Your wedding, yesterday, was beautiful. I enjoyed every minute of it, even the hard, emotional parts.
I did not cry when you walked down the aisle to Luke’s guitar music because Colin brought a little comic relief when he told Mark, “Her look just like a fairy.” I did cry during your hand-written vows, though. And when you danced the father-daughter dance with my dad, your grandfather, in place of your dad, to Johnny Cash, it was more like a sob. And as I tried to back away from the crowd to stay inconspicuous, I was relieved to see that I was not the only one crying. In fact, I think everyone was crying.
Everything was perfect. I have one regret, though. Two actually. I did not get any pictures from yesterday except some random group selfies involving shot glasses and a bottle of Jack Daniels. But mostly, I regret that I did not write any words of congratulations or advice on the Jenga blocks like you and Travis had requested.
That is okay, though, because I do not think my advice would fit on a Jenga block.
It was clear by the vows that you wrote for each other that you are both mature well beyond your years. You have been through more heartache and disappointments in your 20 years than most people go through in a lifetime, and you have been through most of that with Travis by your side. So it is clear you two know how to weather the storm together, and that is huge. And it seems like you are very good friends, and that is the foundation for a great marriage.
But still, as pretty much any married person would tell you, it is not always easy and it takes some work. Sometimes, big, huge things take down a marriage, like affairs or addictions. But more often than not, I think it is the little things that pop up in day to day life, little resentments that build up, that put up a wall between two people. My best advice is to always give 100% and expect nothing in return. And if Travis is worth your time, and I believe he is, he will give you back as much as you give him. A marriage will never survive (happily) if it is 50/50; it has to be 100/100.
And though it sounds simple in design, it can be difficult to put in to practice. It means giving him 100% of your patience, understanding, support, love, kindness, compassion. It means giving 100% when you are angry, disappointed, frustrated, and so tired all you want to do is hide under the covers in a quiet, dark room. It means being loving when love is not the first emotion that you feel in that particular situation. It means acknowledging that he has flaws, as do you, and admiring him for all the reasons that he is perfect. It means being honest when your feelings have been hurt or when you need help. It means choosing your words carefully. It means being humble. It means apologizing when you have been a jerk.
And it is not always easy to choose love, but I do believe it is just that, a choice you make every day to love your spouse and to act like it. And if you both do that, I believe you will have many years of wedded bliss.
Congratulations! This is the start of a wonderful adventure for the two of you.