Elisabeth: On The Eve Of Our Wedding


A love letter to K

by Elisabeth Snell, Contributing Editor

Elisabeth: On The Eve Of Our Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Dear K,

This morning I woke up like I do almost every morning, when you walked into the bedroom and handed me a cup of strong scalding decaf coffee, seconds out of the aeropress, topped with a judicious serving of cream. You like your coffee tepid and black, but you go to great pains to make sure mine’s exactly how I like it. An hour later, you loaded bottles of St. Germaine and gin and seltzer into boxes, and I made lackluster attempts to help, but you brushed them away and hefted all the boxes onto your shoulders and joked, “I train for this.” I suspect you were only half-kidding. Before we left, you sat on the floor of the bathroom with the iPad, cheerfully pecking away, while I dictated an email and shaved my legs at the last minute.

You don’t believe in the institution of marriage, really. But you believe, deeply, in us. Over the past year I’ve watched you try to reconcile your personal and political beliefs with your simple certainty that we should be together for always, and try to figure out where compromise lies in between. Because even though you aren’t sure whether getting married is the right thing to do, you are sure about me, and so you’re donning a gorgeous suit and party shoes and throwing a clambake to celebrate.

What an indescribable, humbling feeling, to be loved that much. So when we recite the vows to one another, the ones you picked after reviewing every possible version of the Episcopal marriage rites that you could possibly find, keep your eyes trained on mine. Because what I really am saying is thank you.

Thank you for beaming every time I walk in the room. Thank you for going to the experimental queer film festival even though you really wanted to stay home and attempt your four hundredth game of Dots. Thank you for being the best activity partner, for the upstate picnics and late night culinary adventures and early morning illegal walks through Fort Tilden. Thank you for helpfully offering to on-ramp our sex life during a dry spell. Thank you for learning all the words to “Payphone” by Maroon Five last summer, and for belting them out in unison with the windows down and the breeze blowing on beach back roads. Thank you for reminding me every night for a week straight last year that I mentioned I maybe, sort of wanted to apply for the APW internship. Thank you for your utter confidence in my writing. Thank you for transitioning the cats to a completely paleo lifestyle. Thank you for laughing at all my jokes, and entertaining all of my potential business plans. Thank you for kissing me in that bar on Fourth Avenue. Thank you for your endless attention to disaster preparedness, and for ordering toilet paper by the eighty-count for our Brooklyn-sized apartment, and stacking emergency pouches of peanut butter in all the luggage. Thank you for calmly shepherding me into the shower during our third date when a bird pooped on my head over a romantic candle-lit dinner in your backyard. Thank you, also, for not laughing when I came out of the bathroom scrubbed clean, clad entirely in your Iowa Hawkeyes sweat suit to finish my dinner in a dignified manner. Thank you for meeting my eyes at that wedding a few years ago and smiling as we listened to the vows, because we both had a feeling, even if neither of us wanted to breathe a word. Everything is better with you.

What I am really saying, what I really mean, is that I hope I can do a fraction for you what you do for me. That I want to make you feel supported, and seen, and well loved, and happy. That I will spend the rest of my life saying this to you, and showing this to you, in a million big and inconsequential ways. And there are tissues tucked in my clutch, because I have a feeling you’re going to weep through the ceremony, and I don’t want you to falter for a second.

Love, always,

Elisabeth

Photo by APW Sponsor Corey Torpie Photography

Elisabeth Snell

Elisabeth is an MPH working in public health in New York City. Her old okcupid profile said she’s really good at: fixing socially awkward situations at parties, return trips to Ikea, whipping up excellent mac and cheese on camping trips, leaping into the ocean, being chronically late, and having Friday night adventures all over Brooklyn. In September 2013, she married her introverted, punctual K.

read the comment policy before you post

  • scw

    perfect.

  • pibs

    XOXOXOXO x infinity!!

  • Rachel

    This post was an emotional cinnamon challenge. I barely made it past the picture before I started tearing up.

    • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

      “Emotional cinnamon challenge” is the perfect addition to my lexicon. (And SO accurately describes this beautiful post).

  • Mimi

    Exactly. We just got married in August and this gave me goosebumps and flashbacks. Lovely start to my day.

  • Brittney

    Go Hawkeyes! If the rest of the (very lovely) descriptions hadn’t sold me on him, his choice in casual college football attire sure did. Congratulations!

    • MirandaVanZ

      Him?

    • Elisabeth

      She has major Iowa pride, that’s for sure!

  • Keeks

    Beautiful…

    Congratulations!!

  • Emmy

    crycrycry

    This was beautiful. What’s that saying? You should be in a relationship where each of you feels like you got the better deal, that you’re just so damn lucky to have snagged your mate. Perfection.

  • Laura C

    Oh my word, I’m getting weepy and I DO NOT CRY, dammit. The Republicans softened me up with all this shutdown/defund Obamacare/debt limit nonsense, I was ready to cry.

    I’ll tell you this, though: Eventual tears aside, I perked up the minute I saw there was an Elisabeth post this morning. Seriously I see each of them as a gift I get to open. This is beautiful and funny and I simultaneously want to write something similar and feel totally inadequate to the task because this one is so, so good.

    • KEA1

      I hope someday I’ll be able to find someone about whom I *can* write something like this. I think I have a better shot at that than I do at writing it this well. SO beautiful! %)

  • js

    I couldn’t sleep the night before my wedding. I was terrified. Not about my partner but about marriage as a whole. So we stayed up half the night, talking about nothing. A few nights ago, I had a real, honest-to-goodness nightmare and was afraid to go to sleep. So we talked about work until I fell asleep. It’s a wonderful feeling to be loved beyond measure. To have someone know just what you need sometimes even before you do.

    K is just as lucky to have someone like you who realizes and recognizes all the little ways they are loved. I cried reading this, there’s so much love there. I hope you both have the best clams you’ve ever eaten and a wonderful start to the rest of your lives on your wedding day!

    Cheers to you both.

  • Breck

    Crying, just like Meg said we might.

    Congratulations, and I hope you have a wonderful wedding day and married life.

  • Bex

    Absolutely, beautiful. I wish you two all the happiness in the world.

  • Ella

    Yayayayay! I was hoping for an update on Elisabeth. :) :)

  • KINA

    Elisabeth, what a beautiful post! Congrats to you and K – I hope (I bet!) that you will have a beautiful wedding that reflects all of the love in this post!

  • Anonymous

    Overwhelming and perfect. Please keep Elisabeth on, her pieces are the best!

  • M.

    Brooklyn feels extra special this morning! :) <3

  • Winter

    I had a rough night of wedding planning enduced stress-tears. Now after reading this, my tears have dried up and I’m calm. I get to love my Mister like Elisabeth loves her special Miss. Planning for ONE day of partying for this people-pleasing introvert is doable again. Thank you for sharing your love for K with us. It makes the world a brighter place to live.

  • Rachelle

    Absolutely beautiful. Congratulations and CELEBRATIONS! <3

  • http://www.devabydefinition.com Deva

    This post right here has me crying happy tears. I hope your clambake is/was all you want and more.

  • http://simply--a.blogspot.com/ Alison

    So beautiful and heartfelt. Congratulations and have an amazing wedding. I know you will. Sending love to you both!

  • Brigid

    I absolutely love your writing, Elisabeth. You touch so beautifully on universal themes and make me want to pump my fists in the air yelling “yes, this, a million times this!” at my desk (an impulse which I have so far succeeded in suppressing). I wish you a day filled with love, laughter, support, calm nerves and everything falling perfectly into place. Congratulations!

  • Erin

    Elizabeth, I have loved reading about you and K’s journey to the chapel. May your lives together be so blessed and rich with love, family and faith.

  • http://somethingshavehappened.blogspot.co.uk/ Siobhan

    Oh my – this is just beautiful, stunnign writing and what a wonderful way to feel about your love x

  • Jess

    This piece was so so powerful and so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing this and congratulations!!

  • Shiri

    And now I’m crying. This is so deeply lovely. Congrats, you two!

  • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

    Crying, crying forever. This is gorgeous. Congratulations you two!

  • Anon

    This is so beautiful! Congratulations on your marriage!!

  • Meg

    This is beautiful. Also, please explain the cats’ paleo diet. Do they just have to hunt for themselves, or what?

  • Carbon Girl

    This was beautifully-written. I must ask, however, what is sex ‘on ramp’? I know your fiancee must be a crossfitter. How did she apply ‘on ramp’ to sex? Was it a training schedule? Very intriguing . . .

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      I think she meant that like ramping their sex life back up after a dry spell, getting back on the sex expressway, if you will. I’ll let Elisabeth correct me, though.

  • JessPeebs

    Best wishes for a forever filled with love and joy. Happy Wedding Eve!

  • Margi

    I read this in the morning at the bus stop and there were instant tears! I just tried to get through it again and yet again, more tears.

    Thank you for something written so beautifully from the heart.

  • moe

    I love a good cry at my desk first thing in the morning!! Congratualtions and happy wishes for a beautiful life together!!

  • Karen

    Never underestimate the power of words. This was truly amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your gift of writing with the world.

  • GA

    Go Iowa! My fiance is a Hawkeye. I have one of his bright yellow hoodies.

    I don’t cry at a lot of wedding stuff, but I cried a little at this. I really felt every word you wrote. And it’s great emotional inspiration for the letter I’m writing my fiance for him to read on the wedding night.

  • Stalking Sarah

    Absolutely gorgeous.

  • http://juliahalprinjackson.com Julia

    So beautiful, so lovely. Your gratitude is humbling and reminds us of how important it is to communicate meaningful moments. I wish you both the best clambake in the history of awesome clambakes.

  • catherine

    so freaking happy for you both! i mean this is just perfect. wow.

  • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

    My goodness, there seems to be something in my eye.

  • http://Brokensaucer.blogspot.com Sera

    So SO beautiful and sweet! And yes to the cinnamon test. I’m trying not to cry on the bus to work!

  • Erin E

    It’s posts like this that remind me what it all means. Thank you for this beautifully written piece, Elisabeth. Have an amazing, wonderful, fantastic clambake!

  • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

    This is a beautiful start to beautiful new chapters in your lives.

    Cheers to you both!!

  • carrie

    So not the point, but I needed this at this moment. Thank you for sharing.

    You guys are amazing. So many congrats and hugs!

  • Heather

    Congratulations, Elizabeth!

    Such a beautiful post!

    Wishing you a wonderful, beautiful, blessed marriage.

  • Liz Scheier

    AAAAAAHHHHHH AGAIN WITH THE CRYING.

    You’re amazing.

  • lady brett

    hooray!

  • The Family Jules

    This piece makes my heart smile. So many feels I can’t handle it (in a good way).

  • Rebekah

    “What an indescribable, humbling feeling, to be loved that much.”

    *Sobs at desk*

    Many blessings on your joint venture, and thank you for sharing it with us.

    (But really, when the new site is launched, can there be a Cry Warning icon added to the necessary post titles?)

  • Jessica

    Aw, this is beautiful. And congrats & best wishes to you as you begin your marriage!

  • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.ca/ Sheryl

    Beautiful. Just simply beautiful.

  • Pingback: Midday open thread - Online Political Blog

  • http://www.superfantastic.blogs.com Superfantastic

    So. Damn. Sweet. Happy clambake, you two. Happy, happy lives together loving each other this much.

  • Robyn

    Elisabeth, of all the amazing interns APW has had I think you have been my favourite. Your writing is so beautiful. I have read every word of your posts, never skimming even a sentence! Congratulations :)

  • Sabrina

    So much love and hope to you two.

  • martha

    i want to live in a world where elizabeth writes for apw forever.

    congratulations, you two!

  • Frances

    Every piece of Elisabeth’s has made me laugh or cry or both and I have nodded through them all and thought EXACTLY!

    I want more of Elisabeth’s writing.

  • Melissa (The Researcher)

    Thanks for sharing such a lovely, lovely thing you wrote for someone you clearly love very much. Many happy, congratulatory wishes of nothing but the best for both of you on this new adventure!

  • sallie.beth

    Please, please, please tell me you won’t stop writing on APW after your wedding!

  • Sloane

    I can’t even with this. Just…just gonna bookmark for when I want a cry.

  • Caitlyn

    I read this out loud to my new wife (we were married the weekend before you) last night and the tears started rolling halfway through. Thank you for putting so many of the emotions I’ve been having into the most beautiful words, and for reminding me of all the things I should thank my spouse for.

  • wschuu

    Well that made me cry. Beautiful. Congratulations to you both!

    I’ve enjoyed reading everything you’ve written for APW, and this was no exception.