March 14, 2017
Two years ago today I married my best friend for eternity in the Portland Oregon LDS temple. I grew up in a small town about 2 ½ hours southwest of Portland, just 7 miles from the coast, so I knew rain and coastal storms. But that spring day was one of the wettest stormiest spring days I’ve ever experienced in Oregon! From the moment we walked out of the temple that unforgettable morning to the moment we arrived at our hotel that evening, the rain did not stop. I have always heard that rain on your wedding day means good luck and a strong marriage, so if that’s true, we are going to have a rock solid life together! In that case, bring on the rain!
Rob has been gently encouraging me to write about our wedding day for the past 2 years. I figured this would be a nice anniversary surprise for him. 🙂 Here’s our story…
Friday night, the night before our wedding, after our wedding dinner I had gone out with my sisters and best friends for a bachelorette party in downtown Portland. We had such a blast chatting about each others lives and future plans, eating ice cream, and dancing to hip-hop music in a deserted parking lot; best friends, ice cream, and dancing, three of my very favorite things! I felt so loved and blessed to have such amazing women rallying around me to support me in this huge life-changing decision. It was a magical night; a night I will always treasure. Meanwhile Rob was out with the brothers, cousins, and his best friend Nick bowling for the night. Rob showed off the skills he had learned in his university bowling class and schooled them all. I think he might have had a little bit of bachelor’s luck too! 😉
After we both finished partying Rob picked me up and we drove out to a Plaid Pantry parking lot. For those of you who don’t know what Plaid Pantry is, it’s just a chain convenience store in Portland. Before that night, I had never even heard of it either. It was late and dark. The area felt very sketchy. Rob asked me to wait in the car while he went over to the window of another car that had just pulled into the parking lot. Um does this scream sketchy drug deal to you?? Yeah me too! Here I am the bride-to-be sitting in our rental car by myself in the dark, in a sketchy neighborhood, while my husband-to-be is doing a secret drug deal in the corner of a parking lot in downtown Portland the night before our wedding!!! Is this real life??? :} I sat patiently and tried not to pay attention as he did his business. He came back a few minutes later. I could see something shaped like a small box protruding from his pants pocked. I was not allowed to look at or in the box or ask questions about the contents in the box. He said he was pleased with what he saw and thought I would be too. He told me I would see very soon. With that we drove off into the night.
Rob drove me out to my aunt and uncle’s house in Sherwood where my family and I were staying for the night. It was already late and Saturday was going to be a long day. As we tried to say good-bye, Rob kept looking at me with his adorable puppy dog eyes, so sad to leave each other for one more night. Just before I got out of the car, he asked me to turn around and face the passenger window. As I stared out into the darkness I felt something cool touching my neck and collarbones. I looked down to see the most beautiful diamond necklace adorning my body. He said it was a special gift for me, because he wanted me to have the best and he wanted me to feel beautiful on our wedding day. It was a very unexpected and unbelievably thoughtful surprise. He got lots of kisses for that one! 😉 I love my sweet man. I love my necklace, especially because it reminds me of him. I wear it almost everyday. His thoughtfulness never ceases to amaze me.
Saturday morning March 14 I woke around early. I wanted to have plenty of time to doddle, relax, primp, or do whatever I wanted to do before our wedding. I have heard many people say they slept terribly or they didn’t sleep at all the night before their wedding, with their nerves all in a tizzy. I slept beautifully. :} I had never felt so happy and excited, yet calm and at peace at the same time. I knew that my Rob was the man I wanted to spend eternity with. There were no doubts in my mind about the commitment we were making to each other that day. I was not worried or second guessing anything. I was not unnerved. I was excited and ready to make the commitment of a lifetime with my very best friend. I think sleep came easily for these very reasons.
I said a heartfelt prayer before I got going for the day. I knew that as ready as I was and as right as this felt, we needed the blessings of heaven to prevail on this wondrous occasion for it to be the most amazing day and the start to a wonderful life. I climbed into the shower, giving myself ample time to primp and relax before getting ready for the day. A few minutes into my shower, hair all shampooed up, body lathered up with soap, the hot water completely shut off. Cold water quite literally blasted me on the head. After fiddling with the knobs for a few minutes with no success I shut the water off. Nobody else was awake yet. I called for my dad, hoping by some miracle to wake him. Within a few minutes he was at the bathroom door, coming to my rescue. He and my uncle discovered there was a problem with the water softener and it was causing problems with the hot water. My dad and uncle worked on the problem as I sat shivering in a tub of cold water about two inches deep, repeatedly trying the hot water on their command. The hot water would work for a few seconds and then turn cold again. Each time the hot water was working, I quickly showered off different parts of my body, hoping to get just enough water to get my business done and get out. After about an hour of this I was finally all showered up and squeaky clean! Shaving my legs was the kicker; legs were finally shaved, closest shave I’ve ever gotten! Ever tried shaving when you’re freezing and your legs are covered in goose bumps?? Not awesome, but you actually get a closer shave! You can’t have hairy legs on your wedding day!!! Blessing in disguise. 😉
My cute friend Ashley who was doing my hair arrived while I was still in the shower. That extra long shower put me a little behind where I wanted to be, but truthfully, I was so excited about marrying the man that was better than my dreams that nothing could get me down that day – literally nothing! Ash spent about an hour curling and pinning. She did a beautiful job on my hair. I loved how it turned out!
By this point, the house was bustling with my family getting ready for the day as well. My cute family was so excited and happy for me and this long awaited day. My sisters were especially smiley and giddy with me as we got ready for this special day. I was on cloud 95.
We knelt together and had a family prayer before my mom and I headed to the temple; our last family prayer with me as a single woman. It was a tender moment.
I didn’t put any make up on before we left to the temple. When my mom and I arrived at the temple, Rob’s sister Lindsey did my eye shadow and then I did my own cover up, eye liner, blush, mascara, and lipstick. I am not normally a cover up kind of girl, and only occasionally do I wear lipstick; I prefer to wear less make-up than more, but it was a very special occasion so I did myself up a little more fancy than normal. Lindsey was so sweet to do my eye shadow. It was natural looking but with a little sparkle. I loved it and felt beautiful.
When I came out of the bathroom, I spotted Rob in the waiting area, an instant smile spread across both of our faces. He looked so happy. Seeing his bright, cheerful, handsome face gave me butterflies. We hugged and held hands as we walked into the temple together.
The wedding ceremony was at 10:30am. Before the ceremony we were taken up to the celestial room where we were given a little time alone to talk and to contemplate our feelings about what we were about to do. The celestial room in the temple is symbolic of being in God’s presence. It is very quiet and a spirit of reverence is there. There is a very special and peaceful feeling in that room. Being there allowed us time to think about the seriousness and sacredness of the covenants we were about to enter into together with the Lord. We were both very excited and couldn’t wait for that beautiful moment.
We were taken into a sealing room that was adjacent from the sealing room in which we would be married as we waited for our family and friends to be seated. As soon as all were seated, a temple worker reverently showed us into the sealing room. I can’t explain the feelings of joy and love that I felt when we walked into that room and I saw the faces of those we love so dearly brimming with . The love in that room was overwhelming. I couldn’t stop from smiling.
The temple sealer spoke to us before the ceremony. He gave wise counsel concerning marriage and the covenants we were about to make. Rob was so cute, eyes full of light. He continually looked over at me and squeezed my hand so tight. I knew that we loved each other so much. We were ready to make this eternal commitment together.
We knelt down at the altar and the sealer performed the wedding ceremony. Rob and I gazed into each other’s eyes as he spoke. For those few moments, no one else in the room existed. I looked deeply into Rob’s beautiful greenish brown eyes. Tears ran down his cheeks. I could see and feel of his pure joy, because my heart was swollen with the same feelings of pure joy. We had never felt happier. The feelings exchanged between our hearts during that time are so tender words cannot express. I will ever forget those sacred beautiful moments.
We kissed, hugged each other tightly, and walked away from the altar as husband and wife. United as one with God. We felt different. We were no longer simply Rob and Covina, but Mr. and Mrs. Spangenberg. I slid a masculine titanium ring onto Rob’s ring finger, and he slid a thick rose gold wedding band onto mine. When Rob slid the ring on my finger, it was my first time seeing my wedding ring…picking up the ring was the sketchy little drug deal the night previous. It was worth it! 😉
Everyone lined up and gave us a hug as they congratulated us and exited the room. The happiness they had for us was evident by the expressions on their faces. So many beautiful smiles and eyes wet with tears. I fully expected I would be a total mess, crying all day long, but Rob did the crying for us that day. It was the first time I had ever seen him cry. I knew he felt something special deep inside. Our joy was full!
We left the sealing room and went back to the dressing rooms. Rob was told to wait for me just outside of the women’s dressing room. There is a room inside the women’s dressing room called the bride’s room. It’s an enchanting room with beautiful plush pink velvet seat cushions, elegant chandeliers, and large vanities. My mom helped me to get into my wedding dress in preparation to exit the temple. As I turned the corner coming out of the dressing room, there was my handsome Rob, standing like a stunned soldier staring at me. I smiled as I walked towards him in my glistening gown. I felt like a princess coming late to the ball. When I appeared from the dressing room Rob saw my wedding dress for the first time. He looked at me in awe as he took my hand. He told me I was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen and he made me feel that way.
Two temple workers handed us a big white umbrella as we walked to the large wood exit doors together. Like a dream, hand-in-hand we burst through the doors out into the rain! All of our family erupted with cheering! They were such a beautiful site! Our hearts were overflowing as we hugged everyone. We couldn’t wipe the perma-grins from our faces; our cheeks ached from all of the smiling. It was a good kind of ache. We felt so happy. The rain couldn’t damper our spirits, but I can’t say the same for everyone’s clothes. Rob and I had an umbrella, but most people didn’t have one and it was not a light rain. It was a full on downpour. People were freezing and getting soaked! I remember looking over and seeing people huddled under the sparse tree braches to try to get out of the rain. There was little to no rain cover. To get people out of the rain, family pictures were a whirlwind and only lasted 20 or 25 minutes tops. We got a lot of really fun family pictures. The rain sure spiced things up for everyone in attendance! They will not forget our wedding day. 😉
After group photos, all of our friends and family left to get the luncheon prepared at a nearby church. We stayed for additional pictures. As we walked around the temple posing together, Rob kept looking at me like he was in a daze. Both of us in slight disbelief that this day that we had been waiting for had finally come. I caught him staring at me several times as the pictures were being taken. He was so cute. I could see how head over heels he was for me. And I was head over heels for him. I had never felt so loved and so cherished by a man in my life. I found myself blushing when I would catch him looking at me. He was adorable. I couldn’t help but get lost in his eyes as I thought about this new life that we had just begun together. We didn’t even notice the rain.
The luncheon was pretty well cleaned up when we arrived. We were both starving. They had saved us some burritos and chocolate chunk Costco cookies. Grateful, we quickly ate them and began our drive to the coast. The weather was terrible all the way to Newport. It was dark, windy, and the rain was coming down hard. It was a little scary, especially around the sharp corners on the very windy highway 20 road with the limited visibility. Luckily everyone made it safely to Newport. I was a little bummed that we couldn’t take any wedding pictures on the beach due to the weather. The fog was literally so thick you couldn’t even see the beach or the ocean.
We arrived maybe 15 minute before the reception began. I touched up my hair in the Spangenberg’s RV. Everyone was revamping a little after being out in the rain. When we walked into the reception my heart melted. There was a table full of framed photos of us, cute quotes about love and friendship, adorable décor, and beautifully wrapped gifts. I had shared my vision for how the reception might be decorated with my mom and she had taken the reins and had done a beautiful job! I loved every detail! It was truly like walking into a fairytale with my handsome prince by my side!
We wanted the reception to be fun and simple. Dad Spangenberg had printed a bunch of large photos and brought them all the way from Utah in the RV. He propped them up all around the room. He cut our faces out of one (of us in our hammock) so people could stand behind and take pictures! So fun! I think people had a great time with that! The huge prints really added to the space and the environment. I think it helped people to connect with us seeing different sides of our personalities. Those who didn’t know us too well got to know us a little better through the photos.
Rob loves pie and I love ice cream, so naturally we had pie and ice cream at our reception! We got married on pi day (03.14.15), so pie was really meant to be. We had all kinds of pies: chocolate cream pie, razzleberry pie, lemon meringue pie, peach pie… so many pies! My family went home with a TON of extra pies – they were eating pie for days! 😉
My awesome Aunt Cindi made our wedding cake and it was gorgeous! Elegant, simple, and stunning! It was a two-tiered cake, each layer a different flavor. The outer layer was a white fondant. The top-tier was a white cake with raspberry filling. The bottom-tier was a chocolate cake with fudge filling. When we cut the cake and fed it to each other we were kind and gentle; maybe a little too gentle. I kind of wish we had been a little crazy with the cake feeding, but I have seen some violent cake feedings where spouses are putting cake up both nostrils and shoving it into eyeballs! Not my kind of fun. That would not excite me. What happened to your wife? Oh she died on our wedding night, cake suffocation. Haha!
I love to dance and if the night was going to be a total success, dancing was an absolute necessity! DANCING – ABSOLUTELY! I danced the night away with my brothers, sisters, mom, dad, aunt, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, and even my 88 year-old grandma! I watched peoples’ faces as they cut loose and enjoyed the night. We had a blast! It made me so happy to see so many smiles on the faces of so many people that I love. Rob even let his guard down and came and joined me for one fast song and of course our first slow dance as Mr. and Mrs. Spangenberg.
The whole day was a total dream. It was better than anything I could have imagined. The best part was we left together that night; a newly joined team. We began our lifelong journey hand-in-hand. “What God joins together, let no man divide.”
I never could have imagined how the decision I made that day with my sweetheart and the Lord over the altar would change my life, but it does every day. We truly are better together. We’re not perfect, but we’re prefect for each other and we help each other become better in ways that we never could on our own. I love you Robert Danny Spangenberg. Your gorgeous deep, greenish brown eyes make me weak at the knees. Your smile lights up my whole being. Your super cute, defined dimples make my heart flip flop. A word of encouragement from you gives me wings. You make my world a brighter place. You are better than my dreams. I can’t wait to spend eternity with you. I love you forever. Happy 2 year Anniversary!
Your Wife & Eternal Best Friend