My wedding has so far been the best day of my life. On September 16, 2017, Chad and I united as husband and wife, surrounded by family, friends, and the Colorado valley we grew up calling home.
One of my favorite moments of the day is when we exchanged our vows. We decided to write them ourselves (I mean, as a writer, there was no other option) and read them for all of our guests to hear as well.
It was a little clumsy, between digging out papers, passing a microphone, shivering from both the cold and nervousness, and dealing with a slipped dress strap (I heard an audible gasp from the crowd, *laughoutloud*). And yet, it was still so romantic.
My side of the vows were actually written as a class assignment in March. As a graduating senior in college, I decided at the last second to add Communication as a minor—I already had taken about 95% of the required classes, so it made sense to get the credit. The only one I needed was Public Speaking, a 1000-level class.
For one of our major presentations, I decided to write and present my vows to the class. A class full of freshmen, might I add. A class that I was reading to as if they were Chad, might I add, again.
It went well, and was kind of hilarious. I spoke to my audience as if I were in love with them and wanted to spend the rest of my days holding each of their hands. They were strangers, but they got to hear my intimate vows before my husband. We’ll always have Speech Class, guys.
Here’s my copy of the vows, which were well practiced and drafted and audience-tested, well before the due date.
My Wedding Vows
When I was 16, I fell in love with you, and I found a way to express it. I used words, wrote you letters. Every time I thought of you, I’d find the nearest notebook and get to work, starting with “Dear Chad” and ending with “love you always.” As it turns out, I thought of you all the time.
As we got to know each other, lined paper created a new space for affection. My inspiration never ran dry.
When you left for college, sending you letters was a staple. It made me feel close to you, and like 200 miles of distance could be remedied with “I miss you” and “I’m so proud of you” and “can’t wait to see you” written over the span of 20 pages.
Later on, letters continued to serve that same purpose of connection. When the sounds of the light rail and rumbling train kept me up at night, I could write and feel like you were there next to me. In the middle of production nights, I could whip out my notebook and make the long hours pass faster. In a sea of people, I could think of you and feel comfort.
To me, these letters kept us connected when we were apart. It was a way to give a piece of myself to you, in the most honest form I know.
I’ve discovered that as much as I adore words and how therapeutic they have been to me over the years, nothing beats being with you and being present in the moment. Because of this, my letters have declined. They’ve evolved into sticky-note reminders and an occasional ‘From the Editor’ column dedication. I still, however, have another one left in me.
I love you, and this is the best day.
After 2,143 days together, I am overjoyed to be here with you, basking in our love and shouting it into the mountains, even though I’d be satisfied if only you could hear.
I love who you once were—a boy who went to baseball practice and twirled me after games. You walked me to my locker, you were my favorite prom date. We watched stars and made plans bigger than the both of us, thinking up dreams and swapping them under the night sky, blanketed by the comfort of each other. Your eyes had stories to tell, and I was eager to listen.
Once upon a time, our to-do list said things like, “make cookies,” play catch,” and “run through the sprinklers.” Now our tasks are less whimsical: “go to the store,” “do laundry,” “put away the dishes.”
We’ve grown up. And, despite replacing our teenage bliss with adult responsibility, I could not be happier. Not only do you make the mundane and average seem adventurous, you’re the person that makes all aspects of life fun. With age, we’ve replaced our simple pleasures with real goals. We’ll take each other all over the world, we’ll grow old without growing stale.
I love who you are, and the person you have evolved into being. You are brilliant, determined, and good. Every day I’m proud of you and honored to access the most intimate parts of your personhood—how you think and feel and experience the world. You know how to make me laugh, how to propel me forward, and how to inspire me to stay true to myself. I am blessed to have you as a supporter, motivator, and best friend—you’re the person I need most in my corner. And as for me, I have a list of my own:
- Love you unconditionally, with a deepness unmatched
- Always remember the little things and how they made me fall in love
- Continue to seek adventure, big and small
We can go anywhere and do anything and accomplish everything as long as we’re together. On this day, and all of our tomorrows.
Thank you for being my home since I was 16. Here’s to 5ever.
Love you always,