Today, Friday, June 21, 2019, I will be married to the love of my life, Jin Wang, again...

Yes, that's right. Today we're getting married at the courthouse in Rockville, Maryland and then celebrating at Fiola Mare in Washington D.C. with her mother's side of the family and then tomorrow at Blue Duck Tavern with her father's side of the family.

It's funny because when Jin and I first started talking about getting married, she said she wanted something simple. She said she wanted a courthouse wedding and that she'd even wear her nicest white t-shirt.

I said that Jin should wear something a little nicer than a white t-shirt, but I agreed with the sentiments of having a simple wedding. Since I was living in Belgium, I thought that we could have one of my friends who is a licensed minister simply perform the wedding in my house. We could say it was a destination wedding and that we got married in Europe, but at the same time, we could easily file marriage documents since we could pretend we got married in the US. And in fact, since we lived near the Chièvres Air Base, which is technically US soil, I figured we could still get married legally in the US if necessary. We also agreed that there would be no friends or family because they would create drama.

So, we had our wedding with just us two and lived happily ever after...


or not... because my mother insisted that she come even if it were only going to be a 5-minute ceremony (also, as a federal prosecutor, she wasn't too keen on the idea of fudging the marriage certificate to say I got married in the US when I actually would get married in Belgium).

The Floodgates

While my mom had the best of intentions and simply wanted to see her son get married, this opened up the floodgates to allow for tons more drama to ensue. We've changed wedding plans so many different times to accommodate my parents as well as both sets of her parents. All three sets of parents are awesome and I love them all dearly, so don't get me wrong, but they still managed to frustrate the hell out of us as our wedding became more about our parents than about us.

We ended up narrowing down our wedding plans to two ceremonies with three dinners.

Wedding #1

Our first wedding was in Greece. We went back and forth about inviting family to Greece, but in the end because of all the drama, we had to plan a second wedding for our family. Wedding #1 became just our wedding then, which did ease some of the stress (but hardly...). I chose Greece because I had two Greek students this year and I thought it would be more meaningful to visit a place where my students were from. Jin is the one who decided on Santorini. And it was amazing!

Our wedding day was simple but elegant. I stayed back in one hotel room and had the videographer come film me as I gave my vows. The photographer was with Jin as she had her makeup and hair done. We had some initial photos together and then eventually our ceremony. After the ceremony, we went off to take pictures all around Oia. And then ended up back at the other hotel room to share a private meal overlooking the sunset in Oia. It was gorgeous, romantic, and simple.

Wedding #2

Our second wedding is today. In fact, in less than a couple hours. I'm here just writing this entry to keep consistent with my blogging. Jin's still panicking somewhat but has managed to calm down. We've both been stressed as hell from this, but her especially since she's been juggling so much for the wedding.

We'll have a courthouse wedding with immediate family and a few extended family members, but no friends to still keep things simple. And then as stated earlier, we'll have the one dinner tonight and another one tomorrow.

Don't judge a book by its cover.

Based on my simple summary, you could hardly imagine the stress endured during all of this. However, while planning these weddings, both of us were enrolled in graduate school at Johns Hopkins. Jin moved from one apartment to another and I moved from one country to another. I was dealing with unexpected stress from work after the retaliation and harassment I received and Jin found out about yet another job opportunity. There are a million other things on are minds and wanting to invest tons of time and money into a ceremony felt wasteful when we would rather make more time for each other and save for our future.

Happily Ever After...

However, while it's been an extremely stressful past few months, I'm grateful I've come this far. I'm grateful for my family as well as for my in-laws for their generosity and love (even if they might all drive us nuts at times). But, I'm most grateful to Jin. I'm grateful for her hard work, dedication, and love throughout this process. It hasn't been easy for her, but she's kept pushing on for each one of us. And I'm so grateful that I get to marry her today!