First comes love, then skips marriage

ALEXA CUDE

Why celebrating 10 years together with an out-of-this-world anniversary party instead of a wedding felt more like us.

It was lust at first sight. Freshly 20 years old and out of a relationship, I locked eyes with Brett from across a crowded bar.

I won’t tell you that I knew at that moment he was my soulmate, but I can tell you that it was the beginning of an adventure that we’ve had the privilege of sharing for 10 years.

Growing up with someone in this way, there’s a lot you learn about yourself, one another and your collective place in the world—and something we discovered along the way is that “we,” as an entity, were a bit different.

We grew to share our ideas and thoughts with one another without a filter and with open-mindedness. We grew to ask questions about relationships, our values and what’s most important in life. We grew to support one another in our growth and our goals. But we also grew to have fun together—so much fun together—that in a way, we never grew up.

How does one celebrate a love like that? Tradition would have us believe that marriage is the only way to make a commitment to the one you love. But the further along in our relationship we got, the more it just didn’t feel like us.

When it came to our 10th year together, we wanted to commemorate it in a way that was true to us—taking the best parts of the celebrations of love we’ve attended, leaving behind the parts that don’t serve us, and adding our own spin. This culminated in us hosting a big anniversary party at the Bedford Basin Farmers’ Market, surrounded by our beloved friends from near and far, with drinks flowing, a DJ spinning music and dancing. The highlight and main attraction of the evening, however, was a Comedy Central-style roast where we invited six of our close friends to tear a strip off of us, unfiltered, in front of our guests. The result was a simultaneously hilarious and humiliating live comedy show. The one rule of the evening was that the roast component was not to be documented or shared on social media—only to be enjoyed in real time by those present with us.

In life, it can be so easy to go through the motions, feel pressure to follow the program, and fulfil the vision of what others want from us.

Brett and I don’t want a relationship or a story that’s like everyone else’s, so we’ve created our own. In a sea of white weddings that can sometimes blend together, celebrating our relationship on our terms continues to empower us and deepen our bond.

 

5 signs you believe in love, but marriage might not be for you

1. You value fun and fluidity over formality and tradition.

2. You’d sooner spend money on travel, shared experiences and shared investments than an expensive ring and one lavish event.

3. You believe your relationship is between you and your partner, not you and the government.

4. White’s not your colour and you’d rather stand out in something eye-catching.

5. You believe that what ultimately solidifies a relationship is the way you treat each other daily in the little moments, rather than grand gestures or public displays.

 

ALEXA CUDE

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