I got married. I turned 30. I spent nearly two weeks in Aruba with 50 of my closest friends and family. I nearly broke my toe. I got a stomach bug.
To say that the last a lot happened in the last two weeks since I’ve written to you would be an understatement. I’m still piecing together the experiences in my mind. All I know is that it was amazing. All of it. Even the ‘bad stuff.’
And I’m forever changed.
One intention we had for our wedding was to make it less of a big party and more of an art exhibition of who we are. Every detail—from the music we selected to the food on the menu to even the guests we invited communicated something fundamental about who Garrett and I are as people. And I like to think that each person there knows us a little bit better by even just spending a few intimate days with family we grew up with and the friends we hang out with.
We wanted to give those people who helped shape us a window into our subjective worldview. The worldview that they helped create with us. We wanted to co-create with them. Like all art. Incomplete without the subjectivity of its audience.
Because you don’t consume art. You have a relationship with it. It’s not an objective experience. It’s a living, breathing entity.
So we planned three days of events that captured who we are. A two-hour happy hour party where every drink you ordered, you’d get two of—forcing you to make a new friend (or just get really drunk). A private party bus where we ended up all dressed in costumes, some of us dancing on bars, some dancing on poles—and inside jokes and laughs that will last a lifetime. (The pictures from that night are locked up in the vault.)
A beach day followed by a two-hour sail at sunset on a private catamaran. Then dinner at a pizza place with live music and dancing.
And, finally, a beach day followed by our beach ceremony at sunset and a reception with a three-course dinner and wine pairings in a secret garden.
We were so excited about the beauty of all of it. In our minds—and with eighteen months of planning—we had co-created beautiful art. We had secured each guest a very inexpensive condo with kitchen so close to pools and the beach. We had welcome beach totes full of our favorite Aruba essentials like stroopwafels, locally made aloe, and Fireball shots.
It was our art.
And then we got to Aruba.
Within minutes of being there, we found out our first event’s venue was demolished just a week before. Our contact we’d been planning with had no idea. (We got it moved to an even better venue last-minute.) Then our room had black mold in it. (We, thankfully, were moved right away, and everyone else got a room upgrade because of it).
And, as I started to panic and freak out, it become really, really clear to me that this was art. I wasn’t just co-creating with Garrett and with our guests. I was co-creating with life.
Coincidentally—or maybe not—the song we walked down the aisle to is called “Life” by The Avett Brothers. It talks about knowing the hell and paradise here on Earth. About a real life together. Because, ultimately, that’s what we’re buying into together. Not some conditional view that demands perfection. But a real, true life.
Just like in Italy when everything went to shit. And we had to decide if we were up for it. If we could work together as a team.
I won’t lie. Other things went wrong in Aruba, too. I hurt my toe badly the morning of the ceremony – and it was bleeding and completely black and blue. I almost couldn’t walk down the aisle. And our wedding coordinator mixed up paperwork and never brought a microphone, so not everyone could hear the ceremony and our vows, as we competed with the wind and waves. And the pizza place got completely overwhelmed by our big party, and ended up forgetting to deliver pizza to one of the tables. And I got a stomach bug on the plane ride home and had to cancel my birthday dinner.
Things went wrong. And yet it was perfect. And it was art. Co-created between me, Garrett, our friends and family, and life around us.
It was the most incredible wedding I could have imagined. And it’ll probably take me months to fully process all that happened during the last two weeks.
But all I know is that I signed up for a life with Garrett. A real life. And, if my wedding is any indication, it will be the most surprisingly, exciting, beautiful, stunning, connected adventure I’ve ever experienced.