In trying to start this post, I went back through my website archives to figure out when I first launched The Travelphile, and it surprised me to discover that it’s been 8 years since I shared my first article on this website. So much has happened in my life since then: remarkable travel experiences, the evolution of my writing and the blog itself, career progression, the growth of The Travelphile Community (thanks to all of you), personal loss and tragedy, and personal evolution.
While some tend to keep their personal and professional lives separate, you as a community have always been so encouraging, supportive, and respectful of me when it comes to how my travel world and my home world intertwine. And it is in that spirit that I want to share some news:
Mike and I got married!
You might recall from an earlier post that we were supposed to be wed on April 4 of this year, but COVID-19 put the kibosh on that. It was a heartbreaking decision to postpone the ceremony, but we knew two things: 1) our love and commitment to one another is not about one particular day , and 2) the day would come eventually when we could celebrate our union in the way we wanted.
Well…we were kind of right. The love thing?–Yeah, that is absolutely true. Celebrating the way we wanted?–It would be quite the stretch to say that’s a factual statement. But what’s a couple in love with a marriage license that’s about to expire supposed to do?
Here’s what we did and didn’t do.
With the sands of the hourglass slipping faster and faster towards marriage license expiration, and with the COVID-19 restrictions as they were, we decided that we couldn’t wait to have our winery wedding. We couldn’t even have our wedding at our favorite park. We couldn’t have the 70+ guests we originally invited. Neither could we have more than 10 attendees (including ourselves), so that meant no full entourage (sorry junior bridesmaids, flower girl, and ring bearers–just the Best Men, the Co-Matrons of Honor, Mike’s kids, and the judge at this shindig).
Nor could we have our photographer or videographer–it would’ve seemed odd to have virtual strangers at this gathering that was now meant to be so intimate. Thankfully, the husband of one of my Matrons of Honor is a talented photographer, so he stepped up to the plate. As for the video, here’s where it got interesting. A real “sign of the times” kind of situation.
Rather than hire a videographer or have my friend do double duty with filming and shooting photos, we used the technology we had to not only document the event as it happened but to also include our friends, family and loved ones that couldn’t be with us in person for this momentous day.
We sent out Zoom invitations four days before the wedding itself. We didn’t ask for RSVPs, so we had no idea who would be available to attend with such short notice. It turns out, lots of people have time on their hands these days.
In those four days leading up to the wedding–including the day of–here’s a bit of how we scrambled:
• We arranged for Jenny Wenny Cakes to create our wedding cake and mini-cupcakes.
(I love you, Jenny, to the moon and back!)
• I bought and arranged all of our floral displays
(Thank goodness for Joann Fabric and Craft Stores).
• I found a dress in my closet that actually fit
(Curse you, COVID-19 weight gain!)
• Mike found a dapper ensemble from his wardrobe
(He looked so handsome!)
• We rearranged our living room to be COVID-compliant with social distancing
• We bought new servingware and displays to fit with the look of the wedding
• My dearest Auntie Violet made 100 lumpia from scratch and froze them so Mike could
fry them up fresh on the day of the wedding
• My best friend Sandy drove 20 miles to get the best Salt & Pepper Chicken in San Diego
County for the reception
• Mike’s daughter Ellie made Caesar salad
• I sewed masks the morning of the wedding as simple gifts to our attendees
• I created a Spotify playlist of pre- and post-ceremony music
• We tested our three iPads to ensure that the Zoom session and our recording equipment were ready to go
Thankfully, we already had our gorgeous handcrafted, wood paper bouquets and boutonnieres from The Paisley Moon, our wedding rings, the marriage license, and our ceremony script and procedure (as designed by Judge Cathy Bencivengo)–four things we didn’t need to worry about.
While we ended up going from Plan A to Plan Z, we were able to keep a lot of the elements of our originally-planned wedding: some of the attendees, our wedding colors, the cake and mini-cupcakes. And although we were saddened to not be at the original venue or have our other beloved guests with us in person, there was a whole other dimension of beauty, intimacy, and poignancy added because we were able to celebrate and honor our commitment to one another in our own new home, on the staircase we descend every morning and ascend every evening, and with the people dearest to us by our side and across the miles.
In these days of upheaval, chaos, frustration, anger, helplessness, hopelessness, pain, and uncertainty, it has become more crystal clear than ever–both to me and to Mike–that love matters. Love of spouse, love of partner, love of family, love of friends, love of neighbors, love of strangers, love of community, love of culture and cultural differences, love of humankind. It’s worth waiting for. It’s worth fighting for. It’s worth the inconveniences. It’s worth the heartache. It’s worth the tears. It’s worth the compromises. It’s worth defending. It’s worth celebrating. It’s worth it all.
We are so deeply grateful to our parents, Mike’s kids Ellie and Phillip; our extended familes; our best friends Michelle, Sandy, Dan, and Alan; the Honorable Judge Cathy Bencivengo; Roland (our photographer), all our friends and loved ones; and to all of you in the Travelphile Community. Thank you for loving us, supporting us, and helping us to celebrate our love. After 28 years of friendship that blossomed into love, it really was worth the wait.
And if you just have time to check out some photos, we’d appreciate that too.