It was late September, and we were having soup for lunch at our kitchen bench. This is springtime in Melbourne, and the days are warmer, some of them, but the cold isn’t all gone just yet. We hadn’t talked about our wedding in months really, except in passing – “we can serve toasties at the wedding!” or “we can get a few cases of Innocent Bystander Moscato for our wedding!” – but it was a distant date. To be decided, announced, planned in the year – or was it years? – ahead.
“Fuck it, let’s do this.”
What had kept us? Because weddings are expensive? (Our wedding doesn’t have to be expensive.) Because we wanted both of our family and friends to attend? (But we knew there would always be swaths of close ones who couldn’t make it; this is how a relationship like ours works, one of us will always be missing everybody from their side of the globe.)
And so we printed the paperwork, and sat back down at the kitchen bench, readying ourselves for gruelling forms. But there wasn’t much. Our birthdays, where we were born, the names of our parents. We lodged the form the next day and set a date, the earliest weekend we could: October 24th.
We created a list of tasks. Rings, vows, phone calls. Dan – the early- and mass-adopter of productivity apps – diligently crossed one and then the next thing off of Todoist while I put things off. Invitations, food, alcohol. I started using a to-do list app, too.
We made our own rings for each other. (Dan booked a jewellery studio for a day: we googled for a place to buy precious metals. The one metal dealer we found – a middle-aged short and tan Italian man with plenty of gold around his neck and women in bikinis pasted on the wall – didn’t have the white gold we were after. He could order it for us, but not in time for our studio appointment, and really, not in time for our wedding, a week away. So we bought several millimetres of silver. That night we watched YouTube videos and took notes and the next day, we made wedding bands. It took several tries and our final products don’t fit perfectly and we didn’t have time to polish them either. We have many weeks, years, decades ahead to book another jewellery studio for the day. Maybe we’ll even score some white gold.)
We printed postcards as invitations. (And spent an evening writing the text, several paragraphs to alleviate any surprise – because we were only calling our closest family and friends; everyone else would find out through the mail. They reached Dan’s family and friends within a day. They scattered across the States a week around the wedding.)
Six days before, we ran our first marathon. (And both finished in four and a half hours!)
Dan called our local pizza place the night before. (And was told that they don’t deliver before 5pm, so Dan would have to pick them up himself after the ceremony.)
I write about the risks I’m taking, but this doesn’t fit in that category. Early on, just a year and a half ago, I worried that I was imagining things. Back then, I risked a lot. (I quit my job and I left my home for the farthest place from it.) We didn’t admit it to each other, and we definitely didn’t admit it to anyone else – but back then, we were just as terrified as we were excited.
But on the 24th of October, we were just worried that the celebrant would cut off our vows midway through – we were both twice over the word count.
She didn’t; everything wen’t perfectly.