Before your imagination gets too carried away, let me explain: today is our third wedding anniversary. Zach and I love to follow the traditional wedding gift suggestions. First year was paper: Zach gave me books, I folded him some origami with a poem I wrote him. Last year was cloth: he gave me a beautiful tablecloth and placemats, I got him a t-shirt with a drawing of an okapi on it – his favorite animal. This year, the traditional gift is leather. Let me tell you, finding a leather gift for a man who does not like “man jewelry” or keychains and does not need a new wallet or belt…well, it’s not easy. Hopefully he’ll like what he gets. Or at least appreciate the thought behind it. Because, no lie, I’ve spent months searching for an idea.
Three years. Three years of marriage. It feels like only weeks ago. I’ll give you three guesses where we got married, but you’ll only need one. That’s right, we got married at the zoo. Right next to the penguins (which mate for life, incidentally). I don’t know if everyone feels this way, but our wedding was awesome. Seriously one of the best days of my life. If I could go back and do it again, I would only change two things:
1) I would remember to have them turn on the microphone so that all the people who watched us get married could actually hear us get married.
2) I would write better vows.
I had no idea how to write wedding vows. I had only been to something like three weddings over the course of my entire life at the point that I got married, so I didn’t have much to reference. I tried googling but only found a lot of overused poetry and cliches. I just didn’t even know where to begin. So, I gave it my best effort. And by best effort, I mean the best that I could do two days before our wedding, when I was out of time, energy and brain cells. I am forever grateful that I read my vows first because Zach’s, honestly, were absolutely perfect. I don’t think I could have gone through with reading my pathetic attempt after his, and then I really would have been in an awkward situation.
This is three years too late, honey, but here’s what I should have said that day. I love you.
I fell in love with you about one minute after I finally realized you had been hitting on me for half an hour. While we have had our ups and downs and disagreements over the years, that love has never wavered. I have always known – as I still know today – that you were the one I could never live without. My heart beats stronger when it is next to yours. You are something truly rare and beautiful in this world – a person of quiet dignity, honor, honesty, and strength. You see the best in the world around you. You have dreams so big and beautiful that they make the sky seem small and insignificant. I feel so blessed that our souls have found each other.
So on this day, I vow to uphold your dignity and to be honorable and true to you.
I vow to return your honesty in equal measure, that we may never have reason to doubt one another.
I vow to lean on your strength in hard times, and to be the strength that carries you in return.
I vow to always seek to see the best in you, as you do in others.
I vow that your dreams will always find a base of love and support in me. Together, we will do the best we can to make them come true, just as today you have made my dreams come true.
I love you. Always and forever. In sickness, health, good times and bad. Always. I love you.