Baby Before Bouquet Toss: Our Family’s Story

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Baby for Bouquet

My fiancé and I found out we were expecting our first child before our wedding date, before the bouquet toss. Deviating from the norm of having a baby after the wedding taught me how to forge a new path for a perfectly imperfect life journey.

I had just graduated college and my fiancé and I moved into a one-bedroom apartment together. We were working four jobs between the two of us and so very excited about our future. I was planning a wedding and dreaming about moving into a home of our own soon. And then we found out we were unexpectedly expecting.

We went back and forth as to whether we should opt for a quick wedding or a civil ceremony. I was still struggling trying to wrap my head around being a wife, much less a mother, and things felt like they were becoming rushed. For my fiancé and I, we decided waiting until after our baby was born to get married was the best plan for us.

My daughter was born the following spring. She was utterly perfect. My fiancé and I fawned over her little face, her beautiful eyes, her ability to have made us first-time parents. She was everything God intended for us, and more. We named her Gracie, since she taught us to accept a grand dose of grace throughout our pregnancy with her.

It was entirely possible that if we weren’t parents yet, my fiancé and I would have fought more, yelled more, maybe not have put as much do-or-die stock into our relationship. But there she was, our precious daughter- a huge reason to stick it out, work it out, and figure it out. We learned to make our relationship work with everything we had in us, because we were in love and we were someone’s parents. Simultaneously, we had to work on being parents as well as partners.

When my daughter was old enough to realize she made it to our wedding, we told her that we simply could not wait any longer for her to enter our lives and so God gave her to us right then and there. She was not a mistake. She was not early. She was not “born out of wedlock”. She was right on time; our time.

Six months after our baby was born, my husband and I said “I do”. We had a wedding that was so very beautiful and we got to celebrate our moment with all of our family and friends; but I believe our marriage started the minute the pregnancy test was positive. The tying together of two people thrust into this crazy thing called parenthood was marriage enough. We created a life together, figuratively and literally.

Today we have almost six years of marriage together and three beautiful children. We think back on our first chapters as a young family with nothing but reverence and pride; we know now that the path we struggled to forge back then paid off in such a big way.

Our baby came before the bouquet toss. Ask us and we will say that that is one of the best things that ever happened to us. We consider our family perfect. Well… perfectly imperfect. But aren’t we all?

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Meg is a mommy to three small ones, Gracie, Everett, and Henry. She is married to her one and only Joel, and they look forward to having more adventures together! Meg likes to drink coffee, coffee, coffee and continues to try (in vain) to take a decent "selfie". She also loves to get candid pictures of her littles as they go about their day, which almost always involves crazy getups and the wrong size shoes. She is passionate about allowing children to explore the great outdoors at every opportunity; Colorado's natural beauty cannot be denied!