Thursday, September 01, 2011

Ten Years, Man, Ten Years

Ten years ago today I put on that white dress and walked down a luminary lit aisle in a lush green backyard. It was twilight. Fred Astaire sang "The Way You Look Tonight" as I strode arm in arm with my dad and brother down the path. I kissed them both, carefully walked up the wooden deck stairs, smiled at the relatives and friends lined up to support us, turned to stand under an enormous tree covered in twinkly lights, and I married my best friend. With 125 of our closest friends and family watching.

I loved our wedding. I know everyone feels this way, you are supposed to, it's yours. But I really loved that night, and frankly the whole weekend of activities. The rehearsal dinner was the best dinner party I've ever attended, and I don't even remember the food. The only time I will ever be in a room filled with all of the most important people in our lives, in one place, at the same time. To walk into that restaurant and see them all there. Thrilled to see us, ready to celebrate and happy to be a part of our festivities, genuinely excited for us, it was one of the best feelings I've experienced. Now the wedding was a great party too, but that rehearsal dinner overwhelmed me. I'll never forget it.




Our wedding was casual, outdoorsy, held in the large, beautiful backyard of the Billingsley's, close friends of Joe's grandparents. The B's have a gorgeous pool, enormous deck and ample space for parties.  Joe and his brothers and cousins spent summer days there at the pool, and those that live in Omaha still do.The generously offered to let us have our wedding there.



I wanted to get married outside, we had a modest budget and that intimate backyard wedding fit our needs so well.  Joe and his brothers and friends covered every available surface with white twinkly lights and paper lanterns. The tent was overflowing with food and drink, tables covered in homemade runners with romantic quotes along the edges, the fountain was bubbling in the pool and the temperatures were mild and comfortable.


Bright flowers, a ridiculously cheesy DJ (I wouldn't do that again,) lots of great food, including shrimp and little smokies just as we were instructed by our wedding planner, Joe's young cousin Dave (who just graduated from UC Santa Cruz in June, god, we are old) and plenty of time dancing and hanging out under the stars. It was a perfect evening.


It was perfect because of the people that were gathered there with us. Sadly, some of those we loved are gone now. We miss them especially on days like today. Joe's stepmother Margaret, my grandfather, Mr. Billingsley. I'm still so grateful that they were there to share this moment with us.


And grateful to everyone else who was there and has been there for us over the last amazing ten years too. I think we've all changed a bit in ten years, I think we are supposed to. But looking through our wedding album and scrapbook last night it was kind of hilarious to see how young we all looked. Young and with some strange hair choices. And a lot of glitter.




Joe and I were just talking last night, as we scanned photos, that it doesn't feel like we got married yesterday but it certainly doesn't feel like ten whole years. Our celebrations tonight will be low key, roughly seven hours, seven intimate but not particularly romantic hours, in the car alone together, driving up to Madison to visit family and meet our new baby niece for the first time and run around with the nephews as much as we can cram in over this long Labor Day weekend, and catch up with family.


We'll probably listen to our wedding CD and reminisce, share greasy french fries and listen to Dan Savage. And it will be like any of the other road trips we take every year. Except this time, as I look over at him driving late into the night, and I run my hand through his hair, making sure we are both still awake at midnight, I'll be wishing him a very happy anniversary and looking forward to what the next ten years has to offer. I love you, Joe Sands.


bethany actually said...

Happy anniversary! I loved your wedding too. It was truly wonderful! And your wedding CD is still one of my all-time favorite mix CDs. :-)

Anonymous said...

I managed to get my hands on a copy of your wedding c.d. It's in the player in my car, and has been pretty much since I got it. Nothing better than a great soundtrack to compliment a happy day!! Congratulations!

jastereo said...

Awwww, thanks baby. great post for a wonderful night! Love You.

Shannon M. said...

Happy anniversary! I still enjoy listening to your wedding CD. Good tunes! Cheers to another 10 years.

melbov said...

♥ Happy Anniversary. You guys have changed for the better!♥

Laura Bauer said...

Happy Anniversary, Joe & Kassie! Kassie, I couldn't agree more - our rehearsal dinner was the very best night of my life, I will ALWAYS remember it. The wedding night is so much fun too, but there is so much going on that it's hard to take it all in. The rehearsal is so much more intimate and amazing!

Kassie said...

Thanks, everyone! Joe and I both feel damn lucky!

Nae said...

Beautiful post. I still remember every instant of your wedding festivities and I remember blinking back tears of joy as I held my camera up to my face. I think about what I've learned about life in the last 10 years and ya'lls relationship is a testament to what marriage is all about. Love you guys!!