A Great Love Lesson Inspired by Tinika and Ronnel, The Real Couple Who Renewed Their Vows At The Atl
This weekend I was over-the-moon inspired. I represented Love Notery at The Big Fake Wedding, an alternative bridal show which creates a wedding experience for its engaged guests. The wedding-like affair is meant to give engaged couples a way to experience wedding vendors at their best as well as inspire strong marriages. A real married couple acts as the “bride” and “groom” while they reimagine their wedding day. I’m talking from taking wedding photos to wearing a traditional wedding gown to walking down the aisle and dancing the night away at a wedding reception.
It was magical for a number of reasons, but primarily as a reminder for what it means to be in a committed, loving marriage. I documented the bride and groom’s, Tinikia and Ronnel’s, love story and as a result, was fortunate to get a glimpse into their journey of love thus far. And then I caught more details of their love for each other during their personalized vows exchange at their "wedding."
It was intimate and sweet. Many of the attendees had tears in their eyes. Even Tinikia, the bride, cried the whole way through her vows. They spoke from the heart as they relayed their love for each other after 10 years of marriage. One of the messages that I heard from both of them was that they’re each other's best friend. They started out as good friends even before they began dating back in 2003.
I realized that Tinikia and Ronnel share a similar story as many other couples, which is that they credit their friendship as the backbone of their relationship. I asked many couples how they met at my Tunnel of Love table and one woman told me she had been married for 40 years. I inquired, “What’s your secret?” “We’re best friends,” she told me.
I won’t attempt to predict why being best friends is a positive indicator of a long-lasting marriage. I just know that it seems to have a large bearing on the strength of a marriage. I, however, don’t think that you have to start out as best friends. It can be built over time through trust, support, mutual respect as well as a number of other reasons why you would naturally become friends with someone.
Thank you Tinikia and Ronnel for showing all of us at The Big Fake Wedding Atlanta that you can be more in love 10 years later than the day you got married. You are a true inspiration to me and the other attendees who are excited to create a lifetime of love and happiness in our marriages.
My favorite part of their vows went something like this: “I never thought I’d be renewing my vows on my 10 year anniversary in front of a group of strangers, but it seems fitting because I’d shout it out from the rooftops if I could…”