March 19, 2010 § 1 Comment
After we got engaged in October we immediately began planning our wedding celebration. We chose August because I would be on summer vacation, and we chose Arizona because we knew that my mom would have to do most of the planning and legwork with me in Boston and Bryan in Okinawa. Planning moved ahead quite smoothly, and by December we had a venue, my gown, florist, photographer, ceremony musician, catering, cake, bridal party, bridesmaid dresses, and more all squared away. With all of our contracts, we made sure to include a military clause that would allow us to get our deposit back in the event that Bryan was deployed. We decided that if he deployed, we would change the August wedding date until as soon as he got back.
After our winter vacation together, it became very clear to both of us that we didn’t want to wait another year to be married, in the event that we had to change our August date due to deployment. Sure, we could always throw together a quickie ceremony, with me traveling to whichever base he was deploying from, but we wanted to get married on our own terms, and we wanted to do it sooner rather than later. The military has interfered with too many major life events, including the birth of Bryan’s daughter Hayley Sofia, and we didn’t want to let that happen again. So around January we came up with the plan to get married in March in Okinawa, just the two of us. If Bryan didn’t deploy, the August wedding would still go ahead so that we could celebrate with our friends and families. But if he did deploy, we would have the security of already being married, connected for life–I would be taken care of and notified should anything happen.
So we quietly told our families our plan, and some close friends. I continued working on the plans for our August wedding, determined not to let the military hinder my experience, but Bryan got to work planning our March wedding. I told him my vision–that I wanted to marry him on a cliff overlooking the ocean, at sunset, with just me, him, a witness, and an officiant. Bryan told me just to worry about getting myself ready, and that he would do the rest. He found the location, a pastor, a guitar player, a photographer (one of his troops, who is a photojournalist for the Air Force), ordered me a bouquet from the base flower shop, and enlisted his buddy Joe to videotape it. I bought my dress, accessories, makeup, and flew to Japan on March 11.
Our wedding was beautiful and perfect for us. I was very emotional throughout the ceremony. We wrote our own vows, but did the traditional ring exchange and “I do’s.” When we kissed, Japanese tourists broke into applause. It was simple, intimate, and meaningful, and I am so glad that we did it this way. After our ceremony, we went to dinner, just the two of us, and we spent our wedding night in a beach cabin on Torii Station (an army base).
We still don’t know if Bryan is going to deploy, but coming to Japan this week has convinced me that it is inevitable…and Bryan has quietly known this for some time, though he didn’t want to dash all of my hopes by canceling the August wedding outright. So our personal feeling is that any day now, we will receive a tasking and Bryan will be headed somewhere in 2010, probably Afghanistan. If that happens, we will reschedule the August wedding for as soon as he comes back–because even though we are already married in the eyes of God, Japan, and the U.S. government, we want to celebrate our marriage with our friends and family with the wedding celebration we have been dreaming of.
We both feel that some higher power has been guiding our relationship since the beginning. Ever since we met, there has never been a question in either of our minds that we would be together. The love, respect, friendship, and passion we feel for each other is hard to describe to others, but we both feel very confident that our marriage will be a strong and ecstatically happy one. Of course, like every couple, we might run into tough times, but we both agree that communication, compromise, love, and faith will always help us through any rough patches. I have never been more in love with Bryan, and he tells me the same every day as well.
Here’s a secret: we had to reshoot this one after the ceremony because it looked like I was shoving the ring on his finger.