That year long engagement was a whirlwind of activity. The prince was involved in every activity from setting the date, picking out the cardstock for the DIY invitations, deciding on the color scheme, and choosing flowers. He even attended a Bridal Expo! The princess knew she was very lucky.
As months turned to weeks and then windled down to days, the two became more committed to one another and more excited about their life together.
The September 8, 2007 wedding was a beautiful evening affair. Amongst candlelight, the two pledged their lives to one another among their dearest family and friends. They committed fidelity through better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health 'til death do them part them "and even then will I love you."
In those early months the princess knew more love and laughter than she ever imagined possible. The two grew together as individuals, as a couple, and in their faith. They truly believed the "honeymoon period" would never end as each day they found themselves more in love than the previous.
****But, in life, as in fairytales, good things do come to an end, at least for a time. In the fall of 2009, Duke Depression started weaseling his way into their happy home. By the following June it became obvious the princess was not experiencing an unusually long bout of seasonal affect depressive disorder (SADD), but was in "big D depression." The winter of 2010 was the darkest the two ever went through as the Duke held the princess in his grasp.
The knights and ladies of the Monday Night Posse circled around the two, surrounding them with physical, emotional, and spiritual support. The nearly two years that followed would have been much darker, and maybe had a sadder ending, without them.
While the Duke held the princess captive, the prince set about managing life for the both of them - cleaning the house, making meals, paying the bills - while attending school and working full-time. His caretaking was so appreciated by the princess who considered getting out of bed and going to work a victory.
With the loving support of family and friends, counseling, severing unhealthy relationships, and an 18-month dose of Lord Zoloft, the princess began to reclaim her life bit by bit. By April 2012 she could confidently say she felt like herself and she fearlessly kicked the Duke to the curb.
Reunited, the prince and princess celebrated their victory, became excited about hopes and dreams they thought lost for a time, and looked forward to their brighter future with the same unbridled enthusiasm they had entered their union.
The two didn't realize they were merely in an intermission and a bigger story was still playing out. Soon life would take another unexpected turn.