Everlasting Love

This year, my husband and I will have been a couple for 20 years. We started dating in February 2002 when I was 20 years old, and we’ve been together ever since. We got married in 2010, had our first baby in 2013, and after spending half my life with him, I can say that we are as in love today as we’ve ever been.

Making love last is something the couple featured in this issue’s Love Story (page 38) also knows well. Ted and Karen Birkholz recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a surprise vow renewal orchestrated by their children. Their advice for newlyweds on going the distance? “There will be hard days and easy days. It’s about loving each other and forgiving each other — realizing that you both make mistakes and that everyone needs grace,” Karen says.

Then and now: On our wedding day in 2010 (top) and with our children in 2020 (above).

To help you on your way to 50 years — and beyond — of wedded bliss, this issue is filled with everything you need to design the wedding of your dreams. For our cover story (page 48), we looked to the sun, moon, and stars for inspiration, and the results are nothing if not heavenly. To add even more sparkle — and a bit of bold color — to your wedding look, turn to Beyond Diamonds (page 61) for richly hued jewelry. While our style features are indeed a feast for the eyes, we wanted to engage all your senses in this issue. Within our pages you’ll find elegant fragrances for your wedding day and every day (page 32), learn how to choose the best music for your celebration (page 26), and find the perfect marriage of flavors for your cocktail hour (page 42).

From start to finish, we created this issue to help you design the wedding of your dreams. As wedding planner Ryan Abney says in our 2022 trend forecast (page 22), “What’s better than fully embracing what makes us each unique and then having a celebration that honors that uniqueness? Love doesn’t fit into a single box, so let’s plan weddings that are outside the box and true representations of that love.”