When my then-boyfriend proposed to me on a desolate beach in Argentina in October 2016, I hadn't given much consideration to the type of wedding I envisioned for ourselves. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, but that was about it.
As soon as we made our engagement public, the questions started pouring in, and we knew that we needed to start thinking about when and where we were going to tie the knot. It was at this point that we started tossing around ideas. A beach wedding on the coast of South America sounds lovely. The same could be said about a rooftop party in Brooklyn, where we were living at the time.
After learning the diagnosis for my future mother in law's cancer, things shifted rapidly and we realized that we had less time than we had previously anticipated. We wanted all four of our parents to be present, and it was the one thing on which we were not ready to take any chances.
In addition, shortly after our engagement, Donald Trump was elected president, putting my H1-B work visa renewal in peril, and my marriage was called off. We were both determined to remain in the United States, and this prompted us to move more quickly with our plans. If we were to be married immediately, I would be able to file for a green card based on our marriage and continue working and living in New York.
We decided on a date for our wedding less than a month and a half after getting engaged: the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Why did we choose that particular date?
My husband had previously made plans to bring his parents to New York in order to spend what may have been his mother's final Thanksgiving with the rest of the family, but things had fallen through. I asked my parents whether they were able to make the journey to New York on such short notice, and they were able to do so, which was wonderful.
We also figured City Hall was not going to be as crowded the day after Thanksgiving, making logistics with our elder parents easier to navigate.
We knew a lot of our friends were not going to be able to attend, since they'd probably be with their own families celebrating the holiday. It was surprising to us how many people modified their plans to be in New York on that Friday afternoon.
For those who couldn't make it, like my cousins in Argentina who couldn't get a travel visa in time, we live-streamed the ceremony on Facebook so they could be part of our special day.
We got married in a fairly empty Brooklyn City Hall, with our close friends and family and my husband declared that paying $25 for our marriage ceremony was the best Black Friday deal he has ever gotten. We got married on November 25th. However, we don't celebrate our anniversary on that date.
Because we have three kids and are both pretty forgetful to begin with, we decided that to take off the pressure of having to remember when our anniversary falls every year, we are just going to celebrate on Black Friday, regardless of what calendar date it actually is.
This has turned into a fun tradition, and truly ensures neither of us forgets to celebrate.
There are also added benefits to going with this day. We are both home from work, so we get to spend the day together. It's easier to get a reservation for a date since most people are still traveling or spending time with family.
Our kids are home from school, which might not make the day ultra-romantic, but it does remind us of the family we built together.
After our City Hall wedding, we got married two more times. One in South America so my extended family could be present, and one last big celebration in Maine before my mother-in-law passed away.
Even though we have technically three wedding anniversaries to celebrate, we still choose to go with Black Friday.