As I prepared for my wedding day, I asked my married friends what to expect. Without fail, they all had one prediction: You are going to cry!

This was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard. I have no problem with men crying. In fact, I am a passionate man who is prone to shed tears at moments of sorrow or joy. 

I just did not believe it would happen at my wedding. I was cool, calm, and collected, as the big day neared. Whatever my response, I did not expect it to include tears. 

Then it happened… 

The music began to play. The attendees rose to their feet. And the doors opened. 

There was no middle aisle in the church where we married. So where I was standing, I did not get a glimpse of Crystal immediately. But when my eyes fell on my new my bride-to-be, I lost my cool. I hunched over, as if the wind had been knocked out of me. And the tears began to flow. 

I cried, strangely enough, because it was the happiest day of my life. The white-gowned woman who walked toward me in her father’s arm was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life. Although I had seen her face countless times, it was like I was seeing her for the first time. And I was going to get to spend the rest of my life with her! 

Today – December 12, 2016 – marks eighteen years since that day when the former Crystal Moreland became Crystal Charles

As I reminisce today about the nearly two decades of our married life together, I have to fight not to become weepy-eyed all over again. For the same reasons. I am married to the most beautiful person I have ever met. And I get to spend the rest of my life with her! 

Happy Anniversary, Sunshine! I love you!