Beautiful non-traditional wedding vows between an Elf and her Ranger

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 | Photography by Jessie Casey
You must see these beautiful non-traditional wedding vows between an Elf and her Ranger

Next week we'll be featuring Melanie and Eric's magical Middle Earth fantasy wedding! Until then, allow their vows to tell the tale of how their adventures began.

Bonus: pictures from their epic engagement shoot at Breitenbach Castle!

From Melanie:

Early on, after I had texted you some compliment, you answered back, “I have many many talents. You'll find out about all of them as we go.”

At that point I didn’t know how serious we were, and this made me both excited that you were planning to stay awhile and intrigued to learn more about you. I could have never guessed how many amazing qualities you embody.

I have discovered:

Your avid imagination. I love when you create characters and stories out of nowhere, and that you share my love of games. When on one of our first nights in the Hampton's you broke out the Barbie Queen of the Prom and exclaimed you were the unbeaten champion, I knew you were a keeper.

You are incredibly affectionate. You tell me I’m beautiful in a multitude of ways daily, kiss me good night and good morning, insist on holding hands on walks, and shower me with adorable animals videos while you're at work.

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Photography by Jessie Casey

You’re dashingly charming, extremely well-spoken, and intelligent beyond your years. Your ability to adapt to any situation and make friends on a whim is uncanny, even if it confuses my introverted soul.

You listen, remember, and notice the littlest details of things that are important to me. For example, you’ve become better at Disney Trivia and it’s both adorable and upsetting.

You embrace my goofiness and love me even more for being myself. I’ve never had hold back my awkwardness, if anything you bring it out more.

You work to understand my mental struggles, and handle them better than any professional therapist I’ve every been with. You knows what to say. Always, and perfectly.

And, you make regular moments special; every activity is better together. My favorite is what you call our “midnight clubhouse”, when we find ourselves awake together in the middle if the night, and stay up laughing and chatting for hours while the world is asleep.

I’m honored to be your girl. These are the things I promise:

To never take you for granted – it’s so easy to normalize how insanely great you treat me, I want to always appreciate how lucky I am.

To encourage your creative projects, be it forging swords or carving walking sticks.

Not to get chocolate all over every piece of furniture and clothing we own like a three year old.

To work to be present, because the moments with you are more important then the anxiety in my head.

To make you dress up at every opportunity.

To work to make our life to the most authentic it can be by planning activities that reflect our nerdy interests.

To be honest and open with you, as ours has been the strongest communication I’ve ever had in my life and the reason our relationship has thrived.

Not to leave corners from every food package I open around the kitchen.

To be the caregiver to you that your are to your friends and family – someone to come to when you need to vent; and to listen, support, and help guide you in important decisions.

Lastly, to always cuddle like there’s no tomorrow.

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Eric, my favorite thing is that you fully see me. After years of longing for someone who shares my adoration for other eras, to understand who I was in my heart, you do, and you never stop calling me your Elf.

From going all-out in our medieval engagement shoot, to archery competitions at ren faires, to buying a forest and turning it into a magical refuge, you are there to join me in fantastical adventures.

I’d like to end with a quote spoken from an elf to her ranger, and have Dave help translate for the non-elvish speaking folk among us:

Mel: Ae ú-esteli-o ach nad…
Dave: If you trust nothing else…
Mel: estelio han –
Dave: trust this –
Mel: estelio ammen.
Dave: trust us.

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From Eric:

My love, as I stand before you witnessing you bind yourself to me, forsaking the immortal life of your people, I am overcome with happiness. That you would choose this mortal life is the greatest honor I could ever know.

After you accepted my proposal I started a Note in my phone, entitled, Why I Love Her, whose point was to be an organic catalog of my feelings that would help me craft my inevitable vows. However, what resulted was the blithering of a love-drunk lunatic, who seemingly jotted down every moment of our time together. The note became completely unwieldy, and all hope of an effective vow-resource was soon lost.
I shouldn’t have been surprised. I've always had difficulty expressing myself when it came to us. In the early days when I was getting to know you over tapas, lord of the rings and renaissance fair adventures I could never quite think of the correct phrasing for how our relationship was going.

People would ask me, and I would say “great!” or “really well” or “we’re having a lot of fun” and then kick myself internally for uttering such empty platitudes in response to such an important question. At the time I wasn’t sure why I had such a hard time articulating my feelings.

But now I know the truth, I hadn’t yet grasped the fact that I was falling in love with you. I was a guarded person, having experienced hurt and loss before. I knew the sharp, lasting pain that having a piece of your heart taken from you can bring and didn’t realize how high I had built my ramparts to ensure I never felt that sting again.

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With you I chose to begin dismantling my defenses and entrust you with my heart. Every day since you have reinforced how that was the best decision I ever made. I vow to never let myself be guarded against the love I have for you or the enormity of the joy we will build together through our lives.
The truth is, that no matter how deeply you fortify yourself, you cannot protect your soul from hurt. Life will visit harm upon you in the most unexpected and vicious ways. No matter how well prepared you believe to be, the familiar sting of loss will dig out of the hole you buried it in and be your unwitting companion for a time.

Recently, when it happened to me, I had you to help share the load. You supported me in a time of personal tragedy.

Knowing when I needed space and when I needed you. You enabled me to walk tall despite the crush of grief and to not give in to despair. Your support has emboldened me and crystalized in me the knowledge that together we can face whatever may come.

It is rare to find a girl who would stand beside me, bow drawn to help me face down any malice that stood before us. And I know that I have that in you. I vow to show the same measure of support and reassurance whenever you face opposition or pain.

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Despite the serious nature of that last paragraph there has always been a sense of levity in our relationship. You are, by nature, silly and odd, qualities which I cherish and share. As such we fell into each other’s personalities easily. From our first date, the conversation has flowed, and we have not been afraid to be ourselves.

You have always encouraged my oddities and loved me for them. You don’t mind when I spontaneously do a funny voice or throw on an accent. In fact, I think you wish my Scottish accent was less spontaneous and more constant.

You revel in the fact that sometimes I need to express myself through the creation of characters, like Carpet Man, a wholesale supplier of carpets and assorted floor coverings, who for the life of me I can’t remember the context of his foundation.

And you even tolerate the Trolley Witch as she stalks the cars of the Hogwarts Express demanding you sample her wares or get out me way. Whose shrill banshee voice is like nails on a cockney chalkboard. She always seems to make you laugh for a couple lines. But only a couple lines.
I have come to know and love your oddities as well. Like why it is a frequent occurrence to happen upon you crouched shockingly low to the ground, body draped in a blanket like a feral gremlin creature, working on some project on the floor. For some reason it seems to come naturally to you and I find it endlessly absurd and amusing.

Or how I've grown accustomed to you trying to get my attention by chirping at me from the bedroom like you're some sort of undiscovered Muppet tree frog. Usually what you need is “just one more little square” of chocolate or sometimes a kiss goodnight. But you’ve bundled yourself into the covers with no less than three stuffed animals, so wonderfully, that you couldn't possibly consider getting up to get either for yourself. 

While I might smile and roll my eyes at the request, I’m always more than willing to provide, since I know how happy it makes you, and in turn, me. As such I vow to always love you for who you are, and celebrate your oddities, uniqueness, and quirks. And I vow to always get you that last little piece of chocolate from the kitchen when you are too cozy to get out of bed. Even when we don’t live in an apartment where the kitchen is 4 steps from the bedroom.
I don’t think I can understate the sheer amount of fun I’ve had being your boyfriend and fiancé. From the fierce competition of the Flag Game on long road trips to the excitement I get from your custom advent calendars, you always catch me off my guard.

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With you I know a bike ride in Belgium can turn into discovering a long-forgotten chapel or getting caught in a downpour becomes a foot race home with our laughter struggling to keep pace the whole way.

It’s not just the proverbial little things either. When the world shut down for the COVID pandemic, we found ourselves in a two-room apt, with nowhere to go and all the time in the world. What resulted was some of the most fun times in my life.

Between both of our busy work schedules, I hadn’t realized how much time we weren’t spending together. When circumstance forced us to be together, we grew closer and thrived. Every day I looked forward to our breakfast on the deck while doing puzzle books, some spontaneous activity like setting up an obstacle course for Leia or just a post lunch snuggle session.

During that time, I fell in love with you all over again and confirmed why I had chosen you as my own. You have become my constant, steadying presence, and the starlight in which you walk shines in my eyes whenever I look at you. I vow to always carve out time for us to be together, and not to let the monotonous march of life steal from us the days, hours, or moments.

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I cannot wait for the rest of our lives together.

I cannot wait to listen to you burst into spontaneous Sweeny Todd songs each year when the air becomes crisp, and the leaves begin to turn.

I cannot wait to listen to you emphasize the TEE in TV when you get excited to watch a show.

I cannot wait for a lifetime of dancing with you and knowing that inevitably, at some point you will get so excited that you will just begin hopping up and down discarding all semblance of rhythm.

I treasure the thought that for the rest of our lives I will get to watch you wiggle your feet under the covers to keep yourself from falling asleep so you can feel the coziness for just a few moments longer. Or that come the morning you will hold me close in an embrace stronger than your small frame should be able to manage.

I vow to always love the tiny little red wine stain that fills an imperceptible scar on your top lip and marks every sip you take and the face you make when you’ve said an awesomely bad pun and can’t help but crack yourself up.

I vow to forgive the chocolate you seem to manage to get all over yourself and our furniture no matter how carefully you eat it or how small the piece.

I vow to keep my heart open to the sheer number of animals you want to board or babysit and always, if needed, give Leia injections, so you don’t have too.

I vow to always walk with you beneath the trees listening to the wind weave through their branches. To tamper my boorish footfalls as much as I can when you are trying to get a glimpse of an animal and to stand with you in silent exaltation when nothing need be said. 
I vow this is the only time I will say things with the intention of making you cry and I vow to earn your love again each day and never withhold mine from you.

Most importantly, I vow to be by your side while we begrudgingly tolerate the banality of modernity while searching for the fantastical and always be your confidant towards the whimsical.
You are my love, my heart, my Evenstar fell to Earth, and I can’t wait to marry you.

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