I was never one of those girls. You know the ones—girls who read Martha Stewart Weddings cover-to-cover at sleepovers and pick out their dream wedding dresses by age eight. Who get “married” to Eric V. at recess with a twist-tie ring (then divorced and re-married to Eric P. by Friday). In fact, after a rotating cast of long-term boyfriends in my 20s, I didn’t know if I ever wanted to get married, and at the time, I was completely cool with that.
Cut to my now-husband getting down on one knee in Central Park, then taking me to the Boathouse for Champagne and brunch while we gazed out at the lake. Getting engaged is now one of my favorite memories, but it was so damn…traditional. It didn’t feel like me. Wait, am I going to be one of those “married” people? I remember thinking with panic as I munched my eggs Benedict. I can’t let this change me. I have to figure out a way to keep my identity. I made every effort not to get sucked into the wedding whirlwind—and I did, for the most part. I didn’t have bridesmaids, I picked out my wedding dress alone and I didn’t do any of that typical catching-the-bouquet/first-dance/throw-the-garter stuff. We had a fantastic wedding day on our own terms, tossing aside the traditions we felt were cheesy and keeping the stuff that really mattered to us, like exchanging vows privately in our hotel room and having a special brunch with our families the morning after the wedding.
And now, 365 days later, we’re celebrating our first wedding anniversary. I’m very much a married person, that thing I thought I might never be. And I’ll admit, it’s definitely different. Here’s everything I’ve learned in the last year—for better or for worse—about myself, my husband and marriage.