Today marks the third anniversary of our big, fat, Greek wedding (sorry, it just begs to be used). Consequently, tomorrow will mark the fourth anniversary of our small, slim, American wedding, which doesn’t really count because my husband and I lived apart for four months afterwards. To all this all I have to say is: it’s only been four years?!? It feels like fifty!
While that may be a joke, to some extent it is true. Even though my husband and I only met a mere six years ago, it seems like I’ve known him a lifetime. It’s amazing how easy it is to grow close to the right person, and despite some major cultural, spiritual and political differences the relationship just keeps getting better. This is a big deal for a girl like me – as I never really wanted to get married or even have a long term relationship. I suppose I was a bit capricious, looking for some unknown, unrealistic intellectual ideal, but I should have known I could find it among the Greeks.
You can imagine that with my general attitude about marriage I was not the kind of girl who dreamed of her perfect wedding all her life. The
I should have known the Greek wedding would be a nightmare as soon as I had to call
My second mistake was trying to work out a date that would correspond with the date of our first wedding, so the anniversaries would be together. We got lucky with May 3rd, but it just so happened that year that our chosen date was a week after Easter. Thus, our wedding was replete with Easter blessings of all kinds. Being as uncomfortable with religion as I am, this was not helpful to my sanity at the time.
Since I had no preferences or opinions about wedding type stuff, I pretty much let my mother-in-law and sister-in-law go nuts on the planning. I had zero desire to plan anything myself, and since it was a Greek wedding I knew little about what was required, so I got off scot-free. Thanos and I would just show up in
There are no rehearsals when it comes to Greek Orthodox weddings. I learned what little I could about the ceremony by watching video of my in-laws’ wedding, and having various people explain things to me. But still, I was not prepared.
I was not prepared for everyone waiting outside the church with Thanos and having to make a grand entrance when I arrived with my father and our koumbaros (best man). I was not prepared for our height differences to cause such a problem in keeping the stefana (crowns) on our heads. I was not prepared to walk around the altar three times without slipping. Most importantly, I was not prepared for my in-laws throwing rice at me at speeds that would put major league pitchers to shame while I was trying to balance my way around the altar. I think my mother-in-law almost got me in the eye, for goodness sakes. I was shaking rice out of my hair and various orifices for weeks after that. But it is ok. There are more weddings to attend, and who knows, some day my hand might slip and accidentally throw a handful of rice at my in-laws.
The reception was fun, but with 200 odd guests to greet and toast we didn’t get much of a chance to sit down and enjoy it. Towards the end I guess we did, but by that time, I was beat. It seems I was too busy being a bride to enjoy being a bride.
Three years later, our life is much calmer. We’ve been there, done that. And now all we have to do is enjoy each other.