For our nontraditional wedding ceremony, we crafted much of the script together. We added parts we liked and took away stuff we didn’t enjoy. Dane didn’t want to do personal vows. That’s when I decided to throw him a mid-ceremony surprise: my own written vows. I chose to surprise him because I wanted to do personal vows (I had already written mine!), but I also wanted to publicly declare how I felt about this man I was marrying.
Here is the last surprise I sprang on my love before we became husband and wife.
Being the writer of the relationship, I felt tremendous pressure to write the perfect vows. I wanted them to be sentimental, but not sappy. I wanted them to be humorous, but not slapstick. I wanted to show the truth of our relationship without compromising our intimacy. And I wanted to make you proud that you were marrying such a thoughtful, caring person without sounding pretentious or cliche.
In other words, I was screwed.
I couldn’t think of what to promise you for the rest of our lives. I mean, hell we couldn’t have even guessed we would be in South Africa two months ago. How could I figure out what we will be doing in an indefinite time in the future? No matter what I wrote though, through all the uncertainty of what to say and what our future holds, one thing remained clear: no matter what, I can’t picture a future without you.
It’s not because I am a great person. I’ve actually never been an easy person to get along with or to be around. I’m not easy to love. Some days, I’m not even easy to like. But even when I throw dishes into the sink or sling books across the living room, you aren’t afraid to run to me, to put your arms around me. To hold on to me.
So I vow to hold on to you, just as tightly as you hold on to me through the bumps in the road.
When I picture our future, I remember I’m not a perfect person. I’ve never been a happy-go-lucky girl. I brood and wallow in my temperaments. My phases settle over me like a dense fog. But even when I sulk on the couch or obsess over everything. Or when I just cry and cry because I haven’t figured out what needs to be done, you are there. You reach out to me, settle my thoughts, and calm my frantic heart.
So I vow to turn to you when I need to confide in someone. To trust in you even when we don’t know where we are headed, I’ll follow your direction and be excited for our next adventure.
I can’t promise you that we won’t fight, especially when it comes to whether we use the American or South African pronunciation. But I can promise that we can always reach a compromise.
I can’t promise you that we won’t get tired of or aggravated with each other. Especially when its winter and I am compelled to put my freezing cold hands on your back or when you make another terrible “Dad” joke . But I can promise that I will love you despite of our differences and probably because of these silly little things.
I can’t promise you that every day will be easy. But I can promise you that each day, even the hardest ones, will be worth it.
I have told you before that I don’t believe in soul mates. I believe love is a decision. It’s the decision to choose the same person over and over again through every circumstance. I believe that love is a choice.
And every day, I will always choose you.