prince Edward Island. Which is where Mama got hooked on STTNG—romantic, no? They were having record breaking heat—for PEI—while we were there, so we lay around on red sand beaches, soaking up the 90 degree heat for a week or so.
  19. For how long? Ten days? Two weeks? We returned by way of Mama’s hometown and the farm, which extended it a few days.
  20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change? I’d be more relaxed.
  21. What side of the bed do you sleep on? Right, as you’re laying on it. This has varied over the years, though.
  22. What size is your bed? King. We got it so there’d be room for Barky—even when he sleeps perpendicular to us—just before we determined that to help prevent him wigging out when we left the house, we were going to build little separations between him and us, so he’d feel confident on his own, which means that he now sleeps on the floor, next to S.S. Bed.
  23. Greatest strength as a couple? Even when we’re not sure how we’re going to do it, both of us would rather go through life together than without the other.
  24. Greatest challenge as a couple? Communication. Is there another challenge?
  25. Who literally pays the bills? Mama does.
  26. What is your song? Probably Forever Young, although we go through phases with other songs. If you were at our wedding, you’d know why.

  27. What did you dance your first dance to? Uh … crap. I dunno. We picked some song and Matt, Mama’s cousin, and his band played it. Later on, Mama’s brother sat in for Farmer John and … crap … some other song.
  28. Describe your wedding dress. My wedding dress was a black, three-button suit. Mama’s was a beautiful white dress. As D said, she was radiant. Even now, seeing her in my mind’s eye, I get choked up.
  29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding? Aunt D grew most of them in her garden behind Grammy’s house. Mama’s mom also had the kids and many guests pick wildflowers the day of the wedding, in the fields surrounding the pasture. There were also some from a florist, but mostly it was local wildflowers.

  30. Are your wedding bands engraved? Nope. Mama’s is an antique heirloom that we didn’t want to alter and mine …well …we never could decide what to engrave in it.

And I’m not going to tag anyone with this, but I’d love to hear your wedding story. If you do share your story through this meme, please leave a comment here, so I–and everyone else–can find it. Of course, you can also reply in your comment right here.

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  • I will always regret not being able to make your wedding…not the least because Vermont is so awesome…oh, and to celebrate you get married and all. And PEI? Now I’m really jealous.

    And I love how you can casually drop phrases like “once we were together again in Madrid” into things…très romantique.

  • I could tuck in many other little memories and observations that made it a special weekend for us all (your nieces and nephews getting lost in the elephant-eye corn the afternoon of the wedding, kids chasing fireflies in the dark meadow near the wedding tent as the reception chugged along), but the main one I didn’t want to see forgotten is the cans we (uh, I mean, someone anonymous) tied to your bumper before you drove off. I think I remember you said they had all broken loose by the time you got to the paved road at the end of the dirt road that led to the farm. But it was still great fun to have the occasion to do it. As traditional as something borrowed, something blue.

  • Right you are, MrJ. That was a great surprise at 2 a.m., when Mama and I pulled out from the meadow–the last ones to leave, I might add. I believe our words were something to the effect of, “What the hell is that racket?” Then we laughed all the way down the road until they finally fell off.

  • What wonderful memories. I have the wedding picture you gave us on my mantle and I see it every day. My favorite memory (other than the ones of mom running me ragged through Vermont, NH and Mass) was when she almost lost your wedding band for real when she was pretending to drop it. Nice that you still have it.

    I also love the pictures of my kids in the open field gathering flowers.

  • The other thing I wouldn’t forget, which spoke volumes about the easygoing tone of the whole thing, was something you didn’t mention about Mama’s wedding dress: The bride wore Skechers. Way to go!

    (Yes, they were brand new, and white, just about sparkling, but so much more fun than any painful pointy shoes.)

    And yes, she was radiant. But you were reflecting it. It was hard to tell who it started with.

  • KM: I haven’t forgotten about your Mom and her sense of humor, although I had forgotten about that, so thanks for the reminder.

    MrJ: I’d also forgotten about Mama’s shoes–which were not only tres chic, but kept her from using $1000 Manolos to aerate the pasture as she walked around.