Virgin's Guide to Burning Man

A Virgin's Guide to Burning Man can be found here.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Year Ago

A year ago today, I was in my kitchen with my mom and my matron of honor preparing food for the wedding rehearsal dinner. I was worried and anxious that the party would go well and that the food would turn out nicely. I was thrilled to have my loved ones all around me. I was trying to think if there was anything I'd forgotten, and mostly surprised by how smoothly things were going. But most of all, I was impatient and excited for one of the most important events of my life: my wedding day.

On July 11, 2008, I married Toby Matthew Keller, and tomorrow we shall celebrate our one-year anniversary. So much has happened in one year, I still cannot believe it has already been a year. Somehow it feels as though the three months right after the wedding just never existed. It's like our honeymoon was another world to where we time warped, only to boomerang back sometime in October, when reality really sank back in.

I didn't think it was possible to love him more than I did on our wedding day. But marriage has changed us, and deepened our relationship in ways I could never imagine. There is a sense of security and comfort, where we are each other's foundations, our rocks on which to lean and find the courage and will to pursue our dreams. Even when we argue or disagree, there is no fear, because we know, underneath the disagreement, we are solid and secure with each other. Yes, marriage is a lot of work. To constantly be aware of another's needs and desires, to want them to succeed and always be happy, to find ways to get past the problems life hands you, it is work. It takes energy, commitment and will-power. But it is so worth it, because the good times are so very, very good.

Inevitably, there will be times when it is so very, very hard. But I write this so that my future self will always remember the good times, and to help us get through the bad. I don't wish to sugar-coat marriage, because I think over-sentimentalizing it and over-romanticizing it leaves one in danger of being unprepared for the reality of it.

But I also believe that people who say marriage doesn't matter, that it's just a piece of paper, are full of sh*t (no offense), and are probably masking a fear of commitment. There is something indescribably important about standing up, with your loved one, in front of all your family and friends, and pledging your entire life, heart and soul to each other. And to know that all your family and friends have witnessed that moment, support you, honor that commitment, and pledge to help you sustain that commitment. A marriage is not just a pact between two people; it is a pact between two families (to whatever degree those families are present in your lives) - and I come from a large, in-your-business, love-you-until-rocks-bleed Asian family. And once there is a marriage, we don't believe in distinctions between blood relatives and in-laws. Every one is family. Every one has a place and belongs, where there is no judgment, only love and support. Whether (you think) you want them to be there or not.

So tomorrow, we will celebrate the passing of a year. We will go wine-tasting, we will flirt with each other, we'll dine on fine foods and wedded bliss. And we'll celebrate the day when two became one.

*Wedding photos taken by Kelly Segre Photography.


  1. You guys really look to complete one another. The picture of the two of you kissing on your wedding day speaks volumes. Congratulations on your year anniversary!

    I agree that a relationship needs to fill the other person's needs. Of course, hence the word relationship.

    Finally, what you said about the family's role in marriage is so true.

  2. We share the same anniversary! Although I was married July 11th, 1997. This year we celebrate our 12th year.

    I wish you all the happiness and many more years to come.

  3. Wuthering, thank you for your sweet words.

    Heidi, wow what a funny coincidence! Well happy anniversary to you and your husband too, and congratulations on twelve years! Any advice for the newbies?

  4. My advice...always talk to each other. Especially about the hard stuff. And always laugh together. My hubby and I are best friends...even after 12 years. He's the first one I want to talk to and he's the first one to make me laugh.

  5. That is great advice, and I think fits our outlook very well! I think communication, and as you so aptly put it, "especially about the hard stuff", is the number one piece of advice I always hear from happy couples. And of course, always have fun.


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