Love is one of the many things that makes the world go round but sometimes love and logic can conflict with each other and push you and your significant other to profess your love in a less than fairy tale way – Nathan and Nakeisha Washington
A little background to begin.
Before we decided to take a leap of faith, life decided that we had to get married sooner rather than later. So, in a way, life pushed us before we actually leaped. Our planned wedding date was not going to work anymore because of financial and medical reasons. Because of the stress of my job and an ailing parent I took some much needed time off from work. This helped not only to reduce stress, but it also helped cultivate a new relationship with my future husband and made raising a toddler much easier. This break from work allowed me to get back to my true self. Although I needed the break for family reasons and my own mental health, it wasn’t an easy decision to make. When I left my job, I left behind my health benefits as well and with three dependents health insurance was a necessary evil. If it was just me, I could have broken the rules but life has a funny way of changing your priorities especially when children are involved. In doing our research, we found that I would have to pay $1,300 dollars a month just for insurance for the four of us and because I no longer was working, I had no income. How in the world were we going to make it work? We were lost and asked for advice. Many people told us to just get married. Nathan and I were planning on getting married so why not get married on paper sooner? In this way, life was pushing us to take a leap of faith.
Life never waits for us to get our “ish” together. Life demands respect. Life forces you to step up. Life demands to be dealt with.
As life began to take control of the wheel, Nathan and I decided to let it drive.
We had to be responsible parents and our fairytale would have to be put on hold as we drove forward. We made the decision to “JUST DO IT” and have a private ceremony with just the two of us, and just make it official “on paper.” Nathan and I still wanted the day to be special so we set the date for October 10, 2017, which is the third anniversary of our official “beginning” as a couple. Really a pretty romantic date to be our “on paper” wedding date. So, we gathered our family together and exclaimed, “WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!” Everyone just looked at us like we were out of our minds and said: “Yeah, we know.” We followed that up by announcing, “We are getting married next week!” Everyone was surprised, but they were really supportive of our decision. We reassured them by saying we will still be having our June wedding in Vegas but for other reasons we needed to do it sooner than later.
That week really flew by and our “on paper” date came a lot faster than we thought. We decided to have our “ceremony” in the afternoon so Nathan went to work as if it was any other ordinary day. He came home around 1:00, picked me up, and life drove us downtown to pick up our marriage license. A mobile minister was to meet us outside the courthouse to perform our small ceremony. We had time to kill before he got there so we went across the street to have a late lunch. The nerves were flying as we sat, laughed and joked because it didn’t feel like we were about to profess our love to the world. It felt more as if we were entering a business deal, instead. We both knew that we were going to get our fairytale but also knew once we did this, people wouldn’t hold our wedding date in June with the same regard. To be honest, we didn’t know if our date in June would still be sacred to us.
When the “ceremony” was scheduled to start, we went outside and waited for the mobile minister. A light drizzle started to fall but we were determined to have the ceremony outside so we braved the rain. I grabbed my flowers and waited patiently for the minister to begin. It was a quick and sweet ceremony but it was special to us. We were officially Mr. and Mrs. Washington (on paper)! We ran back to the courthouse, got the official stamp of approval and were a legit couple. Then we did all the boring very unromantic but necessary paperwork.
Fast forward to today.
We have decided that we will forge on and continue with the wedding planning. We did our best to keep the union a secret but I couldn’t wait to wear my wedding band so our closest friends and family figured it out. We decided if someone asks us we would be honest with the news; we would not deny our union. We still were planning on the June date and we still wanted it to be sacred so we didn’t post anything on social media or make any big public announcements.
Quick disclaimer: Planning a wedding is hard! While weddings are wonderful and fun they are a lot of work! Planning a wedding can be really difficult but planning a destination wedding can be brutal!
I found the planning process to be emotional because, like everyone, I wanted our family and friends to come to support us but I knew because of the miles not everyone would be able to travel and be there for the celebration of our union… It was difficult to decide whom we should invite. I mean, you can make your list and hope that those people can come but you quickly learn everyone has different priorities and even though they are often your priority, their priority isn’t your priority. When some people couldn’t make it, I felt guilty because I could have invited others who really wanted to come and support us. Instead, I held spots for others who decided at the midnight hour that they couldn’t or unjustifiably wouldn’t attend. It was hard not to take it personally but God had a plan on whom He chose to send to complete our circle of love. We loved all the people who made the sacrifice to join us in our celebration and we would still party the weekend away.
Since we decided to take our leap of faith to move to Florida in November, we had to scale down the wedding. Nathan and I still wanted our theme to be glitz and glamour, The Academy Awards, Hollywood Style because the ceremony was going to be at Planet Hollywood. Because many people already knew we were married, instead of referring to this as our wedding it became “The Washington Union Celebration 2018.” It was a two-day celebration with our friends and family which gave our family a chance to come together and leave as our united circle.
Why is it so important to get married surrounded by your friends and family?
Why was it so important to celebrate our union? Simply put, it made our union special for everyone. The small “on paper” ceremony we had in October was romantic and special for just us. The union celebration in Vegas was for everyone. A chance for them to celebrate our love and complete our union. When we “got married” in Las Vegas, we stood there in front of God, the new mobile minister, and our support system. When we stood in the center of our circle of family and friends, we felt genuine love and support. Nathan and I looked out into the teary eyes and wept even more because we knew their love for us would always be there. We knew we could count on all of them to encourage us and support us. We knew they would be behind us, encourage us to keep fighting for our love and hold us accountable for our vows. Our circle will be forever etched in our hearts as we go forth into our union.
For those of you who attended our union, thank you. Thank you for understanding how special that day was for us. Nathan and I will forever be grateful for your sacrifice, your encouragement, your support, and most importantly your love. We also would like to thank those that wanted to be there but couldn’t. We understand that life often takes the wheel and we thank you for your continued love and support. Finally, thank you, everyone, for your good wishes and love that was shown for our union. We don’t know what the future holds, but we do know Who holds the future!