love is patient, love is kind

I was blessed to have witnessed the marriage of Chris and Dora Barton this past weekend. A love story in its truest form. Chris grew up as childhood friends with my boyfriend, Brandon, which allowed me to join for the celebration as Brandon stood as the best man. Arriving in Maryland the night before, Brandon and I joined the festivities at the Barton’s family home, allowing us to meet Dora and enjoy their final night before the wedding.

It was the first evening I had met them both. Chris warmly greeted us at the door and led us to the group as he slipped an arm around Dora, joining his fiance. The couple met during the summer of 2011 in Ocean City, Maryland while Chris was a beach life guard and Dora, visiting from Romania, was working as a beach stand attendant. It was a friendship that lasted merely days as their love grew fast and strong. As the summer neared an end, their relationship became long distance putting the Atlantic ocean and 4742 miles between them. The next time they would see each other would be Chris’s visit to her home town of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, to meet her family and ask for her hand in marriage. At the age of 22, the couple no longer remained individuals, but were united as one. Their “I” became an “us”, and Dora found a new home here in the states.

I’ve noticed that recently when I get on Facebook, a new engagement or marriage has been announced. Another high school classmate or college friend is embarking on the next adventure, finding their “one” to share their lives together. My own childhood best friend, Meredith, shared the news of her engagement, to fiance Mike, with me just 8 months ago with a wedding to follow this summer. I can’t help but feel as if they are rushing into things, hurrying to get to the next step, maybe even making a mistake. But the second I saw Chris and Dora together, just as I saw Meredith and Mike, there is no mistake in trusting in love. Marriage is having faith in love, and acting on that feeling. A feeling so powerful all you have to do is see it to know, to experience it. A feeling that washed away any judgement or doubt in my mind, and left me with hope. Hope that Chris and Dora’s future will be filled with joy, faith, passion, and adventure, each and everyday.

Their story became a true life fairytale, without the distractions of Disney, but the simple pleasures of love.

“The most beautiful things in life are not seen, but felt with the heart.”

I wish you two the best.

❤ Erin.

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