It Was 20 Years Ago Today…

22May13

Despite what the Beatles may think, for me it was 20 years ago today that my beautiful wife and I got married. It doesn’t seem like it was really that long ago, but time has a way of just zooming away from us. I just thought I would write a little bit about Michelle today and what that day was like for me.

Michelle and I met about 32 years or so ago when we both rode the same bus to middle school together. We became friends and over time, through high school we became better friends. It was until we were both in college that we actually started dating each other. Our first date she actually asked me to go with her to a company Christmas party she was attending with her. it wasn’t long after that we were dating on a regular basis and I knew I had found the person who I was going to spend a lot of time with. We actually dated for almost 4 years before we got engaged, but I think at that point we both knew that we were going to get married somewhere along the lines, so the engagement just made things “official.” We planned the wedding for May of 1993 and picked out the date to do it.

Actually, we were legally married on February 8, 1993. At that time, Michelle’s car insurance had lapsed and I needed new health insurance, so we both figured it was good to be married then so I could get on her insurance and she could get on mine. We went to a local lawyer’s office, got the appropriate paperwork and in a simple ceremony in his office he married us. I think he is a New York State Supreme Court justice now. We didn’t wear rings or anything because we didn’t really want anyone to know we got married already before the wedding date.

We picked out a place to have the ceremony and reception all in one. We wanted to use a hotel big enough to accommodate everyone that wasn’t too far away. We had picked the Season’s Resort, which was the old Playboy club in Vernon, NJ. We had our location, they could do the ceremony outside and have the reception inside and there were plenty of rooms for people to stay at the hotel. The hotel itself is Legends now in Vernon, though we haven’t been over there in many years. We found out that the laws are a little different in New Jersey than New York regarding marriages. There are no justices of the peace; the ceremony can be performed by a member of the clergy or by the mayor of the town of the wedding. We were able to book the mayor for that day, but then he backed out because of a previous engagement. This kind of left us in a quandary. We were already married; the marriage itself didn’t need to carry any legal merit at all. We considered hiring actors to perform the ceremony before we were finally able to locate a Catholic priest to come and perform the ceremony after it took some convincing and $300.00 to him even after we explained we were already married.

The big day came around. Michelle went up to the hotel the night before while my brother drove me up the next morning. I have to admit, I felt a little nervous though I really had no reason to be. I knew I wanted to be married and had no problem with all of that. I think just the expectations of the entire day seemed a bit overwhelming to me. The hotel had set us up in the honeymoon suite, so I was able to get changed there and go down to where the ceremony was going to be outside. My brother had forgotten the socks and bow tie for his tuxedo at home. He was able to buy expensive socks at the hotel, but no bow tie was to be found anywhere. Thankfully, one of the wait staff gave him his bow tie to wear instead.

There was one brief rain cloud that passed over just before the ceremony began, dropped one drop of rain, and moved on. A lot of my family coming in from Long Island was stuck in traffic and was delayed and we delayed the ceremony for as long as we could before the priest informed us that he had another engagement that afternoon and we needed to get things going, so we went ahead with the ceremony. There were a couple of quick readings, the priest performed the ceremony and we were married and moved inside for the reception. Well, everyone else did while we took pictures. I do have to say the photographer was great and took all group pictures before the ceremony, just pictures of Michelle and myself after the ceremony and then just candid shots once the wedding started. He was awesome.

The reception itself was a lot of fun. We did all the obligatory wedding things and had a good band on hand to perform. Everyone seemed to have a really good time and enjoyed themselves. After the reception, there was another big party in the Hefner suite upstairs for people to mingle and have fun. The hotel also had bars and clubs to go to, but to be honest, Michelle and I were kind of wiped out by the day and just retired to our room. We all got up for a brunch the next morning and we said our goodbyes as Michelle and I headed out to a cruise to Bermuda for a week’s honeymoon, which was awesome on its own.

Fast forward to 20 years later and I can’t believe how much has happened to us and all that has gone by. We have a 12-year-old son now, own our own condo, have each gone through some jobs, sadly some people have left our lives and we have had our share of ups and downs, just like everyone else has. All along we have always had our love and friendship to help us get through it. Michelle has stood by me through some pretty rough stuff and always has the best attitude and approach. We always say to each other that no matter what comes along we always have each other (and now three of us with Sean) to get through anything, rich, poor, sickness health or anything else that comes along. I can’t wait to see what the next twenty years will bring. I am sure they will be just as good or even better than the last 20 have been with my best friend.

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