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My husband and I just passed three months of marriage (hooray!) and we absolutely love being married. He has already learned to put the toilet seat down and I have learned to be on time to places (or at least I’m trying).

We started dating in high school and dated for two years before I found myself in a rut. I was happy with Alex, but I wanted to experience something other than my small town life in Missouri. Before my sophomore year of college, I decided to move to Utah to attend school there. I LOVED it!

I made new friends, spent time with my family there, but also spent a lot of time missing my then-boyfriend. There were plenty of attractive and kind guys out in Utah but none of them could hold a candle to Alex. We hit some rocky points in that year, and Alex begged me to move back but I told him I would not until he proposed.  

So he did.

We had a 3 month engagement that was crazy hectic. Planning a wedding is no small feat and we did it with the help of our awesome family! The day finally came and everything that I had dreamt of…. didn’t happen.

I imagined myself waking up with a jump in my step because it was my wedding day. I imagined my guests dropping their conversations when I danced with my husband because we just took their breath away. I imagined us running off after the reception with goofy smiles on our faces because we could not contain our excitement for our exotic honeymoon.

But those things didn’t happen. My sisters and I started too late on my hair so I was late to meet my photographer. Our caterer misplaced the address on the order and they arrived 2 hours late. My father in law was misinformed on times for the ceremony and arrived late. The reception plan went haywire and it probably looked more like a circus at one point than a wedding reception.

And the worst thing of all happened. My husband’s grandfather left this world the day of our wedding. We had been praying for months that he would make it to August 11th and he was so close.

We spent the first night of our “honeymoon” crying over the loss of a great man and making funeral plans. We did not have the lovers week as most couples do. My husband had lost his best friend, one of the most important people in his life and I couldn’t do anything. We were heartbroken.

Weeks later we received our gorgeous wedding photos from our photographer. They were amazing and we showed our family but there they stayed on the computer. I couldn’t click the share button. I couldn’t make prints yet.

How could I celebrate when grandpa’s tombstone isn’t even placed yet?

How could I be so selfish to share my wedding photos when grandma is hurting so much from the same day that I wish to celebrate?

I couldn’t. So I didn’t.

Friends texted and called. Sisters prodded. But it still felt wrong to share our wedding photos. Alex was still grieving and it would be selfish. Right?

It felt wrong until this season of Thanksgiving came. I realized that in my trying-not-to-be-selfishness, I was actually being ungrateful. Ungrateful for all the things I LOVED about my wedding day.

I had so much fun with my sisters on my wedding day. One of my sisters did my hair and another did my makeup. All six of my sisters were my bridesmaids, and I could not have been happier with that decision. My family sang a song for my husband and I during one of my ceremonies, and it was beautiful. My cakes were gorgeous; the wedding cake and the groom’s cake! Both turned out better than I could have imagined.

My wedding dress was stunning and I’ll never feel prettier in something. My guests seemed to never stop laughing. My nieces and nephews were adorable. My dad and I danced to Sweet Pea a Daddy-Daughter classic. Alex and I snuck back in after our reception to eat leftovers and it was a blast. And that morning, on August 11th, Alex and I entered the House of the Lord to make promises to God and to each other. We were sealed together for eternity.

Now doesn’t that sound like the perfect day? It was to me.

August 11th will always bring two anniversaries: a death and a wedding anniversary, but there will only be one truth that remains.

That families are forever.

Photos by Lily Williams Photography 

-Madison

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