We finally did it!
We got married. We became “The Nguyens.”
The wedding was beautiful.
It was just a time to be in front of those closest to us and actually come together as a family. A time to celebrate being together.
On the day of our wedding while I was getting my hair and makeup done it started to feel surreal. All I kept thinking about was that we were actually about to get married. I was actually about to walk down an aisle, at church, in a big wedding gown, and recite my marriage vows. Talk about things in life taking an unexpected turn. We were always firm about not wanting a wedding (especially after the beach wedding fiasco). We especially didn’t want a big wedding.
Arriving at the church brought in a few different emotions. One of those emotions being sadness. I know, I know. Why would I be sad on my wedding day? Being at a church always pulls at my heart because it reminds me of being with my Paw-Paw. I would go with him to church from time to time (not often, but I wish I had). I would be bored out of my mind! And now, I wish I could do it again. So, there was a sadness as I stepped into the church. As I slipped that wedding gown on and got ready to walk down the aisle with my dad, I had a moment. The sadness of my grandparents not being there was mixed with the anticipation of what was happening. Then more and more thoughts and feelings flooded in. My emotions were finally taking over. The reality of what I was about to do had me caught in a tailspin. I stepped out of the tiny closet that I got dressed in and locked my arms in my dad’s. Wow. My daddy was walking me down the aisle.
My dad. He never really made a big deal about me getting married. He always said, “Why mess up something that’s already working out?” Well, we were doing it. And I would like to think that he was having a moment too. I’m his only daughter. And there I was in a wedding gown walking down the aisle with him. I’m glad he was there because there was a time when I really didn’t think he would be able to do that. He’s been sick and there were moments when I was really scared that he wouldn’t make it.
The walk to meet up with Quang was a long one. I didn’t even really see all the people in the church who were there to witness this “who woulda thunk it” event. During that time, I thought about how far Quang and I had come. My mind was flooding with flashes of our wonderful life. I thought about everything we had been through-this journey of ours is one for the books. A rocky beginning, the different backgrounds, Autism, kids, the big move, the big loss, everything. We have been through so much-the good, the bad, and the ugly, but instead of us growing apart as many people do, we got stronger. We got better. We became a team. We need each other. We’re just better together. I couldn’t imagine life without him.
When I reached the end of the aisle, I kissed my dad and grabbed Quang’s hand. You would think this would be a romantic, mushy, lifetime movie kind of moment. Did we look deep into each others eyes, all lovingly? No. What did we do? We laughed. Man, did we do some laughing. It was all surreal. We were getting married. Not only were we getting married, but we were doing all the things we said we didn’t want to do. There we were-in a church. Didn’t I say I didn’t want a church wedding? Yep, I did. Remember that time we were gonna get married on the beach in Destin? Yea, that didn’t go over so well. Now, here I was. In a big wedding dress. Didn’t I say I wanted a simple dress? Nothing big? And not strapless? Yet, here I was. In a big strapless wedding dress. (I figured since I was already doing everything else out of character, then why not do the same with the dress). There we were….with everyone staring at us, watching us get
married in front of a priest, in a church. And there we were, with the giggles. We just couldn’t believe it.
There were the kids. Looking so adorable. Vanessa looking like a beautiful grown woman, Carter looking so sharp and handsome (and bored), and Taylor looking so angelic and tired. I didn’t get to see them go down the aisle and I know Vanessa had a tough job walking and keeping Carter and Taylor tame. Carter was swinging the ring pillow and Taylor was trying to do her own thing. And there was Vanessa trying to hold her dress up, her flowers, and the other two kids. They were all cute though and it made for some nice pictures.
After our ceremony, we had some down time before we had to get to the reception. Quang and I had a moment to really soak up what just happened. We never cared to get married and never needed a wedding to validate our relationship or commitment, but for a second we felt a change. We were actually married for real. Wow. We had an emotional moment and talked about how much we have been through. It was a good moment. A moment of clarity and honesty and love. A moment where we were like damn – we’ve been through a lot together. As much as life throws at us and knocks us down, we get up. We get up together. I couldn’t ask for anything more in a man, in a father, and in a husband. He puts up with a lot of my nonsense. My daydreams, my anxiety, my control freak ways, my negativity. It can’t be easy, which is how I know he loves me. Because no matter how tough it is, he still wants to do everything for me and the kids. It’s an honor to be his wife.
Now let’s get this party started.
Our reception had maybe 200 or so people. Maybe more, I don’t know. It was so much fun and we really enjoyed ourselves. It was great to be with close family and friends and as much as we would have loved to invite more people, we didn’t have enough space. Asian weddings typically have at least 400 people. I don’t even know 400 people! Since our wedding wasn’t planned in advance, we ended up with a smaller venue. So while I had about less than 30 people, Quang had the other 200. If you’ve never been to an Asian wedding, it’s quite an experience. Everyone that walks through the door takes a picture with the bride and groom. So we stood there for an incredibly long time and smiled, smiled, smiled! Once that’s done, they have this big introduction for the family of the bride and groom. They partake in karaoke -and it’s awesome. And the bride and groom go around to each table to toast everyone for attending their special day. Then, they collect envelopes of money! Yes, it’s true. You receive money for your wedding so it practically pays for itself! Like most weddings, the bride and groom don’t really get to eat much, because they are hosting their party. During the sit down dinner we went around to each table. Luckily for us it was only about 25 tables. We played in the photo booth and showed off our awesome dancing skills at the end of the night. My family and friends had a great time and enjoyed the food. They said it was a great experience. And I definitely agree.
We were supposed to continue the party, but we were exhausted. We aren’t some young
bride and groom just starting out. We stayed home instead and enjoyed our delicious wedding food, while laughing about the fact that we just had the wedding we never wanted. We reminisced about the past, reflected on the present, and anticipated our future. It was the perfectly imperfect wedding day. It was so us.
In the end, I’m glad we finally got married. Mostly because it’s over with and no-one can bug us about it anymore! It’s time to move forward and continue this crazy, off the wall journey of ours. Who knows what’s next?