This is the fifth post of the series, Our Year Before Marriage. Crystal and I, Justin, were excited to celebrate the marriage of her father and his girlfriend this weekend. A weekend filled with joy and happiness but also a bittersweet reminder.

Let’s begin with an introduction of my soon-to-be father-in-law. Crystal’s father, Dave, is a  lumberjack and sawmill owner in Door County, Wisconsin who plays as hard as he works. He and Crystal’s mother divorced in 2011 while Crystal was away in college.

After the divorce Dave started dating Margo and they remained together ever since. A couple of years ago they bought a house together and this last weekend they had their wedding in the woods behind that house. Crystal and I along with many of their friends brought decided to make the wedding weekend a camping weekend as well. We borrowed my parents camper and setup our home away from home.

The ceremony was Friday evening right behind the house under a beautiful arbor. Dave and Margo’s easy-going and fun personalities made the ceremony and everyone in attendance was smiling and having fun. It was evident that the two of them complimented each other and the love they had for one another was genuine.

A Backwoods Wedding in Door County

As I stood next to Crystal and watched Dave and Margo say their vows, I started to think about the life I had with Crystal. I am so happy to be with her and even more excited to share the rest of my life with her.

In December, before I had asked Crystal to marry me, I was sitting in Dave’s garage asking him for his blessing to marry his daughter. We had a lengthy discussion about why I wanted to be with her and how important the promise of marriage is. He told me he was going to marry Margo that night.

We watched them get married this weekend and together Crystal and I have strengthened our relationship in the last few months. I can’t wait to marry her and the weeks are counting down.