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A Letter to my daughter on the eve of her wedding

Dear Danielle,

I write this to you on the eve of your wedding day. Many nights when I tucked you in bed at night, I would picture your wedding day. It is here. In only five days you will become Mrs. David Schurter. Dad and I have been married 31 years and while we have had our highs and lows, I truly feel my heart and soul loves your dad more than the day I walked down the aisle on Jan 2, 1982. I wanted to share some advice on what makes our marriage happy.

Promise each other to look for the best in each other every day.

Focus on what is strong in your marriage not on what is wrong. A happy marriage is a willingness to live with things you can’t change. When we moved to Eden Prairie your dad used to eat ice cream in bed and the ice cream bowl would end up in the bathroom glued to the counter. It bugged me immensely. Lucky for me he quit the ice cream when he got kidney stones. I have learned to know what I can change and cannot change about your dad, even though he would probably say I am still trying to change him.


Danielle, a week old we already saw your determination. I would try to rock you to sleep and I fell asleep and you stayed awake!

Promise to take care of the love you’ve created and treat it as your most valuable treasure on earth.

A happy marriage is a shared history that is cherished. Our best memories were traveling with you and Brett to all fifty states. You and Dave have traveled the world together and have many memories but the best memories are the every day conversations and actions where you accept each other with 100% non-judgmental support and you feel treasured.  Seek out this special everyday happiness.


Looking back at our wedding day, I never imagined how happy and healthy our family would be 30 years later. I love your dad more today than our wedding day!

Promise to honor your similarities and your differences. 

This is what attracted you to each other in the first place. When I met your dad he loved the outdoors and camping. Grandpa Ray used to say, “Camping is gypsy living” so of course we did not go camping.  I loved malls and your dad only shopped when he had to. When we first started to date, he took me to 23 stores to buy the perfect outfit for xc- skiing. Too bad I didn’t ski as good as I looked (still don’t).  He was Lutheran and I was Catholic. We worked it out and had a marriage contract. The kids would be Catholic, but would not go to Catholic schools. I would go camping without electricity and your dad would take ballroom dancing lessons. As you know, we still have not compromised on eating Brussels sprouts for dinner.  I eat them by myself.


Take the advice of Aunt Irene and Uncle Jack. They would “fight” every day.
Aunt Irene would say I love you, And Uncle Jack would say I love you more.
Aunt Irene would say, NO, I love you more. Gotta love that!

Promise you will hold each other close, so nothing in the world comes between you. 

A happy marriage is built on trust and a balance of dependence on each other. I have witnessed at least a hundred times I have called your dad in a middle of a “Chere drama” and he quit what he was doing and came to help me.   Your dad has never needing rescuing as often as me. Your dad and I share an unspoken trust that we are there for each other 100 percent, no matter what.

You have many special memories to cherish with Dave…and it is only just beginning!

Promise to love each other more than your children.

A happy marriage focuses on the strong union between a husband and wife. Your children are an expression of your love for each other. Stand by each other when either one of you disciplines your children. You need to be a united front for your kids. Disagree in private after the kids are in bed.

 Danielle, notice none of this advice is about not romance or passion. When you cherish each other and live these promises, I guarantee your marriage will be red hot.

All I ever wanted was a daughter and how lucky was I to get you. I am praying for your everyday happiness with days filled with hope and possibilities as you and Dave discover the joys of marriage. I love you and cannot wait to see this next chapter of your life unfold. And super excited you are moving back to Minneapolis!

All my love,  Mom

What advice would you give your daughter or son on the eve of their wedding day? 

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16 Responses to A Letter to my daughter on the eve of her wedding

  1. Mary Kellogg May 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    Chere – What a wonderful and touching gift to your daughter! And congratulations to you for all you’ve done to make her such a wonderful human being. I miss our driveway chats and so much more, dropping off the boys for one thing or another.
    My best to you and your family and hope to have an opportunity to see you soon!

  2. Sharon May 30, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    Chere, my daughter is getting married at the end of September so I can really relate to your emotions. What a lovely eloquent letter you wrote her….his is just fantastic! Have a FABulous time at the wedding. And I am super jealous your daughter is moving back here (mine is in Chicago),

  3. Meleah May 30, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    What a precious letter!! Danielle is so incredibly blessed to have you as her Mom!!!

    I will want to tell Sweet Caroline these things:

    1. Always see your hubby as your best friend. While girlfriends are incredibly important, Wes will always be my best friend. That means that I can tell him anything with no judgement- he loves me in spite of myself!

    2. Pray together. This has been such an integral part of our marriage. This is our quiet time right before bed. We pray together, and we pray for each other- out loud! There is nothing more amazing than hearing Wes pray for me!

    3. Always have fun! Always laugh. There will be times where you had rather cry- I’m especially remembering when C was a newborn and feeding her round the clock. While we were both exhausted, we found ourselves laughing at the situation. Those tiring nights turned out to be such fond memories because we chose to laugh instead of cry! 😉

  4. Gail May 30, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    That advice was so beautiful it made me cry!
    I can’t top that!

  5. Chere May 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    I love your advice to Sweet Caroline and a marriage with God in it and praying out loud together is the fast track to a meaningful marriage! I am so proud of the way you LIVE MeLeah!

  6. Chere May 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    Gail thanks for the happy tears! Relationships oxygenate life and your comment oxygenated mine! thank YOU!

  7. Chere May 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Sharon, thanks for writing. Enjoy these next few months as the mother of the bride. Savor every morsel. Really was one of the top five days of my life Sharon! Your daughter maybe moving back too..can’t ever say never hey!
    Just like our RD advice!!

  8. Chere May 30, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    Mary, Great to hear from you! I too treasure our “driveway talks. Danielle and David wrote us a memorable letter which really showed her “wonderful human beingness.”
    Heard you moved downtown..how fun is that Mary!

  9. Sue Leighton May 30, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    Chere, what a beautiful letter you wrote to Danielle. It was very touching and is just as relevant for all couples. You gave such good advice. I especially loved the part about Gary eating ice cream in bed!
    Hope the wedding is beautiful! Have fun!

  10. Chere May 30, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    What is so funny Sue is that Gary does not ready anything I write so I can write about HIM hey! wedding was to five of my life! check out http://www.enchantedbarn.com
    Sue!! You will be having grandchildren get married next hey! have a joyfilled adventuresome injury free summer! Chere

  11. Reid Mortensen May 30, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    I believe knowing your love languages is important, that is how each person has been shown love and how each person has given love. Also, I believe love is a choice especially during the changes in the different seasons of marriages.

  12. Chere May 30, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    I almost thought of giving Dani and David the Love Languages book! There are so many seasons of marriage for sure and all about choice of how we give and receive love. You are a treasure Reid!

  13. Laura May 30, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Such lovely words and powerful thoughts – I plan to share them with my son and his bride for their September wedding.
    Thanks for sharing!

  14. Chere May 31, 2013 at 5:09 am #

    Thanks so much Laura. You could write a letter to your son!

  15. Pam Hensel May 31, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    Beautiful, Chere!

    I’m so glad to feel a part of this special transition and glorious week through your touching words. Makes me think of how I’ll feel when our 2 daughters are ready for this fantastic commitment. 🙂

    And, I’ll add my own point – keep supporting each other in growing and stretching and learning about life – and of course, learning shared is doubly enjoyed!
    Cheers to the new couple!

  16. Marlene Keys May 31, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    What a lovely note Chere … and what a fortunate daughter you have. thanks for writing this!