When I meet a newly engaged couple, or a friend of mine gets engaged, the first thing that I have been to known to say (after “Congratulations!” of course) is, “Being engaged was the best of times, and it was the worst of times, but being married is truly awesome.” I loved the sparkly, exciting time of being engaged, planning for our future, learning who we were as a couple as we faced our families, but to be honest, our engagement was not a particularly happy time. Blogging helped me to focus on the fun aspects, and being part of the Weddingbee community was a blessing of support that I never could have imagined, but we dealt with a lot in managing our families, and I would not want to go back to that time. That being said, waking up on June 7, 2010 next to my new husband made it all worth it.
The Hermit Crabs had a traditional Jewish ceremony, and we did not write our own vows. However, we signed a ketubah—Jewish marriage contract—and recited the words during the ring exchange (“Behold, thou art consecrated to me with this ring, according to the law of Moses and Israel” for him, and “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” for me). Getting married in the Jewish tradition and being part of the Jewish community is very important to us, and these traditions are innate in our relationship and our lives.
The words of the ring exchange represent so much of what I believe we were promising to each other on that day, and for all the days going forward. We became a unit, our lives inextricably intertwined—our individual happiness became shared joy, and our individual sadness a shared sorrow.
Our ring exchange under the chuppah on our wedding day, June 6, 2010
Photo by Joel Greenberg
Our vows were put to the test very soon after our wedding. My brother passed away unexpectedly just over four months after we were married. We had gone through a lot of changes—Mr. HC graduated from medical school and was a newly branded surgery resident, I had left my job and started graduate school for a master’s in social work, we had moved back to New York City, and we were enjoying everything falling into place. Life screeched to a halt that day, and I could not see which way was up. Mr. HC stepped in and held me up, and was there for my whole family. They were trying times and Mr. HC was a mensch (yiddish for someone of integrity—a real stand-up guy) in every sense of the word—patient, kind, helpful. I was so grateful to have him by my side.
And our vows have brought us together in happy times too—we have traveled together, enjoyed exploring our city together, and have done nothing together and been happy to just be in each other’s company. We have celebrated each other’s accomplishments, feeling joy as if they were our own and always pushing the other to take risks. We are partners in every sense and grow stronger all the time.
Marriage is not always easy, but I love being married to Mr. HC and everything that comes along with it. As we head toward our fifth wedding anniversary, and 10 years together, I cannot wait to see what the future brings, and know that we will face it together.
Each year on the weekend of our anniversary, we spend the day where we got married, at the New York Botanical Gardens. When we are lucky, the ceremony area is available, and we sneak in to reminisce and snap a photo. Here we are in June of the this year, celebrating four years.
Photo by me 🙂
Catch up on the “After the Wedding” series here!