The Wedding Polaroid

Ya’ll, I wrote this post about a certain photo. Unfortunately, when I went to get said photo out of the box it has resided in for twelve years, it wasn’t there. I actually don’t have a clue where it could be. Not one to waste effort though, I’m sharing this post anyway. Instead, I’ll share this photograph. Add in a layer of marriage/baby-induced terror and you’ll get the idea.


If I ever do find the missing photo, you will be the first to know.

This is the only photograph I own from my wedding day. I only own one photograph from my wedding day. It is a polaroid taken by the justice of the peace. My parents and in-laws may have taken other photos, but I don’t remember and – either way – this is the only one I own.

Eighteen and pregnant, on summer break from my first year of college, I really didn’t want to plan a wedding. I had to speed up the process of planning a life, so my brain was pretty busy. I also didn’t want to stand up in front of the church and flaunt my “mistake.”

I don’t know why I thought getting married in a conference room at the courthouse by a justice of the peace who was dressed like he was headed to the golf course was the best option. If I had it to do over again, we would have eloped. I had class that morning though. Yes, I went to a summer chemistry class at the local community college a couple of hours before I got married. It is all seems so absurd now.

I have trouble remembering my anniversary because the courthouse was closed on the day I wanted to get married. It still confuses me to this day. Plus, I’m stuck with a date in June. I’m so not a June bride.

I also don’t know why I decided to get married in that dress.* I absolutely regret that. I won’t be too hard on myself though – I was still figuring out my style and was experimenting with a sort of hippy-chic look. Plus, I as a fat girl dealing with a growing baby bump, I was probably just happy to be in something comfortable. I actually just donated that dress to Goodwill a couple of weeks ago; it had been hanging in the back of my closet since that day.

For years afterwards, I thought I would have that traditional wedding. We even saved money for it and planned the event for our fifth anniversary. By then though it just didn’t matter anymore. In fact, it seemed like a colossal waste of money. We had already been married for five years; why did we need to pretend like we were starting fresh? In the end, we took the money we had saved and spent a luxurious week in Chicago [my favorite city, worldwide]. It was an excellent decision.

So, what did I like about my conference room wedding? It was short and planning was nonexistent – I just had to make an appointment. It was cheap. I think we paid $50? I can’t remember exactly. It was low-key. When it comes to big events like this I prefer low-key and simple. We had enough behind-the-scenes drama and didn’t need the hassles of a full-scale wedding.

*I guess you will have to use your imagination.



  1. We got married at a Shinto shrine–no appointment necessary–and I’ve never regretted it except that to this date (year 27) we haven’t had a proper wedding cake.

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