Jessica + Paul

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“I can’t wait to live this perfectly imperfect life with you!”

THE PROPOSAL
Paul proposed on the very same dock where we visited on our second day of dating, overlooking Pensacola Bay. He told me that he wanted to relive our first dates, so we laid on the dock, looking at the stars, contemplating life, just like we had four years earlier. This time however, when it was time to get up to go home, I was trying to help Paul to his feet, and he wouldn’t budge! I quickly realised that he was trying to get down on one knee! There, just the two of us, in the dark, on the middle of the dock, Paul asked me to be his wife. Along with our wedding day, it is the most memorable moment of my life. Paul is not a very emotional person, but he could barely get his words out! That meant more to me than anything. When I caught a glimpse of the ring, my first thought was “Wow, it’s huge” (and by huge, I mean it didn’t even fit my thumb!) And my second thought was, “It’s a porpoise!?” Paul had been waiting to propose, and he didn’t want to wait any longer, so on his last trip to Amman, Jordan for work, he bought a silver dolphin ring from the hotel’s jewellery shop—I absolutely love dolphins! And I love my sweet husband for carrying that huge dolphin ring with him through Afghanistan for two months while we were apart. Paul later replaced that shiny dolphin ring with a beautiful old mine cut diamond solitaire, but I will forever cherish that ring, and everything it means to both of us.

AS A COUPLE …
Ever since Paul and I met, we were inseparable. We fell fast and hard for each other. I think that’s because from very early on, we felt as if we had known each other a lifetime. We are similar in a lot of ways, but very different. Paul is strong, level-headed, practical, but beneath that exterior he has the biggest heart of anyone I know. On the other hand, Paul describes me as his “ribbon dancer”, “butterfly chaser”. I’m more the creative, emotional, nurturing element. We recognise each other’s strengths, and let each other lead in those areas, which we think makes our relationship strong. But despite these differences, we have core commonalities—we both love travelling and new adventures, and our families and friends are top priorities for us.

JESSICA’S VOWS
From the moment I met you, I knew there was something special about you. I learned quickly that behind that handsome face was someone intelligent, full of life, and who shared my curiosity about the world.
What I didn’t know yet, but would come to love about you most, is that beyond all of these things, you have the most genuine heart of anyone I know.
It’s hard to say when I first knew I loved you, because it all seemed instantaneous. From the first night we met, to laying on the dock watching the stars, I felt as if I had known you and loved you a lifetime. You are truly my best friend.
Before I met you, I knew my life would be some sort of adventure; travelling the world, experiencing new places and people. What I didn’t know is that I would be blessed enough to find someone to share these experiences with, someone who makes me feel at home, even when I’m thousands of miles away.
But I know that you and I are meant for each other not just because of how you make me feel, but because every day you inspire me to be the best version of myself. You encourage me if I am doubtful, you comfort me if I am ever afraid, and you remind me above all else, to see the best in every person and every situation. My world is truly brighter because you are in it.
Beyond the adventure, which I am so happy that we will have, I look forward most to the little things … and the little ones, with you. To growing old together, and knowing that God has given me a husband, and my future children, a father, that is the best example of a man—strong, kind and brave.
I promise to work every day to be the person to you that you are to me—to cherish, encourage and support you. To pick you up when you are down, and to celebrate with you when you are up.
This is a day that we will never forget, and it’s only the beginning. Together we can accomplish anything, and the best part is, I know that we will. I can’t wait to do life with you.
“Now at last, we are beginning chapter one of the greatest story no-one on earth has ever read, which goes on forever, in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
I love you, Paul.

PAUL’S VOWS
Wow, here we are … It has been nearly five years since the moment I first saw you and I still remember it like it was yesterday.
You walked into a busy room and everyone else melted away.
For a moment, time stopped. My heart raced and my palms got sweaty as my eyes followed you around the room. I had never been so drawn to anyone or anything in my entire life. I knew that day, November 11 2011, that I would marry you … and baby, here we are.
Jessica, my dearest love … my Mufasa, my little jalapeño, my love dove. Today, you make me the happiest man in the world. With you by my side, I am stronger, unconditionally loved, and unstoppable.
Until you, I never knew true love.
Until you, I never knew what acceptance was.
Until you, I was lost … but with you by my side, I know that we can conquer the world.
Sweetheart words cannot begin to express how full my heart is at this very moment.
You are my one and only, my Palmilla, and today I promise to always be by your side in anything we do.
So love, on this, our wedding day, I swear before God that I will eternally love and respect you.
I will always listen to you, even if I don’t understand.
I will always support you in anything you do.
I will be your rock when times are hard.
I will always be here for you in this life and the next.
I know from this day forward that I will forever have your heart as you have always had mine.
I swear that I will protect you with everything I have to give.
I swear that I will always be patient, honest, and true.
Jessica, you are everything I have wanted in a wife, partner and friend. Today is just the beginning of our next great adventure, and I can’t imagine doing it with anyone else in the world. You are my best friend … I love you.

DEAR PAUL
Our wedding day … nothing was perfect, but it was perfectly imperfect. Ultimately, it surpassed my wildest imagination. Saying my vows to you on that cliffside in Megalochori, Greece, everything slipped away other than you. I will always remember the way the setting sun looked on your face and the way it felt on mine. In that moment, before God, in an incredible place, we became husband and wife. It was the happiest moment of my life. My prayer for our marriage is to always remember, that like that day, life is perfectly imperfect, but through it all, we always have each other. I pray that through the years we continue to grow as individuals and as a couple. I promise to always support and encourage you in all that you dream to do. I’m excited for the family that we will build … I know our children will be strong and brave like their father and grow to be capable and kind. Since we first met, something inside of you spoke to something inside of me, and that little thing continues to encourage me every single day … to dig deeper, to dream bigger, to walk in faith … Paul, you are my everything. For the rest of our lives, I promise, no matter the blessings or the challenges, to keep you always my first priority. It all began with you, and I know that one day I will look into your wrinkly, smiling bright green eyes, and be so happy, because it all ends with you too … “And they lived happily, adventurously, lovingly, imperfectly ever after.”

DEAR JESSICA
This year has been the greatest of my life. It has been one crazy adventure up to this point and I can’t wait to experience every last breath that I have in this life with you. Now that our amazing wedding is over, our next step begins. I know that I have always told you this, but I hope that you realise, you make me stronger. You make me whole. You are my everything. Every time I look at you I can imagine what an amazing mother you will be. Jessica, I cannot wait to grow with you and share with you everything I have to give. Together we will raise a family, and one day they will know your love as I have. Baby, we are best friends and soon we will be parents. Sometimes it will be difficult and sometimes we will feel overwhelmed, but as long as I have you we will make it. I love you Jess and I can’t wait to live this perfectly imperfect life with you!

Credits

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