A Year Ago Today…


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

A Year Ago Today... | A Practical Wedding

Oh, you didn’t seriously think that I wasn’t going to write on our anniversary did you? You didn’t think I’d let a little thing like vacation get in my way? Which is to say, buongiorno from Rome.

Last year on one of the first days of our honeymoon I totally had a meltdown. I was jet-lagged and overwhelmed (which is always enough to make me cry, as I proved again this week), and was emotionally exhausted. And when David finally got me to break through my sobbing into words, I said the real thing that was on my mind. It was, “Everyday the wedding is getting further away, and I’m afraid I’ll forget how it felt.”

So now, a year later, what I have to say to my weepy self is: one – it’s ok to cry, and two – you’ll never forget how it felt.

On our one year anniversary, I expected to look back at our wedding day and wish I was there. I expected to feel exactly how I felt on that jet-lagged afternoon in London, when I sobbed that it was moving so far away from that day. But I don’t. Not really. I’ve been looking back at the pictures this week, and they make me remember. I remember how the morning felt, how the vows felt, how the party felt, how those blissful days after felt. But looking back, it feels like this wonderful moment in time.

But I don’t miss it. I don’t wish I was there. Now, looking back the wedding it feels like a beginning. The picture of us cutting the cake feels like all wedding pictures do… like this iconic moment, this birth of a family. It really does feel like it was the end of something good and the beginning of something great. It feels like the place that we started, after making enormous vows.

This week David and I have been discussing the last year. It’s been enormous and exhausting, but also rich and wonderful. David finished law school, graduated one last time, took the bar. I switched jobs, re-launched APW, and decided to take my work and writing here a little more seriously. I’m tired, David’s tired. And trust me, it hasn’t always been easy. But it’s been a really happy year.

I don’t want to get married again… ever. I want to be here. Adventuring. Figuring out what we want our lives to be. This week that meant discovering the Mediterranean, grinning back and forth with Italian babies, cursing the August heat of Rome, and thinking about what’s next.

A Year Ago Today... | A Practical Wedding

Another wedding? God no. We have the pictures, and the memories. And now we have life to live. And I’ll take that every single time.

And PS – If I was going to give you my Wedding Graduate A Year After perspective, it would be this: we couldn’t have screwed it up if we tried, because it was one shining moment in the sun. But hot-damn, I’m glad I stuck to my guns and found a dress I loved (since I knew it mattered to me), and I’ll be forever grateful to have our pictures. But even without that stuff? We couldn’t have screwed it up. I promise.

First photo: Our wedding day, One Love Photo; Second Photo: Us in front of the blue, blue, Mediterranean this week, as taken by my iPhone. I’m afraid it was the best I could do, picture-wise on the road. (And yesssss… I know I’m wearing the same shirt as I am in the bio picture. That is *not* in purpose.)

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • Cortney

    Meg, you always amaze me.

    Happy anniversary to you and David! And ENJOY YOUR VACATION, woman! Next time you guys should go to Stockholm. Drinks are on me. ;)

  • http://pianobi.wordpress.com pianoB

    I’m so glad you’re enjoying Italy, which happens to be my country :) Such a pity I live far from Rome, otherwise I’d have loved to have a coffee with you and thank you in person for your blog, which is the best source of thinking (much needed, after all that blog sources of inspiration) for a soon-to-be-bride like me.
    I’m relieved to hear that I’m not the only one crying when feeling “overwhelmed”. I use that word even when I try to explain to my bf why I suddenly sob with no apparent reasons at all (like yesterday night), because there are no words in Italian expressing that feeling. It’s not being sad, it’s not being too happy, it’s not being moved, it’s just being “emotionally exhausted” (quoting you again). It’s all so big. The wedding approaching, handing out invitations, people asking about the registry, people congratulating, choosing the colors of lanterns, drawing so much loving and caring attention from people, seeing your mum folding origami cranes for you. It’s all oh so big I can’t help weeping, sometimes. But I think it’s part of the game, when you decide to live your wedding with awareness and not just doing it because “it’s the next step” and you’re expected to do that.

    Sorry if this was a little off topic… and congratulations again for your anniversary!

    • kahlia

      I think you did a wonderful job here of explaining the (yes, sometimes overwhelming) feelings that can happen in the days or weeks preceeding a wedding. I felt much the same way just 3 weeks ago! I woke up on our wedding day to find 10 family members building an unplanned roof over the dancefloor (which my dad and uncle had built the week before). There were climbing 20-foot poles in the rain! Later, 2 of them even used backpack leaf blowers to dry the grass and the wood on the dancefloor! I gave them all soaking wet, dirty, smelly hugs, of course! And then they all got dolled-up and contributed to us having the best party we could have imagined… who could ask for more?!

      ps- PianoB, dove sei? Io sono Americana, ma mio marito (Spagnolo) e io abitiamo a Firenze! Mandame un’email! (kahliabear at gmail . com)

      • http://pianobi.wordpress.com pianoB

        Wow! 7 “exactly” on my comment… thanx, then my English is not so bad! :-)

        @Kahlia: you’ve got mail! ;)

  • http://roughit.wordpress.com Roughit

    Happy anniversary, Meg!

  • http://twitter.com/dmrkns dev

    Half way into our first year of marriage, I do sometimes wish I could go back to that weekend, when everything felt so magical. But then I realize how great it feels to be building our married life together, every day that we wake up. And this is the only place I want to be.

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Erica

    Happy Anniversary, Meg and David! Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

  • http://sherwoodspecialists.wordpress.com Kayla

    Exactly!

    I’m grateful for the wisdom, but so very glad we’re not in the middle of a crash couse in family dynamics.

    Happy Anniversary!

    • kahlia

      Ha! We still are! Just as we thought we were finishing up (2.5 weeks after the wedding), my partner’s sister announced that they had set a date for next July–just assuming we’d be in the country–and mentioned that oh, by the way, they’ve been TTC for 5 months! So it all begins again…. It’ll be nice to not be the center of attention this time around, though (or the person they call when the invitations are wrong)!
      Good for you for moving beyond it all already. :)

  • Bethany (the other one)

    Happy Anniversary! I dearly hope I will feel exactly the same way next year this time, three weeks from my first anniversary. Enjoy Rome!

  • Erin

    “We couldn’t have screwed it up if we tried, because it was one shining moment in the sun.”

    Absolutely! Meg, that is one of the most important nuggets of one-year post-wedding grad advice ever.

    Happy, happy anniversary to you and David!

  • ddayporter

    you guys are so adorable. and MAN I love that dress. happy anniversaryyy!

  • http://www.littlesquarelight.com/ Michelle

    Exactly! Great post, Meg and congratulations to you and David. This is a special time. It all is, really.

  • http://www.ukuleleinrouen.blogspot.com Kinzie Kangaroo

    I love David’s beard! And oh my, how blue is that sea?! Enjoy your day. Happy anniversary!

  • http://www.jehara.blogspot.com jehara

    Happy anniversary!!!

  • http://www.mysanfranciscobudgetwedding.wordpress.com Sarah

    Happy anniversary, Meg! I love the sentiment that you do not miss your wedding becAuse your are in the soup now and looking for the next adventure.

  • Rachel

    Happy Anniversary! Thank you for everything.

  • http://lilapuppy.blogspot.com Meghan

    Here’s to many more!

  • Kelley

    We have the exact same anniversary!

    Happy anniversary and have wondrous adventures in Rome! I can’t tell you just how much this blog has resonated with me in the year since our wedding(s). It’s refreshing, reassuring, and damned restorative to read this. Thank you for all that you do lady!

  • http://tinyurl.com/2g543q4 .twist.

    Happy Anniversary!

    I’m so happy that you got married, because I don’t know where I’d be if you hadn’t of started APW.

    I’d probably be OK, but I’m just saying, it’s a comfort to hear wise women chit chat about real life. Sometimes it’s hard in your daily life, because I sometimes feel like I’m surrounded by women who have no perspective on life or on how to be happy with themselves, or independent but still be able to be in love and share their lives.

    Then I come here, and I find relief from all of them. Where I don’t have to pat people on the head and tell them it’s ok that their husbands go out for a drink with their buddies every once in a while.

    Thanks.

    • ElfPuddle

      Exactly.
      And
      Hell. Yes.

  • http://bunniesnbeagles.blogspot.com Ms. Bunny

    Happy anniversary Meg! Enjoy Italy!

  • http://ridiculouslyeverafter.blogspot.com Nikki

    Happy Anniversary!!!

  • Mayweed

    Happy anniversary Meg! We were at a wedding this weekend (our first since we got engaged and only two months before our own) and I realised that, thanks to APW, my feelings about weddings (including my own) have been totally transformed – in a good way.
    So thanks, and enjoy the rest the of your holiday

  • http://bondingcarbonunits.wordpress.com/ Sarah K.

    a: HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! Congratulations, and y’all look radiant. Enjoy the Mediterranean, too, it’s HEAVEN.

    b: “…we couldn’t have screwed it up if we tried, because it was one shining moment in the sun.”

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. I’m 38 days away now (holycrap), and we’re in Final Preparations Mode. I had my hair trial, makeup trial, we have the centerpiece supplies, we ordered the flowers…. And we just got our final proposal from our venue. Tonight is Wedding Bootcamp with my fiance (ceremony planning and rehearsal dinner menu!), and while we’re closing in on some of the tangible things we need to do, all the emotions and preparing for this Big Step is still around in the background.

    Your words right now are exactly, EXACTLY what I needed. I’m almost weeping at my desk at work right now. Thank you, Meg, for reminding me of that.

  • april

    Happy Anniversary, you sweet kids! You both look absolutely gorgeous and happy: in both the wedding photo and on vacation. Now – go eat more gelato. Have some for me. :-) xoxo

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny

      Mmmm. Gelato. Yes, please enjoy some for me too. :) Happy Anniversary!

  • Amandover

    Happy Anniversary!
    Thank you so much for this site. I’ve been reading from “The Beginning” this week, and it’s amazing to see the way your perspectives evolved, and to see what you were worrying about when you started. Congratulations on, well, all of it, and thanks for being the place that helps so many of us.

  • http://visforvictory.wordpress.com Tori

    Happy happy anniversary Meg and David! You’re not only being a role model regarding weddings, but you’re a role model for what to do After The Wedding. Thanks! I bet Rome is lovely this time of year!

  • KristieB

    Happy Anniversary, you wonderful people!

  • http://www.thesassykathy.com the sassy kathy

    happy 1 yr anniversary!!!!!!!! glad you’re enjoying your vacation :)

  • DamnGina

    Happy Anniversary! May it be the first of many, even happier ones.

    Also, if you don’t have all of your adventures planned out already, check out the vespa scooter tours of Rome. Fun, educational, and terrifying!

  • http://made-of-sun.tumblr.com/ Trisha

    happy Anniversary Meg!

    I can totally relate about worrying that the further I get from my wedding day, the more likely I will be to forget the way that day felt. Looking at the pictures brings it all back for me though. EAlso, eery day I come here though, and read the wonderful, smart, and love filled posts and comments helps re-focus me on how much my husband means to me, even if I come into work and sit down at the computer irritated at him. By the time I get through reading the days post and comments, I’m often ready to get home, just so I can hug him and tell him how much I love him.

  • http://agirlsblogworld.blogspot.com/ agirl

    Happy anniversary honey. Sounds like one year out, you guys have found yourselves exactly where you ought to be.

  • SingColleen

    First, congratulations!

    Second, I totally agree – NO-thing could have screwed up our wedding day (and a lot of things tried to). It’s been nearly a year for us, and life went on, for sure – lots of heartache this year, but nothing has changed the feeling I still get when we look through our pictures, or even think about that day. And you’re right: you can never forget that somehow heady and visceral feeling of HUGE JOY/CONTENTMENT.

  • Sarah

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!

    And thank you for the year out perspective … here’s to hoping a year from now (our wedding is in less than a week!) we have the same outlook.

    You guys look amazing … I hope you continue to have a fabulous time!

  • http://koruwedding.blogspot.com/ Koru Kate

    Happy Anniversary! Cheers to many, many more! Enjoy every moment of your first anniversary vacation- these are special times too!!

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    Yea!! Congratulations! Parabéns!!

  • Marisa-Andrea

    Happy Anniversary, Meg and David! Lots of love to you both from, Marisa-Andrea and Christen (who you still yet to meet, lol!)

  • http://www.shinyprettybits.com kc

    I needed to read this today, because 1) I too had a breakdown on our honeymoon and 2) I felt the exact same thing. The whole wedding experience was so big and wonderful (and yes stressful too) that a part of me wants to bottle it up and hold on to it, like if I don’t I might lose something. So thank you for reminding me that that day was just the begining of many, many more wonderful, big (and probably stressful) days to come.

    Happy Anniversary!

  • http://adesertfete.blogspot.com jamie

    does this mean that you are STILL in italy? sigh.

    i mean, happy anniversary.

  • http://www.delightning.tumblr.com Sarah

    Happy happy joyful sunshiney giggly sexy happy fun time wedding anniversary, Meg!

  • http://bluesuedeidos.wordpress.com Beth

    Love it! And congrats on your anniversary. May you both live to spend many more anniversaries looking back and remembering how it felt (and being glad not to be back there)

  • Melissa

    Congratulations!

    And exactly! Our wedding was one month ago and I have had this fear. It was perfect (and I was not expecting perfection), amazing and I felt so full. I don’t want to lose the feelings of that day. But I am enjoying every single day since the wedding in a different way and I am so looking forward to what lies ahead of us. Thank you for putting words to feelings I couldn’t explain! Have a great time in Rome!

  • http://bravebride.blogspot.com/ Kim NYC

    Happy anniversary, guys! Enjoy your vacation and we’ll see you back here in a bit. :)

  • Alis

    Happy anniversary! Have an excellent time adventuring together. :)

  • Alison

    Happy Anniversary! Thanks for all that both of you do for all of us!

  • http://amidlifeofprivilege.blogspot.com LPC

    Happy Anniversary, Meg and David. I hope you all have had a wonderful vacation.

  • JennyTP

    Happy Anniversary!

    Also, you always have a way of putting what everyone is thinking into words. Thanks for that :) I’m working on my wedding graduate post as we speak.

  • Theresa

    Happy 1st year Anniversary, Meg!!!