Seven year ago today, we were married.
Although neither of us had ever called it home, New Orleans called to us, so it was there that we chose to plant the roots of a life which we would forever call home.
Laced with the strength of chicory, echoing with the sounds of friends and family, bruised by adversity, warmed by tradition, spiced with variety, worn threadbare by the lives that dug their heels in deep to the rich swamp soil... New Orleans was the perfect place to swear our souls to one another.
And no, we didn't keep it simple. But we certainly kept it real.
Real joy ...hope ...celebration ...tradition ...flair ...fun ...love ... Real us.
Surrounded by love. Friends and family and well-wishes wrapped in smiles.
A bride wrapped in the wedding gown worn by her mother. Made by her great-aunt. Hand-painted and fussed over and preserved with hope and anticipation.
The end of something solitary and the beginning of everything whole.
Everyone should have a beginning such as this.
An early afternoon ceremony in St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square in the French Quarter. We arrived in carriages and hushed tourists' whispers of "who are they again?"
Strangers taking our pictures and generously offering to send us copies of our own.
Everyone should have paparazzi on their wedding day.
We are you. You can have this, too, you know! Just ask. You don't have to be fancy, you just need to want to have more fun than a couple of dreamers should be allowed to have... and then have it.
St. Louis Cathedral would be the only serious moment in a party to stretch eight hours
long. It would be the last hushed or still anything. A beautiful foundation to a spectacular day... to spectacular hopes for our whole lives long.
I smiled so much as I walked down the aisle, I thought my face would ache for years. The beginning of laugh lines that would be nurtured by baby's giggles and toddlers' antics. Laugh lines deepened by new lives to enter our own, to erase the melancholy of the father walking his baby girl down the
aisle only to be rewarded by hilarious miniature versions of himself.
Can you hear the beads rolling into the square, bunches and bunches headed to eager hands? Can you hear the crowd gathering? Can you hear the Second Line Band assembling?
Everyone should have a parade through the streets after they say "I do."
We left in our wake screams of celebration, cries of surprise, and not fewer than a few bums with pearl-like beads around their necks, dangling medallions announcing our union. This was a wedding celebration for everyone.
And everyone should have the blessings of the street people on their wedding day.
...this is only the beginning, so be sure to stick around for Part Two...