Fun fact: I got married on April 15, 2023. I also got married on June 24, 2023. Yes, I married the same person twice. No, we did not split during that 10-week period. We actually chose to have two ceremonies!
Or rather, I made that choice, as my spouse Hannah would say, since they would have been perfectly fine with simply filing paperwork at the courthouse. But I’m a sentimental guy.
Because our chosen venue, the Meridian Little Theatre, did not have April 15—our dating anniversary, which just so happened to fall on a Saturday this year—available when I called six months ahead, we decided to split our marriage into two ceremonies: an intimate civil ceremony with just our immediate family and our wedding party and a larger, formal ceremony with extended family and friends who wanted to celebrate with us.
We held the first wedding at the Mississippi Museum of Art, where Hannah worked during the year they first moved to Jackson so that we did not have to commute two hours just to see each other. The Art Garden was beautiful, filled with flowers planted perfectly in time for the spring wedding.
Rain sprinkled from the sky (supposedly a sign of good luck on a wedding day?) until a few minutes before the ceremony was supposed to begin. My father and my nephew quickly moved the arch my dad built for the wedding from under the pavilion to the garden as we had originally planned, and I helped set up chairs for our eight seated witnesses.
My best friend, Aaron Maliden, whom Hannah and I both hold in high regard, officiated. Having someone we knew we could rely on play such an important role really helped put us at ease as we exchanged the vows that we wrote ourselves.
For the June wedding, both sets of parents helped decorate the venue and clean up afterward. My mother and I cooked the food for the reception, which I do not recommend, but I made sure to hug her a little extra tightly for such a gift of labor.
Between the two events, our photographers Mason Graves, Miranda Burchfield and Anne Louise Phillips captured some wonderful moments we’ll treasure for decades. Bethany Jones baked a delicious spice cake with buttercream filling. Greenbrook Flowers of Jackson created beautiful arrangements for both ceremonies. I keep my dried boutonniere on the dash of my car.
While I’m expressing gratitude, I want to thank MFP’s many readers and donors. Your dollars fund our newsroom, and I would not have been able to finance the majority of the wedding costs out of my own pocket had it not been for your support. When you give at mfp.ms/donate, you are improving the lives and livelihoods of the MFP staff members like me in addition to furthering the spread of truth-to-power journalism.
So, genuinely, thank you. I am very happy to be a husband, and I look forward to interacting with you all again soon.
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