Six years ago today, I stood next to a very handsome man and promised to be by his side for the rest of my life. Best. Decision. Ever. I love being married to Pete. He has encouraged me to explore new things (motorcycles, scuba diving, baking, running) and has supported me as I've made my way through some big adventures (a two-year church leadership program, my first teaching job, two pregnancies, grad school, a baking business). Without question, I am a better woman because of the man he is.
Pete and I met when I was asked to write and direct a drama for a sermon series our pastor, Ryan, was doing. After it was written, I met with Ryan to share what I had and talk about who could be in it. I told him I wanted someone big to play the modern role of Jesus, not the tall, scrawny way he was often depicted. Ryan told me he had just the guy. A week or two later when I met with the cast for the first time, there was Pete. And yes, he definitely caught my attention at that very moment. We started to talk during rehearsals, went to the same Bible study for a little while, and eventually went on our first date on December 11, 2005. Seriously, it was the best first date I could imagine. We made things official on January 7, 2006, got engaged one year later on January 7, 2007, and set our wedding date for six months later on July 7, 2007. Turns out, that was 7/7/07. Not intentional on our part. It was one week after the end of his first year of med school. It was a little tricky to wedding plan since so many venues and services were already booked by couples who had been waiting a long time to get married on that very day, but in the end, we had a celebration that fit perfectly for us. Such good memories.
July 7, 2007 was a hot day in Duluth. The girls arrived at the church in the mid-morning to prepare for the ceremony at 1:30. Our ceremony was held at Sacred Heart Music Center, which was once a large, catholic church.
Pete arrived a short time later. On his bike, of course.
Going over a few last minute details with his best man, Jim.
I suppose there aren't too many things to do while the girls are getting ready. What you can't see is that Pete has my wedding ring in his hand. Oh dear.
All of the photos I'm posting today are from our photographer, Deborah Sussex. Deb was incredible and perfectly captured our personalities and our day. This is the first time I've posted our professional pictures.
This jewelry was given to me by my Grandma Scott. I found the matching necklace at an antique store in Canal Park.
Oh, my mom. I love her.
And my girls. In the top row is Megan and Mindy (my cousins), and Kristin (Pete's sister). The front row is Jenny (my youngest sister), Becky (my maid of honor & my other sister), Erin (a dear friend from church), and Jessica (my matron of honor & long-time friend).
And the guys. Back row is Erik and Josh (Pete's friends), Tyler (Pete's cousin), Paden and Ryan (Pete's friends). The front row is Jake (my younger brother) and Jim (Pete's friend & best man).
At last, it was time for the ceremony to begin! All the girls hung out in a very cool room (as in cool ambiance, not temp!) upstairs.
The moms were ready to take their flowers to the front. The flowers represented our families and were placed in a vase together on the alter. We did that instead of a unity candle during the ceremony.
My dad wasn't feeling well the day of the ceremony, so my dear mama walked me down the isle. It was wonderful. My dad walked me down during the rehearsal the night before, so I was able to walk down with both of them!
This is Pastor Ryan. He's the one who introduced us and then did our wedding. That meant a lot to us.
The Olsen family with Pete's parents and his sisters Kathryn (left) and Kristin (right).
The Scott family with Jenny, Jake, Becky, Mike, and my parents.
After the ceremony and a few photos, it was time to jump on Pete's bike and head down to the train depot. I didn't dare ride my own bike because of my excitement of the day. Anyway, it was far more romantic for us to ride together. And yes, I purposely bought a dress that would fit on the back of his bike.
Once we arrived at the depot, we jumped on board a very classy train with all of our guests and rode up the shore while sipping on mini bottles of Coke, just like I drank practically every day during my 1 1/2 years living in Honduras.
I know this background doesn't look real, but that's Duluth for you! We were on the back of the train.
After making our way up the shore and back down, the train stopped so all of the wedding guests could walk to our reception in a tent along the shore in Canal Park.
We had traditional Scandinavian musicians playing with us as we walked, which was beyond fun. Then, in the tent, a live jazz group played while we had barbequed ribs and chicken and corn on the cob. It was exactly what we wanted for a fun, summer wedding.
Pete's buddy, Jim, gave a fantastic toast that turned out to be a re-enactment of what our first meeting could have been like if he had been there to play Pete's wing man. I got to act at my own wedding! It was hilarious.
Our sweet little flower girl and my cousin, Alaina, was just three years old when we got married. She did a beautiful job! She looked just as I had when I was her age. Adorable.
We had a little down time while we waited for the wedding party to gather for a group shot. Considering the 90-plus degree weather, it was a nice break.
Here you can see our ushers, Mike (my older brother), Brian and Seth (our friends).
Pete designed this gorgeous ruby ring for me at Knox Jewelers in Minneapolis. Many people have asked why I chose to have a ruby instead of a diamond. Now it's a bit more common to select unique stones, but not many brides had them in our area six years ago. We chose the ruby for a few reasons. One was that we hoped we would move to Africa someday and wanted to have something that didn't include a diamond. Another reason was the imagery of a ruby in the Old Testament. It represents knowledge and wisdom in many places. And finally, a ruby is mentioned in Proverbs 31 verse 10, "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies."
Eventually, we got to dig into our cake, and yes, it was an ice cream cake! We had our cake made at Cold Stone, who served a few flavors of sheet cakes to all the guests. It was so hot outside that we went into the air conditioned hotel to take photos with it.
Turned out it was a pretty good option for us! We found a couple plastic spoons and ate to our hearts' content. How many brides get to do that?
At last, it was time for us to leave. I hopped on the bike... Well, I hopped on and waited for my man, of course. Once on, I tossed the bouquet to the girls from the back of the bike...
guests lit the sparklers...
and we were off!
We stayed in town for two nights before flying off to Jamaica for a week on the first part of our honeymoon. The second part was a week in complete solitude paddling and camping through the Boundary Waters. It was wonderful.
Happily ever after? I'd say so. Of course we have our ups and downs, but who doesn't? We're on a pretty big adventure together, and I wouldn't change it for anything. Six years down and many, many more to come.