Ten years ago (yesterday, June 16th), my husband and I were wed at our local Courthouse by the Justice of the Peace. I was 19; he was 26. I don’t remember much – just that I wore my American Eagle Outfitters pomegranate sleeveless dress that I already owned (it was my 18th birthday party dress), and I was about four months pregnant with our first child. I also remember that we were instructed to hold each other’s left hands while we repeated our vows, which we found hilarious – my left hand in his left hand, standing side by side – because it was such an awkward position. We giggled about it while the J.P. married us and afterward.
Ten years later, we celebrated this milestone anniversary simply, due to the corona virus pandemic. My original desire was to celebrate at the King & Prince Resort in St. Simons, Georgia. During our first year of marriage, I was the Grand Prize Winner of Georgia Magazine’s December 2010 Travel Guide Drawing. My name was selected to receive the Weekend for Two at the King & Prince shortly before our first anniversary! Even though we were entitled to “a two-night stay in a deluxe guest room with breakfast buffet for two daily, and a round of golf for two,” we were B-R-O-K-E with a new baby and would not have been able to afford the gasoline to get us there, so we were unable to go. Ever since then, I dreamed of celebrating an anniversary at the King & Prince. Oh, well. There’s always next year, Lord willing.
Instead, we had a simple 10th anniversary at home. While Ashton was at work, I cooked, cleaned, and decorated in preparation to surprise him with a romantic evening, all while wearing my wedding dress.
I cooked first. On the (Keto) menu:
- Steak cooked in butter, seasoned with Montreal Steak Seasoning
- Mashed cauliflower
- Dessert: cheesecake bites topped with chocolate covered strawberries and sugar-free whipped cream
Next, I tidied the living room, dining room, kitchen, and bedroom. It’s hard for romance to ignite with a messy house, in my opinion. Then, I wrapped his gift and wrote a little love note in his card.
(We exchanged a first round of gifts a couple of days before our anniversary. For him: Cartier Declaration cologne – one of his all-time favorites; for me: Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue perfume – one of my favorites because it reminds me of our dating days!)
I decorated next:
- I started in the bedroom. I added tea lights, two on each nightstand and four on our table. I blew up the balloons – white with light gray confetti inside – for bed decor. I thought they looked romantic, like something you’d see at a wedding reception. I also added rose petals on the floor, leading from the entryway of our bedroom, scattered on the bed, nightstands, and table.
- The dining table was next. For the centerpiece, I added our oil lamp on one side of a beautiful bouquet of flowers in a glass vase and two white candlesticks in glass taper holders on the other side. I scattered rose petals around the centerpiece, and set the table with two plates, two forks, and two whiskey glasses.
When Ashton returned home from work, I surprised him with all of my handiwork, we all ate together as a family, and we exchanged gifts. For the second round of gifts, I had ordered him “The Perfect Package 3.0” and “The Shears” nail grooming kit from Manscaped; Ashton surprised me with an adorable pot of succulents to add to my plant collection, and a framed map of where and when we met from The Book of Everyone that arrived today. I’m going to hang it up in our bedroom to remind us every day of where our love story started. So romantic!
Typically, I don’t kiss and tell, but we later concluded our evening with one-on-one time in the budoir. It was the best anniversary that we’ve celebrated to date, and I will cherish it for years to come. I am looking forward to spending decades more with my husband “to have and to hold … for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance.”