Our wedding was a simple one, and not necessarily the stuff of fantasy or legend, but is the next episode of our sappy love story. We wanted good food and good music so people would have fun. Everything else was the fluff. For me, it is enjoyable to look back at the photos of when we were young, skinny, and oh so naive about our future together, and about what it actually means to be married. Because after all, this is our wedding story.
We set the date for our wedding within a few weeks after getting engaged on that rainy night in DC. We settled on July 28, just a short ten months after the engagement. We had a short window. We had just enough time for me to work as an intern for the summer between second and third year of law school, finish the job, get married, and have a honeymoon, before returning for my final year of law school. After choosing the date, we learned that we would be sharing our anniversary with Eric’s Irish grandparents, which made it all that more special.
We went through all of the usual pre-wedding rites of passage, including an engagement party and bridal shower in New Jersey with family, and another shower in DC with girlfriends. I registered for all of the typical bridal swag: Lenox china and flatware, crystal, candlesticks, expensive cookware. I got all of that and more. So much stuff that I look back and wonder why? Most of it we don’t own any more. We have our china and crystal stored at Eric’s mother’s house. I am not sure why. I don’t know that we will ever use it, but I can’t bear to figure out what to do with it. For now, it rests in a basement in New Jersey.
I had my bachelorette party in Baltimore, complete with penis straws, penis-shaped jello shots, and a run-in with the Mexican Navy. A few girls got drunk. One threw up. I was not one of them.
Eric had a bachelor party in Atlantic City. There are no photos of his party. Surprised?
Our wedding was held at the Westin Grand in Washington, DC, much to the annoyance of all of our family in New Jersey. We just felt no connection to any where in New Jersey. So, we called it a destination wedding. We also did not get married at a church, or by a priest, probably to the dismay of Eric’s Catholic parents. We also did not incorporate any Jewish traditions into the ceremony, despite the request of my then step-father. After all, I was not Jewish, and it would be easier to keep all religion out of the ceremony.
In the end, we danced the horah. Who even knew that our DJ would have Hava Nagila, but next thing I knew we were up on chairs, as were my parents, and even Eric’s parents. So, it looks like we brought at least one Jewish tradition into the wedding. My new mother-in-law looked terrified up there. My new father-in-law had been drinking enough to enjoy it.
Eric and I made an agreement to not drink too much at the reception itself, but the after party was a different story. Where I, always the classy bride, spilled a bright red Cosmo all over my dress. Whatever. When was I going to use it again.
Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new food and drink destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together they have traveled to over 70 countries.