2012.01.01 blog

the Wedding Blog

neil and i were married one year ago, to the day.

this is the story of our wedding, the “official one,” and what led up to it.

i know, i know…it’s a bit late.

i started compiling this blog in the weeks after our marriage and found – like many of my blogs – that the longer i left it unposted, the more cumbersome it became.
because my life is structured the way it was, blogging about my wedding seemed to “legitimate” it more than a piece of paper from the city hall in san francisco.
i found myself confronted, as people pestered me with constant “WHERE’S THE WEDDING BLOG” emails and twitters, with my puzzlement about why it was so hard to post.

i think it’s because:

a) i didn’t want to become my own one-woman self-published tabloid. posting wedding pictures right after we got married in someone’s living room felt like, i don’t know, cashing in on a moment that should remain unmined. this brings up huge issues that i find myself confronted with more and more as i settle deeper and deeper into my life as “amanda palmer: queen of the internet.” i don’t want to live to document my moments. i don’t want to see a sunset and reach for my iPhone. i don’t want to live my life and love my loves inside out. i fear, sometimes, that i do. i fear for all of us. and in these moments, i find non-action is the only antidote. or something like that.

b) i feel conflicted about marriage in general, and i don’t find it easy to write about. you’ll read about that below. but it’s taken me the past year to even begin the beginning of excavating my feelings about what marriage is, why we do it, and what it means. since i wrote the bulk of this blog, neil and i also threw a more family-oriented private wedding-y party up in scotland. going through that experience shed a lot of light on why we got married the way we did (under cover of night, barely telling anybody) and what the institution of marriage and the traditional traditions were built for. the world has changed, family structures have changed, the family farm and the crown jewels aren’t really the issue around here.

c) what felt magic can becomes either undone or overdone when you try to make a story out of it. especially when you’re a story-maker.

neil is. i am. we both are.

i watch the story unfold.

sometimes i dictate the story to myself, then sometimes to the world.
sometimes i take dictation. sometimes i get it wrong.

……………………..

here’s the story:

neil and i got engaged two years ago, on new year’s day…the first day of 2010.
i had played at symphony hall with the boston pops the night before, and then there was a raucous and historic new year’s celebration in the attic my house, the cloud club. i don’t think we’ve ever had that many dancing drunk people on the top floor at the same time, with music quite as bombastic, and quite that many people making out…. the floor groaning under the weight of the joy. the next morning, i was hung. OVER.

way hungover.

neil loves telling this story, and i always get embarrassed when he tells it. usually it’s hard to embarrass me. so i’ll tell it and maybe it’ll be less embarrassing forever.
 
according to neil – and i do remember this  – i told him i’d marry him in bed the night before.
but he said: you’re drunk. we’ll discuss it in the morning.

he had a good point.

in the morning, i told him i still meant it.
but we agreed that it was quite possible i was still drunk.

also a good point.

so we went out to eat.

but a little background: he’d been asking me to marry him for months; it was a running joke at that point.
he had the habit of turning to me a few times a day and saying, very non-nonchalantly: will you marry me?
and i’d come up with different creative versions of

No.

at one point, i think i started saying

Maybe.

….maybe.

but we both think i’d probably really decided on

Yes.

well before i was drunk on new year’s eve, while i was putting on my costume backstage at symphony hall in boston.
i was a bundle of pre-rachmaninoff nerves and twittering (the old school way. with my voice) to my friend becca, aka becca darling, aka the beecharmer blog-keeper, aka melissa mahony in the “oasis” video.

neil walked into the dressing room to grab something and i turned to becca and said:

“what do you think? do you think i should marry neil gaiman?”

becca, in classic deadpan becca style, nodded.

i said

“you’re probably right.”

and i think that’s when neil and i knew we were going to get married.

the new year’s concert itself was a hit, and a quick youtube search will show you the boston pops backing me on both rachmaninoff AND lady gaga tunes (a first, i believe, at symphony hall in one evening).
our wonderful friend jeremy geidt took this photo of me & neil kissing at midnight, as balloons descended all around us.

and the afterparty, as i said, was epic.

and there i was….hungover.

it was a cold, clear snow-on-the-ground new england winter day, and after peeling ourselves out of bed, we walked down the slushy street to have brunch with my father jack, his wife donna, and my half-brother alex. settling down at the lovely trident cafe on newbury street, i ordered a burrito and a giant smoothie which i promptly threw up in the bathroom.

on the walk home, i was that wonderfully unsteady, buzzy brand of post-hangover-puking, and i remember having to hang onto neil to keep from yakking again in the street.
and as romantic as it sounds….well, it actually was a bit romantic. i felt his caretaking love for me like a warm blanket around my shoulders. i have issues with feeling cared for. i’m always suspicious that there will be a creeping judgment slithering under the surface, a price to be exacted. but all i felt was this english guy walking next to me, with his arm around my shoulder, grinning a wild grin and turning to me occasionally saying “i love you so much.” i felt really, deeply loved in a way i never had. and that feeling had been growing there, having taken root a long while before that. i didn’t know whether to trust it or not.

and

i don’t believe in marriage, i thought to myself.

what am i doing?

i also remember thinking: i may never find a person, a lover, who loves me this much without casting judgement on who i am, what i do.

(on a side note: neil says that one of the moments he realized that *I* really loved *him* was the time he was sick with the flu in a texas hotel room. he puked in the bathroom, and when he came back to bed i still made out with him. that’s love, he said.)

we turned the corner into a little alley that leads from massachusetts avenue to my house. in a little clearing he got down on one knee, in the snow.

i said yes.

and he had no ring, so he drew a ring on my finger with a sharpie. and he kept refreshing it for the next few days. (why does this remind me of “And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn”?)

then we went back to my house, where, lo, a great family brunch party was being held, and it was told to the great mass of people assembled in that place that we were engaged, including my parents, who didn’t believe us. they thought we were joking. the party carried on, and i spent five minutes being amazed that people weren’t making more of a fuss about our announcement. it took us those five minutes to digest that the whole room had indeed thought we were joking. we made a second, awkward, announcement that we actually meant it. after the initial shock more off, people gave us their sincere and baffled congratulations. there were tears.

and then, the first thing i remember after that was people asking: so when’s the big day?

uh.

i hadn’t thought about that. and neil hadn’t either.
so we just told people

someday later.

then time started to pass. my brain started to chew on it.

right around that same time, my benevolent landlord/friend/neighbor/art-partner lee found a batch of old family photos in a plastic bag that i’d given him to scan.
one was of my mother (kathy, she must have been in her early to mid 20s)….and he emailed it to me.

he had given the email the subject line: “HMMM WHERE WILL I BE IN TWENTY YEARS”….

very lee.

this was taken in the 60s, when my mother kathy married my father jack.

what WAS she thinking? i don’t know.

several years later they got divorced, when i was about a year old. my sister was 4.

then dad remarried (he eloped that time, to elaine, my first stepmother), and mom remarried a man who’d just been divorced (my stepfather, john), and then dad got divorced again, and remarried donna, and my sister alyson got married and divorced, and i made a couple of records (one dresden dolls, one solo) with producers who were getting divorced, and my aunt and uncle got divorced, and come to think of it pretty much everybody i knew had parents that were divorced….and when i look back at this series of events i think it’s not so crazy that i made a vow when i was 23 or so:

i’d only get married to someone after living with them for at least ten years, at which point marriage would be, well, irrelevant.

but then i thought: fuck it.

i mean, i must have.

look at me. same bat time, same bat channel.
this one taken in the chabon’s bathroom, a year ago…photo by holly:

holy matrimony, batman.

one of the funny things about my relationship with neil was that we WEREN’T living together, and we weren’t going to for some time, by any count.
and i knew that this was actually what was making our relationship WORK…at least for the moment.

not surprisingly, most of my long-term and significant relationships pre-dated the dresden dolls (i.e. my touring career).

it’s almost impossible to put down enough roots for a real relationship while living in a tour bus or in a different city every night of your life. the few times i tried it i failed rather miserably. ani difranco and tori amos both married members of their touring crew (i think). it doesn’t surprise me. those are the people that you have available; the eligible bachelors of your village.

on the surface, neil understood me in a way i’d been longing for. he knew what it meant to be a workaholic, he knew what it meant to make artistic choices that nobody agreed with, he knew what life on the road was like, he’d done it himself. and under the surface he and i became like magnets to one another: we picked up each other’s weak spots and strong spots and somehow managed to function together like one solid force.

shortly before meeting neil, i’d gone through a heavy soul-searching period where i came to a place in which i could feel powerfully, certainly, guiltlessly single. i hadn’t been able to get there before, it took a lot of thought, and a lot of work. i examined culture and standards and wondered why it was that everyone was INSISTING on this coupling thing.

what the fuck?

i looked hard at the constant (and often media-driven) prescription that happiness is coupling-dependent, marriage-dependent, and child-bearing-dependent. some of the happiest people i’ve met are old and single. and i know they’re not shitting me.

get married? after my vow to myself?

sometimes i think i still don’t know. it definitely felt like a leap of faith into an abyss.

and i certainly remember thinking about the dozens of times that i’d cast judgment upon hearing that people were getting married after only being together for a year, or even two, or three.
i’d scoff and think: “HA, how long do you think THIS one’s going to last?” i actually famously had my biggest foot-in-mouth moment at a wedding reception table in 1998 when i attended the wedding of a college friend of mind (she was marrying a new zealander she’d met a year before, or something) and addressed that very question, word for word, to my friends, loudly and drunkenly at a round table at a wedding reception. i was looked at in complete horror, accompanying with knife-to-throat and finger-to-lips movements from each and every one of them.
(*poetically, they stayed together, and they’re one of the happier couple i’ve ever seen, with two beautiful daughters. your final answer, you rude betch? thirteen years.)
 
maybe it’s true: maybe you just don’t know.

all i can say is: getting married to neil felt like such an obvious thing to do, because i’d found the perfect man for an amanda palmer, and wouldn’t be looking for another partner anytime soon.

and maybe (less romantically), i also felt like i’d been around the block enough times to know that this man was what i wanted, and marriage tells the world.

i’ve watched a lot of relationships (and plenty of my own) fail due to poor chemistry and poor communication.
and most affairs burn hard and fast and then leave you with the smoldering debris of reality.

i’d been in fast-passionate relationships, and in real, i-know-this-is-love love a handful of times, but i’d never been fully comfortable for very long, in fact, almost every relationship couldn’t stay standing more than a year. and the general downfall was often the inkling that i’d be causing a lot of damage to the other party with my signature freedom-obsession. as in business, so in relationships: i despise being told what to do. i just hate it. i like making things up as i go along, i like kissing who i want to when i want to, and i have no desire to be possessed, owned, kept or put in my place as a girlfriend or a wife. as the marquis de merteuil says in “dangerous liaisons,” one of my favorite films of all time (i just re-watched it with casey the other night…i’d forgotten how amazing it is):

“One of the reasons that I never remarried, despite a quite bewildering range of offer, was the determination never again to be ordered around. I must therefore ask you to adopt a less marital tone of voice.”

it was a constant cause of marvel to me that neil looked at these determined and fiercely independent qualities and he not only withstood them, he not only tolerated them, he actually encouraged them. i’d fantasized for years that i’d someday find this person, who would hold me but let me go flying into the void, and simultaneously let me go flying but hold me, keep me tethered to the earth. and when i found him, true to my long-held assumption about what would come to pass should i find a human this miraculous, i actually clung.

therein lies the paradox and the proof that the “if you love somebody set them free” theory holds a hell of a lot of water. i cherish his tolerance of my freedom-obsession so dearly that i’m fearful of doing anything that would hurt him or disrespect him and the freedom he allows me. but it takes a fuckload of faith.

this was a new level of love, a new level of connection, a new level of commitment, and a new kind of understanding.
neil and i often compare our relationship to two planes flying in tandem.

pros and cons?

he was funny. pro.

and famous. pro…and con, sometimes.

he had money. funny, but this was actually a liability in my case, since i’m perfectly capable of supporting myself comfortably, and had never been with someone who had more money than i did, which made me really UNcomfortable, and sometimes still does.

but honestly, and i mean honestly: the selling point was that he actually understood me, deeply, and that he loved me as i was and had no desire to harness me. and he wanted to come on the adventure with me, not pin me down to his own plan, and not simply stand by the sidelines and cheer. i’d found an actual partner.

also he was really cute and great in bed.

i think i’ve gotten way off topic. where were we?……

ah yes, when’s the date?

this was a tricky business.

we discussed every possibility from eloping quietly to having a huge princess di & charles art-wedding, and considered all the pros and cons.
it was like a giant logic puzzle, and we couldn’t untangle it.

when i was a little girl visiting my british grandparent’s house, i used to love poring over the royal wedding album.
it was a huge coffee table book, and i remember looking at princess diana’s 50-foot long train and thinking: that is awesome.
i mean, look how long it is. so pretttttty.

every time i imagined us having a big wedding, i imagined it being as big as possible. i mean, why not? if you’re going to throw a party, throw it.
but the funny thing is, i had absolutely no desire to do any of the work.

i spend my life putting together giant events.

the minute i actually put my brain to it, and the fact that it would take an immense amount of creative energy….it stopped seeming like fun, and started seeming like WORK.
i also started considering the giant dramas that would unfold as people were not invited, not included, over-included, and the whole mess. the fantasy on the outside started to look like a potential inside disaster. we started talking about why we were really having a wedding, for whom, and what, and why, and we had this discussion probably 20 times. and every time we’d think we’d gotten to an answer, we’d realize there was some fatal flaw in the plan.

i also started talking to other people, to see how they’d done it, especially newly-married people around my age.
i can’t tell how how many times i heard:

“don’t do the big wedding. it won’t be for you, and it’ll be a royal pain in the ass.” (no pun intended)
 
nobody who’d run off to elope or get married in a teeny-tiny way had any regrets, but a lot of the people who’d had giant affairs had nightmare tales of epic proportions.

also, i think part of the attraction of having a giant wedding is that, as a bride, you get to be a total rock star for a day.
the attention. the cameras. the swarm and heat of attention and doting.
the focus is pretty much on you for a collection of hours, and you can spend months and months planning how you want to shine in that spotlight.
as amanda palmer, for better or worse, i already do this every day.

i knew that being in the spotlight for a day wasn’t particularly high on my list of priorities.
i get to do that almost anytime i want. and so does neil.

and don’t forget: i’d also made my living as a forlorn living-statue bride for 6 years, wearing a vintage wedding gown i bought for $19.99 at the garment district in cambridge, with hundreds of thousands of eyes on me as i shared looks, love and poetic moments with the general population.

at one point i decided my autobiography was going to be titled “never a bridesmaid always a bride.”
at some level, i feel like i’d been getting married to the world for ages.

i’d spent a lot of time, up there on my milk crate, thinking about how people look at brides and believe in them the way they believe in fairies.
putting on my bridal gown and veil every day from 1997-2002 and heading to work definitely wore the charm down.

but it also made me realize something, those hours on a crate: nowadays, at some level, everybody loves a bride.
and everybody loves a bride, i think, because a bride symbolizes hope.

in a world filled with NO NO NO NO NO and fear and terror and doubt, a bride fills up the space in the minds eye as a giant white tulle YES, and you don’t need to know the romantic backstory. somehow, through some miraculous chain of events, this woman has decided to throw herself into a life commitment. and it means something different now than it did 100, even 50, years ago. because nowadays she has a choice.

so, as a street performer, i got to stand up signifying YES for years on end. and it was especially moving when people in passing cars would throw shit at me, yelling “GET A FUCKING JOB.”

to which i would reply, in my mind of course, i never spoke a word: this IS MY FUCKING JOB YOU MOTHERFUCKER. YES YES YES YES YES YES.

anyway…the point was, i’d clocked a lot of bride hours.

and also, we got faux-married in new orleans, as my birthday present to neil.


(that’s jason webley on the right, pronouncing us man and statue. the photo is by kyle cassidy. for more of kyle’s photos from the new orleans faux-marriage, check out this album olga nunes put together for neil and i.)

we felt a little more married after that, and a big-ass wedding started to seem less necessary.

and we noticed that the idea of a gradual marriage is actually quite healthy.

for starters, after new orleans, i felt entitled to practice calling neil my husband.
we took an overnight amtrak train and told the midwestern retired couple with whom we were randomly seated for dinner that we were newlyweds on our honeymoon.
it wasn’t a COMPLETE lie.
 
we talked about getting married in scotland. we talked about getting married in london. we talked about getting married in vegas. we talked about getting married in new york. bali. africa. the moon.

finally, the day before thanksgiving, we had The Wedding talk again and we finally decided what to do.
we were going to have a giant family-only wedding CELEBRATION in the summer, for just our folks, and elope before that. somewhere.
on thanksgiving, i told my whole family our plan.

then we had to figure out where to elope. we talked about doing it in australia, and even went so far as to convince peter and clare (in whose house i’m currently sitting, editing this blog, and in whose house i composed most of it, one year ago) to donate their backyard, and for a while, that was the plan.

then something happened. at this point, almost a year had passed since our engagement. new year’s was upon us.

while on a retreat, neil had made friends with the writer armistead maupin.
since we were going to be together in san francisco for the dresden dolls’ new year’s show at the warfield, neil invited armistead to watch us, and also he wanted to introduce us over dinner. so we made plans to have dinner with armistead and his husband christopher, and when i told my dear friend lance horne this fact, he said he’d FLY himself and HIS boyfriend to san francisco if he could come to dinner with us because holy shit we’d all be having dinner with armistead maupin. i said: i think that can be arranged.

as neil and i were discussing this dinner arrangement, we both had the same thought at the same time: that we should ditch the australia idea and just get hitched in san francisco surrounded by a bunch of friends, because that would, obviously, be…fabulous.

the second inspiration was to ask jason webley to come and marry us, for real this time. he and neil started searching for online ordaining options.

the third inspiration was to call upon neil’s other writer friends, michael chabon and ayelet waldman, whose home we’d already been welcomed into the year before.
michael and ayelet have a kind of a dream-home, filled with four astoundingly awesome children, random instruments, rugs, books and all manner of homey-goodness. we asked if they would have us and armistead and lance and company over to dinner and by the way get married right before we eat and by the way would rosie possibly mind being our flower girl. they said yes, and rosie, age six, began aggressively plotting her outfit. things were officially underway.

having a wedding with little kids around, i found, is perfect. it’s like christmas: they bring the certain magic to it that makes it magic and without them the magic almost doesn’t exist. shedding your bitterness and believing in the magic of a wedding is almost like believing in santa claus. yes, virginia.

the meal grew to include a few more people, who mostly didn’t get told that they were going to be attending a wedding, but at the last minute we broke down and spilled the beans, just in case anyone was thinking of canceling. january second is still a hangover day, we figured we might want to clarify the importance of not skipping out in case anyone was feeling like a tired-ass pussy.

so when i packed for this trip a few days after christmas, i had to pack for two dresden dolls’ concerts, a wedding, an australian tour, and a still-unclear honeymoon-ish post-australian-tour vacation that neil and i were going to take at the end of this whole ride with miss maddy gaiman and one of her friends.

i thought: what do i wear? i decided, as i often do with photoshoots when i have no idea what mood i’ll be in, to bring Options. Symbolic Options.
i brought a sparkly grey dress made by the wonderful kambriel that i’d worn exactly a year before at the pre-party for the boston pops and the beautiful gold chinese robe that neil had made for me in shanghai for twelve dollars before we were dating and claims to this day was not a Courting Gesture. and i was on the phone with neil while he was packing for san francisco and he said:

you know, i have your wedding dress.

i’d forgotten: after our faux-wedding in new orleans i’d had to continue on the tour bus with the dolls, so i gave him the disheveled and slightly sour-smelling bag of bridal street-performance laundry and he and his assistant the fabulous lorraine had toted it back to minneapolis where they’d had the good sense to dry clean it.

i said: bring it, you never know. so he did.

the new year’s dolls’ concert was transcendent. it was so fucking good, it almost seems a shame that this blog is going to overshadow it with wedding-y-ness, but it was one of those grand, historic, everyone-in-love dresden dolls’ shows. my favorite part of the show was actually BEFORE the show started, when jason was playing “auld lang syne” in catering and a whole collection of dresden dolls’ family and good ol’ san francisco friends and lovers were laughing around tables, eating cake and singing.

and i thought: we’re all together. things just got better from there….zoe, jason, and pomplamoose opened up and rocked the house, and joined us on stage for cover songs and madness, and jason counted us down from 11 to herald in the new beginning. once again, there was much making out. neil came on stage and kissed me, people made out behind the stage curtains, and brian and i played on and on until we hit a state of absolute exhaustion and collapsed. and that was that.

and this is us, that night on stage, hugging jason webley….who, unbeknownst to all, would marry me & neil two nights later:

(side note: i was lucky enough on the day of the show itself to have renee hahn come and do acupuncture on my aching, travel-weary bod. one advantage of doing ANYTHING in san francisco is the number of friends i have who will physically take care of me. renee has been my acupuncturist for years, and i’ve promised her a blog at some point extolling the virtues and awesomeness of acupuncture, which i swear i’ll do. but this blog is getting ridiculously long already. so consider this a commercial break: if you’re in dire need of relief from what’s ailing you and you’re in the bay area, i have two things to say to you: renee hahn for acupuncture – reneehahn.com – and whitney moses for massage – whitneymoses.com – they’re the BEST.)

i don’t remember much of the rest of the night, though i wasn’t drunk enough to have a legitimate hangover the next day. i must have been maturing.
but i was completely exhausted.

neil and i took the 1st off to recuperate, i said goodbye to brian, and we vegetated through the afternoon. we decided it might make sense to have some sort of bachelor/bachelorette shenanigans, but with only 12 hours to plan, it didn’t seem like much would come of that. i decided to take the collected gals in my immediate surroundings out to dinner, and we went to a live jazz restaurant called Bix. we drank cocktails and talked…about sex, vaginal problems, relationships, and as many other things we think up that could not be comfortably done in the presence of men. it was a civilized and respectable hen-party. meanwhile, across the bay bridge, something much less civilized was going down in the world of the bachelor party….but i’ll let neil tell that story.

then, the next day – wedding day – we tangoed.
neil’s friend rain graves had offered us through email, ages ago, to give us a san franciscan tango lesson.
so we showed up for an hour or two, and we didn’t tell her we were about to head to our own wedding.

and during the lesson, when she talked about how the art of tango was to relinquish control to your dance-partner and trust that he would bravely carry you across the floor, i cried.


(photo by rain)

neil thinks he danced like a water yak.
i think he danced beautifully.

then we headed over to the chabon’s house to make up a wedding.

when i arrived, i lugged my suitcases up the stairs – along with the dry-cleaned street-bride dress – and used ayelet’s bedroom as a bridal suite.
rosie looked resplendent in fuchsia. abe (age 8) wore a white tuxedo.

the older chabon kids, zeke and sophie, stood by as rosie and abe wreaked let’s-make-a-wedding havoc…sophie coming in with various shoe options (i didn’t have any shoes, i ended up just wearing my stage boots) and a curling iron. i’d left my makeup bag at the hotel, so i borrowed some from ayelet and whitney. classic.

i showed rosie and abe the various dress options. the sparkly dress? the chinese robe? the stinky street-performer dress i’d worn for years of busking?

after very brief consideration, they pointed at the legitimate (albeit soiled and torn) street-performer wedding gown. so it was. i put it on. casey zipped me up.

i had a pair of borrowed blue underwear, leant by a close friend who told me about the “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” superstition.
not being a reader of bridal mags, and having had almost nothing to do with bridal culture ever, i’d never heard it. but it sounded like a challenging game.
we figured her blue underwear counted as three categories: old, borrowed, and blue. i needed something new.

so i arranged surprise brand-new wedding gloves, a whole lot of them, made in secret by the designer who created my australian tour costume, david reynoso, and he fed-exed them to the hotel the day before. i gave a pair to each lady in the house. i was one pair short, so two ladies had to go michael jackson style. still, hot.

around the time i was starting to get dressed, we realized we hadn’t made an actual plan, like, about how to actually run a ceremony and all that.

where in the house, and how to do it?

so i went downstairs to talk to neil and kate and jason, our recently ordained online pastor, but abe threw a small fit informing me that i couldn’t be seen by the groom, so neil had to attend he wedding planning meeting – in michael chabon’s office  – with his eyes closed.

we decided to make abe the ringbearer, and neil gave him my great-grandmother’s ring which i’ve been wearing on and off for the past year as an engagement ring (which still needs its own blog, because it has such a good story of it’s own). abe put the ring in his little tuxedo pocket. we gave rosie a basket of flowers.

we told jason we would each write and read some sort of vow, and we planned the wedding for twenty minutes later. then, football-style, we BROKE, and ran off to our various corners to get ready….jason went off to try to find a printer. neil and i went off to write some vows.

with twenty minutes to improvise a wedding look, the girls went to work on my hair and we decided to use the street-bride veil and grabbed some flowers from downstairs to tuck into it. it looked lovely, actually. holly took pictures and occasionally i would turn to her, or casey, or kate, and say:

holy shit, i’m getting married.

and they would smile and nod.

me & holly gaiman, right before we undertook:

….casey zips me up:

….sophie digs the gloves:

whitney. casey. rosie:

whitney made me a bridal bouquet.

daniel made me a drink downstairs and sent it up with michael chabon.
michael handed it to me and when i asked what it was he said: daniel calls it the “Nervous Bride.”

i wasn’t really nervous until he said that.

once i was all dressed, everybody left and i sat down on the chabon toilet seat to write my vows.
i had about ten minutes to do it. then i started fretting and re-drafting and the vows started getting really long-winded. what, me?

i told kate to tell everyone to hang on and drink, but then people down there started getting antsy, so i wrapped it up, thinking it was about the best i could do and dammit why did i have to cram last-minute on my wedding vows. i think this might be my favorite picture:

it seems to sum up my life in a way i cannot explain, especially the boots.

nothing about this wedding was actually planned. it’s funny when i look back on it.

i wouldn’t have chosen it any other way.

rosie. looking wise beyond her years:

….rosie and abe came up to fetch me, i put my veil over my face, and we all walked down the stairs together.
rosie went first with her basket of rose petals, and abe carried the ring….

…and we piled into the living room where everybody stood waiting. daniel handler (aka lemony snicket, who came with his beautiful wife) borrowed jason’s accordion, and played the wedding march.

jason himself was the best marrying reverend the world has ever seen. he talked to us about saying Yes.

there was crying. he read a poem by e.e. cummings, and we made our vows, and neil put the ring back on my finger, and there was lots more crying. that whole part is a little bit of a blur.

and we ate. neil’s son mike and his girlfriend courtney brought us the best wedding pie decorations ever seen:

there was a bounty of mexican food. this time, after eating it, i didn’t puke. magical!

and we shared stories with each there, and neil and i looked at each other a lot, drunk with affection, and we ate like pigs.
and when it was over, there was music (daniel handler, who’s the accordion player from the magnetic fields, was magically on hand to play us “the book of love”) and we tried to play “puff the magic dragon” and failed. daniel managed to pull out “like a virgin” (perfect!) and we got the whole room dancing at a certain point. between me, jason, and daniel we also managed a not half-bad version of “white wedding.”

we were tired.

then ayelet took abe and rosie up to bed, and we stayed up and played pianos and accordions and guitars, and we all sang along to “hallelujah” and sophie saved us by remembering the lyrics better than we could. me and jason played “flying robert” by request, but i had to write the lyrics down on a piece of paper:

oh, yes.

the bouquet toss:

winner? holly gaiman.

hugging  jason webley, part II:

me, neil, and jason:

and here’s an amazing picture of the whole mess of us. i wish i could do one of those who’s-who puzzles and namecheck everybody, but you can probably figure it out:

(this photo by ayelet…most of the other wedding photos, by the way, are a mishmash of superkate, holly, mike, ayelet and me. i took terrible notes.
it would be a good time, at this moment, to thank them all for doing that. and to thank the chabon/waldmans for hosting us. and to thank whitney
and casey and superkate and holly for being my wonderful girlfriends and holding my hand all day. superkate was especially wonderful, and i owe her huge thanks for being a beautiful human being and incredible assistant in all sorts of surreal moments throughout my life.)

….and after we finished our foods and musics, and we were too tired to keep the magic alive, we said goodnight.

the handsome mr. mike gaiman, tired little rosie, and tired big casey long:

me & abe:

….we were on our way out the door when ayelet grabbed me by the wedding gown. (i’d left it on but taken the makeup off, because i figured if we were going all out then neil should probably carry me across the threshold of the hotel room in the dress. it’d be fun, right? it kind of was).

she told me rosie had wanted me to come up and say goodnight to her, to wake her up and say goodbye, even if she’d already passed out. which she had.

so i went up to her room and tiptoed my way through the dark to her little bed. she was fast asleep, looking like a tuckered-out angel. my life fairly flashed before my eyes in that moment. like the opposite of dying; i saw everything i knew fall away and vanish as i found myself in that bed, with my own six-year old head resting on that pillow, knowing nothing, worrying the worries and wondering the wonders and having the dreams that 6-year olds have, before things stopped making sense, before i’d ever had my heart broken and sewn back together with shaky hands, before i’d ever broken any hearts myself with careless and stupid flicks of the wrist, before i had a head full of ideas and theories about love and relationships.

before i’d ever even considered believing or not believing in anything.

and she opened her eyes and looked up at me and grinned her little 6-year old sleepy grin, and i leaned over to kiss her goodnight.

yes, virginia.

there is a santa claus.

i love him, and the story keeps telling itself.

LOVE,
afp.

Back to Blog
  • http://twitter.com/alysonwheel Alyson

    I just read this in bed, on my iThing, on new years day, and at the end, teary eyed, I had to roll over and hug my partner long enough and hard enough to wake hir and provoke sleepy bemusement.

    Absolutely beautiful. Thank you.

  • rogeliomt09

    Holy shit! this was THE wedding of the year! It’s a really beautiful story! Worth it waiting a fucking year to read this blog.

    Congratulations for this very first year.
    Greetings from Mexico! :) LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

  • http://twitter.com/ChayleeNBrock Chaylee Nicole Brock

    This is beautiful. It might be because I’m a little New-Years-Eve-Drunk still, but I found myself crying as I read. Reading something like this gives me hope. I’m at the point in my life where I feel like I’m going to be alone forever, and there’s such an emptiness that I long to have filled. Maybe, someday, I’ll be able to find exactly what you found in Neil. 

    I wish you both nothing but the best. And years and years of love.

    <3

  • Danielle

    This was so beautiful, I cried. Thank you for sharing this with us. I went through most of my life assuming I would end up an eccentric spinster. That is until three years ago when I met the person who I would eventually promise to share my life with.  We were married this past April and so much of what you talked about here rang so true to me.
    May your lives together always be happy and beautiful and may you always use your combined creative genius for good and not evil ;)
    Happy New Year and Happy early Anniversary.

  • Melissa Savage

    This is so beautiful. Reminded me why I’m getting married later this year :) Happy anniversary Gaiman/Palmers!

  • Marjorie

    It’s a lovely, magical tale, and sounds as though you had a perfect day, and are still having a great marriage.
    Congratulations once again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Josiah-Spenner/100000175380758 Josiah Spenner

    Beautiful as always Amanda. :]

  • Lisa J.

    Dear Amanda,
    I read this and think of my life to this point. I’m nowhere as experienced in life, but I take it as an inspiration to just be. What you have with Neil is just so magical and the whole time I’m just so happy that someone found this love. That you can actually take the leap and someone is on the other side, reaching for you and pulling you close, kissing you on the head and saying: Come on, let’s go an do this.
    There’s actually a little story to me following your and Neil’s blog… a little over two years ago I moved to Munich to study. I left a boyfriend at home, we tried to make it work, but somehow we grew apart – our goals weren’t the same anymore. Before I realised that, I started to become close to a man, studying the same courses as me, but he had started a year before. He was married, still is and I don’t ask why, but this is the part were everyone says: Why are you doing this? Perhaps it is about findig a kindred spirit and not wanting to destroy it with real-life-madness… anyways, with moving to Munich an leaving more or less my old life behind, I became…unfocused? I tried to find my place, it was like taking the lead but not knowig where to land. And when he came, he pulled out a flashlight, showing me where there was a ground to land on. He gave me some of his books, and now this becomes the story, these books were the Sandman Series. Intrigued, I searched the internet and found you. I was a huge Dolls fan when I was 18/19 years old, Girl Anachronism was my anthem and still is or is again, thanks to him.
    So through him I found what was me, he somehow, not knowingly, gave me some of my roots back I left behind. I went through hard times since then and he was always there, anchoring me, letting me try different things and still was there, still is there, and it’s almost like you described, he’s not holding you back, you could do anything, but you wont, because you don’t want to do something that might hurt him.
    The only real bummer is that he is still married… and this is somehow why I don’t believe in a formal institution, because life just comes to you, and you make your decisions and these don’t mix well with what everybody thinks you have to do and what is “common sense”. But I really like your idea of marriage. This is what marriage should be about.
    So I wish you both the very best, a wonderful new, exciting and magic year, love and live and laugh, in no particular order, with some tears mixed in, because life isn’t just sugary pinkness…
    Love,
    Lisa

  • FluorescentNinja

    Worth the wait.

    • http://twitter.com/emillyorr Emilly Orr

      The good ones are.

  • http://twitter.com/survivesurvival Surviving Survival

    When it is right you know. Happiness and love for all you life – Is Still Here (www.survivingsurvival.com)

  • Carolyn

    Gorgeous. Thank you for sharing that.
    … Happy Anniversary!

  • http://alwayscoffee.wordpress.com Ali Trotta

    I’m pretty sure that I don’t have the proper words, here, but I’m going to try, anyway.

    This post? Is beautiful. It conveys so much — from doubts about the idea of marriage, to love itself, and to the awesomeness of finding a person who helps you to be the best version of yourself (instead of trying to change you etc). This whole post made me cheer, because it’s heartwarming — but not saccharine sweet. It’s honest and raw — there’s such beauty in that. This story would’ve made me happy, even without the context of knowing who you two are.

    I love how you tailored your wedding to suit you both. I love the fact that you found power in being single, right before meeting Neil. I love that you had a semi-ninja style wedding, and that everyone involved looks so damn happy. That is a beautiful thing.

    In telling this story, it did not lose its magic. You shared some of that magic. Beautiful post, Amanda. Thank you for sharing it. Happy Anniversary to you both! *raises coffee mug*

  • http://mataduvor.blogg.se/ angelica

    awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww <3 happy new year <3

  • x_chemicalism_x

    Dear Amanda,

    I don’t often get the chance to read your blogs, but I’m glad I took the time to read this one.

    I often kid around with my friends that the love you and Neil share depresses me, because it’s kind of like a fairy-tale I feel I would never get to experience myself. Sometimes it feels like there is only one fairy-tale romance out there for a generation, and that you and Neil have it. Regardless of whether this is true or not, and whether your relationship does depress me, I can’t think of a person, or couple, who deserves it more.  Come to think of it, I don’t think it “depresses” me, I think it just makes me envious. 

    While I get jealous that I feel I’ll never get to experience the amazing journey you and Neil have taken (and will still take), it makes me feel better knowing not only that this kind of love exists in the world, but that the two of you are happy – it makes me happy.

    See you on the 28th in Auckland – I’ll be the one with crutches with some Lush for you :)

    Simon

    • zel

      Oh Simon, all true romances are fairy-tales, I know mine is and yours will be one day too.  Just be patient and don’t go looking, s/he will turn up when they’re meant to x

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing. Your prose is beautiful and your thoughts left me in tears. It’s magical, amazing and made a lot of impact on me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/skyeyedoc Elliott Walsh

    I want my daughters to read this, and understand this, to know what love and magic are when combined with clear honesty.  My best wishes to you and Neil and all with whom you share love and magic…

  • Kyra Soleil

    I am speechless. Thanks :’-)

  • Dixie

    I didn’t expect or want to get married either, and when I did it was for the most unromantic of reasons. I definitely felt a lot of the same things you did, and it took a while even after I was married before I was comfortable with the idea. Luckily I married a guy who loves my independence and cares for me without judging and all those other important things that I thought didn’t exist in real life human beings. 

    Which is all to say, “Word.” I couldn’t blog about it, and now you’ve laid it out so perfectly that I don’t have to. Only 5.5 years after my own reluctant marriage. :)

  • http://twitter.com/mmahaffie mike mahaffie

    Thank you. This has been a lovely way to start 2012. Long happiness to you and Neil.

  • Madeleine

    My husband and I will celebrate our 5 year anniversary, this Jan 5th, 2012. We were married in Melbourne in an amazing, fabulous, musical ceremony with our dear family and friends, on a ridiculously hot day of 43C (about 109F I think?). Thank you so much for writing down all the things I have thought of about my own, lovely partnership. All the very best for your own adventure in Love and Life – Madeleine x

  • @BrookesTony

    I found this linked on my twitter feed and started to read, thinking it would be the usual self congratulatory pomp but found myself unable to stop reading. Congrats :)

  • http://twitter.com/donimotrix Jaana Lehtonen

    My best friend constantly keeps remindimg me I’m the last person she can imagine ever getting married. I’ve never understood that, though I’ve never been one to have the desire and need to get married I’ve also never seen the point in why not – I’d just need to be able to do it my way.

    I’ve never had a problem with committing myself to one person but committing myself to a single place and constant life together with clear plans and outlines for my life have always seemed like impossibilities to me. They still do. So in a way unlike you I haven’t thought I could only get married after living with that someone for years and years but that I could get married with someone without living with him constantly, being “his” now and forever but not with him when I didn’t want to. The obsession with freedom and the possibility for making independent choices sounds more than a little familiar to me and really is the one thing driving me onwards in life and making me who I am.

    That is something I’m not willing to give up. If that means I’m forever alone in the traditional sense then so be it. Equally as much as I’m in need of clinging onto my freedom I’ve long ago decided not to settle. I’m not willing to be with someone who tolerates me and my quirks, strange habits and interests and likes me in despite of them but who loves me because of them.

    Reading about your ongoing story with Neil has been giving me more hope than possibly anything else before. People like you can find people like him. Things like these really can happen and they can work out. Love happens, love works out. Maybe even for someone like me.
    For this, I thank you.

  • Kathditt

    My sister got married at a registry office after a two year relationship, 30 years later, they are still married, the freaks.  May your marriage be just as freaky.  xx

  • http://www.lisavollrath.com/ Lisa Vollrath

    Totally worth the wait.

  • Kathleen Howard

    I was going to try to say something meaningful and profound in response to this, because there is so much beauty here, but I think love encompasses everything I would have tried to say. I love that you two glorious people have found each other, and I wish you love always.

  • lentower

    aside:  the Snow Queen,
    in the just closed A.R.T./Institute production,
    wore a white wedding dress & a wedding tiara (not a crown)

    ———————————————————————————

    one of your best blogs EVAH

    definitely include it in the book

    ———————————————————————————

    classic amanda – one promised blog down

    but several more promised

    the count just keeps going up   ; – )

    ———————————————————————————

    my parents were together over sixty years

    almost made their 60th wedding anniversary

    it ended for the best but saddest reason:

    she died

    they lasted, because they worked at it

    never went to bed angry

    (few understood why they seemed to argue at the drop of a pin,
    & even more amazed they resolved it then and there)

    their love was worth it all

    ———————————————————————————

    i give really long odds

    (aleph aleph less aleph null ; – )

    that you & Neil will make

    “til death do they part”

    & perhaps longer (none of us know what is past the veil)

    ———————————————————————————

    Neil could get even more serious about his fitness and health

    he’s welcome to talk to me about it

    • RiverVox

      I saw The Snow Queen and immediately thought of the 8 Ft. Bride. There is so much power in that white dress.

    • Linda Morelli

      Len,
         Like your take on long and loving relationships being worth it all!

  • http://twitter.com/mmahaffie mike mahaffie

    By the way, here in Delaware (small eastern US state) we celebrate the start of marriage almost-equality today. We now have Civil Unions that carry the same rights and privileges of marriage. It’s a start. And your wedding blog was so well timed for celebrating this step forward. 

  • George

    still shaken as I type, I figure since you took the benevolent step to share this with us, the least the world can do is make you feel it was the right decision in doing so. THANK YOU, to cherish this is a promise!

  • Gus

    Brilliant blog post!!! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • PhaedraHPS

    My husband and I were married on New Year’s Eve (so he’d never forget the date, he said). He died before our third anniversary. We were a late-in-life couple, who had been through a lot of relationships and were not sure if we wanted to inflict each other on yet another partner. He did a Tarot reading before we moved in together and it said it would end badly for me. Well, it did — he died. But it was worth it.

    There are a million differences between your marriage and mine (although
    my husband, too, was a writer, but it was he, not I, who was the singer) but when I read about how you feel about Neil, or when he writes about you, I feel some of what it was like for my love and me. You partners on an adventure, not trying to change each other or be bystanders in each other’s lives. We accepted each other utterly. We were who we were, and that wasn’t going to change. And we were so damned happy with that. From there, we figured out adventures we could have together.

    Sometimes, when I read what you both write about each other, I feel sad and envious. I had something like what you had, but I lost it. Last night, New Year’s Eve (would have been our fourth anniversary) I was pretty mopey. I cried today, reading your blog. But I then I realized that your story gives me hope.

    I often think about what my 86-year-old mother said to me at his memorial service. “Oh, he was married five times, but you’ve only been married four.” I answered, “Yeah, but I’m not dead.”

    I’m not, I remind myself. Life is for living. The purpose of incarnation, I have always believed, is to experience incarnation fully. Hope keeps us going. Your story is full of hope, and I am alive and I will have hope; I will have the bride’s hope that life can unfold and that the risk is worth it. After all, life ain’t nuthin’ if you don’t take some risks.

    I am so glad for both of you that you took the risk. I am so glad for you that you are happy. May you both live long.

  • http://kentbrewster.com kentbrew

    Lovely. Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/Kambrieldesign Kambriel

    “i’d fantasized for years that i’d someday find this person, who would hold me but let me go flying into the void, and simultaneously let me go flying but hold me, keep me tethered to the earth.”

    Being a flying girl myself (who grew up with no intention or desire/dreams of getting married. At 12, my mother even gave me a little ring traditionally given to women in the family when they had their first child. She understood things were going to be different with me ~ so why wait?), this sentiment brings Marc Chagall’s painting “Der Spaziergang” to mind.  Oh to be that colourful balloon, touching the aether, connected to love, standing upon the ground ~ floating, feeling the air all around us, whilst not yet escaping into those unreturnable realms beyond…

    “i have issues with feeling cared for. i’m always suspicious that there will be a creeping judgment slithering under the surface, a price to be exacted.”

    The judgement?  You are adored and loved.  The cost?  To be willing to surrender preconceived notions by the wayside, to honour who you are, and feel the freedom to love as much as you are loved ~ sometimes more, sometimes less, but always as fully, potently, and unencumbered as possible.

    • Melody Gonzalez

      You nailed it with that painting. 

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      gorgeous perfect painting – yes.

    • http://twitter.com/torreybird Torrey Podmajersky

      As important as the ground-based anchor for the ones who fly, is the sky-flying hopeful one that keeps the anchor looking up – or as in the picture, keeps the anchor looking so goofy happy.

      Happy anniversary. May all your bonds grow stronger and lighter and more joyful.

    • Egypt_girl8300

      What painting is that?  I would like to see a larger version of it.

      • Egypt_girl8300

        Never mind, I read it again and did find the painting online.  It does indeed suit the entry perfectly!

  • Lucretia

    Beautiful post. Makes me feel better about my own feelings about all this marriage business and my being engaged to be engaged. 

  • John Scalzi

    This is lovely.

  • RiverVox

    Thank you for sharing this with us. The images and stories, the fear & the hope brought me to tears. In the Jewish tradition, the bride and groom remain newlyweds for a full year. It’s the perfect time to post this and it must feel good to have it off your back. Happy Anniversary!

  • mintlaka

    Beautiful.  Thank you.

  • Melody Gonzalez

    This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Thank you for sharing it with us.   You are two former strangers to me, now sort of dear friends instead of the object of my fandom.  Yes, I’m still a fan of the both of you, but it’s more.  When I read this I felt like I was reading about two friends that I’d always wanted the best for finally getting married, and who I just knew always would, because You Were Right For Each Other in a way I couldn’t describe. But you did wonderfully (of course), and it’s amazing.  

  • Jen Hackenholt

    Simply beautiful. Thank you.

  • Debbracadabra

    That was beautiful and made me cry. I guess I still wish for the magic that you’ve just described, deep in my heart, although I’m one of those famously single old people you described. I live vicariously through you and Neil. I’m so happy for you both! ;)

  • John Bates

    Most idealistic, romantic, loving wedding I’ve ever read about.  Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.smithee Ryan Smithee

    Absolutely Beautiful

  • Morrica

    Thank you thank you thank you for sharing! 

  • Celeste

    im thrilled that you too are doing so great together. i remember when you first announced you were even seeing eachother, my little nerd heart was aflutter. My favorite musician and favorite author are seeing eachother, Hazaa! then you got engaged, and i literally squealed with delight (husband can testify). 
    Being able to follow the development of your relationship through twitter has made me feel like a small part of your family. id like to be the distant cousin that visits for tea, and pats the dogs while you and Neil discuss music and bees.  
    Congrats on your anniversary!  XOXO

  • Carrie

    I’m not gonna lie, I’m one of those “Marriage? What’s the point?”I kinda girls. But this was, as others have said, beautiful. I cried a bit, and was filled with hope. Who knows? ToMaybe someday. Congrats to you both.

  • Tinab0t

    I cried so much reading this, thank you so much for posting it. I hope the best in love and life for  you both.

  • Codexmss

    Happy, happy anniversary.  May your life and love continue to be blessed.

  • Victoria Eden

    Thank you for sharing such a private and meaningful moment with the world. You seem to live life so openly, I’ve always wondered whether certain things you wanted to/did keep to yourself.

    Happy anniversary to you and Neil!

  • http://twitter.com/karenbynight Karenbynight

    After my own tiny little wedding on the courthouse steps, to which they weren’t invited, my parents asked “so, he’s the one worth giving up your freedom for?”  And I explained, “no, he’s the one I don’t have to give up my freedom for.”

    We celebrated our 9th anniversary last night.

    Congratulations, I wish you every happiness.

  • Cat

    Beautiful. Than you for sharing.

  • fdhbstephanie

    Thank you for sharing this with us – it’s lovely. 

  • http://twitter.com/Valya Valya Dudycz Lupescu

    So beautiful and honest. Happy Anniversary!
    xxo

  • Marie Meier

    Thanks for sharing… i’m really happy to read you about marriage and who is the guy you need… I recognize myself in some points. I met my man 6 years ago now. Never i can imagine that there’s someone on earth who can support me more than 2 nights and vice versa. But yes i found the right guy, the guy who comes in my town for living, the guy who helps me in my job and i’m a workaholic. A truly, deeply, madly one. And this guy understand that… He understands my need. My art is my life… So this summer He asked me to marry in the Love Grotto of Ludwig II , the best place ever to do that. I said yes. We planned it for this year, a very small marriage… just him and me, our witnesses and some very close familly members. We do that for us… only for us. 

  • alex15

    So beautiful….congratulations…

    it’s january 1st, 8h in the evening, kinda sad ang hangovered…this is perfect.

    I wish you long years of art and happiness.

  • Thechicana

    Beautiful.

  • Ann

    You know, the rest of us feel privileged to share – not like we’re ever overexposed to how much you and Neil love each other. Every picture every word. Thanks. It’s all – Yes, Virginia…  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Meghann-Sunners/618908993 Meghann Sunners

    Everyone else seems to have captured all the feelings I had whilst reading it, so I’ll simply say this, I got to the end and realised I had tears in my eyes. So beautiful and honest.

  • http://twitter.com/midnight_faerie Bethy

    That blog, as usual, was amazing.  The love you and Neil share is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Seriously.

    I was married once. It was a bad situation, which soured me on marriage as a whole. I vowed to everyone I know that I’d never even consider it again, because it was like being shoved into a cage that didn’t quite fit.

    Until October of 2008. I met the man that changed my mind about everything.
    I love him so deeply, in ways that I never understood were possible. 
    We didn’t bring up marriage until a rough patch about 2 years in made us really think about what we meant to each other. He started calling me “wifey”. We plan to marry in November if all goes well. 

    You and Neil inspire us. Because even though you’re not always together, your bond is strong. And he loves you for you. No preconceived notions, no pretentions.
    You two are the stuff faerie tales are made of.
     Minus the crazy queen figure and some sort of bloodthirsty evil. *giggles*

    • http://twitter.com/lilkaraokediva Miss Beth

      I felt the same way after my 2nd marriage ended….I used the word NEVER a lot!!!
      Now, I tell people NEVER is a LONG ASS TIME after I met what I sometimes refer to as my accidental husband. I could write my own blog about this, but I think I suck at writing….soooooo anyway…..I call him that because after saying NEVER 1 to many times, I met and married a man in just THREE SHORT WEEKS!!!!!

      He was and continues to be the greatest surprise of my adult life…..12 years later!!!!!

      I think for some the hard part of life is the planning of it…….meeting and marrying a man in 3 weeks was the biggest leap I’ve EVER taken, but one I’d take again!!!!

  • Shannon

    Gorgeous in every possible way.

  • http://twitter.com/SamDGrover Sam D Grover

    Holy shit, Amanda (may I call you Amanda? I will anyway), this may be the whiskey, but your wedding blog just made me cry.

  • phoenix

    Thank you so much for sharing this. The love between you is so heartwarming. This gives me food for thought about marriage and my fear of divorce which keeps me in the ‘No.’ phase for now. Yes, Virginia, there is Hope, and there is Yes.  *hugs and love*

  • http://twitter.com/kjerstioghvalen liti kjersti

    you two, as a couple, give me so much hope and confidence. and that terrifies me. hope has always meant nothing but pain throughout my entire life. but still, i cling to it. and i love you for doing that. being that.

    my favourite couple in the entire world, whom i actually, truly believe in.

    a toast (in tea) to the both of you, and the things you create, together and apart.

    happy new year.

  • http://twitter.com/vampandora Chantrelle

    Happy anniversary. Love you guys!

  • http://twitter.com/MatWard66 Mat Ward

    Thankyou so much for this wonderful rambling beautiful story which made me smile and laugh and cry all at the same time.
    I can only hope to one day find someone to set me free and keep me safe at the same time.

  • http://twitter.com/bigbadchang Chang Terhune

    Lovely!  A very nice treatise on the pitfalls of marriage.  Especially good to be skeptical about it.  Still, marriage isn’t easy but it rocks.

  • http://twitter.com/PikachuPirate Carolyn Muller

    I’m 18 years old, a senior in high school, and I’ve been dating my boyfriend since the end of freshman year – an impressive 2.5 years sans the “are we or aren’t we?” drama that most teenaged couples seem to go through. he’s a wonderful guy, and we’ve loved and supported each other through a lot.
    but i’ve been discontent with the relationship for a long time, at least the last six months, because while everything seemed perfect, it didn’t feel perfect.
    reading this post cemented my thoughts – i too feel the slithering of judgment, the too-tight pull of the tether to earth with not enough room to fly, the good, solid relationship, but not one that is “perfect” (inasmuch as anything can ever be perfect).
    in my happiness for you and neil, i’ve realized that i need to set myself free from this relationship in order to find what will really make me happy. it’s helped me to feel less like a ingrate and a monster and more like breaking up will be a painful but necessary step on what should be an ultimately beautiful journey.
    thanks amanda.
    you give me yes, virginia moments every day, with your music, your actions, and your words. thanks <3

    • pco

      be gentle. but do it.

    • Selena

      You sound like me and my high school boyfriend. I am 20 now, but we were together from the time I was 15 until I was 18. We had been dating since the summer after freshman year. We loved each other very much, and we still do care about each other. But during my senior year I was feeling the exact things you describe here.  I began to feel trapped, and tied down, and disillusioned. I loved him very much and felt like a monster for even thinking those thoughts. But it was time for both of us to grow. And I have grown so much and as solid and nice and even beautiful as our relationship was, it had reached its time. It’s not a failed relationship just because it’s over. It was a successful relationship which reached its end. Now I have moved onto other things, and I feel free, and happy, and fulfilled, and now I am dating someone who makes me feel magical and happy and liberated. It’s time for you to grow, too. Just remember you’re not a monster, and that it’s not fair to him either to be with someone who feels trapped. Life has so much to offer beyond the things you know now. Don’t be afraid.

      • Mike

        High school partners are tricky. What’s important to remember is that people change *a lot* between the ages of 16 and… probably about 23. They keep changing of course as time goes on but that’s the really big period.

        If you’re with someone during that time, they probably won’t be changing in the same way, unless you’re lucky. I’ve heard proper grown ups use phrases like “we’ve grown apart” but I think that phrase is truest for people in the 16-23 year old age range.

        Good luck, don’t be scared, it starts making more sense eventually.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mariah.maccarthy Mariah MacCarthy

          Amen. The difference between who I was freshman and senior years of high school is night-and-day, as is the difference between senior year of high school and freshman year of college, and freshman and senior years of college, and senior year of college vs. being one year out, and one year out vs. four years out (present-day). I’m 25 now and only just starting to feel grounded.

          Enjoy the ride. I did.

    • http://twitter.com/PikachuPirate Carolyn Muller

      Thank you all for your kind an encouraging words. I just broke up with him, and I did try to be gentle and kind. i’m sad, but i know this was the right choice. thank you all again. <3 i love this community.

  • http://twitter.com/poison_berries Myrrh Camden

    Beautiful Amanda. And so are you, inside and out. Thank you for sharing this. It has given me much hope. Congratulations to your first year with Neil. Actually, congratulations to you both. =)

  • http://twitter.com/nicolemtherese Nicole

    This reminds me of the lovely way Mike Birbiglia ends one of his stories. “And I didn’t believe in the idea of marriage and I still don’t, but I believe in her, and I’ve given up on the idea of being right.”

  • http://twitter.com/dietosleep Ana

    Perfect.
    Seriously, it feels like reading a fiction novel and yet, it isn’t. You’re both lucky to have each other :) I wish you the best!

  • http://twitter.com/neverminding Ron Lipke

    It’s January 1st and this will likely be the most beautiful thing I’ve read in 2012.

    • http://twitter.com/leighpod Leigh Reyes

      Yes, it’s all that.

    • Zieschlern

      yep. it very possibly is.

  • cateflamingo

    genuinely enjoyed this.  also, moral: never leave home without a sharpie.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      you know, if there’s one HUGE lesson to be taken from this blog…that’s the one.

    • http://twitter.com/RAH_HELL Rahel Kladderadatsch

      how very good that i already always take a sharpie with me. and although i didn’t know about your sharpie ring, it’s your fault, amanda. (because i always have to (had to) refresh your autograph on my mobile phone (fuck it’s gone, where is it?)  because it tries to faint, call me crazy.)

  • Soyarra

    You make me believe in life again. What a wonderful story for the new year.

    L’chaim to you and Neil, baby. Happy anniversary.

  • me

    ♫ All you need is love♫

    AMANDA…………………. words do not come out.

    Neil… thanks… to give all your love to the person I admire.

  • ghostsandstars

    I echo all of the lovely words written here before mine.  But I shall add two more to the mix:  FUCK YES!

  • Slightlysmitten

    This is just…wonderful. Thank you for writing this with such honesty and beauty. xoxo

  • Ashley M

    I managed to find the right guy when I was so young…and I pushed him away and told him not to propose to me for a couple of years before he finally did. We just got married this past September 17th, at 25 and 23 (I robbed the cradle, what can I say?). I can’t imagine being married to anyone else, though. And I cannot imagine being happier.

    Lots of people tried to tell us that we were too young, but…when it’s right, it’s right. I’m so happy for you two, that you’ve found that person that’s The One. It’s so wonderful to find them, who loves you for and in spite of who you are.

  • Corollacloud

    Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/keyofmgy Allison L.

    I am currently going through a divorce from a man that I thought would always be there for me. He was the first and only love of my life. I’m currently feeling very, very soured on the institution of marriage as a whole, but reading this blog has given me a little hope that I might at least someday find someone else who is to me what Neil is to you.

    Happy anniversary and may you have many, many more years of happiness and love.

  • kristen g

    Tears, sister. You and Neil and your love for each other have brought me to tears. May we all be as lucky in love….

  • Matt

    Marriage is always a tricky continent to navigate regardless of the level of privacy that you have at your disposal. Consider this: the two of you are in love with each other (there are plenty of marriages that still continue as I write this, that are without that key component), and (from what I can tell) you are happy. (Yet another ingredient that plenty of marriages as without). Plus, he drew you a fucking engagement ring. How awesome is that?

  • zeldafitzgerald

    It’s amazing being this person, isn’t it?  i never thought i’d be this person. 

    Yes Virginia…

    • zeldafitzgerald

      PS, you look heaps like your mum x

  • Emily The Snarky

    I find this story to be delightful and fascinating, in great part due to my recent history. After a year of being blissfully single, during which time my best friend and I spent rather a lot of time intentionally defying societal expectations, I got together with said best friend. I had decided that I wanted to be single, to not get involved during my senior year of college. I had issues with letting anyone take care of me, because the role of caretaker falls naturally on my shoulders. I had openly questioned why people date during the transition time that is college when they, their lives, and their location stand to change so wholly.

    Not that it mattered, in the end.

    I ended up doing exactly what I didn’t want: I got into a relationship on the eve of finals during my second-to-last semester of college; I was forced to let someone care about me; I got into a relationship that has now seen more time as a long-distance relationship than it did in the stable location that was my college campus. One night, he just asked me if it was just our fight against societal expectations that was keeping us from considering the possibility of being together; by the end of the conversation, we had realized we were in love.

    And, even though I faceplanted into this relationship, it’s one of the best accidents I’ve ever had. I tripped on my own stubbornness, and ended up flying. Funny, how these things can change when you’re not looking.

  • Bookwyrm102571

    Thank you for this blog. It was beautiful and personal and lovely. I do not think I would have had the courage to post something so personal and important. I love to read the blogs that you two write though and thank you so much for sharing with all of us, so much of you.

    “shortly before meeting neil, i’d gone through a heavy soul-searching
    period where i came to a place in which i could feel powerfully,
    certainly, guiltlessly single. i hadn’t been able to get there before,
    it took a lot of thought, and a lot of work. i examined culture and
    standards and wondered why it was that everyone was INSISTING on this
    coupling thing.”

    This part of the blog hit me the hardest because this is where I am at right now. I have always been in this state of mind (except for the guiltless part), much of my unhappiness has come from the societal mores that keep telling us that we must be coupled up. I have always been self-supporting and independent. I have not yet been lucky enough to find someone who does not try to fit me into their idea of who I should be, but this blog has made me hopeful that someday there might be. I am so happy for you and Neil. And right now I am finally happy being independent, self-sufficient me :)

  • Tom Williams

    This made me smile.

    Someday I’d like to renew my vows in some awesome fashion. Truth be told, my wedding went thru a surreal sad period where my fiance’s dad fought and passed away from stage 4 cancer. I still want to make it up to her because no matter what, in some way, our wedding will always remind her of her dad passing away. I’ve never blogged about the experience as she might somehow read it. Dredging it up yet again, unintentionally.

  • Iyewa

    That was beautiful.

  • the li’l redheaded girl

    I am crying because:
    1) I’ve become a sentimental sap over the past three years and your story made the waterworks spring into action and…
    2)My marriage to my husband of a year is ending and it is literally breaking my heart to the point that I’m just shy of being in a fugue state.  I waited so long to meet him.  I never in a million years would have ever thought it would end.   He is the love of my life.  He gave me hope for the future…our future.  Now he’s throwing it away.

    I have been bombarded with marriages today…everywhere I look I seem to bump into marriage-y things.  It borders on ridiculous.  Whether this is a sign to have hope for my marriage, yet another example of the powers that be’s twisted sense of humor or just universal randomness, I don’t know.  Odd thing though. 

    I digress (and I’m not trying to piss in your cheerios.  I haven’t spoken of this publicly AT ALL and for some reason I feel compelled to get it off my chest this instant.)…

    Promises to yourself be damned.  Listening to your heart is always
    right…it’s our brains that get us into trouble.  I’m glad you pricked
    up your ears and followed your ticker’s advice.  Thank you for sharing your wonderful story.  It was truly touching.  I wish you both a lifetime of  happiness & adventure together.  ♥

    • http://www.facebook.com/mariah.maccarthy Mariah MacCarthy


      Promises to yourself be damned.  Listening to your heart is always 

      right.”
      Yes. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/__Nevermore__ Maria

    I am so happy you married Neil Gaiman. If you hadn’t, I would still probably be oblivious to your existence.  In this past year you have empowered and inspired me beyond words.
    I was married to a man for 9 years who stomped all over my free and creative spirit. I could not read a book, listen to music or dress the way I wanted without him telling me I was  not normal. I believed him and gave up all the things I loved: books, art, music, my friends, my  job and became a full time stay home mum. He then betrayed and walked out on me and our 3 young children. Despite how miserable he made me, I begged him to stay. I feared life. I no longer knew who I was. I wanted to die. Two years later I breathe, I live, and all I have to say to my ex husband is: Thank you for treating me like crap and cheating on me and leaving me to raise my children on my own. Because I had to truly die inside and be reborn in order to live my true life. My children and I have never been happier BUT I did swear that I would never get involved in another relationship, never re-marry – because there is no man in the world able to take on my crazy self and all the things I need in order to exist fully. Until now. Because Amanda Palmer found Neil Gaiman. Happy Anniversary.

    • http://twitter.com/Russty Russty

      Maria I hope you find the perfect partner who appreciates you just for who you are. Life is to be celebrated and enjoyed and you and your kids deserve just that. Many blessings to all of you. You inspire me to keep on going when life gets hard. I hope you have a life full of blessings and love.

  • Crowgrl13

    Aw, this melted my cold, black heart.  :)

  • http://alexisdraws.blogspot.com/ Alexis

    I feel the same way as you do about marraige. But when you and Neil got married, I cried with happiness. And when I read this, I cried again. <3

  • Emily

    I cried. You are an amazing person Amanda; and you and Neil deserve each other more than anything. Congrats on your first anniversary!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Monica-Butko/100000186756038 Monica Butko

    Reading this made my eyes shine with joyful tears and my heart painfully fill with love. You bring every shade of emotion to life and I am thankful for that. 

  • Flossyshere

    thank you this was so worth the time taken to read it out to my 24 yo daughter a big fan of u both, we laughed and cried together, as we did at neil’s speaking in melb recently, thanks again, hugs karen and pamela

  • http://twitter.com/mlwl Melissa Lawson

    Beautiful.  Just what weddings should be: drunk with joy, surrounded by friends.  Thank you for sharing. I’m going to go hug my husband now.

  • http://twitter.com/danbuter danbuter

    Beautiful post. This is the kind of wedding I can only dream about. I hope you and Neil stay happy and in love for the rest of your lives.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wayne-Francis/1218225635 Wayne Francis

    I was so floored when I read that one of my favorite authors and one of my favorite musicians had gotten married, which took me a hell of a long time as I had eschewed social networking and blogging out of fear of addiction (which turned out to be true, I spend more time with social networks then with social acquaintances.)  When I finally subscribed to an artist I love, it was Terry Pratchett, and then I thought of Neil.  Four times through “Good Omens,” twice through “Anansi Boys,” … well, you get the point.  When I saw who he was married to, I thought, “Damn!  Neil’s more then just a literal (literature) deity, he must be the greatest romantic since EVER.  From reading this blog, I realize that he must be.  I wish you both so much of the best.  Love all you do, both of you, and am so thankful for this small glimpse into what sounds like the most magical night in the history of romance, and yes, I know how cliche’ that sounds.  I will live in shame for the last statement, but will always smile remembering reading this blog.

  • http://twitter.com/Russty Russty

    This was so beautiful and a story you will have for the rest of your life. I am so happy that the universe brought you and Neil together. It seems like you were just meant to be.

    My husband and I were married very young. I had just turned 21. I knew nothing of the real world, but I did know that what he was offering was the basis for real love. When he asked me to marry him he didn’t promise me lies or a bunch of bullshit. He simply just told me, knowing full well that I was ill and had a brain disorder that was permanent, “I will take care of you, because I love you.” We had a small wedding at his parents house with friends. And 15 years later I have a photo of us on that day sitting on a couch together, him in a tux, and me in a wedding gown wearing one of the groomsmen’s bow ties and vests over my dress and it always reminds me that from the very beginning he loved me just exactly how I was. He never tried to change me, even when his family didn’t agree with things I did or how I looked. 

    People always ask what is the key to staying together so long? We’ve been through some things that are just soul crushing. The death of our middle child. The death of my best friend. And many other things. And the only thing that I truly believe has kept us together is the never ending desire to remain the best of friends. We refuse to try to change each other or allow other people to try to as well. I don’t like being called a wife, by anyone but my husband. To anyone else we’re partners…partners in crime. We get in trouble together, but we also get each other out of trouble. We’re this crazy odd family unit with our kids and the loved ones we’ve collected along the way. Marriage should never be a sad soul sucking event that changes who you are. It should be a celebration of the amazing life you are creating with one of your best friends.  I hope as the years go by you and Neil form some really incredible memories with your loved ones. Be prepared my friend adventures await! <3

  • Helen

    I’ve been privileged to be a part of two of my friend’s weddings last year, and in the pause this created in my busy, occasionally bitter and definitely cynical life, i remembered that there is hope, love and magic. Santa Claus does exist.

  • Guest

    Thank you for sharing your story! What a wonderful journey! :)

  • Buffalowomand1973

    ….thank you for sharing…congratulations go to Neil as best wishes, which I don’t understand, go to you♥

  • http://twitter.com/pukekoflat pukekoflat

    I loved reading this entry. My longtime love and I are planning to get married this year and I can still be a bit ambivalent about marriage, but when I read your description of the love you and Neil have it just totally confirmed that I’ll be doing the right thing. All I could think is “that’s like us”, in so many ways. I’ve known for a long time that I found the right person for me, and vice versa, but this blog post has really made it hit home. So thank you, and what a wonderful wedding.

  • Birdofpreygirl

    Thank you Amanda. You share so much of your life and wildly creative self with us and now you havve shared this deeply personal moment in your life. It is reassuring to know Neil is as wonderful as we all hoped he was and that you have found the magic together.

  • Lorna Erickson

    What a perfectly lovely story.Reading your story renewed my faith in true love. The love that results in a fantastic, spur of the moment, head over hears, fabulous party of a wedding! Thank you for sharing your and Neil’s story.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Moore/687881353 Elizabeth Moore

    Happy Anniversary Amanda and Neil! May your hearts stay strong.

  • http://itsumademo.livejournal.com Tri

    Killer.

  • http://itsumademo.livejournal.com Tri

    Next time, more details about Neil in bed. (I kid.)

    As a whacked out liberal feminist screaming from hilltops who is filled with anger and hope and upset and doubt… thanks for writing this, cause it puts some stuff in perspective and reminds me that even when the days are darkest there just might be someone out there who knows how to light a candle.
    If that makes any sense.

  • JaneyJane

    I have two friends who got married in August and have this kind of epic love. I have no hope of finding it myself (this doesn’t bother me) but its nice to know that it’s out there.

  • http://twitter.com/lilkaraokediva Miss Beth

    Ya know what??? I met you because of a local traffic chick who was in NY for some web awards thingy (Shorty awards?)….I saw you on the web cast and fell in love with your quirky, zany personality, that and you’re a kick ass ukelele player, and I took the leap to become a follower on Twitter. It was one of the best follows of 2011!!! When I saw you RT my lil tweet about being entertained by a ukelele player on a public bus I was SO thrilled!!!

    Your song about the ukelele still cracks me up, just thinking about it!!!!!

    I hope you write more blogs!!!! You write I’m guess much the same way you live….out on a big branch and taking leaps to take you to the next adventure!!!!

    Happy Anniversary AND Happy New Year to you and Neil!!!!

  • Bkbk3333

    You are seriously retarded, in your view of the world’s expectations and the joy you seem to believe must be provided by someone else. Get a backbone, and find your own solace and happiness- leave that loser alone . If you were each others’ destiny he would have the courage to leave his family to be with you , and if not, he would have the decency to tell you so and end your confliction. No flying here, just a short tether. And consider the position of the family members to whom he HAS made a commitment. I do not not post this to be mean, but as a child of just such a selfish and doomed relationship, I feel compelled to wake you up. It is NOT just about you or how you feel at this moment, and i find it repulsive that you attach your current melodrama to a story as nice as that of these two matured and exceptionally respectful persons sharing a pure and enencubered relationship. Leave your professor alone and find yourself.

  • Wisadupuy

    One can only sigh after reading this. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/meg.hargis Meg Hargis

    Happy Anniversary. Your joy is incurably contagious.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jessicamariechandler Jes Bot

    every time i lose hope in finding someone that is worth holding on to the world throws me a curve and puts something simple and touching like this in my path. i usually only read neil’s blogs so i guess my hormones had me read this for a reason. much love!

  • Russ Lowke

    Well done Amanda!   You say, “… was that we WEREN’T living together, and we weren’t going to for some time, by any count. and i knew that this was actually what was making our relationship WORK”  Sometimes now I think that’s the way to do it.

  • Blake

    I’m so glad I took the time to read this. Being someone who finds it very hard to believe in things as ‘love’ and ‘soulmates’ it was very… I don’t know. I feel a rush of hope inside of me that wasn’t there before. Or maybe it was, but had no purpose of being. It’s the difference between believe in dear Santa Claus and the moment when you just KNOW it from the gift you hold in your hands. Happy Anniversary, keep the planes soaring.

  • Amy nickel

    Whether your life and wedding are untraditional or not the word marriage is not as important as finding out what the underlying definition means to you. Knowing that there is one person out of the masses that fits and not only makes you better but lets you do the same for them is a precious gift. And being aware of each other on that level is a blessing. Not everyone gets to feel this, I always feel that it should be horded between the two of you like a secret that tends to leak out onto the ones you love most.
    Congrats on being wise enough to jump and being caught!

  • Lorie L

    This is the best wedding story, ever. Thank you so much for sharing your day :) For the first time, I don’t feel like the only girl on the planet who ever thought, “Marriage is not for me.” My siblings and I lived through several weddings, volatile relationships, and divorces with my mother. Due to this, I became quite the loner, and very selective about the people I surrounded myself with. Worse, I seem to attract insane and/or broken people like moths to a night lamp. After several relationships with those more messed up than myself, I lurked on the internet for years. Ironically, I met my husband in a chat room, which was..according to my friends… the dark place where crazies, murderers, and rapists dwell. I’ve been with my chat room crazy for 15 years, though it took me 5+ years to marry him. We are very happy together. He is my best friend, my partner, and someone I can see myself growing old(er) with. From one, reformed anti-marriage woman to another.. I wish you all the best, and long, long years of happiness. 

  • Zabet

    Beautiful story.  Made me cry, not just because it was beautiful, but because so much of it reminded me of how I felt when I married my second (!) husband.  But now we’re getting divorced as well and I think I’m done with marriage forever — not that I won’t have long relationships or commitment ceremonies in the future, but none of this legal entanglement.  I, of course, wish you and Neil the best.  You may just have it worked out.  Good luck, I love you both, be kind to each other.

  • Amysue

    The parts of your relationship that you and Neil share are magical, honest and heartbreakingly real. I thank you for that.

    As others have written, it really does seem at times like a fairy tale and reading of the art and music you create, separately and together can make it seem like something unattainable to many of us. Then I look at my improbable, crazy, loving, eccentric and always chaotic family and think maybe I’m living my own magic . The art you and Neil and your friends create kind of serve to remind us we all have that magic.

    So thank you again. Happy New Year. Happy Anniversary.

  • Lorie Lyon

    Oops! Posted twice. Once as me, and once as that doppelganger.. Lorie L. Hehe

  • Stephanie

    What a beautiful telling of a love story! With all the messiness included :)
    Being one of the many who were emotionally invested (for better or worse) in your blossoming relationship via the internets, my biggest concern was that you both would find yourselves living it out in public without being able to just be yourselves together privately. Seeing you address this exact concern in the opening to the blog made me happy.  Marriage is difficult enough when it is just oneself and partner, with collected family and friends. To contemplate having over a million people who feel an emotional investment in your relationship is mind boggling. You are both handling this so gracefully, I hope you manage to keep big chunks of your lives just for those with a legitimate claim upon them. This is clumsy, but I suspect you will get the intent.
    Mazel Tov to you both!

  • Gregory Wyrdmaven

    Awesome story.  I had imagined the “behind the scenes” would remain undisclosed.  Thanks for sharing.  Yes, it’s hard to make that decision when one takes it so seriously, which really seems a rare thing these days and why maybe marriage can/should be examined with upraised eyebrows.

    I met my wife online, were friends first (you love Star Trek, too…OMG) then realized we were spending each spare moment together in the internet’s Holodeck, got together in RL and married in Vegas within the year.  I was 31…my first/only marriage, first real love, really and having sworn off finding someone and annually renewing my He Man Woman Haters membership…and she was 42 with two children and a couple decades still getting over her first, disastrious marriage.  (Husband tried to kill her the night of the wedding.)

    Las Vegas was perfect as her family were in South Florida and there were a few dozen of them to account for and my folks are rural Tennesseans who aren’t sure about those newfangled airplanes and weren’t up for a long roadtrip (to them).  So we went to Vegas instead, because when you exclude EVERYbody…no one actually feels left out.  The chapel had a webcam, so our wedding photo album consists of snaps of people drinking champagne while watching us online.

    Eleven years later…the shine is still on the apple.  A “wedding” is just that…two things alchemically becoming one.  Congrats to you and Mr Scary Trousers.

  • JenBoynton

    thank you for writing this. it tells every piece of the story that i truly believe a lot of us who “vowed to ourselves” feel. thank you thank you thank you, darling amanda, for writing this. may your story tell itself until the end of time. love to you and neil xx

  • Kaz

    sigh

  • DenEColt

    Happy Anniversary!
    The part of your blog that moved me to a tear (or three) was at the end when you kissed Rosie goodnight. There is something about kids that stop most adults in their tracks (those capable of feeling anything, at least). They have a way of cutting through all the crap and pretentiousness that adults coat themselves with; sometimes it’s humourous, sometimes it’s uncomfortable and sometimes it just breaks your heart.
    But, without them and their directness, our lives would be the poorer. That’s why it’s important to have them around (even if they’re not yours!) at weddings and funerals and other key moments in our lives. They represent love, hope and the future and all they ask for – apart from more food! – is a hug and a kiss goodnight.
    Welcome to 2012 – have a great, creative year. Both of you.

  • Joe Helfrich

    For the longest time, I’d assumed the two of you would be married in an airport.  He’d be on his way to Prague, you to Tokyo, and your respective assistants would spend days arranging your flight schedules so you both had layovers at the same airport at the same time.

    The plan would be to get off different planes, get married, then get on different planes.  Random passersby would be drafted to serve as the wedding party, and everything would go smashingly until Kevin Smith got himself thrown off a plane just as the officiant said “speak now or forever hold your peace.”

    I like your version of the story, but part of me still likes mine better. ;)

  • Renee

    Happy anniversary to you and Neil!

    Your blog post was wonderful to read and made me a little teary eyed in places with it’s blunt honesty and fears and joys. It reminded me a little of the reading my husband and I had at our wedding,

    “…In marriage the point is not achieve a rapid union by tearing down and toppling all boundaries. Rather, in a good marriage each person appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude and thus shows him the greatest faith he can bestow. The being together of two human beings is an impossibility; where it nonetheless seems to be present it is a limitation, a mutual agreement that robs one or both parts of their fullest freedom and development. Yet once it is recognized that even among the closest people there can remain infinite distances, a wonderful coexistence can develop once they succeed in loving the vastness between them that afford them the possibility of seeing each other in their full gestalt before a vast sky!

    For this reason the following has to be the measure for one’s rejection or choice: whether one wishes to stand guard at another person’s solitude and whether one is inclined to position this same person at the gates of one’s own depth of whose existence he learns only through what issues forth from this great darkness, clad in festive garb.”

    Rilke, Letters on Life, p. 36.
    Trans. Ulrich Baer.
    May you and Neil have many more happy years together, loving each other and guarding each other’s solitude and freedom.

    • Bob W.

      My beloved spouse and I also included this excerpt from Rilke in our ceremony, 22 years ago.  I’d remembered the words a bit differently, and looked them up again to satisfy my curiosity.  The version we drew from must be a different translation:
      “Once the realization is accepted that
      even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a
      wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the
      distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other
      whole against the sky.”
      I’ve always liked the phrase “side by side” because it implies looking forward together.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Flor-San-Roman/100000457660010 Flor San Roman

    What a lovely story, thanks so much for sharing it!

    I’m of two minds because I still have your response to people getting married and I have to almost literally bite my tongue when I hear wedding announcements.  Though usually my response is “really?  Why?!”  Because I still don’t entirely get why people would get married.

    My distrust of marriage isn’t from watching people divorce, it’s from watching them (particularly, specifically my parents) stay married and make each other miserable, torment each other, disrespect each other and otherwise abuse the power they have over each other. Why would I want to let another (faulty, self-involved) human have that much easy access to my heart?  I’ve avoided the subject with boyfriends, told them point blank I have no interest in the institution, regularly uttered my distaste for it.

    But I also love all the romance and the love and the chance of having someone in your corner, taking on whatever the world throws at you together…  It sounds so warm and comfortable and inviting.  I want to be there.  I kind of envy the friends who’ve found that, but I also take heart that it’s actually possible and not a figment of mass delusion.

    So this is a version of the toast I gave my old friend S. when she got married:  

    I distrust marriage and I don’t really get it.  I don’t understand letting someone live with you who you’ll be responsible for when they get tired or sick and vice versa, letting  someone take care of you when you’re pissed off or completely broke.  The odds are stacked against and on top of everything you’re connecting your happiness to that of someone else.  It goes against all sense.

    And that’s why I think the people who understand this and dive in anyway are brave, daring; hell I’m jealous because you can see something I can’t.  You know the risks and you’re going ahead with it – and that is PUNK ROCK.

    Yes, I threw horns.  S.’s family was a little shocked; S. rushed over to give me a huge hug.

    Love, man.  there’s nothing else like it.  Thank God.

  • Anna Theema

    That was really beautiful. I’m glad you took so long to post this and shared your reflections on relationships and what marriage really is, it speaks to me in a way and how I see my own.

    Happy anniversary and happy new year <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Saul-Timothy/100003220414616 Saul Timothy

    Just simply a sweet story

  • pco

    I read this at six in the morning, and it made me weep a little bit. Little bits, here and there, seem like echoes from my past few years, only inverse echoes, where the story didn’t end well.  
    It had been so good. We had both been better together than we had been alone. Oh well. 
    Then I read the comments, and they made me cry. Your fans are beautiful. You people are beautiful.
    That is all. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/Indigo3883 Christine Perry-Lussier

    It took me three tries to find the man that was strong enough not to control me:) We just celebrated 13 years on teh 23rd of Dec:) the whole if u love something set it free, has been on our doorstep all that time:) it works.

    C

  • Girlcat

    After reading this, I just have to chime in and say that real love expresses itself in all kinds of formulations, and it’s always, always worth it. I met the love of my life when I was 19 (I’m 37 now). We have a long and convoluted history together (and apart). We’ve been: married, divorced, in a secret relationship, in an open relationship, in a closed relationship, and always, always, deeply in love. People change and grow, and things may take unexpected turns. But real, true love lasts, even if you have to take a break from one another for awhile. Love is a true miracle. Always keep each other first in your hearts. Your heart knows when you’re on the right path, even when it’s difficult. Having someone who really understands you is the greatest gift of love. May you always have each other. 

  • manicmashup

    I can’t even say how deeply happy I am for the both of you! Your love and acceptance of each other is beautiful beyond words and inspiring in a way this world needs more of. Thank you both for loving eachother so much and thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so open and sharing it with the rest of us! <3!

  • Sarah

    wow.

  • Faith

    I am printing this out and putting it where I can easily reach it (if that is alright). You experience resonates on a very personal level with me- Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  • JanineAnn

    What an absolute delight to stumble upon this story – thank you for the peep into your life – not the “Neil & Amanda” story -but tender & silly & genuine love between two people and such a dynamic lovely community. I know after taking the long way around several blocks, some dark & dangerous, others festive & gay, all teaching many lessons – I never thought I’d reveal the untouched parts of my break-scarred heart. And I NEVER thought in my secret self I’d ever marry. I’m honoured (Canadian spelling) to have my heart held by my best friend, he pushes me & pulls me (as I do him,) to be our best. I’ve never been happier than I am as a married woman – as soon as I post this comment I am going to go and pounce on him & tell him how wonderful we are & have him read this (not sure if before or after nookie, I’ll see how it rolls out.) Again, thanks for sharing-refreshing & reminding!  Happy Anny & days after & days before!

  • Jnelmil

    To borrow from Leonard Cohen…He gives your soul an empty room.

  • EmilyS

    I have so many thoughts right now that I’ve tried to type out but god it’s late…so I’ll just say, BEAUTIFUL blog, I’ve had a few tears while reading it (and I usually don’t tear up over wedding “stuff”) and I am infinitely happy that you found what YOU can identify as the true meaning of marriage. You and Neil rock, quite frankly, and I wish only the best for you guys. Much love, and Happy New Year! <3

  • Angela Hunt

    *is sitting here, happily weepy*

    One of the best wedding stories ever. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  • Trish Short Lewis

    It took me 50 years (literally), but I found an amazing man.  I truly didn’t think I’d ever meet him.  I told him the other day, “Where WERE you?!”

  • http://twitter.com/KaH_was_taken Karina

    Neil spoke about his bachelor party when in sydney! it sounded quite civilized to me! there was a group “awwwwwww” when he told us about it and you joining him in the end.
    wishing you both many many many years of happiness to come, happy anniversary!x

  • Tupperwarequeen

    This is a beautiful story…all the more beautiful since it is true. I know what you mean about being understood by someone…..I was left by the man I met at 16, and for 20 odd years considered the love of my life. I loved him, adored him, worshipped him, would have done anything for him. In truth, what I did was abandon everything which I held dear, allowed my likes and dislikes to be dictated by him, and unwittingly I became some kind of stepford wife. Not quite 2 years ago, for reasons best known to himself, he left, out of the blue, no notice, no huge rows, just announced he was leaving and moved into a rented flat the next day. I was bereft, lost, heartbroken. I could never imagine being happy ever again.

    What I learnt over the next year or so, was that I could live on my own, and indeed, on my own I began to flourish…ok this took time, but the process of finding myself began. 8 months ago, now happy in my own skin, I made a throwaway comment on the Facebook post of a friend of a friend. This man, I have come to realise, is the missing piece of my jigsaw, he accepts my strange obsessions, my stroppy bitch moments, my random body-wracking sobbing sessions over I don’t really know what. We took joke about marriage (I am not yet divorced, so not really an option yet) but we both have a deep understanding that we will be together forever.

    I love your story, and one day,will maybe write my own.

  • thejenjen

    When I saw you and Neil in Seattle I gushed to my husband how wonderful and playful your love for each other was.  It’s the favorite part of my own relationship, that I feel we giggle together more than anything else.  He and I also did a small wedding before our big one.  My legal marriage was in a pink button down shirt instead of a dress with just the two of us at the courthouse and I think it’s what made the big family event bearable.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts as I too was really ambivalent about the ideas behind marriage.

  • Lisa

    thank you…i get to do this in six months and have all the same doubts…now i don’t…thank you for helping me to remember why i said yes…

  • SP

    So beautifully written. Have an amazing life together.

  • NousAsylum

    This is a wonderful telling.  If everyone could look at their lives in such a positive way the world would be a better place.

    Congratulations and may you always have the ability to find the joy in living.

  • Jessica Maxwell

    When Neil was sick in the Texas hotel room, was that during SXSW 2010? Cause I know I got the mother of all stomach flus down there.

  • http://duckingfabulous.co.uk/ Carla

    ohh, gorgeous! happy anniversary and thank you for sharing the story :) 

  • Miguel

    The last paragraph, specially the ‘yes, virginia’ part made me so teary, I don’t know why… 

    I *loved* your picture writing the vows. This was such a beautiful blog, Amanda! :)[Oh, and, if I’m not wrong, you played Tchaikovski that night two years ago, not Rachmaninoff… :P ]

  • Elessarrocks

    This is quite possibly the most romantic thing I have ever read. Like Rochester’s marriage to Jane, but actually real! Thank you so much!!!

  • Selena

    Thank you Amanda. This blog gives me hope for my freedom-loving, love-seeking inner-conflict addled brain and heart. I don’t believe in marriage, for myself, but at the same time, on the inside I’m a real romantic. It’s just hard to show it to the one(s) I love sometimes.
    Lately I’ve been searching for answers, for understanding, just for one person to relate to, and then you write this beautiful blog and now I feel understood. I understand myself better. And whether I believe in marriage or not is irrelevant… you have replenished my ability to believe in love. <3

    -Selena

    • Selena

      If there’s anything I really gained/learned from this, it’s that whatever you choose should be entirely for you, and that you can do anything in any way you want to. Traditions and rules don’t have to dictate a single thing you do, and neither do they have to prevent you from getting married or doing anything else you might desire. That is a really liberating thought.

  • Slicktongueorymusic@gmail.com

    I knew from the first time I saw a photo of you both together in09 one day in the near, future you’d both trust
    yourselves,&each other in a blessed energy of love,support,space&closeness.

    Happyanniversery to the most creative&romantic couple I have had the pleasue to be in friendship with.many years later you shall stand & show others that love is real
    Bests always
    Babette/@oryskid

    Happy Anniversary to the most romantic &creative artisisans I have

  • Suburban flock

    I never believed in marriage until I met a man. I still didn’t believe in marriage but I wanted to by married to him.

    The first time I proposed he said no. “I want to be with you forever and I will marry you but i’m not ready yet”. He proposed a year or so later.

    We’ve been together for 15 years now and married for 10 of those. We have three crazy-beautiful little boys. The magic has transmuted into gratitude and wonder that we still yearn for one another’s company, and the little kindnesses of every day life. When I hear someone speak of their partner the way you speak of Neil it makes me smile. I feel like someone is sharing our journey and the magic in my marriage flares up into a miracle again.

    Blessings to you both.

  • EudoraFletcher

    I believe that true love lives in what some might consider to be the smallest and most insignificant of moments~everything holds meaning as true love knows no bounds~it does not need to delineate or define between large or small~everything is significant when two hearts are bound together in love.  True love does not mean loving the other in spite of their “faults”…it is loving someone because of them as well…for it is the light poring out from the cracks in our veneers that illuminate the beauty in each other…

    I am happy to hear/read that you have found someone who knows not only how to travel through this world with you but enjoys it too. He loves you for you and the complicated simplicity of that is truly a thing of magic and beauty.

    blessed be & puno hvala for sharing

  • Cara EOJ

    That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I didn’t really believe in marriage either. Luckily marriage believed in me. We’ve been married for more than 20 years now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ty-Kirkpatrick/1507182785 Ty Kirkpatrick

    “yes, virginia.

    there is a santa claus.”
    That part literally made me cry. So beautiful. 

  • Oliver Gehrmann

    I very much enjoyed reading this post. Please never be afraid to upload something personal again; I think you found the perfect words to express your feelings – and wow, there are a lot of them in this post. It was a true joy reading your story and I’m happy that Mr. Gaiman referred to this in his Twitter. It absolutely paid out to take the time and read this.

    I’m happy for the both of you and hope you’ll never stop having this much love for each other. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/AmberSteeleMFA Amber Steele

    Thank you, Amanda, for a perfect explanation of an experience that I often find hard to express to other young women.  And thank you for sharing your story.

    I met you once, with my (then future) husband, and you shared some magical fried veggie as we watched the peepshow at the Dickens Fair with whitney.  I felt awkward about talking with you (odd for me), because so much of my ice-breaking character had been based on my confidence in being single. 

    I was self-conscious that other women would judge me for committing to a man and life more stable and happy than I had ever known, and often projected that they did.  I remember being flattered that you handed me the flimsy, greasy plate and your own fork, not knowing me; and feeling embarrassed that these casual-folk familiarities had become unfamiliar to me.

    And despite that generosity, I couldn’t help but see you as super-tough, and distrustful (totally appropriate), and I imagined that you might be thinking I was a settled snob (projecting? Very likely!).  But I wished you could feel as in love as I did, just as hard as I missed my old cockiness. 

    I’m tearfully heart-warmed to read about how you found such totally magical love.

    As expected, my own social skills returned with a finesse and confidence greater than ever before.  Now, when I suspect I might be judged a bad feminist or unexceptional woman, I remind myself how lucky I am to be on such a miraculous adventure.  And loving my adventure is more than enough for me to forget about the rest.

    Much anniversary love you you both!

  • Ka-Yung Lee

    Dear Amanda,
    Thank you so much for this post. You have written exactly what I would want in a relationship called marriage, if it would ever happen.
    You talked about your heavy soul-searched period of being single. Could you please write about that please please please? I am going through a period of soul searching myself and I would love to hear your story.
    I wish you and Neil a very happy new 2012.

    Thanks,

  • Fari Hekmat-Zdenek

    Simply put, thank you.

    Amanda, you have this sometimes inspiring and yet other times unsettling way of touching the heart and soul of things. You carry some universal truth under your boddace and you do so with such unconstrained candor. I look at your life through your blogs and tweets and music and I don’t get the impression that I’m looking at an illusion. I’m not *just* seeing the painted face and beautiful falsehoods of an entertainer (though they are present) I also get to see you.

    You entertain me and I thank you for that.

    You pour out your soul in your art in a way that deeply moves me and I thank you for that.

    You show me your humnity and I remeber that you are a real person with flaws and fears and failings… I makes the art all the more poingaint.

    For that I am in your debt.

    It took huge balls to post this and I thank you for letting us in to something so special. Again, I find myself in your debt.

    Happy new year. Happy anniversary. I hope it is the first of a great many. I wish you and Neil joy, love, faith, trust and laughter on your journey as two planes flying in tandem.

    Fari Hekmat-Zdenek

  • Susie S

    I’m normally a lazy reader of blogs & give up halfway (much prefer books, which you can hold in your hand. The computer & internet are for other things!). But I read this all! It’s not only about beauty and enchantment and love everlasting, but also about hope. Something that might get me through another 10 years of madness, or 20, or even my fall 30 years all over again. Far more than survival & living on the edge, but truly living.

  • Katja

    Thank you for sharing your beuatiful story. Sounds like a wedding as it should be!

  • Mary (Edinburgh family)

    Lovely m’dear. I still hold our ‘do-it-yourself wedding’ dear after 25 years, they truly are the best sort. Keep on taking care of each other is really the only way. Take care. M xx

  • Kriphiob

    My conclusion (to this point) about life in general is that: a) it has no meaning if you are not willing to constantly revise your hyposthesis of how life works;  b) it has no meaning if you are not able to let go of what you were 100% sure was the absolute truth; c) a relationship is only whole when you are willing to gradually expose or disrobe your soul to the other person – that means commitment (whatever that may look like) and compromises.
    I guess the trick is finding the right person to do that with – and it looks like you both have amazingly found the other matching salt and pepper shaker, which leaves me envious. BUT – also full of hope an teary eyed from this wonderful display of the way love can work.

    THANK you for sharing this – :*

  • http://lhealey7604.blogspot.com/ Leslie Healey

    My mom (married 57 years) told me when I was 14 that if you loved someone and it was right, loving them just made you  more of who you were supposed to be. Has turned out to be true, 29 years in. I know I look like an old “sadie sadie married lady” to most people now, but damn, marriage is the wildest thing you can do with your life. Wishing it turns out to be true for you and Neil too.

  • Anne Scheer

    This was very lovely indeed–thank you. My old dad, who is wrong about many, many things, was righter than right when he told me that you know who you love because when you’re around them you feel the most you. (He probably managed it with better grammar.) You sound very much yourself when you write about NG. He sounds very much himself when he writes about you. Thanks for letting us peek!

  • http://twitter.com/cohen_alexandra Alexandra Cohen

    I don’t think you’re interested in knowing about anyone’s wedding but your own; but mine’s went like this:

    http://rebelpoets.wordpress.com/skip-this-one-you-have-never-liked-it/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1523200066 Rebecca Revenant

    Thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594547095 Shannon Blue Christensen

    This is an exquisitely beautiful (piece of a) love story. thank you so much for sharing it with all of us.

  • http://twitter.com/KTKeckeisen Katie Keckeisen

    The last six paragraphs are going in my notebook of “most beautiful things I’ve ever read”.  I can only hope that if I ever decide to be married, my wedding will be half as wonderful as this.

  • h00py

    Nothing more gorgeous (and more rare) than a real connection with someone. I’m deeply jealous and yet very, very happy for you both.

  • http://seitenhain.de/ Zieschlern

    During this blog I cried, I laughed and nodded a lot. I have been stalking your and Neil’s blog for some while and about three or four years ago I thought “What an amazing, funny, tons of talent, crazy couple those two would make” and then I read that you two were in a relationship and I was SO happy for the two of you! It really makes me believe in true love and that it is possible that both partners can stay themselves without having to adapt to the imaginations of the perfect partner of the other. I am also quite crazy and always feel a bit jealous when I read of all the fun stuff you and Neil commit (see “Naked with Degas”). I have just finished a relationship because he couldn’t accept that I play LARP and like Goth. I dream of someone who will accept me like I am in all my craziness just like Neil does accept and support you. The person below with the “Spaziergang” really nailed it down. Chagall knew what he was doing ;)
    Have a great anniversary you two and if “An evening with Neil and Amanda” ever comes close to Germany, I’ll be there.
    amy

  • http://twitter.com/Harriet_Edlyn Francesca C.

    This was beautiful and touching and made me feel happy for your happiness.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

  • http://twitter.com/emillyorr Emilly Orr

    Wedding stories always make us reflect on our own weddings, our relationships, how love has worked out (or hasn’t) in our own lives; I’m no exception. Though I will say I was the only person in my entire family who threw a potluck, patchwork wedding–my lady love and I married at my (very Christian and VERY straight) aunt’s house; two of my best friends came in and made henna paste and painted my feed and hands; one of THEIR best friends hand-made our wedding attire (in rather more vibrant than we intended purple and green!); my cousins made the cake (flat one-layer, but large enough to fit everyone, and with a large black bat on it); and everyone bought a dish to share. Even the wedding invitations were drawn by one of the women who “tattooed” me with henna, and my uncle sprang for a weekend in a local resort, so we could have a “proper” honeymoon. Start to finish, we had this outpouring of love and gifts from people we adored. I couldn’t have asked for a better wife, and I am humbled every day of my life that we’ve actually managed to stick together for over twenty-five years (twenty of them married, even though Washington state annulled us five years later, and Oregon annulled us a few years back; I DO NOT CARE, I’M STILL MARRIED DAMN IT).

    And, even with all the trials and tribulations marriage–and any long-term relationship–can bring, we decided to do it all over again at some future date with the lovely lass who’s going to be our third. (Though yes, three women, one bathroom? There are times we throw things.) This time around it’s going to be even LESS formal, we think–we’ll likely plan matching attire, but we’re thinking Voodoo Doughnuts for the actual affair. (I *am* trying to talk them out of the Elvis impersonator for priest, though.)

    And I will be puzzled, surprised, charmed, and thoroughly ecstatic if we have another twenty years together. Here’s wishing you the same, if not more. You have a glorious love, and a glorious partner, and I happen to think Neil got a pretty damned nifty wife, too. All blessings for more magic and mayhem in the future.

  • http://accidentalstepmom.com/ JM Randolph

    This totally fed my soul. Happy anniversary, and happy 2012.

  • http://twitter.com/chris_con Chris Kyriakos

    It’s beautiful that you’ve found someone who doesn’t want to tame your spirit but wants to go along for the adventure with you. That’s what touches me the most. There’s so much more I wish I could say to you about how this effects me, but I’ll keep it simple by saying I’m really happy you found what I thought was impossible, and I hope I can find the same thing for myself with another boy. I’m 18 years old, just came out to the world, and I’ve never been in a relationship. But this blog excites me for the love to come in my life, no matter how long I may need to wait for it. I guess in a way it really is like believing in Santa Claus: Christmas is love, and Santa is just the missing person we’re all looking for to bring it to life.

  • Mimi

    Thank you. Thank you for flying free, and never landing until you found someone who would fly with you. My family is one with very…traditional views of marriage. When all the women in your family that you have gotten married by age 22, being 23 and decidedly single is a bit terrifying. 
    You and Neil give me so much hope. It makes me so happy that two of my favorite artists whose words and songs give me so much hope are so terribly perfect together.

    And by perfect, I mean human.
    Really human and glorious and flawed and beautiful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Vegangurrl Steph Ford

    I LOVED reading this. I’ve been a huge Neil fan for years and loved reading his tweets and insanely cute updates on the two of you.   Sometimes love “just is” and there is no way to explain it. My husband and I were engaged for 5 years before we got married and I let a pendulum decide the date in which we finally tied the knot.  We got married in my fathers back yard with immediate family. I wore a green velvet dress that I found for $30 on line and we had a huge Halloween Brou HaHa 2 weeks afterwards to celebrate with more friends and family.  When something is right and beautiful, just go with it. It sounds like your day was perfect, crazy, sweet, and completely for you and Neil, which is really what it’s all about. Thank you for your story. 

  • http://twitter.com/becaolivetree Beca Oliveira

    Namaste, beautiful people. Congratulations, and may this be the first of a great deal of anniversaries.

  • http://twitter.com/mr_ruben Ruben Suarez

    Just lovely and thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you.

  • http://RedTash.com Red Tash

    What a beautiful story. I understand the trepidation of marriage. I married my best friend and am supposed to be ashamed because he is my third husband. Guess what? I’m not ashamed. Too busy enjoying every moment I spend with him. He is precious to me and whenever I see photos of you and Neil it just reminds me of us. That’s a good thing. <3 Well done!

  • Samaire Wynne

    So cool.     Amanda, you are a pretty good writer yourself.    I wish the best for you two, many years of happiness and magic.

  • Chrissy

    I am getting married in FOUR days.  This is *exactly* what I needed to read.  Thank you. <3

  • wiccabasket

    I read this blog entry at about 4am this morning. I had to wait a while before commenting, but I just wanted to say a very belated, happy anniversary.

    I’m getting hitched myself this year. It’s something I never ever thought I would do. I had a disastrous engagement when I was young, and it put me off. I’ve ended relationships because of it, and threatened my man with instant dismissal if he even dared to suggest it.

    He ignored me, thankfully. It’s the only time he ever has. Frankly I was so adamant that I was never getting married that when his persistence paid off, nobody  believed us. It’s taken six years to set a date, and I still refuse an engagement ring – but I’ve never been more certain of anything. Ever.

    Like you, I found a man who accepts me for me. He’s never tried to change me, never complained about my drama, my irrational need for MORE RED LIPSTICKS or my unwavering need to be independent and in control of my own life. 

    Someone who finds you sexy when you have stomach flu, haven’t washed your hair in a week, and you’re crying because you had a nightmare about green metal spiders, is someone you keep hold of. Trust.

  • Nicole Morgan

    thankyou xx

  • maruko

    If I got one thing out of this, it was hope.

    thank you.

  • Anna

    Was touched by the entire blog entry, but your last bit on tiptoeing in and seeing yourself in little, sleeping Rosie made me cry… happy tears, of course.   So happy that two such beautiful souls found one another.  Many years of blessings to you both.  <3

  • Sara Anne

    This is so beautiful. I just got engaged – I’ve been dating the boyfriend for three and a half years, and so many people’s responses have been “finally.” I want to hit all those people, because it isn’t about rushing into some kind of fairy tale big white dress party, it isn’t about jewelry and presents and toasts, it’s about letting the whole damn world know that you’ve found someone you love unconditionally and that loves you, and that you’re making a commitment to stay together forever. We were in Disney World, and after the fireworks, he said, “Would it be cheesy if I asked you to marry me right now?” I said, “No.” He said, “Will you marry me?” I said, “Of course I will.” Later he said, “I messed this up. I didn’t ask your parents and I don’t have a ring.” I said, “I don’t care. I love you.” That’s what it’s about, and I couldn’t be happier.

  • http://twitter.com/maraislanuit Emily Kane

    I got married in November, and I did do the whole large-ish wedding with planning and what not…but for us it worked and it was glorious.  It was a fairly traditional wedding with some twists – our good friend who emcees burlesque shows and used to work at the Fetish Factory married us.  Our flower girl wore blue sparkly sneakers.  A cupcake truck drove up.  We had a folk/bluegrass band and dosey-doed the night away.   My maid of honor ended up in a tree while double-fisting sparklers. 

    And I walked down the street from the hotel to the wedding site, and in my giant poofy tulle, I felt **exactly** the way you described, as a bride giving hope, as an indication that a woman had made a choice, and found a man worthy of making that committment to (because they do exist!).  Men (or hell, any partner of any gender) who understand long hours of work, and that it’s okay to want both freedom and love in life.  And men who harbor enthusiasm for both Sandman and Lovecraft (and sing along to “Leeds United”). 

    Thank you for sharing, as this is one of the most honest and uplifting pieces I’ve read on marriage in a long time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Melanie-Heim/735373387 Melanie Heim

    loved reading this, what a whirlwind romance and marriage! Your a lucky girl~ I being 33 and my husband 50, we have just celebrated our 8th year of marriage, and we had a small less than 10 people wedding and it was great and u did the right thing having a wedding like this! (my husband and I are talking about renewing our vows at 10years,and having a slightly biger ceremony…Maybe and idea for u?) I wish you & Neil all the best and many more years of love and happiness.

  • http://www.helenperrismusic.com/ Helen Perris

    I knew my husband was the one when he held my hair out of my face while I threw up all night. We’d been together only 3 weeks at the time. 13.5 years later, we’re still together, have been married 8.5 years and have a beautiful 5.75 yr old. He lets me fly while keeping me grounded too. It’s really something special when you find someone who will do that for you because they want you to be happy.

  • http://twitter.com/smithla8 L.A. Smith

    Like you, I grew up amidst almost inevitable divorce: my father’s parents, my parents, my older brother and sister, a handful of aunts all divorced. I avoided divorce by avoiding its cause for nearly 50 years. I met Damon when I was 42. 7 years later, I married him. We’re coming up on our second anniversary in April. Funny thing, after living together for a half-dozen years, we weren’t prepared for how different it would feel being married. I still feel a little giddy when I call him my husband or he calls me his wife. We’re fortunate to spend our days and nights in the same geography, but the wonder hasn’t worn off. If anything, it’s grown more wondrous as we’ve shared some special experiences like your Evening With Neil & Amanda here in Seattle and Jason Webley’s 11/11/11 show just a few days later. My heart just swells with joy when I think about everything we have yet to share. Happy anniversary to you and best wishes for a long and luminous life.

  • http://twitter.com/collectdust christina

    i remember the day you announced you engagement on twitter. not the actual date or anything, but i remember the day, because hours earlier i told my family i was getting married. months earlier, my then boyfriend and i laid on our bellies in the back of our living room. we had been talking about marriage for weeks. i told him i thought i wanted to get married. then he told me he thought he wanted to married. we both said it in moments we couldn’t talk about about it. we were both busy. we were both preoccupied. we both put up this safety wall so the other could just consider it.

    we always told each other yes to every other question. if anything our relationship was a relationship of yes. so we made sure to pick moments where yes or no couldn’t be said. just. think about it.

    then we hung out with a family. our best friends. husband, wife, and their baby. we watched them. we watched each other. then they went home and we laid in the back of the living room.

    “i think i want to be your wife.” and he agreed.

    we had the same conversations (with a little less rockstar) – a big to-do? a “destination wedding”? just those close? and then we realized, so much of what should be done seemed like work. and then we realized, those same best friends, the only working marriage we had seen, they were the symbol of hope we were hunting – we asked them to marry us. we invited no one else. just those that were there moments before we decided.

    we got married nearly two years ago on a bridge in texas. just the five us standing there.

    i tell people constantly – elope. don’t invite everyone. only bring the cliches you want with you. have the party later. the marriage is for you, the party for them – there’s no reason to do both at the same time.

    thank you for sharing and for giving us the space to share.

  • Quelyn

    Love is grand

  • Zombie

    First time I’ve ever commented on a famous person’s blog. I’m a big fan of Tori Amos, Neil Gaimon, AFP, and The Dresden Dolls….funnily enough I only recently came to know that all of these things were connected (apart from AFP and the Dolls). I was writing my own blog today, just a personal little family/friend diary about how bizarre it is to age and how surprised I felt that I gave a damn about being 30. I also wrote about how little I wanted to be married and…some other random things. It was kind of a panic moment, and I like to go to the weird girls to make me feel better when I am panicking about being weird. You’re #1, and this blog was a great stumble-upon for the day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zelda.devon Zelda Devon

    Wow, so beautiful. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angie-Hoeltje/100000549115451 Angie Hoeltje

    Beautiful and Amazing

  • KirraQ

    What an awesome blog, thanks for sharing Amanda! It sounds like the best possible wedding, all the best for a continued wonderful marriage. :) 
    I’ve just read your last 10 blogs in my inbox properly, great reading. Enjoy the Adelaide Dresden Dolls show without me, I am going to be on holiday then, poo :(Funny..just realised I would have seen you as a street performer ‘bride’ during 2000 at the Adelaide Fringe. I am a Fringe and Festival fan since I was a kid and my parents took me. You going to come over this year? Tweet if you are. It’s my favourite time of year in Adelaide! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/carmen.ruizvicentello Carmen Gagalupe Ruiz-Vicentell

    If there is one thing that I can say to you is this: If all of the pain love brought to you trough your life ended up in you learning what you had to learn and in the arms of your perfect companion, it was worth it.
    All of my life I denied myself a true relationshop

  • http://www.facebook.com/carmen.ruizvicentello Carmen Gagalupe Ruiz-Vicentell

    If there is one thing that I can say to you is this: If all of the pain
    love brought to you trough your life ended up in you learning what you
    had to learn and in the arms of your perfect companion, it was worth it.
    I had some bad relationships that ended with a great guy who understand me as a person and my art career, he always cheer me on to doing great things and believed that I was going to make it and become what I wanted to be. He died, almost two years ago.
    And trust me, if I knew back then that he was going to die so young and so suddenly, I would still stayed with him until the end. Sometimes broken hearts teach us some very important lessons we couldn’t learn any other way, being with him made me stop looking for the wrong guys, and truly believe in myself, as a person, and as an artist.
    I’m in another relationship now, and he wants to marry me eventually, and of course, I’m scared to death for the same reasons you were, but I think, deep down, I could not imagine myself without him. I am strong enough to know who I really want to be with.
    I wish you the best Amanda, happiness, love and joy for the rest of your life.

  • http://twitter.com/charlienin Charlie Elliott

    Just an FYI. Don’t read this blog at work. Crying in the office seems to be frowned upon.

  • Tim

    Really beautiful Amanda.

    I met my wife 15 years ago when I was 19, we have been married 6 yrs.

    I see how hard some people have it in relationships, we just don’t. We laugh heaps, we bicker and fight like champions (people actually think that’s bad) and then get over it.

    We have generally agreed on our life choices, after a few years travel we married, then moved to Daylesford in country Victoria to escape the stress and drudgery that drives people to live in the ‘burbs. We now have a daughter and a son (4 & 1).

    When the right person presents themselves, either early or late in life, you just gotta jump in

  • Dsadsdas

    Rihtaš mal? Rihtaš?

  • Phytophile

    Well, this is simply too beautiful. I’m going to cry into a book now.

  • Hh

    If Neil Gaian hadn’t of married you I would have and I’m not even gay. Beautifully told story with so many similarities to my own. You give me pleasure, joy and hope.

  • Erica G

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You’ve helped me understand my own recent marriage, and put some things into words that I previously couldn’t explain. Your marriage is beautiful, and so is mine. 

  • charrindisguise

    Thank you for writing this. Like you, I’ve witnessed a lot
    of divorce in my family and although I’m only 17 I am already terrified of the
    idea of marriage as a result. Occasionally I come across a couple who give me
    hope and make me believe true love does still exist and you and Neil  are
    definitely one of those couples. To see how happy you are to be married despite
    the vow you made is making me want to change my horribly pessimistic views on
    love and relationships. I hope one day I’m lucky enough to find someone who
    loves me as much as you and Neil love each other. So thank you, for giving me
    hope and opening my eyes to a more positive way of embracing life.

  • iris

    May love be infinite while it lasts (Vinicius de Moraes)! 
    This post was very inspiring and you (AP, NG and friends) are all amazingly cool. 

  • http://twitter.com/ChloeHenderson9 Chloe Henderson

    Love appears to disregard any beliefs.

    Thank you Amanda (and consequently Neil) for this beautiful post and providing  hope for the lovers of the world.

  • Robin Hoover

    Love! Enough parallels to how me and my husband got married it’s kinda scary.

    *He’d been asking for a long time, but I was resistant because I was opposed to marriage.
    *I finally said yes when I was VERY drunk at a party. He said he wouldn’t hold me to it unless I still wanted to get married after I sobered up. I did.
    *Our real actual legal ceremony was very private. But we also had a “faux” public ceremony, at which we had a non-licensed friend officiate since we weren’t concerned with it being legal.

    Unrelated but fun: This year’s New Year’s ended up with me playing my ukulele naked, while my new friend Rich did a dramatic reading of Radiohead’s Creep. 
    Photographic proof (sorry for the crazy long URL. That’s just how Google+ rolls) https://plus.google.com/photos/109528769856965012155/albums/5693041657621507809?authkey=CKSso8KY9Kn6Ng

  • frances

    this is beautiful and, as always, overwhelmingly inspiring.  out of interest, which e. e. cummings poem did jason read? love xxx

  • sarah_moon60

    Thank you and warmest wishes to you both, you love is  evident in all you do, watching the two of you on stage together was almost like peering through key holes and watching a married couple. we were invited to see how much you truly love one another, thank you.

    Reading this makes me want to write my own wedding stories.  I have been married 2 years 2 months, our family thinks our 2nd anniversary is in July.  Maybe I should write it all and leave it for my kids to read when I am gone…… maybe they will have one last story to add about the insanity of their mother.

    Love your wedding pie toppers, mine were voodoo doll doughnuts :)

    May your love outlast your lives

     

  • http://twitter.com/notgunna Dont Wanna be a twit

    I read this days ago. I thought. I wrote. I wrote far too much for a measly comment. I tried. I tried to  pare it to reasonable comment length. It persisted in wanting to grow to a longer-than-Amanda’s-blog length. Maybe I’ll continue to write the story. Meanwhile…

    Discarding the excess baggage of need.

    That was life-changing for me. Really, really, knowing that I was perfectly capable (and happy) as me, myself, just me, no-one else. It gave a freedom to choose to love and be loved, and swept away the  strictures of need.

    Ah, Straddie. My island of elopement, with a view eastward, across the ocean to South America.

    Happy Anniversary, everyone, whenever.

  • Juliov222

    Beautiful…one of the best love stories ever! I’ve been with the love of my life for five years and we’re getting married later this year in Belgium, chocolate, pomme frittes and waffles will be consumed and I hope it’s as lovely and memorable as your wedding. We’re both librarians so who knows what kind of craziness will ensue. I discovered you through Neil and it gives me great joy to know that two such wonderful artists are making such music together!

  • Mantoniap

    This is one of the best stories about…partnership, that most wonderful of concepts, I have ever read. Thank you for sharing it with we who read it. I am 27 years married (we went to Las Vegas) and we have always been best of friends.

  • amanda lee

    That was beautiful! A wonderful read. Two of my favorite artists- completely perfect for each other- coming together. Makes me smile. My husband and I got married on Halloween- similarly, it was nothing big, just close friends and family (planned in a month on a 1000 dollar budget)- and though I too had my qualms with the idea of traditional marriage, I knew there was no better person in this world who will accept me and love me the way he does and papers or no papers, that’s what marriage really is to me. I’m so happy for the two of you. I wish you good things all your lives! Keep on doing what you’re doing, cause it’s awesome!

  • http://twitter.com/ramblingmads Madeleine

    I am crying, I don’t know why. Your wedding sounds so beautiful. I wish you love and happiness.

  • NicoleD

    Thanks for posting this, Amanda. I’m a huge fan of both your work and Neil’s, and I’m glad that you found happiness together.

  • Melanieslinger

    Amanda fuckin palmer ladies and gentlemen.

  • http://kya.tumblr.com/ Kya

    Lovely!  You are so generous, sharing as much as you do with your fans and friends.  Happy Happy Anniversary to you and Neil.

    p.s. – I married the New Zealander in 1997, not 1998, so we’re coming up on 15 years this August! Also, I never heard a word about your drunken faux pas, and if I had I would have laughed, because seriously, we were so young and marrying for a green card, so who in their right mind would have expected us to last this long.  :)

     

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      love sleighs the day! can’t wait to come visit.

  • Muskrat

    this is a fucking gorgeous piece of writing right here. i have a feeling it will stick with me.

    thank you Amanda for sharing your story. somehow reading about everything you’ve gone through fills me with pure joy. what a gift!

    may this year be grand. love!

  • http://preita.com/ Preita

    Congrats to you both!  I feel the same way about my husband after 8 years married.  The best spouces are indeed your best friend.

  • DidiStarfish

    This made me smile no end.  Gratz Amanda and Neil. You know you are lucky :)

  • Katie

    I really needed to see this. I recently became engaged (I was the pesky instigator, however) and had experienced some very complicated emotions in the leadup as well as the fallout after I popped the proverbial question.

    I’m a feminist, studying gender and relationships and thus have heard every valid argument against marriage that exists from an academic standpoint, and I couldn’t get away from the fact that I still wanted it so much. Not just for the sake of getting married, but because I love the absolute shit out of my husband-elect–we’re a total team. Both of us are super capable individually but when we support each other, we are able to do the most amazing things. I want to make a life with someone like that, and I am.

    I find it incredibly hard to qualify to others the way I feel–I imagine you did as well, but you said it all better than I ever could have.

    Thank you both for being so amazing, separately and together. You’re inspirations to us, in a huge way. Love love love love love times infinity plus one.

  • Papuszachey

    There is magic in seeing two creative forces blend the edges around normality to nurture something new and beautiful. 

    After five years of dating my significant other, marriage has been something I think a lot about because everyone you meet wants to know why you haven’t tied the knot yet. I made a vow to myself that I would never get married isn’t a valid reason in polite society. 

    Just as I’m  contemplating the shift of what marriage really means to me, and to him, and to us, my favorite artists show how a traditional practice is sculpted into something unique, personal and hopeful. 

    Thank you. 

  • deeza13666

    That was beautiful, you should become a mum you would be wonderful.

  • Jennifer Parsons

    tears, beauty, freedom, art, and love. this blog was totally worth waiting for. thank you, AFP, for sharing these intimate, fragile, magical moments.

  • Toni Johnson

    I cried. Especially at the end. You’re both beautiful.

  • NC Mountainwoman

    Time for me to stop lurking and comment.  I’m likely not your “typical” fan, being sixty-eight years old and married to my physician husband for more than 40 years.  To my credit however, I was a protest marcher for civil rights and against the Viet Nam War, so I am not as provincial as many of my generation.  I love your creative nature and your honesty.  I love your music and your acceptance of all sorts of people for whom they are.  I hope the story between you and Neil does indeed keep telling itself.

  • http://twitter.com/RAH_HELL Rahel Kladderadatsch

    i know everybody’s thankful for this very beautiful blog. so am i.

    reason no. 999 why i love you is that i can feel you. 

    i wouldn’t say i don’t believe in marriage . no. but the truth neil and your marriage is the ONLY one i believe in. your marriage is so fucking perfect. i don’t understand how people can stand living in a normal fashioned one. i don’t know many divorced couples – and (praise the lord) my parents are not divorced as well- i know. but all the married couples i see don’t seem to be happy enough in my estimation. this is not because they’re married, it’s because they’re living like they’re told to be living when you’re married. it is this daily routine you get. 
    it may be fucking difficult to find someone like neil, like you. 
    i am scared of having a relationship. it’s like being married, people expect you to act like everybody does. to act like you are in a relationship. i can’t do it. i don’t know where this fear comes from. last year i broke so many people’s hearts. it makes me sad and i’m exhausted. i always quited everything before it really started (and even if something’s already started) the scary thing is: i fell in love and i thought: ok, this time, you’re ready, rahel. but then from one second to the other my feelings turned into bad even oppressive feeling. i didn’t want to but i had to break theirs hearts and tell them that we won’t have a relationship. it’s like the evil inside me wins. now that i wrote it down, i notice that it sounds really sad.
    i’m not living in a tour bus and probably won’t be. but also i fucking don’t want to settle down anywhere. i don’t want to be dependent on anybody. not even on my friends. it’s a mess. 
    maybe your blog helped me… but actually i knew this before. your marriage is so fucking valuable. i am so fucking happy for you. 
    my problem might be that i’m looking for a neil for me. contemporary though i don’t believe that there is and if there was i wouldn’t find out because i wouldn’t let it start… argh!
    i hope my stupid fucking mind will understand that relationships are no jails and that marriages are no maximum security units and that there IS someone like neil – who’s not neil himself – for me.
    the end
    thank you for reading about my troubles, amanda
    you help me
    love rahel 
    (the watchy-ring)

  • http://twitter.com/neverwear cat mihos

    i remember getting an email the morning of Jan 1, 2010 from Neil, saying, “I just got engaged. I think.” and i answered Fucking call me! he was so happy, this amazing generous boss of mine, so purely happy, that day, that engagement day. Thanks for sharing the story, lady, long may you love.

  • http://housewifeboredom.blogspot.com/ Troie

    “shortly before meeting neil, i’d gone through a heavy soul-searching period where i came to a place in which i could feel powerfully, certainly, guiltlessly single. i hadn’t been able to get there before, it took a lot of thought, and a lot of work.”
    This was the exact state I was in when I met the man I ended up marrying!  We have been married for 8 glorious years.  I loved your story and love the fact that there is no ending just a continuation.  

  • http://twitter.com/SnowyGem Gemma Faulks

    Wow.

    What you and Neil have reminds me of what i have with my Maty. And reading this reminded me exactly why i love him like i do, and how he lets me be me and loves me for all that makes me me, without any need to control or reign me in. 

    Maty and i have been together for almost 11 months, however we have been on and off for 5yrs and he has loved me for 10yrs. I have been in many relationships, and nothing is fulfilling as this is. I kept finding myself in relationships that lasted 3 months -1.5 yrs, where i inevitably found my self running because i felt smothered, or for them treating me badly. I thought i was never going to find someone who i would feel comfortable with in the long haul. I ran from love and treated myself and others badly with a myriad of mental health and emotional issues, and Maty watched by the sidelines, watching the chaos that was my life, and knowing me for me, seeing past my masks and loving me regardless. 

    It took me 5 yrs of yo-yoing our relationship. I would be all for it, then 2 weeks later i would freak out and panic and lose the plot and push him away. He tried to chase the first few times, and he would get worn out and hurt. It took years off pulling apart my headspaces and really understanding myself to accept myself for me, and to trust that Maty meant what he said, that my happiness was important, and that i shouldn’t have to compromise on myself for anyone to love me.

    I decided on the 12th of Feb 2011 that i was not going to continue these patterns, and its been the magical wonderful relationship since then. He is my rock, my pillar, when i lose my way he helps me find my way back, and i am the dreamer and idealist, he is the realist.  

    And he loves me, flaws and issues and warts and all. He was right there in front of me and i was too terrified to reach for the starts of that relationship just incase i fell again. But i did :) And no relationship compares to this, and i wouldn’t want him anyway.

    Amanda, i loved reading this, it is so heartfelt and so very AFP. And so very perfect for you it seems. It really gives me trust and faith in my own relationship to see that its not me being idealistic, there really are relationships out there like my own. *hugs*

  • gedulous

    Stunning post.  It inspired me to look at my own relationship and do something about it.  My partner isn’t a believer in marriage, but this post helped me to take the plunge into putting a ring on her finger and asking her to participate in a celebration and public declaration of the love and life we’re building together.  In short, she’s accepted, and I’m a happy man.

    Blogged here if you’re interested.  -> http://ozziemedes.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/a-primary-point-of-inflection/

    • http://twitter.com/neilhimself Neil Gaiman

      That’s brilliant. Good luck! and Well done!

      • gedulous

        Thanks!  And well done yourself. ;)

        • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

          MAZEL TOV! good lord. this blog has led to some wondrous stuff.

          • gedulous

            Thanks!! And a belated happy 1st Anniversary to you! :)

  • http://revolvingdoorcommune.wordpress.com Teresa Jusino

    My name is Teresa Jusino, and I approve this message. :)

  • Arinna

    My goodness your posts do make me teary! Thank you for sharing your journey & for leaving me with the loveliest feeling of hope. I don’t know how to say this without sounding schmaltzy but thank you also for putting more love into the world & for sharing it with us. We are all better for it. <3 Arinna

  • http://jmcniel.tumblr.com/ Jessie

    this is just… just lovely. thanks, afp =]

  • Dandelionharriman

    Finding solace in your music, whenever I feel utterly alone, is a known pastime for me for years. I have so many fears when it comes to commitment and becoming a couple and losing the “you”. After reading this, you have renew so much faith that I didn’t know I had. I have someone who loves me for me and embraces my craziness too. I have denied letting him in because I didn’t want someone trying to remodel me, like others in the past have tried. You have opened my eyes to understand that it can work.  

  • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com cheekypinky

    Dear Mrs. Amanda Fucking Palmer Gaiman,

    I wish you and Neil all the happiness in the world.

    I read this tonight after having a terrible fight with the man I love,
    And you made me feel hope that things can be YES.

    Thank you for that, lady.

    Thank you for hope and truth and insight into the peculiar workings of love,
    For sharing this vulnerability with all of us.

    You are amazing.

  • Allegra

    Amanda-
    I sent this to someone I love and told her that yes, it was written by someone else about someone else, and yes, it’s long, but that I believed it was the easiest way to tell her how I felt. We’ve got ourselves a long-distance (some would say traveling or working) relationship that rekindled itself like magic after years and years of thinking that we would never love each other like we did when we were in highschool. It’s hard, but like you, I don’t think anyone else could love me as much or just like she does. Thank you for explaining my views on marriage  in a way that actually makes sense and doesn’t include me blubbering about the beauty of my love.~AllegraPS:(now, I just thought of this, and it’s not as romantic as the rest of this comment, but now I feel tempted to say from this point on “Who is the Amanda Fucking Palmer in this relationship??” every time I meet a couple. Heh…)

  • Tristaturtle

    Wow we share the same engagement date. Was your attic named after the Chrysler Building? It’s my favorite in nyc. Congratulations on getting through it all. Living together ten years alas is no guarantee that marriage will last. Our wedding was put together in two weeks and I couldn’t have been happier at the time. I burnt out on writing thank yous, I can’t imagine blogging. Especially now. Being like a real life (youthful) Miss Havisham must have been interesting work. Cheers to your ongoing love story.

  • Dichroic

    What you write about planes flying in tandem reminds me of Frost’s wedding poem, The Master Speed – do you know it? One of my regrets about my own wedding is not getting to use that in it – we’re both rowers and pilots –  but I didn’t encounter it until a few years later.
    No speed of wind or water rushing byBut you have speed far greater. You can climbBack up a stream of radiance to the sky,And back through history up the stream of time.And you were given this swiftness, not for haste,Nor chiefly that you may go where you will,But in the rush of everything to waste,That you may have the power of standing still ?Off any still or moving thing you say.Two such as you with such a master speedCannot be parted nor be swept awayFrom one another once you are agreedThat life is only life forevermoreTogether wing to wing and oar to oar. 

  • http://twitter.com/SrPilha Guilherme Carvalho

    Thank you immensely for that: for being happy exactly the way you are and for telling us all how it is was will be.
    The way you describe your love for Neil and his love for you  is how the world must be, and you are making it be so a little bit more.

  • Hayley

    I cried and laughed while reading this blog. My heart was swollen by your words. I am currently planning my wedding to my two girls’ father. I had been married before, at 19 and it lasted only 6 months. I thought I would never find someone who could make me believe, but I did.

    I am so happy for you and Neil. Such a beautiful love.

  • Carmen Valle07

    I never dreamed about a wedding, my boyfriend and I have been living together for over a year, but every time I thought about a wedding, I felt it like a meaningless show for other people, not for us. However, after reading your story, I see that weddings can be meaningful and special. Thank you Amanda and Neil, whenever I think I can´t  love you more, you prove me wrong. 

  • Raebugaboo

     Shel Silverstine doe a poem that I want to share…
    “There are no happy endings.
    Endings are the saddest part,
    So just give me a happy middle
    And a very happy start.”,
    I wish that for you and Neil. 

  • CeciTart

    OK crying now.  Thank you so much for sharing such a private and special day in the life of you.  The balance of what to share and what not share must surely be a difficult one, and i will never stop feeling honored to be even the smallest part of it.  Much love to you.

  • HeidiC

    Congratulations to you both, and happy anniversary! Your story is so lovely. Thank you for sharing. My husband Kim and I have been happily married for eight
    years. I never knew there was someone out there who would accept me so
    completely. He even wrote our vows to be “Will you take me as I am?” Nothing is better than knowing that with this person, you are home.

    (P.S. Neil, I wonder if you remember Kim?)

  • Thesquishi

    You’ve written about your wedding very honestly and it’s a touching and beautiful post because you’ve put yourself on paper. Belated Congratulations to you and Mr. Gaiman, one of my favorite writers ever:) He seems to have found someone as intriguing and lovely as he is to share his life with.
    And I love what you wrote about being with someone who tethers you but let’s you fly free, a strange but strong bond. My husband and I just got married this year after 10 years of living in different countries and meeting only a few days a year and I can relate to what you’ve written. It is lovely having someone who not only let’s you be whoever you want to be, but encourages and supports you. It didn’t matter where he was, he was the only one I wanted. I wish you and Mr. Gaiman many wonderful years of happiness, making things up as you go along:) That is the best way to live!

  • Michellekaiden

    This is one of the most beautiful wedding stories I’ve ever read… so eloquently captured! 

    Congratulations on your anniversary! Wishing you & your love the very, very best.

  • misfitheartlust

    This is amazing Amanda! I even wrote about it here (after some praise of you and Brian)!
    https://www.facebook.com/mzmaihem/posts/10150481244413215

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ruth-Aivlys-Wilkinson/1058155711 Ruth Aivlys Wilkinson

    This is without a doubt one of the more beautiful things I have ever read.

  • annejohnson220

    Thank you for sharing this with us all. This is such a beautiful story. So often people seem to get caught up in the planning of the wedding and feel the need to have a big wedding, like you said.
    To me, this sounds like the PERFECT wedding. Surrounded by close friends, intimate, relaxing… it seems much more meaningful than a huge wedding with tons of people that requires tons of planning.
    I hope that I can someday find someone who complements me as wonderfully as Neil does you, and can have a wedding as beautiful and meaningful as yours.

    All the best!

  • Mandypauline

    beautiful. thank you.

  • Morellilinda116

    Reading this on Jan 16, 2012, joyfully affirmed that such beauty is timeless.  Moreso, feeling true sense of being privileged to attend your wedding in this way.  But mostly touched to the core of my being as to how this fabulous experience came my way, and remembering an old “saw”,  Our beginnings never know our ends.

  • stace guth

    This was extremely moving. I kept stopping and coming back to it because I didnt want it to end. A life-changing blog!

  • http://twitter.com/queenofs2s Queen of Hearts (S2)

    I cried without realizing. I’m so happy for my biggest brightest muses, you and neil. It’s really like a fairy tale. Not like the real ones, who were actually creepy, but the 2 people who inspired you the most on your life happen to meet and marry and love each other? I don’t have a less cliché yet more real description.

  • http://twitter.com/vesiheinikki s. y.

    May I please marry you both this instant thank you very much yes.

  • old friend

    amazing, Amanda, you bagged a guy worth 18 million dollars who is famous the world round. We know you well enough to know that you wouldn’t pass up an opportunity like that. Of course, you married him!!! And yet somehow the wedding “blog” made no mention of a prenup or of his previous marriage and recent divorce. I suppose if you’re gone for months at a time from his life, he may not notice that he is now legally bound to the most narcissistic woman on the planet. I don’t know who I feel more sorry for – you or him. 

  • http://twitter.com/KateinGlasses Kate Scott Daly

    I am planning my own wedding currently, and I want everything you have- the emotions you describe are beyond amazing. Also, Ke$ha just came on my playlist and suddenly my beautiful ideas are embedded in glitter and skank. But the love is there.

  • Ladydelapore

    It seems that there are really fairy tales left in the world….
     

  • Gen50

    there are parts of this particular blog that reminds me of Harriet Vane, the woman Lord Peter Wimsey (the brother of the Duke of Denver in the Dorothy Sayers book … i give the info just in case you want to check it out)

    and i like the honesty and charm in this blog.
    much happiness to you and neil
     

  • David

    Thank you very much for sharing your lovely tale with us.

    I would also like to state for the record that I got something in my eye. Quite possible some dust. and this was not related to reading this post in any way.

  • http://www.vistaprint.co.uk/custom-invitations-multi.aspx katie

    Pretty retro…

  • Amanda

    was looking at Neil’s tumblr earlier this evening & decided to come here and read this for the second or third time. to put it simply, I’ve not had a lot of reasons to smile lately, but this is doing it for me. so much love for you two. cheers x

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  • http://www.impressionlink.com/ Sarah Gayl

    This wedding is so lovely and I guess the story is very memorable. Congrats to the newly wed couple!

  • saritabrown

    dear dear amanda

    i love tht you waited to post this. When my fiance and i heard that you and neil had married we were like !! WHOO HOO!! our first, no second date 8 years ago was to go hear Neil read from anansi boys in Portland OR and Jake bought me the book which neil signed. it was lovely
    then we split up. and now, all these years later, we are getting married in two weeks. I love your blog because . .one, after living in london for ten years i was sure i would marry a british writer.. but instead am marrying a regular AMerican guy with two young daughters and a cat. 
    and two so much of what you say about marriage, about neil and about your conflicts with the institution ring true for me. 

    so i am getting the silly backyard wedding ready ( we have no money and so are having a stone soup wedding complere with the $25 goodwill dress, homemade wine from the neighbors and my daughter making the wedding cake ( which was almost a pie but i couldnt figure out how everyone would get a piece. 

    my mother believes me so much she booked a ticket to come. 

    marriage is something like a mystical other person who winds themselves around you and makes you feel safe and scared all at once. 
    but mostly its about love.

    i love the way you did this. thank you for sharing it all with us reluctant brides who thought we would never do THAT again. 

    glorious. 

    Sarita

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  • Shondelldahm

    Beautiful

  • http://www.facebook.com/darkdigitalis Trin Achronism

    I am so glad that you posted this blog. sure, it may have taken forever, but you can’t rush true literary genius. ;)

    anywho, bollocks aside, I connected up my Fuckedbook profile with Disqus simply so I could post this response. thank you. thank you so very much for being you. I have these thoughts about love, marriage and all that goes before, after and in between myself, and thought the same thing, came to the same conclusion, etc etc.

    10 years, two sons (to two different ‘fathers’), a helluva lot of scotch, a shredded heart that required a lot of sticky tape and Tarzan’s Grip, even more scotch, prolly some vodka, self-depreciation so thick you could cut it, a bit of cutting, endless nicotine and one reeeeally long, really arduous on/off again “relationship” later, I’m with someone who makes me feel the way you expressed your feelings about Sir Gaiman. :D I was really quite heartened by your words and thoughts, as marriage has been something that has come up periodically in my new relationship. in any other case, the idea of being “shackled” to someone made me close to wretching.

    serious gilded cage syndrome. we’re kind ofalike in alot of ways and I know you’ll understand my meaning when I say it wasn’t pretty. however, for the sake of readability and lack of utter boredom or rusted implements being shoved randomly into eye sockets everywhere, I shall digress.

    as Titus would say, “I found my ice cream truck”. imagine my surprise as the distinct lack of fear of being contained or tamed was replaced with a fear of a different kind. a fear of losing this amazing man. our incredible bond. as you said about magnets, that’s what he is for me. he’s my tether, rather than my keeper. he loves my random sense of humour, my olde world sensibilities and eccentric, goofball antics. in the past I’ve been told to tone it down, be quiet, sit there, do this, etc to which I now can happily reply with a middle finger thrust high in the air and a loud, resounding ‘FUCK YOU!’, but it took a while for me to get there. it was as you said: as soon as you were happy with being single and making a decision not to partner up simply because it’s what’s expected of me, there he was. literally, at my doorstep. :) he has no problem with me being me! my hair colour, lack of effort in regards to hair removal, etc. I never believed in perfection before, but he’s perfect for me.

    so yes, after all that, thank you again. from the bottom of my very soul, I thank you for sharing these words and allowing me to conclude that which I’d known all along. I wish you and your husband the very best of life, love and laughter for millennia to come. (don’t know about you, but I’m living forever!)

    Always,
    T. xoxo

  • ARose

    I cried. So beautiful. :’)

  • :)

    this is utterly lovely

  • blue_allons_y

    I think this might be the most beautiful thing I have ever read.

  • fortune cookie

    Two desperate publicity hounds marry and then spend their lives trying to get applause. The irony is you both suck at your jobs and will be forgotten…. except by Scientology.

    • Ann

      It wouldn’t be long until a troll showed up…

  • SAK

    This is this best love story ever. Congratulations!

  • PaigeKleckner

    My dad and step mom were married on new years eve. There is something magical about it. And only now, in retrospect, can I really understand that there is also something magical in new relationships and that life doesn’t go the way you think it will, but that isn’t always a terrible thing.
    Much love.

  • Squidzilla

    Just stunning. I’m a little bit in love with you after reading this.

  • Brandy Laws

    You make me cry all the time. Good tears.So often you say the things I want to , but can’t find the words. I love your work, and I adore you’re look at the world. It makes the thought of how big and scary it could be comforting somehow. I very much appreciate the day I came across your face! ♥

  • Willow Vanderbosch

    I was married yesterday, to the most loving and gentle man. He’s the only man I’ve ever been with who didn’t want to curtail my freedom, but to join the adventure. I didn’t say “no” when he asked me, but I did yell at him, “Why would you say that??? Where did that come from???!!” shocked at seeing him produce a ring, and promptly forgot to answer. We were cold, wet and covered in river, stopped for the night on a 45 mile, river rapids kayaking trip. I’m not a fan of marriage. It meant so much to him, to declare things publicly. When after a lengthy defense of his position and a long conversation besides, he finally kissed me on the head, and said, “That’s okay, you don’t have to answer now,” I responded with, “Oh honey, you know I’m yours, I just didn’t see why you’d want to get married.” In our tent, that night, we set the date for a year and a half later, thinking that we’d be settled in our new home in Eleuthera, Bahamas.

    I had no idea that you and I would share the same anniversary. Imagine my surprise, to find your blog post on my FB feed, as I had gone to see who had posted pics from our day. Our wedding oddly enough, had many similarities to yours. We were married by a very dear friend, our ceremony was also rather thrown together. It was on the veranda and in the back yard of a house, though ours was overlooking the sea. It was fun, irreverent and pieced together by loved ones. It was more poignant than it might otherwise have been, as I was diagnosed with 3rd stage breast cancer, six weeks ago. I wore a wig, followed by a turban, then finished the night, dancing barefoot and bald. it was beautiful. I wish I’d thought to have a group picture.

    There is something truly wonderful about meeting your match, then making up life, stories and adventures with them. I’m glad that you found yours.

    Happy anniversary!

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  • DavidJennifer

    Very nicely written blog. Every detail was mentioned very clearly and along with pictures. It was so lively that I feel I was the part of all this. It really is a worth reading blog, very different from others!

  • x

    wow
    prescient
    with the gone for months at a time
    I feel more sorry for Neil

  • Ann

    I second that!

  • Ann

    I loved this post for many, many reasons. I won’t bore you listing the reasons (yes, they do start with me gushing about how much I live both you and Neil artsy things) but I do wanted to thank you for this post. You shared not just a very intimate moment but also your feelings.

    I can relate to a lot of what you said. For instance, I have been surrounded by unhappy couples all my life, I totally do not want the attention, I am not sure I believe in marriage and I am absolutely allergic to people bossing me around. Oh, and my boyfriend keeps talking about getting married and I keep postponing for reasons I don’t really know.

    I guess sometimes, everyone has a bit of Ismalia (great poem, there is a translation at https://www.grude.ufmg.br/musica/cancaobrasileira.nsf/vwCodObra/GAIA-7R5J5Z

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  • Ree

    Congratulations on your marriage!. I wish you both all the best in your years together. I thought it may be encouraging to send you a link to some helpful information as you continue on this wonderful journey together. Thanks!! http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g201312/how-to-be-good-listener/