My wedding wasn’t an uber glamorous affair. Sure, I had about 250 people there, but it was low-key, and I spent most of the money on the food, (which was freaking amazing), my wife’s beautiful dress, and I got a great deal from a local Mosque that had plenty of parking, a huge catering space. I have no regrets and thought that the entire reception couldn’t have gone any better.
The best part about keeping it a small affair is that there wasn’t any formalities with gifts from guests. I stressed that the affair wasn’t a grandiose party or anything and I urged people to not feel obligated to bring anything – I just wanted them to make it out and not have to worry about giving cash or presents or any of that jazz.
Some people did, at the end of the day, and their gifts were incredible, I still use a lot of them to this day, like these beautiful portraits of Jean-Claude Van Damme, Nic Cage, and John Cena. I will cherish these forever.
And this couple, Kathy and Brandon Gunn, too, have experienced the joy of a well-thought out wedding gift. One they didn’t open for 9 years.
Specifically because the box indicates that the couple shouldn’t open it until they’ve had their first disagreement.
Which is insane, to think that it took 9 years for them to finally open the box. Something that probably would’ve taken most married couples about 9 days.
Which is something Kathy talked about in her viral post on the Love What MattersFacebook page.
According to Kathy there were plenty of times her and her husband were tempted to open the box. But in the end, they were glad that they waited:
“Tonight, we tucked our kids in bed and my husband and I enjoyed a glass of wine on the deck. We were talking about how excited we were to attend an upcoming wedding in Kalamazoo (where we met and went to college) and discussing what would be the perfect gift for the newlyweds. So, I thought back to our wedding day (nearly 9 years ago) and tried to recall the gifts that had meant the most to me. The funny thing? The gift that meant the very most was still sitting in a closet… unopened.
On our wedding day, my husband Brandon and I received a gift from my Great Aunt Alison. On the plain white box was a card that read, “Do not open until your 1st disagreement.” Now, there had obviously been plenty of disagreements, arguments and slammed doors throughout our 9 years. There were even a couple of instances where we both considered giving up… but we never opened the box.
I honestly think that we both avoided turning to the box, because it would have symbolized our failure. To us, it would have meant that we didn’t have what it takes to make our marriage work – and we’re both too stubborn and determined for that. So, it forced us to reassess situations. Was it really time to open the box? What if this isn’t our worst fight? What if there’s a worse one ahead of us and we don’t have our box?!? As my Great Uncle Bill would say, ‘Nothing is ever so bad that it couldn’t get worse.’
All along, we assumed that the contents of that box held the key to saving a marriage – an age old trick – unbeknownst to us rookies. After all, my Great Aunt and Uncle had been married for nearly half a century. So, we thought the box would save “us” – and in a way it did. That box went beyond what I believe my Great Aunt had intended. It was by far the greatest wedding gift of all.
For 9 years (and three moves) that box sat high on a shelf in various closets gathering dust, yet it somehow taught us about tolerance, understanding, compromise and patience. Our marriage strengthened as we became best friends, partners, and teammates. Today, we decided to open that box, because I finally had a realization. I realized that the tools for creating and maintaining a strong, healthy marriage were never within that box – they were within us.”
A Love What Matters Original Story
Submitted by Kathy Gunn
One night, finally giving into the urge to open the box, the couple decided to take the plunge and crack that cardboard open.
They were sitting on their deck, enjoying a glass of wine while the kids were asleep in bed. They were talking about a wedding they had planned on visiting and were discussing what the best gift to the soon-to-be-wedded couple would be.
They immediately thought of the box, a gift that meant so much to them even though they had never opened it.
There was some cash, wine glasses, and a vase inside, with very detailed instructions for Kathy from Aunt Alison.
“Kathy. Go get a pizza, shrimp or something you both like. Get a “bath” ready.”
Brandon had his instructions as well.
“Brandon, go get flowers and a bottle of wine.”
There were also some bath soap, lotion, and bubbles in the package. But its contents didn’t mean as much to the Gunns as what they symbolized.
“For 9 years (and three moves) that box sat high on a shelf in various closets gathering dust, yet it somehow taught us about tolerance, understanding, compromise and patience.”
She continued: “Our marriage strengthened as we became best friends, partners, and teammates. Today, we decided to open that box, because I finally had a realization. I realized that the tools for creating and maintaining a strong, healthy marriage were never within that box – they were within us.”
Way better than a candelabra set, I’d say. (h/t huffpo)