The Wedding: The Ceremony concluded

So everything was running 30 minutes behind and our officiant hadn’t arrived until after Sunshine was ready to actually walk down the aisle. Thankfully, seeing my bride immediately made the world a better place and our wedding ceremony absolutely perfect.

Making her smileI could tell that she was tearing-up before things even started, so I tried to talk to her and joke with her so that she would just be as happy as I was. As the officiant began to speak, I zoned out. In fact, I was so absolutely enthralled with my bride-to-be that I don’t remember a single, solitary thing that she said the entire ceremony. What I do remember is that I was talking to Sunshine almost the entire time…blissfully unaware of anything else going on around me.

Sunshine’s sister did a great reading for us, taken from a poem that she found on the internet, Loving The Wrong Person by Andrew Boyd:

We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us.
But if you’ve been through enough relationships,
you begin to suspect there’s no right person,
just different flavors of wrong.
Why is this?
Because you yourself are wrong in some way,
and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way.
But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness.

It isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons,
your unsolvable problems – the ones that make you truly who you are –
that you’re ready to find a life-long mate.
Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for.

You’re looking for the wrong person.
But not just any wrong person:
the right wrong person – someone you lovingly gaze upon and think,
“This is the problem I want to have.”

As some of you may know, both Sunshine and I decided to write our own vows. We didn’t want to just write plain ol’ vows or sappy vows or boring vows…we wanted to really let our personalities SHINE without being too over-the-top.

I went first…

For those who couldn’t make out everything (it was a bit windy, I know), here are my vows:

I’ll always remember the very first words you ever said to me…
“Glad to see my friend request wasn’t creepy.”
Baby…you had me at “creepy”.
It only took a week before I knew that you were “the one”. I almost chased you away because I was just so eager to tell you that we were meant to be together forever. Luckily, we both kept our stalker tendencies in the background long enough to fall in love with each other.
What convinced me of how perfect you are for me was realizing how you never just “put up with me”. You not only accept all of the wackiness that makes me who I am, but you ENCOURAGE me to be me. I’ve never had that before and I love that I feel 100% comfortable being myself whenever we’re together.
Having said that, there are some vows I need to make in order for this whole thing to be considered official:
I vow to never take you for granted. I mean, you COOK for me!! How awesome is that??
I vow to never forget our journey. And yes, that includes the over 65,000km that I have driven over the past four years to make this awesome long-distance relationship work.
I vow to not keep score. I have too much respect for you to ever do that.
I vow to always try to learn, improve, and grow as a person. You know that I’m not the same man I was five years ago, and that’s all because of you.
I vow to never get complacent. I don’t ever want us to sit back and think our lives are boring.
I vow to wake up every morning and fall in love with you all over again.
And above all else, I vow to take you as you…loving who you are now and who you are yet to become. I promise to encourage you, trust you, and respect you. I will love you unconditionally and without hesitation.
This may be our second time taking this crazy step called “marriage”, but it’s definitely my last. The journey I have taken with you is the ONLY journey I ever want to take for the rest of my life.
And you know what they say about second marriages: 60% of the time, they work EVERY time.

Sunshine followed-up…

And here are hers for those interested:

Todd~
You are my cheerleader, confidante, best friend, co-conspirator, and partner in ridiculousness. You have helped me to find the true meaning of happiness, and you work with me to cultivate it every single day.
You make me laugh like no one 3I have ever known.
You inspire me to be a better person, while loving me exactly as I am.
You are the mirror that reflects back all of the best parts of me, without being dishonest about the not-so-best parts.
You have loved me not just at my best, but at my worst, too – which I admit, is no small feat.
You are the person who always believes me, even when I don’t always believe in myself.
Today I take you to be my husband, the step-father of my girls, and best friend until death do us part — even if Ryan Gosling shows up on our doorstep.
I promise to be the best partner to you I can be, and to make up for those days when I fall a little short.
I will always encourage you to be yourself, even when I’m embarrassed by your antics.
I promise to not keep score, even when I’m winning.
No matter what – I promise to love and respect you, even on those days when I might not like you very much.
I promise to make sure I’m not just hungry before I yell at you.
I promise to stay engaged in life and in our marriage, even on the toughest days.
I promise to do my best to be a good stepmother, friend, and role model for your children.
And most of all I promise to always be grateful for what you and I have together — to nurture, protect it, and work to make it better — because I know how rare and special it is.
Marrying you today makes me excited for the future, and I vow to help create a life full of laughter, love and adventure that we can be proud of.

My awesome son was the ring bearer and did a great job of holding and protecting our rings. When called upon, he was totally prepared to hand the rings to Sunshine and I…

The ring bearer!At this point, we had another “uniquely us” moment that we thought would be fun. We hadn’t asked anyone to be a best man or a maid of honor, so we had nobody to sign the registry as our witnesses. The “joke” was that our officiant was going to ask for two volunteers because we couldn’t decide who we liked the most. Immediately, two friends leaped up to be our “best people” (one of them was our awesome friend from Texas, T) and so we were ready to make things official.

I put on some “mood music” to play in the background, including Grow Old With You and Rainbow Connection. Being “us”…we couldn’t just sit there idly and be boring…so we just HAD to mug for the camera!

Making it official 1 Making it official 2Honestly, once we were done and our friends were signing the registry, we didn’t have a care in the world.  In fact, neither one of us have any recollection of this picture ever being taken…there was nobody else in the entire world but us.

Oblivious

Once that was done, all that was left was the official announcement of us being “husband and wife”. I pulled Sunshine close to me, caressed her beautiful face, and kissed my bride…

The kiss!!We danced our way down the aisle to On Top Of The World (because that’s how we were feeling) and made our exit. While the marriage ceremony was now over, the reception had yet to begin!

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