February 15, 2021

I learned early on in my relationship with Nick that being a military spouse would require some tough decisions and sacrifices. 8 years ago today, we got married a few months before our wedding because of military things.

Nick was about to deploy. And also, when you are PCSing (moving), it matters whether or not you are married before or after you are told to PCS. If you get orders to Hawaii and then you get married, the military will not pay for your spouse to move with you. Nick was going to be getting orders soon and we wanted me to be on them.

It made sense for us. We has already been together for many years and we knew we were getting married in a few months anyway.

We tried not to make it a big deal, which is why we didn’t dress up and got married in this room at the courthouse under this hideous arch they made for Valentine’s Day that we hated. We picked the day because it was a long weekend and Nick could not get off otherwise.

My mom had to work, so brother and my dad were the witnesses. My dad wore his carpenters uniform because he had to go to work after. Yes. His carpenters uniform. The officiant was appalled that we didn’t have wedding rings so she gave us paper clip rings to exchange. Afterwards, we went to the cheesecake factory with my brother. 

And we didn’t tell many other people. I can’t articulate why. Maybe I thought people would think differently about us on our wedding day? I’m not really sure. We could have told everyone and had a small celebration. And I used to think we should have just told everyone. 

But this year, I realized we also had every right to keep it private. And that’s the lesson I’ll hope to pass on to M when I tell her this story over and over and over. There is no one right way to do things. And she doesn’t owe anyone an explanation for anything she does. Neither do you.

I’ve been sharing this story every year for the past few years just to let you know you’re not alone if you do this, and you don’t have to tell anyone if you don’t want to. I later learned that a lot of military couples do this for similar reasons.

Today we’ll get take out to celebrate and then we’ll celebrate again in August for the anniversary of our big wedding and party so really it ended up a win-win.

We started out our marriage in the way that worked best for us, and we get to celebrate two anniversaries.

2 responses to “8 Years Ago …”

  1. sarah says:

    Wow this felt like you were speaking directly to me as I read this. We have been talking a lot about doing something like this, due to the visa restrictions on both sides of the pond, seeing each other would be legally possibly if we were married, but neither of us want to have a big wedding until after the pandemic when our friends and family can be there. We still haven’t decided but reading this did make me feel a lot better about our options. <3

  2. Audrey says:

    (Happy belated Anniversary!) I love that you have such a unique and special-to-you story. That’s the most important part of a wedding- the story between spouses <3 And it's AWESOME that you get so many days to celebrate and look back on fondly!

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