Today marks my nephew and his wife’s first anniversary (This post was written in 2015; they’re married parents of a daughter) 🙂

I was honored to officiate their wedding. Under this glorious tree, in Amelia Island, Florida. (That’s me, in the ministerial black, a Universal Life minister for the event.)

This week, I’ve been reflecting on their wedding day and the ceremony I participated in. And I revisited the words they asked me to say, the words we three wrote together, and my own reflections on their relationship — how they live and how they treat each other. I share them here.

“…Who here has heard about C.& A.’s epically small apartment in New York City?

Who here has visited it?

I’m surprised so many of you have been there. Because it’s 210 square feet.

Yes, you heard that right: 210 square feet.

Living in such a small place, you both told me about how careful and thoughtful you had to be about what you brought into the apartment. What stuff you buy, and how much of it.

You also talked about the need for mindfulness about the EMOTIONAL stuff you bring into the small space.

How one person’s bad mood from work can create an insufferable atmosphere in the apartment.

You’ve learned, living there together, to be highly attuned to and respectful of the other, careful of what you bring into the apartment, and conscious of the person that you are.

Because in your 210-foot apartment, there is no escaping the other.

C., you can’t hide in your man cave.  A., you can’t escape to your garden.

You have to deal with each other. You have to work things out.

And you both – rightly — take pride in how you’ve learned to do this.

During Hurricane Sandy, you were alone together there, in the dark, without electricity, for days on end. And you both describe that time as one of the happiest.  So yeah, you should be proud of yourselves.

One day, you’ll have your home office, your media room, your California closet to escape to.

But I hope that these simple days of living together thoughtfully, respectfully, and consciously in just 210 square feet, will become another important touchstone in your marriage.

OK, enough of me talking about your marriage.

Let’s get you married! ….”

P.S. One year later: they still live, happily, in that 210-square-foot studio in New York City. It’s all they need. 🙂

Allison Moir-Smith


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