Everyone told me that our ceremony was the most beautiful, personal ceremony they'd ever been to. I was so happy for that, because that was the *important* part- was the actual marriage! 🙂 You might notice that there are two pastors officiating the ceremony… Pastor Ed is the pastor of the church I grew up going to with my parents. Pastor Amy is the pastor of the church I worshiped in throughout college and my years in Knoxville. Both of these pastors were special to me so we had them both perform the ceremony. They ‘tag-teamed' it, trading off prayers, vows, the homily, etc. It worked out great!
Pastor Amy gave the homily, which is like a sermon… she did a fantastic job. She had Eric and I write love letters to each other before the wedding and send them to her. Then she read pieces of them in front of everyone… it was so great and personal. Some parts were funny and some parts were sweet. It was really an emotional roller coaster! But in a good way.
For a special treat, I will share our letters to each other. I figure everyone else got to hear them so you should too! 🙂 This isn't all of it (a very abridged version!) but this is what was read at the wedding.
My letter to Eric:
My soon-to-be husband,
I cannot believe that this day is finally here. It's a day I've dreamed of and looked forward to since I was a little girl. I spent many a night growing up thinking and praying about what I wanted in a husband and life partner, and as God always does, He answered me with so much more than I ever could have dreamed up for myself- He brought me YOU!
I see God in you and I feel God's love through your love for me. Never have I met another person who I felt would love me no matter what may come- I feel that when I'm with you. The ways you express your love- doing things to help me, making me dinner, taking care of me when I am sick and other acts of service have shown me how selfless and caring you are. Through the years you've seen the large role that my faith has played in my life and now you actively seek to be a part of that. It's so exciting and it means SO much to have you next to me while I speak with God. I pray every day that you grow closer to Him, and that through our relationship we can both grow in our faith. I pray that we can find a church where we both feel comfortable and connected to God, so that he can remain the focus of our lives and our marriage.
I love that you have connected so much with the people who mean the world to me- my grandparents! As I've told you before, their relationship is something I have always held as a measure of what a marriage should look like. They love each other deeply, they are best friends and they can talk about anything. And I hope someday when we are in our 80's we can go out to breakfast everyday and talk about everything under the sun and still enjoy each other's company as much as they do now. That's all I can hope for! I can't wait to grow old and gray together.
It's been so exciting getting to know your friends over the years and hearing all the wonderful things they say about you. It fills me with pride to hear the other people in your life who love you speak so highly of you. They talk about your loyalty, your kindness, your sense of humor, your knowledge of random trivia, your mad cooking skills, your work ethic and honesty- all amazing qualities that are SO true! I respect you so much for all you've been through and for working hard to get what you want. I will be so very proud to call you my husband!!!
On this day, we will begin our life together- brought together as one, through God. I can't wait to see all the wonderful things He has in store for US!!!
I love you with all of my heart,
Eric's letter to me:
I've been thinking of writing this letter since we went to Vegas, and all I can think to say is…I love you. I love you so much that I don't even know how to put it into words. You're my best friend and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you. I'm so excited about marrying you. People have asked me if I'm nervous about getting married, but I tell them I'm not nervous, I'm excited! I'm 100% sure I want to marry you and I think when you are sure you don't have anything to be nervous about.
I love you for making me a more spiritual person. I've always believed in God, but you have brought Him so much more into my life and I love you so much for it. Since the tornado I have thanked God everyday for watching over you and keeping you and your sisters safe that day. I've also been thanking God since we got back together; I thank Him for the fact that you didn't turn around that day. I thank Him that you came to the house to give me your letter.
I love you for being as strong as you are. You are the reason we got together. You are the reason we got back together. I love the fact that you made the first move! I remember working with you and hardly talking to you because I was so nervous. I thought you were beautiful, yes even at work. Then it was Marissa's birthday and Andy's porch…and you've been my best friend ever since.
Now I can't wait to spend the rest of our lives together, grow old together, travel together and raise children together. We're going to make it! It gets even better because this is just the beginning baby, we have the rest of your lives to do all the things we want to do and we get to do them together.
I love you so much,