I refused to write 9/11 on our wedding invitations. It just seemed too much, too soon, too sad. We agreed on “the 11th of September”. Yes, we chose to get married on September 11th, 2004. It was the first time September 11th landed on a Saturday. Did we set out to choose that day…no. It just happened. As we looked at venues and schedules and life (I was finishing graduate school, I was leaving the country for a few weeks that summer and had just bought a house). So we found the perfect place, the perfect food and everything we dreamed of except the only open date was September 11th. Our immediate answer was no…absolutely not. That is sacred space, a date that the world stops spinning and everyone’s heart breaks all over again.
After leaving the venue without booking the date we talked and talked and this is what we realized. Life happens whether you are ready or not. Life goes on. Laughter and happiness can bubble to the surface even in the darkest of times. What if we did get married on September 11th and for a few hours a few hundred people smiled and laughed and hugged and danced and loved…together. What if that happened? What if we could help love carry on?
So the 11th of September became “Yes, yes I will marry you because love marches on.”
So the invitations went out and people had questions and comments and thoughts. I bet no other bride and groom have had to explain their wedding date quite as many times as we did. We didn’t get huffy or inpatient…it became an opportunity to share our thoughts on the matter and people can, as people do, continue to have their comments and thoughts but that became none of our business.
So, on the 11th of September 2004 ‘Natalie and Brad’ got married. It was a gorgous day in Nebraska. We got married outside in front of our closest friends and family. We promised, we vowed, we smiled, we laughed and we loved.
The reception was a flurry of toasting and hugging and eating and drinking and celebrating. We brought a light into the world that day. We helped happiness and love and laughter find a little space to breathe on a very dark day in history. I will forever be proud of that. Marriage mirrors life. There are high points and low points and in the middle points. There are are epic moments that will forever shape your entire being. I would marry this man again any day that he asked me…because that’s what life is about. Life is about love and connection and bringing your best to the table.
Happy Anniversary my love. I’d do it again…any time…any place…anywhere.