When Sean and I got officially married in Germany on March 14th, 2008 ago, that wedding was a little different from what I had expected as a little girl getting married to the love of my life.
Like most other girls, I dreamt of a big church wedding, with many people that come to celebrate your happiness. Perhaps a horse carriage, guests throwing confetti, and a massive party with all the delicious food, drinks, and dancing afterward.
March 14th, 2008, was not like that.
Never thought I would marry so young!
Sean was about to leave the army, and uncertainty about what he would be doing was in the air.
My parents had been less than thrilled that I was dating an American that would take away their daughter to live on a foreign continent.
We were only dating for about 1,5 years before Sean had popped the big question in January of 2008. And at that time, we did not think we would get married right away, but later down the road.
But pretty soon, knowing Sean would be out of a job in Germany in the next few months. We felt that we needed to get married quickly to make sure we could stay together whatever life would throw at us next.
When breaking the news of us getting married like six weeks from now, my family was shocked.
By then, I was just glad my parents accepted that we would get married. But getting the big party, I had always dreamt of was out of the question.
Wedding Day. Just another Day.
We were broke back then. So paying for some canapes, drinks, and some cheesy decorations were all we could afford.
We had our marriage ceremony in our local courthouse, and the celebration in the house we were living in.
So, on the morning of our wedding day, I headed to get my hair done, and Sean picked up my wedding bouquet at the local flower shop.
We slept in the same bed the night before and got up together just like any other typical day before that.
We put our wedding outfits on right next to each other.
I did my makeup and had bought a white outfit to wear that day.
We then drove together in our super old little, white Suzuki that was barely still moving to the courthouse, playing our song.
Thinking back, I think that was my most favorite memory of that day.
We were both super nervous, and I am sure we were both questioning ourselves getting married only one year and seven months into our relationship.
We told each other we would get married later down the road with the big fest both of us had always wanted. But with life happening and a complicated family situation that never happened.
Only my intimate family and best friends were there that day. None of Sean’s family was there, thinking we would be doing a big wedding later down the road.
After the formal part at our house, we went to dinner at a Greek restaurant. Later, we hit the Irish pub and some other bars in downtown Trier, my hometown.
We stayed the night at a small, cheap hotel in Trier that night. And with the break of dawn, drove to pick up our dog at my parents’ house and went home to clean up from the day before.
That was our wedding.
Looking Back Now
It was not a fairytale day or anything like that, but it was us. Exactly us.
Now, 12 years later, I see that day, and I am glad everything happened the way it did back then. But it took me a long time to get there.
We went ahead and did our thing, and I think doing just that has always served us very well in all the past years together. Although not everybody has always agreed with our decisions back then and now, we have managed to find our way. And I am pretty sure that started back then getting married young and naive at 24 and 25.
The two of us against the world.
We have had tough times in our marriage, and incredibly amazing times, but in the end, we have always stuck it out together.
Two people from two different continents with two completely different upbringings and cultural normalities.
And I am proud of that.
Life is not fair
But initially, life after the wedding and with months and years passing, I felt more and more that I was cheated out of the happiest day of my life, my wedding day.
Attending other people’s weddings always caused a little sting to my heart because I wanted that too! Even watching movies with happy marriages in them was, depending on the day I was having, hard to swallow.
So, during our time in Kentucky from 2011-2014, we made each other a promise.
When we get back to Germany, we would get married again but not in Germany, in Ireland.
Why Ireland? Because that is us!
We wanted to renew our wedding vows to celebrate us—all of our accomplishments, all of the hurdles, all we had overcome by then.
We both had visited Ireland together in 2008. I had been an avid Ireland fan since I was a teenager, and Sean even has Irish heritage. So, where else would we finally fulfill our dream?
We got back to Germany in the spring of 2014, and we started planning our big fat Irish wedding celebration in the fall of that year.
But more of that, next time.