It would be natural to start off by saying something to the effect of, “Holy crap, we’re in ICELAND, in Budir's Black Church, can you believe we made this happen?” but this just seems like par for the course of our relationship. We both know the danger of throwing out ideas like this one, because together, we have pretty impeccable follow through when it comes to adventure.
I’ve always imagined finding a partner and falling love to involve filling the empty seat that we find next to us throughout life. There have been a few people who have occupied this seat for some time, some who have come and gone and others I had to gently move out of the seat. But when you came along and so innocently asked to join me, I knew having you by my side was the right choice. Whether that seat was in a car I was pretending to test drive to spend more time with you, or the seat that took us on our cross-country move, the seat next to me at the Pat’s game when you so graciously fought off an unruly fan, or the seat on the plane ride to our Alaskan hiking trip – it has always been an adventure with you and 8 years later as we’ve gathered our closest friends and family with us here in Iceland, today proves no different.
When you proposed marriage 3 years ago, in that moment you had asked if you could take care of me for the rest of our days. It was a perfectly posed question, as I had already been taking note of all the ways you had been doing this all along – fresh ground, French-pressed coffee every morning delivered bedside, memorizing my Italian suborder, but always clarifying the details before placing it, my hangover cure and always giving me the window seat on the plane to prevent a panic attack. Apparently, the way to Sheri’s heart is definitely through her stomach, and you, sir, have mastered the route.
I love and respect more things about you than I can count, but especially how confident I am in the love you have for me. Your sensitive nature grounds me when I’m feeling overwhelmed, but you never fail to match my level of energy when needed – which is no easy task. I love that we’re those lame people on the trail that hold hands when it widens, that we have a whistle for one another in big stores so we never get lost, and a handshake that predates the start of our relationship.
But mostly, I love that you sat down in that seat next to me on that fateful day and have never left. You have supported me during tough life decisions, gently challenged me when I’ve been stubborn, and you’ve given me perspective when it would’ve just been easier to agree. I have a willful independence about me that isn’t easy to tame, but instead of working to change this, you’ve embraced this spirit in me without hesitation. I can’t wait to continue learning how to see life through your eyes, as you have so much appreciation for simple pleasures.
I know that your first true love has, and always will be, the New England Patriot’s. And I know that they’ve now given you 5 glorious rings to my modest 1, but, I hope you know how much faith, love, respect, and honor I promise to put forth in our marriage and the years of life and adventure that awaits us. I won’t accept a trade offer or retire on you early. Should I become injured and have to watch from the sidelines for awhile, just know that I will suit up, show up and be there, through tough losses and glorious victories. This life together won’t always be easy, but I know it will always be with you and that’s enough for me.
Can you believe we made it here? After only 8 years, we’re finally getting married—and isn’t it like us to drag our entire family and our best friends to a waterfall at the foot of a mountain on an island in the Arctic Ocean?
But, we both have known this moment was coming for a long time. After all of our trips across the country, and now the world, after all the mountains, after surviving a tsunami in Alaska. All the parks, the peaks, the photographs, and after all the laughs, songs, and the adventures, its finally here. Our time to promise ourselves to one another.
So today, gathered here with our closest friends and family I promise you this.
I promise that we will never stop adventuring, there will always be new destinations, and new peaks, and new views, and I promise I will always let you take one more photograph.
I promise every night I will bring you an extra blanket when you’re cold, and every morning I’ll get up early just to bring you coffee in bed.
I promise I will never stop loving your crooked smile, your beautiful heart, and your infectious laugh.
That I will always be there to listen to you tell me about every aspect of your day, even the smallest detail, starting with “so I woke up.”
I promise to be by your side for every challenge and every hardship we may face, and I will always be there to make you laugh and tell you everything is going to be OK.
But more than anything, I promise to care for you, to cherish and honor you, and to love you forever for exactly who you are, because you are why we are here today.
I have never known anyone like you. I love you because you are the most caring, thoughtful, considerate, and the most fun person I have ever known. For eight years you have been my partner, my companion, my best friend, and today, for the first time, you will be my wife.