My Real-life Romance

On this day twenty-four years ago I married my best friend.

Gwynly and I looked at each other recently and said words often spoken by couples who’ve been married as many years as we have, “I can’t believe it’s been that long.”

To me that statement is a testimony to the great relationship Gwynly and I have.

Now that doesn’t mean our two dozen years of togetherness have been all sweetness and light because they haven’t. We’ve dealt with a miscarriage, job uncertainty, and the loss of his dearly loved parents, as well as some minor annoyances along they way.

But we’ve shared many wonderful experiences: living in Germany four years, welcoming our daughter to our family, buying our first house, watching our daughter grow into a fabulous young woman we respect and admire, to name but a few.

Gwynly truly is my best friend and, as I like to say, my better two-thirds.

Happy anniversary, Gwynly. I love you!

• • •

I’m curious how many of you are December brides like me.

Did any of you get an engagement ring as a Christmas present at some point?


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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24 Responses to My Real-life Romance

  1. Congratulations, Keli! Being the romantic that I am, when I first saw this picture I immediately thought…how on earth did such a tall fellow lean down to kiss his petite, little bride?!

    You both are lovely! And it’s so wonderful that you can look back through your years together and recognize the tough times as “seasoning” and the great times as fond memories. I was a July bride, but for Christmas the months before, I did receive a dozen roses.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Cynthia, my groom anticipated that very event. He asked his father and one of his woodworking buddies to build a footstool, which Gwynly had his groomsmen pass down to him at the appropriate point in the ceremony. He set it in front of me, I mounted it, and we kissed.

      I knew the passing of the footstool was coming, but our guests, of course, didn’t. They weren’t sure how to respond since the rest of the wedding had been quite formal and dignified. When we watched the video later we saw that some had laughed, some gave a clap, and others stared in wonder.

      Gwynly’s request to use the footstool gave our staid and proper pastor pause. The only reason he went along with it is that we were already officially married at that point in the ceremony. I like that some of Gwynly’s unique sense of humor was incorporated into our wedding. And yes, we still have the footstool. 🙂

  2. Happy anniversary! You need to come share your real-life romance over on my website! I love reading them. And I love that wedding picture! Somehow, 24 years later, and you look exactly the same! Tell me how you do that, please. 🙂

  3. Happy anniversary! I love looking at wedding pictures! 🙂 You haven’t changed! I want to be able to say that after 24 years. Hope you’re doing something special to celebrate!

  4. says:

    Happy Anniversary from another December bride. Friday will make 28 years for us.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Happy anniversary! I hope you and your sweetie have a wonderful time celebrating!

      Did you incorporate Christmas into your ceremony? We did. My maid of honor and bridesmaids wore red dresses, and we carried bouquets with poinsettias and decorated the stage with them as well.

  5. Happy Anniversary to you and Gwynly 🙂 No, I did not marry in December or get the ring for Christmas. The ring came on All Saints Day and the marriage planned for Valentine came on Lincoln’s Birthday. Sadly, we were among the other statistic that didn’t make it, but before that we were fortunate enough to have two beautiful children together and for that I am always grateful.

    The memory of this day, the nineteenth day of December is also sweet for me … it is the day my first was born, a son who I brought home two days later and sat under our tree. The best Christmas present I have ever received. So I also say with glee: Happy Birthday Michael Paul 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Florence, I’m sorry you’ve suffered the pain of a broken marriage. I can empathize. I’m thankful the union resulted in your two beloved children. Have a wonderful time celebrating your son’s birthday today.Great name!

  6. the writ and the wrote says:

    Happy Anniversary. If my ex and I hadn’t broken up we would have been together 2.5 years (and three days) and maybe there would have been a ring for Hanukkah. In the end, I am better off without him, but it’s hard to keep myself from feeling wistful and wondering what if.

  7. Happy Anniversary, Keli and Gwynly!

    I’m also a December bride. Last Friday, Peter and I celebrated 22 years. We had a Christmas wedding complete with trees, garland, white lights, and snow.

    I love the footstool idea. 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Happy anniversary to you, Erica! Aren’t Christmas weddings way cool? Love that you incorporated the season’s decorations into your ceremony. I’m impressed that you were able to place an order for snow and have it delivered right on time. 🙂

  8. Martina Bedregal Calderón says:

    Happy Anniversary, Keli and Erica. Keli, you and Gwynly look great!

    I married 20 years ago and got divorced in 2007 as my hubby looked out for someone else when I was ill and injured…lol. So I am “happily divorced”..haha. I have a wonderful son from that marriage who lives with me, and I have kept the lovely surname of my ex husband…lol.

    I have now a wonderful boyfriend from England who lives close to my hometown here in Germany, but as we both are divorced, we don´t plan to get married…but well, who knows…..yer never too old for that… 😉

    By the way, a Merry, merry, wonderful, peaceful and lightful Christmas to all of you! xxxxx 🙂

  9. Happy anniversary, Keli!! Congrats on 24 years.

    You’re totally right that marriage has its ups and downs…but with God at the center, I think the good outweighs the bad. 🙂

  10. Martina Bedregal Calderón says:

    (((((((((((((((((((Keli)))))))))))))))))) a big virtual hug …for the losses of beloved ones in your life.

  11. Loree Huebner says:

    Congrats to you and Gwynly on 24 years! Love the picture! You guys rock!

    Eric and I have dealt with the ups and downs of life, but always came through with the help God’s great mercy and grace. Love IS the greatest of all…

    I’m an August bride.

  12. congrats!
    no december bride here. my best friend got married in the 6 months prior to my wedding in June, so she was the december bride.

  13. Happy Anniversary, Keli! Your loving marriage is a testament to God’s grace and blessings.

    Your wedding photo is beautiful! You look radiant, and I love your husband’s tux. It reminds me of a Victorian gentleman. Did your wedding have a theme?

  14. Sherrinda says:

    Congratulations! A long lasting marriage is a mark of true Christ-like love. I loved hearing about “the stool” in your wedding! That is priceless!

    I was almost a December wedding. Jan. 5 is mine. 🙂

  15. Happy Anniversary. I loved reading about the stool, too. How sweet. I wish you many more.

  16. bethkvogt says:

    Happy anniversary, Keli. You were a beautiful bride.
    True story: I did receive an engagement ring one Christmas.
    And then I gave the ring back five months later.
    I met my future husband the next month … and married him less than a year later.

  17. Happy anniversary, Keli! What a special time to celebrate such a special milestone.

  18. Susan Mason says:

    Happy Anniversary, Keli! Hope you’re doing something romantic!

    I was a May bride! Spring here is so pretty and in May the grass is so green and the flowers are just starting to bloom.

    December here is not nice – cold and usually snowy. This year is the exception so far.

    Have a great celebration!

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