Today is my 14th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, I’ll tell you 10 things about my wedding …
• 1. We had an ice cream sundae bar. I was insistent about it. A. Because I absolutely love ice cream sundae bars; 2. Because wedding cake always seems to taste like packets of uncooked flower.
• 2. I did see my future wife before the actual ceremony. We did the photos beforehand. It was a wise move, because otherwise you’re stuck missing your own wedding as the photographer shoots that vital 103rd shot of you and Mom.
• 3. My best man was my dad.
• 4. There were a solid 35 people at the wedding I wouldn’t have recognized had they said, “Hi, I’m …”
• 5. Our wedding song was Edwin McCain’s “I Could Not Ask for More.” Which, while far from a classic tune, is a pretty strong wedding song.
• 6. The wife wore sneakers beneath her dress.
• 7. We didn’t go table to table shaking hands and kissing. I know, I know—you’re supposed to. But we didn’t. And you shouldn’t, either. You have a four-hour span where every single person you care about is under one roof. Embrace it, live it, absorb it.
• 8. A really sweaty woman I barely know gave me the biggest wet cheek kiss I’ve ever experienced. It wasn’t my favorite experience.
• 9. My happiest moment was about an hour after the wedding, when the wife and I sat in bed in our hotel room, exhausted. We didn’t do any of the cliche stuff (wink wink) grooms and brides do. We were beaten down, barely able to move—and genuinely psyched to be married.
• 10. It wasn’t the best day of my life. An excellent day? Yes. But a wedding is just too much, too fast, too intense. There’s no time to breathe.
That being said, it was—easily—the best move of my life. As you age, and your marriage grows, you realize (in a sense) that the wedding itself is sorta nonsense. That’s not to say it isn’t fun and awesome—it is, and it was. But, well, here’s what I love: Waking up in the morning and seeing the wife lying there. Hearing the garage door open when she pulls in. Watching her with her parents, with our kids, with strangers—displaying an empathy most lack. I love that we’re genuinely best friends; that we parent in sync; that we moved to California together out of adventure; that she’s an awesome cook and I do the dishes and we watch “The Good Wife” and “Transparent” together on the couch as I rub her sore feet (and sometimes, she’ll even rub mine).
Again, the wedding was loads of fun.
But the marriage is the payoff.