Our Candy Anniversary

Our Candy Anniversary - a #staymarried blog

Tony and I are celebrating six years of wedded bliss on June 8th. When I say “wedded bliss,” what I really mean is six years of learning about each other, having lots of fights, moving across the country and back again, changing jobs, and becoming parents. Traditionally, the sixth year is celebrated with candy to represent the sweetness in your relationship. This year, we’ll be eating our candy in El Paso, Texas while we spend time in the town where I grew up.

I am thrilled to be introducing our girls to my grandparents and aunts and uncles. Living so far away has prevented us from seeing them until now, and pictures of my kids really do not do their incredible personalities and joy-filled laughs justice. The last time I saw most of this side of my family was at our wedding in 2007. Having so many of my family members make the trip from Texas to Washington meant the world to me. I still tear up when I look at some of the pictures.

Our Candy Anniversary - a #staymarried blog

Our Candy Anniversary - a #staymarried blog

This time of year, I tend to reflect a lot on that day. I look at pictures. I pull out the little piece of paper that we wrote and recited our wedding vows from. I think about the weather that day- warm and just a little windy. I think about the music, the people who celebrated with us.

Our Candy Anniversary - a #staymarried blog

This year, I am thinking so much more about what we didn’t do for that special day. We didn’t serve alcohol. We didn’t have a catered meal. We didn’t rent tuxedos. We didn’t have a fun photo booth. We didn’t reserve a special vintage getaway car. We didn’t spend more than $300 total on both of our rings, combined. I am not thinking of these things in terms of regret. The truth is, we didn’t have the money for any of those things. We wanted to be married and if we’d waited until we could afford that kind of wedding, we may still not be married today. Or, if we’d decided it was ok for us to go into debt, I’m sure it would be a debt we might still be paying off. I guess I’m thinking so much about it because I’m not sure I would be able to make the same decisions today.

Our Candy Anniversary - a #staymarried blog

Maybe I was simply naive to the pressures a modern bride faces when I was engaged, but at the time I simply shrugged off all of the things I didn’t want to pay for. Fortunately, we were surrounded by family and community that graciously gifted to us many of the things we were even willing to pay for (invitations, a wedding venue, a small cake, flowers). I remember watching friends come early with platters of bite sized desserts and beautiful trays of fruit that they had prepared with their own hands to serve at our wedding. It was tough to hold back tears at their generosity. Six years later, I hope these friends haven’t any regrets about the investments they made in us that day.

Our Candy Anniversary - a #staymarried blog

In addition to the traditional wedding vows, we wrote our own that we read to one another.  As I run my fingers over the ink on the page of our vows, which Tony keeps in the pocket of the one and only suit jacket he owns, I thought I would share them with you.

Our Vows

Tony’s Vows to Me…

Our Candy Anniversary - a #staymarried blog

Michelle Elaine McKenzie, I thank God for you. I am thankful that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sin and rose from the dead so that I might have an abundantly blessed life. I am amazed by God’s goodness. I am humbled by His generosity as I look at you, a woman strong in faith, generous in heart, and beautiful to admire. Your passion for life, your love and compassion for others, and your tenderness has taken a hold of me. My heart was created to protect you, to love you.

I promise to put your interests before my own, to be your ever present strength, and not to withhold any good thing from you.

This day I give you my heart, trusting in God’s good plan for our life together.

My Vows To Tony…

Our Candy Anniversary - a #staymarried blog

Tony Owen Peterson, I thank God for you. I am thankful that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sin and rose from the dead so that I might have an abundantly blessed life. I am amazed by God’s goodness. I am humbled by his generosity as I look at you, a gift of a man better than I even knew to hope for. Your heart to worship God, your humility to obey Him, and your strength to lead me in His purposes has taken a hold of me. My heart was created to crave you, to love you.

I promise to put your interests before my own, to be your ever present helper, and not to withhold any good thing from you.

This day I give you my heart, trusting in God’s good plan for our life together.

We didn’t know it then, but this piece of paper, these photos, these memories… these things represent the beginning of our journey to fulfill our own vows and now to offer ourselves to others like you who are committed to #staymarried. Indeed, this anniversary will be sweet!

Our Candy Anniversary - a #staymarried blog

P.S. If you liked this post, you may also like to read 25 Things To Do Before The Wedding. Also, if you’re new here, welcome! You might like to check out why we started this blog and my first entry to get a little background. Thanks for stopping by!
~ Michelle

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3 responses

  • Thank you Michelle for sharing these personal moments.These vows,and the priorities, you set forth to make your day special without debt.
    Sarah Lehman.

  • Like you, we kept our wedding small and affordable. We have never regretted it. Having an expensive bash would not have made us any happier (and going into debt might have diminished our joy). Your photos are lovely. It is a real pleasure to see the love and spirit in your faces and the faces of your family and friends. Thanks for sharing your special moments. Happy anniversary!

    • Thank you so much, Rosemary! The photographer was where we splurged the most, and I am so glad we did. I look at these pictures of all of these amazing people all the time 🙂