On Christmas Day 2011, my now-husband placed our
15-month-old son on my six-month pregnant belly and handed me my gift: an
We'd been together a couple of years and already had a
beautiful son with a daughter on the way. There had been speculation about when
and, indeed, if we would get married. But it wasn't something we ever wanted to
do because we felt we should for the children. It was going to be about us.
"Because I love you," my husband said, and we quickly agreed
that making it about "us" meant making it about our children, too.
We got married in Greece nine months later, with our nearly
2-year-old son and 6-month-old daughter in tow. We spent 10 lovely days at
a swank resort that catered to families with small children and also arranged
This is my second marriage . In planning my first wedding I,
like most people, got caught up in the details of the party and worried about
things that, this time, never really entered my mind. Our biggest stress on our
wedding day was that our daughter had a cold.
Instead of not seeing the bride on the wedding day, my
husband spent the day with me playing with our children, hoping to tire him out
for a good nap before the late afternoon ceremony.
I'd bought a dress at Zara that I liked but didn't love, did
my own make-up and hated my hair. None of this mattered. I honestly couldn't wait to marry my husband, and that was all the preparation I'd really done.
We both felt we'd made promises not just to each other but about how we would function and prioritize as a unit.
We hadn't even managed
to prepare vows but were reassured that the minister would have something
typical of a Greek wedding to say, which was good enough for us.
Vows in Greece, as it turns out, are pretty no nonsense and really spoke to us. It
was not so much about lovey-dovey stuff as responsibility: stressing that we
were lucky to have what we have and reminding us that we are tasked with
taking care of it.
"From this moment, which you have decided of your own free
will to be married," said the minister, "both of you owe to each other love,
trust and respect for the rest of your lives."
She stressed that whether our luck would remain the same
was up to us. "Both of you together must try to make the best of all the
subjects which arise in your married life."
Our son stood between my husband and me, while I held our
daughter. So it was fitting that family features prominently in Greek vows. "You must look after and protect the image of the family you make," and our social obligations relating to our children, "You must both, until the
end, be good to your children and ensure good education for them, to make them
useful and independent citizens."
We had to take a break between the ceremony and the cake, because our son needed to eat and our daughter had an accident (all over the
very understanding wedding planner). But in spite of that, and the fact that it
rained on our wedding day in Greece for the first time in six months, the day
We both felt we'd made promises not just to each other but about
how we would function and prioritize as a unit. And although we'd already started our family, being married felt significant and meaningful for all of us.
That was three years ago today. It feels like an anniversary for all of us, and I can't imagine having had our wedding without the presence of our children.
We had arranged a resort babysitter to look after our children that night so we could celebrate, but before she arrived my husband put our daughter to bed and I brought my son to the buffet for his dinner. Spending the evening of my wedding alone with my son is a memory I cherish.
That was three years ago today. It feels like an anniversary
for all of us, and I can't imagine having had our wedding without the presence
of our children.
That is, the children we had at the time. Life's been busy: we've added a third child to the mix, we
have a child in Kindergarten and a daughter starting preschool this year. It's
all "go" around here.