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?