I’ve always loved the idea of exchanging gifts with Grace before walking down the aisle. Because we didn’t do a first look on our wedding day, giving each other a gift and a message while getting ready was something I was really looking forward to.
Back in 2015, once Grace and I had been dating for about a year in half, I knew marriage was my end game. We both really believed in focusing on the season we were in, and since we were “just” dating—and long distance at that—we did not discuss marriage in anything but the abstract. That meant I spent a lot of time pining for us to end up together and journaling/texting my best friends about it. At some point, I was so antsy to just tell Grace how I felt (but knowing it wasn’t the right time), and somehow I ended up writing Grace a letter pouring out my heart. But I didn’t give it to her. I sealed it up, wrote the date on the outside, and put it in a folder hidden behind my dresser. Through the years that followed, I wrote dozens more letters. Frustrated letters, impatient letters, joyful letters. I kept them hidden and never mentioned a word to Grace. Until our wedding day, August 4, 2018. I bought this house-shaped glass box to hold them all, and had my bridesmaid (and both of our best friend) Tina give it to Grace a couple of hours before we walked down the aisle.
I wrote one last letter explaining the whole thing to her. The box of letters lives in our house now, and every now and then, Grace pulls one out and reads it. It’s been really sweet and funny going through them all now that we are newlyweds.
Knowing that I had this collection of letters to give Grace, I told her I wanted to exchange gifts and gave her some ideas of what to get me :)
I figured Grace would get me some kind of jewelry but what she ended up finding was so meaningful. She gave me a beautiful gold necklace in the shape of a mountain, which looks like one of the first tattoos she ever got and also reminds me of the mountain ranges we saw on our drive to Alaska.
I love it and have been wearing it often since our wedding.
I also gave my parents gifts the day of our wedding, as a small way to thank them for the huge role they played in our wedding day and honor my last day as a Capel.
I gave my dad a gold compass engraved with the words, “I’ll cherish this walk forever” because he was walking me down the aisle.
I got my mom a gold locket that had a photo of her holding me as a baby on one side, and a recent photo of us on the other.