Cassiopeia and James Bailey became engaged to be married last June and were married a few months later in October. In that time their lives have changed in many different ways.
My life was about to change forever. As the words, "yes, I'll do it," exited my mouth, little did I know that this split-second decision, made on whim, would change the course of my life. I had just accepted a church calling that would lead to inevitably meeting the woman who would enrich my life in ways I could never have imagined.
When asked to take on this calling, one of the people there suggested that, "maybe you'll meet a young lady." If I am forthright, I had little faith in that possibility. Later, to my surprise, I found out he had been absolutely correct. At the moment I accepted this new calling, I was worried about the unknown and what it would all entail. However, even as I was tempted to say, "no," my lips said, "yes," and for that I am forever grateful.
Upon meeting one another, we hit it off instantly, and as our courtship began to bloom into something more, something beautiful, we began to fall in love. It soon became clear to me that I deeply respected this attractive young lady and, if she would have me, I wanted to take her as my wife. The fact that we were each other's 'first' in many ways (first serious relationship, first kiss, etc.) added a sweetness to our courtship that I will always cherish.
On the tenth of June, 2010 I did one of the hardest things a man may ever do. I knelt down on one knee at the feet of the love of my life (on the grounds of the very temple where we would later be married) and asked, "Cassiopeia, I love you with all my heart. Will you marry me?" She accepted my proposal, "yes!" she whispered, her voice choking up. With tears streaming down both of our faces we shared in our first kiss as an engaged couple.
The wedding was planned for the eighth of October, 2010. We had only about four months until "the big day" and we had a lot of work to do and myriad plans needed to be made.
As we began the ambitious process of planning our wedding and wedding reception, we learned a great deal.
We both quickly learned that though we might try to accommodate up to a point, this was our wedding and our reception and in the end the only thing that mattered most was that we were happy about the plans because it was our celebration after all. We wanted everyone to be comfortable on our big day, but we realized that sacrificing our own wants to make everyone else happy would only serve to leave us out on our very own day. Therefore it only made sense that we should do what we wanted so long as it was within reason.
We discovered that although you may want everything to be perfect, in the end, those things don't necessarily matter. Yes, you should put effort into planning and do your best to make your wedding dreams realized. However, the hassle of making everything perfect can be detrimental and is not worth the extra stress it inflicts upon the couple and everyone around them. Forget about the imperfections and simply have a good time - it's your big day, why ruin it with stress? When all is said and done, will you remember all those little imperfections, anyway?
We did not want to be a burden upon anyone so it was not hard for us to realize that more money doesn't make a better wedding. There were a few things we would have liked to have at the reception but we decided against those things in favor of cost and practicality. We discovered that it's not about making everything perfect. It's about having the time of your life, and that's what we did.
We created a budget and we did quite well at not straying from it. However, before planning our budget, there were a few things of which we had not researched how much they would cost us. This created a bit of surprise and perhaps even apprehension later on when we discovered they were going to be more money than we'd assumed. It's important to research the cost of everything when creating a budget, and then to stick to that budget.
One of the biggest issues that we had to deal with was that, because our marriage was going to take place within the walls of a LDS temple, there were going to be those on both sides of our family who would not be able to attend. One must hold a temple recommend in order to attend a sealing ceremony, and many in our families did not have recommends. So we wondered: how were we going to allow them to take part on our big day?
Our solution? We asked someone to officiate in a ring ceremony that would allow some participation for those not able to attend the ceremony at the temple. Only family and a few select friends were invited to this ceremony for a more intimate setting. In a way, it was like having two weddings in the same day.
These are a few of the issues we dealt with, but all in all, things went pretty smoothly because we purposely simplified many things for the sake of making it stress-free as possible. It was a wonderful memorable day for both my wife and I.
Marriage is not the end, but only the beginning. A lot has changed since that fateful day when I popped the question to mi amor. The best change of all is that we are overjoyed to welcome into our family a little bundle of joy. This baby is due to arrive 14 months after our wedding.