Monday, April 6, 2009

Let the Voting Begin!

I'm so excited to announce the 3 finalists of our StudioWed Luxury Wedding Giveaway! We had so many wonderful entries and it was really hard to narrow it down to just 3! But here are the finalists who stole our hearts with their essays:

Couple #1 - Tia & Robert
You've heard of expressions like "Night meets Day", "Harry meets Sally", and "East meets West". Robert Patterson and Tia Blount are North meets South! Robert is originally from Long Island, NY and I am a proud GA peach! He is a mechanical engineer because he likes math. I am in law school because I enjoy reading. He loves NY style pizza! I can eat seafood for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! But when I told him, We so deserve to win the Wedding Giveaway contest!" he replied, "I can't argue with you there." We have our distinctions, but together we are one. Over the last seven years, Robert and I have grown together and matured on so many levels. We admit it was not love at first sight, but more like love you can't deny. From the beginning of our relationship, the eyes of friends and family were focused on the sincerity of our love and genuine communication. After only a few months of dating, people would ask, "When is the wedding date?!" (Talk about pressure!) Robert is now age 24 and I am 23, so back then we were young and inexperienced with real love. While attending different universities, we continued our relationship with lessons to endure and experiences to remember. Considering our sustained growth, we have come to an understanding. Our characteristics and values are fundamental to our long lasting, healthy relationship! We do not define our relationship by the ever so popular cliche: "We complete each other!" Instead,we believe that we compliment each other. If it were not for Robert's cool demeanor, we would be two nuts in a shell! If I were not punctual and organized, we would never make it to our destination because we wouldn't be able to find the keys to the car! Joking aside, Robert makes me feel like I am the queen of his castle. I know that I can trust him as a devoted husband who will lead our family with wisdom and compassion. He is assured that I will enrich his life as his helper who speaks words of love and kindness. His strength and security to tackle different issues with faith and determination makes me feel safe. Robert knows that I am his gift who will love and encourage him as we walk side by side living out God's purpose for our lives. Ultimately we want our wholehearted love to encourage other couples in their journey, whether married or not. We do not doubt there are other couples who deserve opportunities like this. But we are certain that we are the deserving couple to receive this particular Wedding Giveaway. North may be distinct from South, but one cannot exist without the other. Despite our individual distinctions, we are one in our love and commitment. We complement each other and hopefully serve as a light to help direct others to radical love!

Couple #2 - Carrie & Timothy
My fiance and I met in May of 2008. I had not been working long, when the economy took a nose dive. I lost my job, and was out of work for five months. Just long enough for me to use every last bit of my savings, and for my fiance to clean out his savings helping to take care of me and my son. A survivor of domestic abuse, I have been through a lot. I lost everything, from my possessions to my son, in my divorce 5 years ago. I spent over $70,000 in legal bills trying to regain custody of my son. Trust, was the hardest thing for me to give in my relationship, due to my past. My fiance held my hand, helped me communicate, and together we broke down the emotional walls that I had built up over the years. I had also lost too much weight, due to stress, and he helped me to gain it back, and took care of me when I became sick. During these times, he drove the three to four hour trip to pick up my son with me. He has been so supportive, and I wake up everyday, thankful to have him at my side. I would like to be able to give something back to my fiance, who has been my rock through this difficult emotional and financial time. He loves my son, like his own. We are at our best when my son is with us. My son, who is the light of my life, loves him the same. I love my fiance, with all of my heart. This would give us a lasting memory, of the joy that he brought into my life.

Couple #3 - Kara & John
I have never felt that I have been entitled to or deserved to be handed things in my life. However, after this past year, I feel like my fiance and I may very well be deserving of this wedding. This past year has probably been the most difficult year in both of our lives. Last February, John left for a 10 month tour in Iraq. As a 1st Lieutenant and platoon leader in the U.S. Army, he performed many tiring and dangerous missions on a daily basis. The distance, time apart, and stress of the situation really tested the strength of our relationship. Though extremely emotional and difficult, we stayed strong and stuck through it, especially with the support and love of our family and friends. In January, he returned home. It was definitely the best way to ever start off a New Year. Little did I know that the love of my life would surprise me a month later and propose just before Valentine's Day! The moment was amazing, and it made me feel like everything we had endured in the past year was well worth it because now we were going to build a life together. The two of us would really love a simple and beautiful wedding with all of our friends and family, but the cost of everything has limited our options. See, I am the 2nd oldest of 10 kids (yes, TEN! Not to mention that 7 of the 10 are girls!) and (understandably) my parents certainly do not have a lot of money to give us for our wedding day. With my parents still raising and supporting many children in my family, the majority of the cost of the wedding falls on the two of us. With John in the Army and myself working as a high school teacher, the overall situation with money has become a huge strain. The most important thing to the two us is having everyone at our wedding that has loved us and been so supportive of us in the past year. It is very important to John and I that we show our love and commitment in front of all of the people in our lives that were so caring, compassionate, and encouraging in the past year, and to tell them "thank you". We could not have gotten through the year without them. Winning this wedding would literally be a dream for both of us and a very sweet ending to our love

Voting starts today and ends this Friday, April 10th so get right over to CBS Atlanta to vote for your favorite couple! Everyone is allowed to vote once per email per day.

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