Howdy, BuzzKillers. Welcome back to my little slice of the interwebs.

mm1Today, I would like to talk to you about marriage. Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam. And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah… So tweasuwe youw wove.

I’m getting married on May 24, 2014. I’m super excited because Eric is the man of my dreams and all I could ever want in a partner and more. Not only is he my partner, but he’s also my friend and my rock. He was my best friend during my divorce two and a half years ago. He was my support during my breakdown last year. He has never left my side since joining it and now we’re going to stand in front of friends and family and legally chain ourselves to each other for the rest of our lives.

That’s the easy part.

Have any of you ever planned a wedding? Have you ever planned a wedding where you do everything yourself? It’s hard, even with help. We decided we wanted a small ceremony and reception. In July of 2012, my sister and her husband got married on our family property here in Arkansas. My grandparents have about 140 acres in the Ozarks and it’s beautiful. My sister, being the spoiled brat she is, asked for a gazebo to be built for her wedding. She got it, of course, and it’s stunning.

mm2Seeing as we had a perfectly good gazebo in the family, Eric and I decided to copy my sister and get married on the family ranch. We didn’t hire any coordinators or caterers. My wedding planner is my mom. My photographer is my aunt. My wedding dress? That’s being handmade by my amazing grandmother. Various family members are providing the food and decorations and everything else. Even my bestest friend, Rachel, is going to officiate. She got ordained specifically for the purpose of marrying us.

It all sounds super-easy, huh? What could go wrong? The answer to that is everything. Remember how in previous articles I mentioned that I just moved to Arkansas from Phoenix, Arizona? Well, all of our friends live in Arizona. Because of the extreme cost of airline tickets, as well as work issues, half of our wedding party had to withdraw. Likewise, we lost our original officiate. And the backup. Please don’t misunderstand: we are in no way upset or angry with these people. Life happens and if there was anyway they could be at the wedding, they would. Love all around, y’all.

Still, it was stressful and we’ve done a lot of last minute rearranging. It’s all working out, though, so hooray for that.

You know what else is stressful? Realizing there are only two weeks left until the wedding and the ceremony hasn’t been written, the music hasn’t been picked, and a myriad of other little bits and pieces are unfinished. That’s when I sat down and marathoned a bunch of planning in one night. I got the ceremony more or less written, the music and playlists are 99% completed, and the little bits and pieces are being taken care of by capable people.

All this sounds like a mess, huh? It was. But, wait! There’s more!

After the wedding, the new, blissfully happy couple goes off on a magical honeymoon, right? A lot of people go somewhere extravagant. Originally, we had planned on going to Hawaii, but those damn airline tickets were once again prohibitive. We decided to scale back and settled on going to New Orleans. That sounded like fun. Cajun food, jazz, haunted plantation tours, and amazing art and architecture. Sounds like a plan!

mm3]What we didn’t count on was how long it took me to find a job and then having the job be so low-paying that we haven’t been able to put any money aside for the honeymoon. We also didn’t count on work at Eric’s body shop drying up and his paycheck getting slashed in half. We’ve set up a GoFundMe fundraiser for the honeymoon in lieu of a gift registry, but our fears have gotten the better of us. We’ve scaled back even further and are taking a mini-honeymoon to a small wine town in Missouri. We still have the fundraiser going as our plan is to take whatever we raise there and use some of it for our mini-honeymoon and then put the rest in savings so that we can take our real honeymoon to New Orleans, hopefully, next year. Good times.

So, yeah. That’s the story so far of this rocky, bumpy journey towards wedded bliss. The funny thing is, with my first marriage, nothing went wrong at all when preparing for the wedding. Minus the raging case of strep throat, I got the week of the ceremony. Everything went off without a hitch and two years later, we were divorced. Now, Eric and I have hit a hurdle after landmine after pitfall and we are still so happy.

I want to be married to this person. I want to hold his hands under the gazebo and tell him how much I love him and how I promise to work to make our marriage as happy and healthy as anybody could possibly want. I want to dance with him as the sun goes down and the twinkle lights light up around us. I want to grasp his arm as we run to our cars while our guests shower us with herbs as we head to our wedding night hotel room. Yes, I want a big honeymoon, but I don’t care as long as I can spend a few days with only him while we relax and bask in our newlywed glow.

The road has been far from perfect, but I am grateful for all the help and the love I have received. My wedding is going to be gorgeous and I’m going to be with the man I love most in the world.

Thanks for reading so far, guys. I’ll write again when we’re back from all the craziness and maybe, if you’re lucky and say please, I’ll share some pictures with you all.

If you feel so inclined, our GoFundMe is still active. Every little bit helps. Those who donate will get a heartfelt shout out here in my next article. Thank you in advance!

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