I really enjoy the fact that I’m young. I’m in my early 20s and doing some freaking amazing things, if I do say so myself. I worked in Iraq when I was 21, moved to Kyrgyzstan when I was 22, started teaching a university course, and now at 23, I’m jet-setting around Dubai and learning photography.
But when I meet people, they always seem most amazed by one thing: I’m married.
At 22, I was the first one in my group of friends (high school, college, wherever) to get hitched, the first out of my siblings, and I’m pretty sure the earliest out of all of my cousins, too. It’s certainly not how I saw my life turning out, my own personal timeline imagined me dating around in my post-college/career-starting years, finding “the one” by 25 and maybe settling down with a ring by 27. I guess accepting a job in Baghdad to work with your boyfriend and making plans to move to Kyrgyzstan with him signals something sort of permanent though.
He thought so, too.
The wedding, which I never actually recounted here, was everything I wanted it to be; youthful, laid-back, fun, and completely awesome. That was exactly one year ago today, July 10, 2010.
My closest friends and family were there (only 30 guests! small weddings are the way to go), packed into a room at the Rock and Roll Hotel decorated with pictures of Iggy Pop and the Ramones, gaudy gold couches, skulls and guitars hanging from the ceiling.
I wore a dress-that-happened-to-be-white, instead of a true wedding dress, purchased from one of those websites that sells discounted clothes from past seasons; above-the-knee and long sleeves. Super platform shoes, cheap bangle bracelets, a headband from Love Taza.
A friend played “Salut D’amour” on the violin as I walked through the room. Another friend, probably the wittiest guy I’ve ever met, gave a hilarious speech to “marry” us, bringing in all sorts of anecdotes from our lives and relationship together.
Farrell and I exchanged vows that we wrote ourselves (which I have a copy of somewhere back in the states, I’m pretty sure there were references to food blogging and Farrell’s massive collection of audio equipment).
We said “I do” and had our first smooch as “official” husband and wife (except we weren’t legally married until a few weeks later at a courthouse in Maryland. It was such a laid-back ceremony that it wasn’t actually legal) and departed to a violin rendition of Jay-Z (a spontaneous and much-appreciated decision by the hipster violinist).
And by “departed”, I mean we walked out of the room and then came right back to enjoy sliders and cupcakes. The wonderful thing about getting married at a rock club is that, there you are! All ready to party. I had a special wedding playlist on my iPod that included all sorts of favorites and fun party songs (Radiohead, Dick Dale, Beach House, The Pixies, T-Rex, etc) that specifically matched mine and Farrell’s musical tastes (no DJ in the world could do that).
We danced our first dance to “Sea of Love”. I can still remember us sitting in my trailer in Baghdad, looking up all the different version on Youtube. We agreed on perhaps the most campy and ironic version by the Honeydrippers.
I could go on and on. Hanging out with people I love, dancing to music I love, eating cupcakes (which I love), feeling comfortable and beautiful in my 60s-style dress. It was my perfect dream wedding, and it was awesome.
Even better? Marriage to this guy, also awesome. He’s an easy guy to love. And it’s a wonderful thing to be young and in love.
(All photos by the amazing Kiersten Rowland of Prema Photographic)