Wedding

I’ve been waiting an awfully long time to write this post, and not just because Yen took a very long time to download the photos (he has a good excuse, as our wedding was followed by a home purchase, a move, and company). No, the real delay was because I had to wait for Yen to come along, and we took terribly winding roads to reach each other. None of that matters now: it’s in the past, and this is all the bright future.

Some of you have written very sweet notes to me over the last few weeks describing what it’s been like to watch us get to know each other on here, using trips to exotic locations as our platform. An unquenchable thirst to see what’s around the corner is one of the things we love most about each other, and it’s been incredible to discover new places together. I’m looking forward to all of the places we go next.

Enough preamble. Please direct your eyes down and take a look at Mr. Tran as he poses in the final photo of his bachelorhood. He’s so happy and casual and impossibly fit.

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Where did we get married? Was it a far-off location that required special tickets? Were nimble donkeys involved in the journey? Steam engines? No, no. We married in the parking lot of a retirement home.

About a month ago now, we were just finishing up the details on a home purchase together. We were looking forward to my family visiting. And we were generally stressed. But Spring had come, and we were also running around Boston madly photographing the cherry blossoms before they disappeared. I don’t mind admitting all along that I always expected Yen to propose in some kind of garden setting, surrounded by flowers he’d just finished photographing. And while it turns out that was his vague plan, my impatience got the better of me. One Sunday morning we were talking as usual, and it just came up – that I really wanted to be Mrs. Honey Badger right now. Yen seized the moment and asked, officially, and it was all very silly, of course. How could there be any answer but “yes”?

And then our practical nature took over. Our families would be in the same place for the first time ever in just a few weeks. Why not do it then? So like everything else in our lives together, we knew a good plan when we saw it, and acted without hesitation. We applied for our license, picked out a justice of the peace, made the announcement, and that was that.

Forces beyond our control began to intervene. We wanted to marry in our new living room, but the closing was delayed. Ok, let’s get married in Ward Reservation, which Yen once declared a “great location for a wedding.” That was settled until the forecast turned to rain. I called our JP, Maurice. “Maurice!” I said, “We have nowhere to get married!”

“Well, come on over. We can do it here,” he said bravely.

“Do you have room?”

“No, but we’ll manage.”

I just love Maurice.

So we would have a standing-room only wedding. Fine! But when we arrived, Yen came trotting across the parking lot. “There’s a nice spot over here with some flowers. Want to do it here?”

I asked Maurice, who worried about what would happen if it rains.

“Then we’ll have a good story,” I shrugged.

So here we are, getting married beneath a pergola while two retired ladies watch from a bench across the way.

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And here’s Maurice just after the ceremony, which lasted oh… about five minutes. It was terrific. I have to remember to print this photo and send it to him.

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After the wedding, we gathered around for a few photos. You can see here that everyone got along great, especially considering it was their first time meeting.

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We had to pose for a few photos. As relaxed as we were about the whole thing, we knew that we’d deeply regret it later if we didn’t have photos.

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Next I learned about the wonderful Vietnamese tradition of giving the bride gifts.

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Here’s David getting to know Yen’s mom (that’s Bac Quy to him now).

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I said good-bye to Maurice, and he headed inside and out of the rain.

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Here I am with Yen’s mom and sister. Take careful note that my neck is no longer bare (that’s one of the items that was in the bag).

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And here’s Yen with all the Jameses (and the née James). Dad probably won’t like it, but I have to share how excited he was at being able to stand in the back of the photos. He was the tallest person there!

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I think my new husband looks pretty happy now. And the most important thing is he doesn’t mind at all how I dote on him.

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Mostly because the feeling is mutual.

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After all of that, we were starving! Was our wedding feast at a four-star restaurant in downtown Boston? Oh no it wasn’t! We repaired to Pho 88, where the Jameses had their first Vietnamese food ever. I am so proud of them! They tried absolutely everything, and even found a lot of things they liked. David in particular took to the Seven-Course Beef. It made me so happy that they took all of this on even though some of it was pretty strange – yes, Dad did eat the sauce made from fermented fish and pineapple!

After lunch, we headed back to Yen’s sister’s house (I’m trying to stop calling it Yen’s house – his house is in Billerica now!) for a fantastic cake and strawberries. Without even coordinating, we both turned up for the cake cutting in black t-shirts. Are we a perfect set or what? Here I am warning Yen not to destroy the cake with his enthusiasm, and he’s announcing that he hopes it doesn’t have too much sugar in it.

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Well… So the wedding was done. The cake was eaten. Now what? We didn’t have a DJ or dancing. Hey, how about a walk? Off we went to Stephens-Coolidge in North Andover.

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The rain came in then, and we headed for our cars. With a full house and no new house yet, we kissed good bye, and looked forward to seeing each other the next day for the closing. I promise you that photos of the house will come soon. One thing at a time!