“Stacey, where do I start? What a journey we have embarked on. It feels like a lifetime ago that you stood in front of me like a stranger.
“The past few months have been intense to say the least. You met me as a confused, juvenile boy. Now I stand here before you as a more mature man and husband. I was arrogant, naive and immature. I thought I knew everything when it came to relationships. But how wrong was I?
“You could have given up on me so many times, Stacey, but you saw the good in me, and you continue to bring out the best in me. For this, I’m eternally grateful and forever in your debt.
“You’ve had my back in the heat of conflict and you’re not afraid to pull me up, reign me in or tightest the leash.
“You’re the only girl that can handle me in my entirety. You’re the only girl that has me absolutely whipped. You’ve become my rock and my pillar, and you’ve made me a person I’m honestly proud to be.
“Stacey, this decision is simple. You’re my best friend, and my lover, and my soulmate, and I’ll love you until I draw my last breath,” he said.
Stacey, eyes filled with tears, appeared moved by Michael’s words, then began reading her own.
“Are you ready?” she asked. “Before I start, you have to understand that I’ve rewritten these vows, numerous times.”
“You haven’t made it easy for me, but here we are and I’ve managed to put pen to paper and I’m ready to be completely and utterly raw with you,” she began.
“When I heard you talk for the first time, I was concerned. I thought, oh here we go, another immature boy I’m about to take on and give my all to.
“During the honeymoon, things began to change. I couldn’t remember the last time I spent so long laughing. It was at that moment I began to find hope in us. I began feeling comfortable and safe. I began to feel happy. Finally, my fairy tale was happening.
“But then it all fell apart.
“You were accused of cheating on me and in that moment, all my hopes, all of my joy and all of my newfound happiness disappeared. My heart froze and I realised I was the idiot that let you in.
“I expressed to you how much the impact of my brother’s death and losing my father hurt me. I opened up and told you that all I ever wanted was to love and be loved. You took every single part of my heart and crushed it in your hands. You made me feel worthless.
“Despite all of this, I was willing to give you a second chance, a chance to prove yourself.
“I know you can talk your way out of a paper bag, so it was actions I needed to see.
“Those actions began when you started sending me flowers on my brother’s birthday. The fact that you knew it was his birthday made me cry. Then you stopped drinking alcohol and turned down events with boys for six weeks. You did what you told me you would. You proved your change through actions.
“So here I am, sharing my deepest, darkest emotions with you. I know what we have isn’t perfect. It has taken tears, heartbreak and huge amount of compromising, but we are us, and we are unbreakable. I love you, Michael.
“And nothing would make me happier than leaving here hand-in-hand, and never looking back at the issues we’ve endured, and having someone who can finally show me love and laughter.
The pair then shared a kiss and left together.