“I love you Mary my darling and you are my perfect choice of the woman I want to spend forever with. I promise you this day, before God who created me and who sustains me, and before this congregation gathered here, that I will always love you. Nothing will ever take away my love for you which will continue to increase every day that we are together forever. You make me a better man than I ever thought I would ever be. You are my best friend, you give me joy, peace and comfort and I need you in my life forever. I assure you that nothing and no-one will ever separate me from you. I want you to accept this vow as a demonstration of my sacred and unequivocal devotion to loving you and you alone. With God’s help, I know I can do that. Amen”.
Mary and Michael, M & M, those were the initials on the napkins that decorated the tables at their reception wedding. Packets of M&Ms, in sapphire blue and chocolate brown packets, specially made for the occasion in the couple’s wedding colours, were strategically laid out at each table setting. Everything was breathtaking. It was their dream wedding. They had planned every detail of it together and it was exactly like they had wanted it to be. They had both been married before. Mary was widowed while Michael was divorced.
“Michael, you are a miracle to me. I never thought that a man like you could exist and yet here you are. This day is a miracle for me. I am beside myself with joy and I am overflowing with love for you. I have no doubt that we were meant to be together forever. This is a fresh start given to us by God – the God who made this day and the love we share possible. I believe that God has been ordering our steps to this day, every step of the way, since before we met. When you came into my life, you fitted in seamlessly as if you had always been there yet on the inside you overhauled me and now, I cannot imagine my life without you. You have made my life increasingly better every day. I promise that I will always be here for you at all times and I will love and care for you wholeheartedly. I want you to accept this vow as a demonstration of my sacred and unequivocal devotion to loving you and you alone. With God’s help, I know I can do that. Amen”.
Michael and Mary both had children from their previous marriages. Michael was a financial consultant while Mary was a teacher. They had met at a good governance seminar where they happened to sit next to each other. They participated together in the interactive group session and afterwards, Michael asked for Mary’s number. Their first date was at a small Italian restaurant; a favourite of Michael’s. They had both been through severe turmoil from their previous marriages and each eventually found solace in their Christian faith.
They did not allow themselves to get intimate with each other during the dating period. They agreed on their first date that being friends came first and they would move at a slow pace. At first they met occasionally and then they decided to date each other and started meeting regularly. They agreed that neither of them was romantic and they needed romance in their lives so their dating was brimming with a variety of romantic gestures from each of them. Michael made it a tradition to bring Mary a gift whenever they met so he bought her many gifts and made sure he always had a supply of gifts at home so that he did not fail to have one to take with him. Mary wrote love poems to read to Michael whenever they met. When she filled a journal she gave it to him as a gift. They dated for a long while during which they introduced each other to their close friends and family and their children and then Michael proposed.