Morris and Marcella were already engaged, but decided to go ahead and get married during the week that Morris was supposed to be in training for work (but ended up having the time off) and Marcella was home for a quick R&R. Their story is a unique one, chock full of "meant-to-be" moments and stories of faith after it began in Baghdad four years ago.
The wedding was Thursday, and Morris called me Tuesday to let me know it was a go.
He called me again Thursday morning, two hours before I was supposed to leave my house, and said, "Well Emily, we have some good news and bad news for you."
"The good news is we're still alive and healthy. The bad news is our officiant had a conflict and is no longer able to perform our ceremony. So we don't actually know if we'll be able to get married today or not."
That wasn't what I wanted to hear! I told them I would make a few calls and see what I could do. I wasn't the only one scrambling to try and make this happen - they had the hotel concierge, the florist, and a number of military chaplains trying to find someone to no avail. After waiting nervously by the phone for an hour, I heard back from my friend Josh, who knew a guy who knew a guy who could do it.
So the wedding was on again!
I met Morris and Marcella in their hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in DC. I stood in as Marcella's honorary bridesmaid and laced up her dress, then we were off to the Mount Vernon Inn for the ceremony. It was the perfect ceremony - tearful and moving, and I'm not sure I've ever heard such beautiful vows. After some photos around the property, we headed back to the Ritz-Carlton to meet some of Marcella and Morris' friends for drinks and food in the lobby bar.
All in all, it could not have been a more awesome day. It was such an honor for me to get to know these guys and be a witness to the love and faith they share. I enjoyed every second of it.
Seeing each other for the first time: