Athena + Camron

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“For my entire life, I promise to love you, to cherish you, to choose you and no-one else.”

Get the tissue box, because this elopement is moving. Gracing the cover of Issue 38, the ‘Freedom’ issue, this wedding captures a kind of joy we don’t have words for. Athena and Camron eloped by a lake under forest fire haze on a warm day in the mountains of Washington. After a long struggle with long distance, visas and uncertainty, they finally said I Do with their closest family. Captured by the incredible Benj Haisch (who has always won our hearts with his romantic photos of couples nestled in northwest mountains), we feel so honoured to show this wedding to the world.

Before you skip to the pretty pictures (trust me, we get it) take a moment to first hear their hearts and their love for each other. It makes the pictures even more breathtaking to know their story:

DEAR CAMRON

From the first day I saw you, I knew you were going to turn my world upside down. My handsome, bearded barista from Portland, who drew me 8,000 miles across the earth with your beautiful heart, poetic words and outright perfect face. I am so thankful that now there are finally no more goodbyes, but long distance taught me to fight for you, listen to you, and hold your heart when I couldn’t hold you in my arms.

When you asked me to marry you, waist deep in snow, you gave me a ring that had a gorgeous rutilated quartz stone tucked in a rose gold triangle. To others it pointed upwards, but when I look down at it myself it pointed downwards. It was your sweet and constant reminder to me that while the world may look at us and see a ‘mountain top’, you will choose me, fight for me, and fiercely love me in the valleys of life too. Six months later, when I said, ‘I do,’ underneath mountains gently hued by forest fire haze, I was saying, ‘I choose you, all of you, every inch of you for the rest of my days. I choose you in the valleys and on the mountain tops, in times of both difficulty and joy.’

Thank you for valuing our marriage more than our wedding, and for constantly reminding me that our love story is a shadow of something greater. You have always reminded me that I am first God’s, and then yours. And because of that, your love for me isn’t bound by expectation or neediness; it is free and full. Our marriage has already taught me that love is covenant. It’s not contractual or conditional. And I am overwhelmed with gratefulness that I get a life of fiercely loving, radically pursuing, and graciously knowing you. I am fully yours, for the rest of my life. I love you with all my heart forever.

My love, my best friend, my adventure partner and my future—today, I give you my heart.

For my entire life, I promise to love you, to cherish you, to choose you and no-one else.

Thank you for daily choosing to love me with an overflow of your own relationship with God; for always reminding me that I am first His and then yours. Your intimacy with Him is something I have only dreamed of finding in a man of God.

Camron, I will never leave you. I will be faithful to you as long as I live, because Jesus has always been and will always be faithful to His bride.

I vow to fiercely love you, radically pursue you, and graciously know you with an intimacy like the Father has with us.

I am fully yours, for the rest of my life. I love you with all my heart forever.

DEAR ATHENA

My beloved, there are some things that need a lifetime. The moment I met you I knew our love would be one of those things.

Back when we had just met I had no concept of the furious passion for life you would ignite in my bones, and now we’re married and I feel it every day. Two years, two countries and four weddings has led us to a life I’ve only dreamed of.

With each sunrise, you are the tender, sweet voice that whispers liberating truths over me that settle in my heart. Yet this you that I have married is just a small glimpse of all that you will become.

What I desire is the you I have yet to know—the one that will shock me with undeserved love, tenderness, and passion. I want memories with you that outnumber memories without you. I want to learn and re-learn every inch of your growing heart and the way you see the world. I want to memorise and re-memorise your face as hairs grey and laugh lines grow deep. But it’s not just what I want anymore. It’s what I have … you, every moment of every day for the rest of our lives.

You are finally my wife, and it is a blissful dream beyond justifiable explanation! So always remember, I will never leave you; I will always be faithful to you. I love you with all of my heart forever.

My beloved, today my heart is yours and I in turn promise to cherish yours with an overflow of the Father’s love for me.

I promise to rest in the progression of grace with you and to walk in redemption.

I vow to reminisce in his goodness with you no matter the difficulty, pain or heartache: in the valley and on the mountain tops—to dance in the rain.

I vow to fiercely love you, radically pursue you, passionately gaze upon the imperishable beauty I have glimpsed in you, and graciously know you with an intimacy like the Father has with us.

Credits

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