JEMIMA + MIKE
My husband and I met at the doctor's office and I got a crush on him right away. I liked that he had grey in his hair. He was also such a gentleman. He would hold the door open for everyone and constantly gave his seat up to women on the train. A real old-fashioned guy.
I loved his gentility, but his kindness was what struck me. He had this patience and stoicism; I had never met anyone like him.
He had two kids and was the most amazing, loving father ever. He also had a dark history which I thought was so hot. I mean, he used to be the worst kind of bad boy. I'm not going to elaborate but let's just say he's definitely good at being bad. I could see it in his eyes.
One night we went out for ice cream with a bunch of people and I caught him looking at me, but right away he put his hand over his face to block my gaze. I said, “why did you do that?” and he said, “I shouldn’t be looking at you right now.” He had just gone through a divorce. But that’s when I realized he had a crush on me. I got SO excited. I figured he would never be into me.
He just felt so much more awesome than any guy I'd ever dated. Every guy I dated before had been abusive and made me feel like shit. I was like, “Wow, this just might be the person I deserve." I even loved that he was a football fan. One of our first times hanging out we were watching football together and I pretended I was super into it. I had him explain the game to me and he loved that I was interested. But I literally didn't pay attention to a word of it. I was just excited to be hanging out with him. He also taught me how to flick a cigarette.
I got pregnant right away. One night we were lying in bed in my East Village apartment and he was like, “we should probably get married before we have a baby,” and I’m thinking, “are you asking me to marry you?” but before I could say anything he was on the phone with the rabbi making plans. Suddenly we were engaged but there wasn’t a ring or an official proposal or anything. I was so pissed he didn’t propose. I was being really girly about it. I was like: “I don’t want you to get down on one knee or anything,” even though I totally did.
We were walking around Portobello Market in London one day and I saw this eighteenth century snake and skull ring with rubies and diamonds that I loved. He bought it, put it on my finger and said, “now we’re engaged.” But it still wasn’t the proposal I wanted. A few months later we were eating dinner with my family and in the middle of the conversation he interrupted and pulled out a ruby ring. That was the official proposal.
We purposely decided we wouldn’t do much planning so we couldn't fuck anything up. We gave ourselves two weeks and that was it. We decided to do a little morning wedding in the backyard at my Mom’s house by the beach . I found a dress a few days before on the vintage racks at Jill Stuart — it cost like two hundred dollars — and had a headpiece made at a flower shop. I re-purposed my Mom's beach sarong and wore it as a veil.
I always figured I would have a really elaborate wedding but it was actually really small and mellow. We brought chairs and cushions in from outside and threw them all over the grass. We scattered wild roses all over the lawn, had a driftwood chuppah covered in flowers and a Jewish ceremony.
It was a pretty nontraditional Jewish wedding. For one, I was nine months pregnant, and I walked down the aisle to "Sea Of Love" by Phil Phillips. Not to mention my sister was breastfeeding her son on the lawn while we were saying our vows.
Right after the ceremony he gave me a look and nodded toward the sea. We ran off and jumped into the water with our clothes on.
Then I changed into a little white dress and we all ate bagels and lox and cereal. We had a carrot cake with these antique candles carved into them; a French Renaissance bride and groom that I'd been saving since I was a teenager for my wedding day.
It was super relaxed with all the families hanging together on the beach. Pure bliss. Everyone left at noon and we went back to life as usual.