During all this wedding planning and the things to do lists, I can’t help but to think back to the first wedding planning I did. That’s right. I’ve done this before.
Quang and I were never really into the idea of having a wedding. Or even getting married. In all honesty, we have basically been like a married couple for most of our relationship. But, for some odd reason, several years ago, we did agree to get married. I guess after being asked so many times about when we were going to get married, we finally decided to just go ahead and get it over with. I know. Romantic right? That’s us. Totally unromantic. We just can’t get into being romantic at all. We don’t hold hands or kiss in public or constantly say I love you. We are definitely way too comfortable with each other, especially when it comes to gross bodily functions and other things of that nature.
Since we figured that we would be together forever anyway, we just decided to go ahead and get it confirmed or whatever and we ended up picking out some rings. We just looked around really to get a feel on what we wanted. Or really what I wanted. It wasn’t until a few months later that what I like to call, The Nonproposal happened.
One night when I came home from shopping, I was told to go through the backyard. We had a swimming pool at the time and when I went through the gate I noticed some lights glowing from the pool. There was also a trail of rose petals going up the stairs of our deck that was next to the pool. There were also rose petals in the pool and I noticed the glowing lights were coming from some floating candles.
Um, am I in a movie?
All I kept thinking about was what in the hell was going on. I looked around and noticed a ring box at the top of the deck sitting on a bed of rose petals.
Ok, I get it now. Imagine my total shock and disbelief. I might have even laughed because I just couldn’t believe it. I mean, this was some romantic stuff, right? Straight out of a movie. That moment when the guy gets down on one knee and just pours his heart out.
Well, where was my guy?
Quang wasn’t down on one knee declaring his undying love for me. He wasn’t telling me that he couldn’t imagine life without me or that I’ve made him a much better person or any of that other mushy stuff. And most of all, he didn’t even ask me to spend the rest of my life with him. There was no proposal. I guess he just assumed that I was gonna. Well, he was right. We ended up enjoying a nice dinner and just reminisced about how far we had come as a couple and what our future would hold.
My near future held something not so romantic. The next day I had to clean up all those damn rose petals. There I was on the edge of the deck, scooping out candles and rose petals from the water. And sweeping them up from the patio. And picking them out of the grass. And completely sweating like a pig while doing it.
That’s romance right there. That’s the behind the scenes part that you never see in the movies.
All in all it was a great memory and still goes down as the most romantic thing that’s ever happened in our relationship.
After the non proposal, the wedding planning for “Wedding 1” started off with a bang. I was busy looking for the perfect dress and the location for the wedding. Quang was busy doing nothing as I assume most guys do for wedding planning. There were so many things to do and I had no idea what I was doing or even what I wanted. I never thought about getting married or dreamed about my perfect wedding so it wasn’t like I had some wedding scrapbook or inspiration board made up somewhere. I did know what I didn’t want.
*I did NOT want some over the top wedding
*I did NOT want a lot of people
*I did NOT want to be married in a church
*I did NOT want to say I DO in a courthouse
See all those Xs? Those didn’t seem like a problem and my soon to be groom agreed.
After some deliberation we finally decided that the perfect place for us to get married was in Destin, Florida. A beach wedding! How fun. (Except all that sand). Destin was our favorite place to visit and we used to go there every year. So, it was settled. I started looking for places and things just kind of started to get complicated. I never realized what a pain it would be to plan what was supposed to be a simple wedding. I never wanted a big one because I didn’t want the headache. I once worked with a girl who spent the entire day fussing over the most ridiculous details like what font would go on her napkins and if the color was going to be shimmer gold or tan safari. Fonts? Colors? Like what? That much of a debate over something that people are going to wipe their dirty mouths and hands with and then throw away? It was insane. And that couldn’t be me. But, even thought my Destin wedding was supposed to be simple, it was becoming a bit insane for me. I had to book a place for people to stay, get chairs for the beach, find a justice of the peace, figure out marriage licenses, food, clothes, etc, etc, etc. Planning this wedding wasn’t what I had in mind. I was already done with the whole idea.
As if following right with my thoughts, Quang come home one night to deliver some news.
His parents didn’t want us to have a wedding in Destin. I was assuming it was because I’m white and his parents wanted him to marry a Vietnamese girl. It had taken so long into our relationship for me to even meet his family and then to get them to finally accept me (or at least pretend to) took even longer. I’m sure they never had in mind for their son to marry a white girl. They would much rather have probably picked someone for him to marry. I immediately became annoyed. And defensive.
“Well, your parents aren’t getting married, we are. It isn’t about what they want,” I answer back.
“Well, they don’t want us to get married on the beach, so” he responded looking defeated and completely over the conversation already. I knew he had to listen to his parents gripe already and it would have been best for me to just let it go for now, but of course I couldn’t.
“Ohhh, well what do your parents want?” I asked sarcastically.
“They want us to get married in a church. By a priest,” he answered.
“But we don’t want that.” I said, knowing it didn’t even matter anymore. His parents are the traditional Vietnamese type, nothing like my laid back American family. I knew he wasn’t going to go against them. But it was still a battle I just couldn’t give up right away. Getting married in a church by a priest was the exact opposite of what we wanted. So, his parents didn’t mind so much that he was marrying me, they just wanted us to do it the “right” way according to them. That wasn’t going to happen. Quang and I aren’t exactly religious and we don’t tend to live life following any set of rules.
“Well, we can’t do the beach wedding,” he said matter of factly. Decision made. Just like that. No compromise. No discussion. I was shocked. I think what shocked me more was that Quang was allowing his parents to make this big decision for us. He explained that he told his parents that he didn’t want some big over the wedding. His dad replied that we didn’t have to do anything big. Just 400 people.
That’s right, folks. Just 400. Four. Hundred. Nothing big.
In what world is 400 people not a lot? In what world is 400 people at a wedding nothing big? I guess in the Vietnamese world. I nearly crapped my pants. There was no way we were going to have a wedding with 400 people. Did we know 400 people? It seemed that this wedding wasn’t for us at all. It was for Quang’s family. We went back and forth. Arguing. Trying to get each other to see each point. To see things our way. Where would we get the money to pay for this wedding? In their mindset, we would get money back for the wedding. It basically pays for itself. They had answers for everything. But, I wasn’t into the idea at all. I knew Quang didn’t want this either, but he wasn’t going to back down. He wasn’t going to do the beach wedding. I was furious. Defeated. I felt alone. Shut out and shut down.
It was official. The wedding was off!We were so upset with each other that we didn’t speak for a week. Can you imagine? There we were passing each other in the hallway and didn’t even acknowledge one another. I was angry because he was letting his parents ruin our plans and he was annoyed that I was giving him a hard time about it. I just didn’t know what to say. I was flabbergasted. I just couldn’t understand it. After the dust settled I thought about the fact that I started to not even want to have the beach wedding anyway. I guess my stubbornness got in the way because I still was upset. When we finally talked Quang told me about his grandparents and how they don’t want to go sit on the beach in the hot sun for a wedding. They are definitely old school Asian and they would want a church wedding. He told me if it were my grandparents who felt that way I wouldn’t do it. He was right. Dammit. If my grandparents preferred that I didn’t get married on the beach, I wouldn’t do it. But I still didn’t want a 400 guest wedding complete with all the bells and whistles. So, it was settled. If we couldn’t have the wedding we originally wanted, then we wouldn’t have one at all. His parents weren’t exactly happy about that either. They were ready for a wedding. Six children between the ages of 20 and 34 and no weddings yet. Tough luck. It wasn’t our time.
That was a rough patch for us. We decided right then and there that we just didn’t need to get married. Not for anyone. We were perfectly fine the way we were. For the next 8 years we continued our non marital bliss, even adding some kids into the mix. People didn’t stop asking when we were going to get married. We would just kinda laugh and brush it off. Quang’s family still wanted us to be married. Especially now that we had kids together. Like they didn’t want us to go to hell or something.
During the past few years we weren’t concerned about a wedding. We had bigger issues than that. We went through a lot together. More than a lot of people I know at our age. Things that would normally push people away from each other. Things that would tear a family apart………………….