I like creating traditions. Following them I’m not always super fond of (the traditional hazing at my various high schools, for example, left something to be desired). But when you get to create the traditions, I think there’s all sorts of fun to be had.

As an example, I stole an idea from a co-worker of mine and every 4th of July I read the Declaration of Independence out loud to my family. My wife puts up with it and my kids are too young to understand, but I look forward to when they actively attempt to be elsewhere on that day. Similarly, I recite Henry V’s “St. Crispin’s Day” speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V on every October 25th. Why? Because A) I can and B) when you write a Master’s thesis about the Battle of Agincourt, that speech can’t help but become part of you.

But none of that is important to this tradition. This one was basically started by accident, like all good traditions are.

My wife, Kendra, and I were married in my parents’ back yard, like they were married in my grandparents’. On the day of our first anniversary, because of it having been a Leap Year, it was actually a Year and a Day since we had gotten hitched (an auspicious amount for us) and so we decided to get dressed up in our same wedding clothes and go back to the back yard, say some words, and maybe have a drink or two. Because we were not yet saddled blessed with Satan’s Spawn our precious little angels and so we fucking could, alright? Don’t judge our day drinking. Judgers.

Anyway.

So there we are, all dressed up in the back yard, and my Mom comes trotting out with photos from that time the year before. We decide “you know what would be fun? Wedception.” So we grab a photo which we could easily recreate, hold it, and she takes our picture.

That was four years ago on Friday, and every year we have done the same thing. Now of course we have to do it twice, once with the . . . um . . . super cooperative little ones, and once just us.

I hope you enjoy. I won’t tell you how much photoshopping went in to making my beard look that epic.

Hint: none. I’m naturally that awesome.

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