While living in Florida during my younger and much cuter years, I met my future husband in the fifth grade and immediately thought he was dorky. He waved his hands to classical music after lunch, wore turtle necks almost every day, and kept his hair swooped to the side. However, by the sixth grade, cupid hit me with his arrow and Daniel’s solid colored turtle necks and dorky personality made him the boy of my dreams. Unfortunately, we never had the chance to become high school or college sweet hearts because after my eighth grade year, my family and I moved to Southern Illinois in order to be closer to family. Although despite the miles between us, we still kept in touch occasionally by chatting on Yahoo Messenger (old school) or sending the occasional letter (seriously old school). But as years passed, I always thought he was cute. I always thought he was sweet. And I always knew he would make an amazing husband to a very lucky lady; I just never thought in my wildest dreams the lucky lady would be me.
And so it is eight years ago today, after only six short months of long distance dating and only one quick month of being engaged, I said “I do” to my hunka burnin love on the sandy shores of the U.S. Virgin Islands. To most people the day could be described as anything but a fairy tale. But to me? It couldn’t have been more perfect. My life as Mrs. Kearns started at 10:00am on August 17, 2006 when I walked on to Sugar Beach holding flowers that were not the bright colored tulips I had ordered, while wearing a dress worth only $110 from White House Black Market and an engagement ring that cost less than $300. My hair was anything but fancy as I had fixed it the same way I would for church, a casual date, or a shopping trip to the mall. Nonetheless, I felt beautiful because of the one who stood beside me…my future husband.
Daniel couldn’t have looked more handsome as he wore a blue button down shirt and khaki pants that I found on sale at Express. Inside his left pant pocket were our wedding bands, each worth only $100. We didn’t have two pennies to rub together at the time. And how could we? I was fresh out of college, on the job hunt, and he was still attending engineering courses at the University of Florida. However, money didn’t matter, the clothes didn’t matter, and the cost of our rings? They didn’t matter and still do this day do not matter.
It wasn’t a large wedding with aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. It wasn’t even a small wedding with just parents, grandparents and siblings. Instead, by choice, our guest list consisted of only the photographer, his assistant, and the minister whom we had only met minutes before. When planning (if you want to call it that) our wedding, I often wondered if I would regret not having anyone else attend and since then many people have asked me if I do. And my answer? Our answer? Nope. Never once have we regretted it being just the two of us.
Every wedding has that one funny or awkward moment right? Well, I most assuredly had mine. I will never forget the exact moment when during the exchanging of vows, with my hair blowing in the wind and constantly landing unattractively inside my mouth, I pronounced my name wrong. Yep! On purpose too! You see, I am not one to think about the need to correct others when they pronounce my name incorrectly because all of my life, people always have, even my Grandma. However, once the ceremony began and the camera started rolling, I instantly realized how important it was when I heard her pronounce my name wrong as she asked me to repeat, “I, Elisha (EEE–LEASH-A), take you Daniel…”
I instantly started to panic! With only about 2.5 seconds to decide if I should use her pronunciation (EEE-LEASH-A) or the correct one (E (as in egg)-LISH (ryhmes with dish) A, I frantically chose hers as I didn’t want to embarrass or make her feel uncomfortable or possibly awkward for not saying my name properly…what was I thinking?!
(This is me laughing after I pronounced my name wrong…)
Friends, as you can see, nothing about our wedding day could be described or thought of as a fairy tale. You won’t find it published and sitting next to stories like Cinderella, Snow White, or The Little Mermaid. However, despite the wrong flowers, frizzy hair, cheap rings, short guest list, and the miss pronunciation of my name, it ended up being everything I could have ever wanted. It was a fairy tale. At least to me. Because at 10:00am on August 17th, 2006, in front of three complete strangers, I married my Prince Charming.
And it’s been over the course of our marriage that much like our wedding day, nothing has been “fairy tale material.” And nothing has gone according to plan. But you know what? Life isn’t always going to be perfect. It’s not always going to look like the stories you read in magazines, books or see on television. And for me, that’s okay. Because I can honestly say that just like I wouldn’t go back and change a single thing about my wedding day, I also wouldn’t go back and change a single second of the amazing life we have already shared together. I know that God has great plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11) and I look forward to watching them unfold while holding the hand of my once dorky, turtle neck wearing, classical music composing hunka-burnin-love.
I love you Dannies and I can’t wait for the next eighty-eight years with you!
Here is the view from our balcony. It is one of five pictures that we have from the trip because I accidentally dropped our only camera (which was new) on the rocks within the first hour of arriving. We did purchase lots of disposable cameras in order to capture the memories but the x-ray machines at the airport ruined them on the flight home. Good times!