Today we’re celebrating Marianne & Erik who celebrated their eleventh wedding anniversary a few months ago! M&E married back in Fall of 2003 in Washington, DC. We love getting to follow all their adventures on Facebook and they were kind enough allow us to share some of those adventures with us here. Here’s a sneak peek at a few of their wedding images from back in 2003…

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Where has life found you since your wedding day?

Our party of two has expanded to a party of four – Ryan, 9; Anna 8 (plus Nacho the fish and Rocky the dog). We moved to South Carolina … and back. Now we are settled into our “forever” home in Gainesville, VA. Erik retired as a Lt. Col. in April 2014 and has joined the ranks of government contractors. Marianne is a freelance writer/editor for some local publications. And chauffer.

What challenges have you both faced & how did you handle them &/or learn from them?

About three years after we got married, the Air Force sent us to Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, SC. Marianne was (very) pregnant and lived in Pennsylvania with her parents while Erik set up the house and finished some required training in Florida. He missed Anna’s birth by a day. We realized just how important family is – our maid of honor, Danielle, and Marianne’s mom were in the delivery room … sort of. Her mom was there reluctantly, so she stood in the hall, arm stretched into the room with the phone receiver so the doctor could keep Erik updated.

It was a long four-year assignment, which included a deployment. Although we made some life-long friends, it was hard being so far away from our families.

Erik’s mom died about two years ago. Your picture of them dancing captures their love perfectly.

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(Editor’s note: We’re especially humbled when family members pass away, but continue to live on through photos. Sometimes we’re the ones who take their last picture. It’s a huge honor and not one we take lightly.)

Have you had any unexpected joys?

Marianne laughs about being the “world’s worst military spouse,” but in 2013 was named the Pentagon Spouse of the Year by Military Spouse magazine. We’ve toured the White House (Anna even decorated cookies with the First Lady), marched in the DC Fourth of July parade, and danced to Katy Perry at the Inaugural Kids concert.

Erik rejoined his band – Soul Kitty 6 – and plays at bars throughout Prince William county and Fredericksburg.

What do you remember most about your wedding day when you look at your photos?

Marianne was late. Forty-five minutes late. We both laugh at the photo of Erik and our priest waiting (somewhat) patiently. She claims it wasn’t her fault – lots of roads were closed for the Taste of DC, which was just a few blocks from the church.

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Our reception was fun and the bar was busy – our guests drank all of the Jameson in the National Press Club and danced until the lights came on. The party moved next door, and they closed down the J.W. Marriott bar.

We, however, escaped to take some night pictures in DC (thank you, by the way for that suggestion). That was the nicest, most romantic, relaxing part of the day. Marianne’s favorite picture is the shot in front of the Lincoln Memorial, where Erik proposed a year prior. He likes the photo taken there earlier in the day, with lots of tourists who couldn’t care less about the wedding party.

Have your little ones seen your wedding photos and if so, have they had any comments you don’t mind sharing?

EVERYONE has seen our pictures. We love our pictures, and the album is set out in our living room. Every time we have a party, we find folks flipping through the album.

Ryan likes the pre-wedding pictures, especially the one of the groomsmen walking through DC – and finds it hysterical that KISS is on a billboard in the background because Erik is a HUGE KISS fan.

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Anna said she likes Marianne’s dress, “because it’s pretty and poufy.” She’s planning to wear the veil for her First Communion this spring. She’s also trying to convince us to let her wear the tiara to a feis (Irish dancing competition). That’s probably not going to happen.

They both like looking at their cousins – our ring bearer and flower girls – who were about the ages they are now. And they laugh at the pictures of little Miranda sleeping on the bus and still looking a little dazed and confused walking down the aisle.

We’re including a recent picture of us. This was taken in July, at the promotion of our Best Man, Col. Arnold Nash III.

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M&E, we’re so thrilled that one of your favorite moments from your wedding day was when we went and did some nighttime shots at the Lincoln Memorial. It’s one of ours, too. Thanks so much and we wish you much continued happiness!

xoxo,
…a&b