With These Bands Exchanged…

“With these bands exchanged… More or less… I now pronounce you Husband and Wife.”

Those are the words that made my heart flutter with happiness. I stared into Marissa’s eyes and could see tears welling up in them, I knew she was as happy as I was. The entire wedding and the days leading up to it, felt like a dream that I was terrified I might wake up from. Not only was I getting married to a woman that I loved, but my life was turning around for the better. She made me a better man.

But let’s start from the beginning.


Marissa and I had been fretting for weeks about how much money the wedding was going to cost. Mostly our concern was about our clothes, as we’d booked everything else and were thinking we would have to go over budget to get my suit. I’d been wondering about the sizing and the price. As luck would have it,  I was visiting my stepfather, brothers and sisters and having a nice dinner with them, when my dad offered me a choice; money or buying my suit.

Knowing that they wouldn’t be able to physically attend my wedding, but still wanting to take part in it, I asked them to buy my suit. The following day, Alia picked me up and we had a great day out picking up my suit and getting everything sized. We ended up trying on the first Kenneth Cole we found and it looked absolutely fantastic. As I looked at myself, I felt like I was truly a man for the first time in my life. What a great feeling. Alia and I (along with some input from Marissa) picked out the tie, shoes, socks and everything else.

This was the same day it got cemented in my head that I would really be getting married. I reflected on that in the following days, and each time I did I saw Marissa’s smiling face. And I imagined us growing old together.


I woke up early that morning (as far as I recall) and did some editing and printing of my vows on the computer. One thing I want to mention is that, while I enjoy public speaking, reading my feelings out loud makes me incredibly nervous. I wanted Marissa to hear this but I was shaking at the thought of reading it in front of nearly her entire family. Don’t ask me why.

When I finished and got the printed paper, I left them (stupidly) sitting on the table downstairs and rushed upstairs to get dressed in my suit. I can’t really remember what time it was, but time didn’t matter to me. My thoughts were consumed with how fantastic it was that I’d soon be a married man, and that the rest of my life would technically be starting today. I wondered how Marissa was feeling too. Without any help I got into my suit, put on my tie and got myself prepped and ready to go. Looking in the mirror I can firmly say that I was happy with my appearance for the first time in a long time. I don’t know what Marissa sees when she looks at me, but I always feel bland and unattractive. Just not on that day.

Once I was dressed, I made small talk with Brittany’s friend, Zed and her dad, Charles. The three of us compared the quality of our watches, like real men. Before too long (read; almost late) we were all in the vans and heading to the North York Civic Center. The ride was pretty uneventful, Charles and I just discussed how life will be in the future and living situations. Nothing too serious. When we arrived downtown, we all went up to the building, where I met Brent, Veronika and her boyfriend, Pedro. Our guests of honor, I guess you could say. I wanted to work a joke in here but honestly, writing this just makes me relive how happy and serious I was about that day.

So I made small-talk with the three of them until they called me.

When I first set eyes on Marissa, my jaw pretty much hit the floor. She looked absolutely stunning in her snow white dress. (Wait aren’t you supposed to be pure to wear a white dress? Because I’ve been… Nevermind) I didn’t think my lover could be more beautiful, and here she was, like a shining gem walking forward to marry me. I couldn’t have been more excited. My cheeks were hurting from how hard I was grinning. The music came on and the people started walking, but when she came up the isle the world around me ceased to exist.

Standing at the altar, I couldn’t help but just stare into her beautiful green eyes and think about how great life was turning out for me. I honestly can’t remember much of what the officiant said, but I noticed that he was very well spoken. I’m glad something as small as a subway delay and poor time management didn’t make him miss the wedding. (Nevermind that we’d paid the guy up front. Never pay up front.) Reading my vows wasn’t as hard as I’d expected it to be, because the rest of the people in the room didn’t exist. I was reading these words from my feelings instead of the paper, that’s probably why it ended up being so different from what I penned. I think it turned out a lot better than I’d wanted, even with my nervous stuttering.

And last, but most certainly not least, we were married (even if the rings were kind of a hassle) and I kissed her like I’d never kissed her before. I’m glad people were watching or I could have stood there kissing her until the heat death of the Earth. Nothing mattered except her in that moment in the universe. My universe. She was and is the star which my solar system revolves.

Marissa and John - March 12, 2016IMG_1366

After the wedding we took a ton of pictures (which I suspect is more for the bride than the groom, judging by how long I stood on the sidelines) and then headed off to The Keg. More pictures (some of the best) followed. I got to really talk with her family and friends and I felt… Accepted. It was such a strange feeling because I’d never felt it before, not even with my own family. For the first time in my life I really felt like I belonged somewhere. I knew that being with Marissa was where I was supposed to be at that point in my life. Oh yeah, and the cake was fantastic and the service decent. I may or may not have kissed Marissa too long on some occasions too.

The end of the evening saw me going up her dress (for the first but not the last) time and getting her garter belt off with my teeth. Honestly I was expecting to rip a couple of them out, god forbid. At least I can’t get that much uglier! When we all left, Marissa and I headed off to the hotel. I did a final reflection on the past… And I knew that this was meant to be.

You know what else was meant to be? Midnight Pizza. ♥

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