When Mark proposed to me on Oct 14, 2002, I began thinking about what our wedding would be like. We weren't sure when it would take place since the church was already pretty booked for the following summer when Mark would be home from AIT after basic training. But we planned it anyway, for June 19, 2003.
For the next couple of months we discussed wedding details and Mark's quickly approaching departure for Basic Training. After some discussion, we decided that we would get married at the court house before Mark left. This would be more of a technicality, seeing as though we had a wedding scheduled for June.
We married on January 3, 2003 and Mark left 10 days later.
I didn't change my name, didn't wear my wedding ring....nothing changed about our relationship, it was all a technicality.
A few weeks later the church was reserved, the dress was bought and we were discussing invitations and bridesmaid dresses.
Mark graduated from Basic Training on March 19, 2003 (the day the war in Iraq started). We traveled to see him for the 23 hours he had off and then he was off to Virginia for a couple of months of job training.
The day after we returned for Fort Knox I picked up the wedding invitations. On the way home I received a call from Mark and he said "I don't think we can have the wedding, I think I have to go to Iraq."
So needless to say the wedding was off. The dress was stored away. The invitations were never used.
At least we were already married.
Fast forward a few months.
Mark finishes AIT, moves to Colorado, and then travels to Texas to get me. We arrived hand in hand in Colorado Springs on June 19....the day we were supposed to be married.
Mark deployed on July 2, 2oo3.
During the deployment we discussed the wedding we may eventually get to have. After all, I did have a wedding dress to wear.
Fast forward a few more months.
On Dec 26, Mark and I finally had the opportunity to have our "wedding" that we had longed for. It was more of a renewing of vows rather than an actual wedding considering we had been married just shy of 2 years at the time.
And we had just found out we were expecting our first child.
It was so nice to have 45 of our closest friends and family there to share in our joy, witness our commitment, and to wear to my wedding dress.
It was a wonderful day. I will always remember, that although it may not have been what I imagined, in the end, it was absolutely perfect.
For remembering so many memories of our life, and so much more, I am incredibly thankful.