February has been a special month for Texas State student Caleb North, who married his high school sweetheart, Mariah Owen, on the 9th.
Caleb and Mariah North’s journey began at Jack C. Hays High School, where they first met. They remained friends for five months until their romantic affection cultivated into a relationship. They dated for a nearly a year and a half until Caleb proposed to Mariah on his birthday, Nov. 12.
Caleb and Mariah’s story is unique because they shared their first kiss on the alter in front of their loved ones.
“When I tell most people this, their immediate reaction is disbelief,” Mariah said. “Even though it was hard to not kiss him during our dating and engaged relationship, it was completely worth the wait. Waiting for our kiss made me fall in love with him even more because he respected that boundary we created for ourselves.”
Mariah said she enjoyed every second of her wedding—from the singing and dancing to the sparkling cider toasts. The two moments most dear to her were walking down the aisle toward Caleb and hearing his vows.
As Caleb watched Mariah approach the alter, he felt an overwhelming rush of joy.
“It took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes,” he said.
Although the couple received an amount of criticism, including restaurant bussers at the bachelor’s party, Mariah and Caleb knew they were making the right decision by getting married.
“We knew that we wanted to marry each other. We didn’t see a point in waiting until we were older,” Mariah said. “I wanted to get my life started with him. I wanted to see the world with him, and I didn’t want to wait much longer than necessary.”
The couple values a foundation centered around Jesus Christ, and intends to display a marriage that represents the savior’s love.
“I believe that marriage was created by God to show the relationship between Him and the love He has for His church,” Mariah said. “I truly hope that others see Jesus’ love through our love for each other.”
The couple appreciated the love demonstrated in their parents’ marriages. Mariah and Caleb hope to portray the same view of marriage to others.
Fifty years down the road, Mariah said she hopes to “love Caleb with everything in (her) and never get used to waking up next to him, kissing him or spending time with him.”
Caleb wants to “figure out ways to keep the spark, always fan the flame, seek to outdo each other in kindness and service, but above all else, keep Jesus at the center.”
Mariah said she is looking forward to living a life of laughter with Caleb and growing together through marriage as well as friendship.
“I want to love Caleb so much deeper at 50 than I do at 20,” Mariah said. “I want the butterflies he gives me now to be bigger and more prominent at 50.”