The Day I Married My Match, Part 1

Today is the day my life begins. All my life I’ve been just me, just a smart-mouthed kid. Today I become a man. Today I become a husband. Today I become accountable to someone other than myself. Today I become accountable to you, to our future, to all the possibilities our marriage has to offer. Together no matter what happens, I’ll be ready. For anything. For everything. To take on life. To take on love. –Alex, Grey’s Anatomy

So there I was, getting laced up into my wedding gown. My hair and makeup were perfect and it was all coming together. My acne remedies had worked and my skin was flawless, yay.

I was managing to keep my cool and keep from crying. Then my mom walked in and saw me for the first time.

She couldn’t help but cry and then both of us were weeping happy tears. Then my aunties and cousin stopped in for a peek and some pictures. Then the rest of my girlfriends came in for hugs all around.

Family pictures were next and there was the mad shuffle to make sure Match wasn’t looking as I emerged from the bridal room. My brother and little nephew both gasped when they saw me, which was adorable. My nephew kept pointing at me the rest of the day and yelling, “PRETTY!” He is so precious.

Before I knew it all my girlfriends were leaving so they could head down to the ceremony site. Pretty soon it was just me and my Pops. I started to feel those butterflies like I used to in track before a big race. My Pops was my coach, and just like he did back then, he calmed me down. Told me to relax and breathe and everything would be ok.

Then we were walking down the aisle. Pops whispered, “Is this an ok pace, should we walk slower?” I looked at him and whispered, “Can I run?”

And then it was tunnel vision. I remember seeing Match and his sis Travel Girl at the end of the aisle. I remember vaguely hearing the guitar strings as my cousin played.  I remember shaking with excitement/nerves.

And then I was standing in front of Match, and I was holding his hands. Tears were streaming down my face and I was grinning from ear to ear and so was he.

I didn’t notice all of the people. I didn’t notice how beautiful the ceremony site was. I just saw him, my Match.

I read my vows with a shaking voice and barely made it through. At the end I forgot to read the last line and just said,  “I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!” and everyone laughed. You could hear the whole audience sniffing (I didn’t notice until watching the video later).

Then it was Match’s turn, and his vows blew me away. I still tear up when I read them:

First Things First. WOW!  You look beautiful today And I just want to express to you how privileged I feel to able to stand before you today and express my love. Asking you to marry me was definitely  the  smartest decision I have ever made. I am going to try very hard not to cry, but if I do…bare with me.

You are the most important person in my life. I could not love another person more than I love you. From the day we first met I have been falling madly in love with you over and over again.

Not a single moment passes where I question our love for each other and our dedication to the friendship we have created.

Life makes sense with you and I could not even start to imagine a life without you in it.

We have many adventures to share together like our first house and our first child and I cannot even begin to tell you how good it feels to know you are the one I will be experiencing the rest of my life with.

There is not a thought in the world that makes me smile more than knowing that when I go to bed tonight I will not be just staring into the eyes of my wife, but the eyes of the love of my life.

Then we exchanged rings and Travel Girl had us repeat our vows that we wrote together:

I take you Date Girl/Match to be my wife/husband, my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our friendship and love you today, tomorrow, and forever. I will trust, honor and respect you. I will laugh with you and cry with you. I will love you faithfully through the best and the worst, through the difficult and the easy. For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live.

Match laughs a lot when he’s nervous and after his initial tears when reading his personal vows, he couldn’t stop laughing when repeating after his sister. There was one part where she read him off a huge line to repeat and he said, “Can you dumb it down a shade?” and we were cracking up. I love that it was captured on camera because it was so us in that moment. We all needed a laugh after the weeping too.

And then she was pronouncing us husband and wife, and everyone was cheering and Match was kissing me and it was all so surreal, so absolutely perfect.

All photographs were by Owen Kahn, Owen Kahn Photography