Married without the Wedding: #EdDeRound2

Although, I have been married for over 15 years one thing that I have always wanted was a Wedding photo. Why? I never got to have a wedding. My husband, Coach Eddie B and I met 19 years ago through a mutual friend. We became fast friends. Eddie B was married to his first wife. I was dating my high school sweetheart. We hung out for three years as strictly friends. Spring/Summer of 2001 Eddie B got divorced from his first wife. I had broken up with my long time, yet verbally abusive high school sweetheart, a few months beforehand. Ed and I had lost touch for a few months. Then out of the blue Eddie B text me to hang out. We began to spend more time together.

I’m a Guys’ kind of Girl

I used to only hang out with males. I had no time for the emotional aspect of being a girls’ girl. It wasn’t uncommon for me to be the only girl with a group of guys. Through hanging out in the group Eddie B and I started talking more and getting to know him better. Eddie B and I used to explore  DC together. Hop on the Metro and figure out the destination later. It was a fun summer and by the end. A guy I thought of as my best friend was slowly turned into boyfriend material.

Christian but not a Believer

At the time I knew God but wanted nothing to do with Him. I equated legalistic religious rules with Christianity. So, I was not about that life. My parents forced me to attend a Christian college to help “build my faith. I was raised Christian, but I was far from a Believer. By the end of my college experience, I was more Atheist than Christian who was not my parent’s intention. I was a PARTY GIRL! Always down to do anything. I spent many happy hours in Adams Morgan, DC underage drinking and partying and often stumbling into my apartment at night.

When your best friend becomes your boyfriend

Ed and I started dating the middle of that summer. By October of that year. I was pregnant with our first daughter. My Senior year at a Christian college with a growing Scarlett letter was a memorable and isolating experience. I only had Eddie B to share it with, and that’s when I had to grow up. I already lived off campus, so Ed and I moved in together for a brief period. At the same time, I was trying to leave my roommates and living situation. So, Ed and I moved in with his Mom for about four months before we needed to move on our own. During all of this, we had gotten engaged at Union Station but didn’t want to be a pregnant bride. So…

Shotgun Wedding

My Christian college had available housing but only for married couples. Believe it or not, there were quite a few Juniors and Seniors who got their “Mrs. Degree.” Coincidentally, out of the five couples that we knew that got married that year. Ed and I are the only ones who are still married. The other four got big beautiful weddings, and we got an enduring loving marriage.  We are also the only couples in that group who had a shotgun wedding at the Justice of the Peace. All my friends got the whole wedding experience but for me.

Fantasy into Reality

We have been talking about renewing our vows for about five years. It was also probably one of the hardest years of our marriage. By year ten we were like “We should renew our vows.” We wanted to at our ten year anniversary but couldn’t afford it. I’ve always wanted a big wedding. When I was in high school, I planned every detail of my wedding. In my mind, my High school sweetheart and I were going to have this lavish wedding I planned. Despite the realities of life I still held on to my fantasy of pretty white gown, handsome groom walking down the aisles with Bubbles trailing behind us. I would watch “Yes to the Dress” on occasion. We are fantasizing about my wedding that never happened.

Then one day…

My Sister and I were talking about the wedding I have been planning for 15 years. David’s Bridal annual $99 sale was happening that day.  Out of curiosity, we went and just so happen to bring the girls, my Mom, two of my sisters and little niece. It was a Godcidence they all came. In our naivety, we thought you could just walk in and try on dresses. “Uh no!” As “Frederic” told us.  “You have to have an appointment!” We didn’t have an appointment but as we are walking out — a former client of mine who worked there tapped my shoulder.

“YES! to the dress

After telling her the story she “squeezed me in between appointments.” Many beautiful dresses later I found “The One.” When you find “The One,”  you have to buy it. BUT we were just window shopping, AND the dream dress was $800 marked down to $300 and not in the budget. Although, I found “the dress.” I told my former client I wasn’t prepared to spend $300. She said, “Hold on!” walked away with my dress and came back a few minutes later after I had gotten dress. We were about to leave; she asked if I was sure and said, “Check the tag again!” I turned it over and stapled on top of the original tag was in big red “David Bridal $99! #blessed I had and did buy it that day with no wedding plans but the perfect dress. And then the planning began. We were going to have a destination Vow Renewal in Jamaica, Dec.18, 2018.

Unexpected Postponement

Everything was planned. Then several events happened..I broke my ankle and was on unemployment for four months which was financially hard. I returned to work and just as we began to see a breakthrough in finances. Eddie B ruptured his Achilles tendon and was out for the majority of his the summer, which is when my husband trains Basketball players and brings in a nice income. Instead of working my husband was on the couch. We had to cancel our December destination wedding, and I gave up on the idea of having a wedding for the moment.

Family Vacation

Then enters 2019… We try to have a family vacation every 2-3 years. Usually, Spring break because my husband who is also a substitute teacher is off.  This year Milah decided one day she wanted to visit her Great Grandmother. My Mom, who is my travel agent found tickets for our family of five. $328 round trip TOTAL!  Thanks, Frontier for letting kids fly free! We felt obligated to go! It began as a typical family vacation itinerary; theme parks, Zoo trip, and Historical Sites.

I’m having a wedding

Then one day, after my morning devotion and prayer. I had a random thought of “What if we renew our vows in Texas; where most of may family already live?”The only thing was Eddie B’s family had to be there so; I called his Mom. She was willing and able to go to the renewal in Texas. Next, I asked my Grandmother who was ecstatic at the idea of having another wedding at her home in her backyard. Finally, I had to ask Eddie B (who is usually down for mostly anything) and another, Yes! Here it is six weeks later and in a few days will be taking our family vacation to Texas and renewing our vows.

Growing Old with your Soulmate

Eddie B and I have grown so much the last 18 years our friendship. From wild God-less college kids (Ed knew the Lord & attended Church but I was trying to discover my faith-without God) to parents and Believers.

The one thing that has remained constant is I get to live life with my best friend. We’ve figured out the marriage part (at least the first 15 years) which many don’t. Now we get the wedding too. I can’t wait to celebrate with my family,  our love and see my fantasy come to life. Sharing the experience with my girls is also going to be memorable.

So, check out my IG Story or Highlights for #EdDeRound2 and share in our love and Round 2! April 19th I will be saying “I do” all over again to my best friend!

Have you ever considered renewing your vows?

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