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Since it’s also my anniversary today (just like it was yesterday) I’m going to celebrate three whole years of marriage (or three years and a day, depending how you look at it) by recalling my wedding day. The one we had on May 8th, not the one from May 9th.

You see … Brad and I couldn’t really agree on whether we wanted a big wedding with all our friends and close family and people we loved – or a small one all by ourselves with nobody there at all to share our happiness. So we compromised.

Sort of.

Brad got his big wedding ceremony with the honour guard and the string quartet and the fancy clothes and the dancing all night – on the condition that I got to marry him quietly in the registry office with no one else to bother us. Apart from the obligatory pair of witnesses, of course.

This is from Brad’s wedding. Because I can’t find any from my one. Probably because I didn’t invite anyone.
Photography by Martin Brady

So the Friday morning before the giant party, we dressed in pretty clothes and walked across the river to the train station because the registry office is in the city and it’s a bitch to drive there. We skipped across the road, taking photos of each other and laughing a lot.

Then we got to the ticket window and happily asked for two tickets and the friendly ticket seller said, “Certainly. That will be $9 please.”

We froze in dismay. We looked at each other and both asked, “Have you got any money?” And we kind of laughed at ourselves (a little desperately this time) because who carefully plans two weddings and then forgets to bring money for the train ticket?

So we emptied both our wallets and counted the contents and found that between the two of us we had – exactly!!!eight dollars.

And then I said to the ticket man “Please … We’re getting married today.”

And he laughed at us and said “Yeah ok, go on” and gave us our tickets. He was pretty much the nicest person ever and without him we probably wouldn’t be married at all.

All I can say about a registry office wedding is that it really is nothing special. Well, apart from the fact that it was small and personal and we got to say our vows to each other without anyone around to make us nervous or watch us cry.

And then the celebrant was asking if we had rings to exchange – and for the second time that day we both froze in dismay. We looked at each other and asked, “Did you bring the rings?”

Of course we had rings, but it never occurred to either of us to bring them to the wedding.

Once again, these are the rings we swapped at the second wedding. Because the first is destined to exist only in memory.

So Brad offered up his bent, tarnished old spinning ring with the surfer logo on it. And I offered the scratched silver ring I found on my parents’ windowsill one time while I was washing the dishes and I put it on so it wouldn’t get lost and then never remembered to give it back to my mum, or my brother’s girlfriend or whoever might have once owned said ring.

We exchanged those.

And we still wear them, even though Brad’s ring is broken and my ring doesn’t technically belong to me.

 

I’ve since confirmed that it was not, in fact, my mother’s ring, so if you once dated one of my brothers and you accidentally left your ring at our house – I have it and I don’t intend to give it back.

Sorry.