Pastor Michael Smith entered ministry at 16 years old. While other kids his age were partying and exploring the dating world, he was being a loyal servant to the church. He never saw himself getting married or having children; he was more than OK with dedicating his life to service.
That all changed when Connie came into the picture. As Mike remembers it:
"I had someone at the church approach me and tell me that there was this really cute girl named Connie that has modeled in the church fashion show. I was a little caught off guard, because I wasn't looking to date anyone, especially not a model! I never pursued it."
But over the next four years, Pastor Mike had different people from all parts of his life recommend the mysterious Connie.
"Connie was everywhere, and everyone loved her. Whether they met her on a cruise, or she played softball on their local league, everyone thought her and I would be the perfect match. I didn't take it very seriously until my best friend mentioned her to me. Since he was my best friend and knew me better than anyone, I figured I would see what this Connie girl was all about."
At 27 years old, Mike had never been in a serious relationship. He had never been on a date. He had never even called up a girl he liked. When he decided to see if Connie was as wonderful as everyone said, he was jumping into very unknown territory.
"When I called her up, I explained that over the past few years, everyone had mentioned how she may be a really good match for me. I then asked if she wanted to explore this and see if it's the mind of God... she was silent on the phone. I knew I sounded like a total nut!"
What your wedding zodiac sign says about your marriage
What your wedding zodiac sign says about your marriage
Your Wedding Date: March 21 - April 19
Aries is a very adventurous, bold, and independent sign. If you tie the knot during this time you'll thrive as individuals and not risk losing site of yourselves in the relationship. Your marriage will be filled with lots of spontaneity, too. Think last minute getaways, exciting dinner dates, and unexpected romantic surprises. But be careful not to get too competitive with each other, as Aries couples tend to do.
Your Wedding Date: April 20 - May 20
Taurus is an extremely sensual, decadent sign. You and your hubby enjoy the finer things in life, and you're definitely not afraid to indulge your taste for luxury. Good news: You're destined to have a very grounded marriage. Because both of you can get stuck and set in your ways though, it's important to mix things up more and try new stuff — in the bedroom and out of it.
Your Wedding Date: May 21 - June 20
For Gemini couples, communication is key. You'll have a really talkative marriage, and there will be a constant dialogue going on between you and your other half. Since you crave variety, keep things interesting by taking part in new activities together. Sign up for an exotic cooking class, learn how to surf this summer, or even go skydiving if you're up for it. Don't get scattered in too many directions however. You need to remember to prioritize your time together.
Your Wedding Date: June 21 - July 22
Home is where the heart is for Cancers. You really like to pamper your husband (and vice versa). Cooking together is another shared interest. And don't be surprised if you have a lot of cutesy nicknames for each other. The danger Cancers face is getting a little too wrapped up as a couple and becoming homebodies. Make sure to get out, be interactive, and stay connected to friends and family.
Your Wedding Date: July 23 - August 22
Leo couples are likely to have a very dramatic, theatrical, and passionate marriage. You both have strong opinions and you're certainly not shy about sharing them. While it's nice that there's a lot of romance and passion, you do have a habit of getting too dramatic sometimes. This could result in a power struggle, so be careful not to boss each other around.
Your Wedding Date: August 23 - September 22
Virgo is an extremely organized, refined, and healthy sign. You and your husband pay attention to the little things and you're all about the details. He's your cheerleader and you're his, which is why helping each other out comes so naturally. Though you may get stuck focusing on your problems and lose site of the bigger picture since you can be a bit nitpicky.
Your Wedding Date: September 23 - October 22
Libra is the sign that rules marriage. This is probably why October is one of the biggest wedding months. Libra marriages are, not surprisingly, very much about balance and give and take from both partners. The relationship is a real priority to you and your man. However, the danger lies in losing your individuality. Remember to break out of the couple bubble and do things on your own too.
Your Wedding Date: October 23 - November 21
Scorpio is an extremely sexy and intense sign. There's bound to be a ton of intimacy and passion in your marriage, and you should have no problem keeping the romance alive over the years. Scorpio is also a sign of power and control though, so jealousy issues can crop up down the line. Be careful and make sure that if you're feeling hurt you talk about it. You don't want to let a power struggle ruin your marriage.
Your Wedding Date: November 22 - December 21
The Sagittarius couple is very outgoing, adventurous, and worldly. There will most likely be a lot of travel in your future. You're constantly learning and taking classes together, and you're both incredibly open-minded as well. Nevertheless, you tend to take too many risks sometimes, particularly financially. Try not to live so much on the edge and hold down the fort at home.
Your Wedding Date: December 22 - January 19
Capricorn is the sign of tradition, which is why this winter wedding typically happens around Christmastime or the New Year. You and your hubby are all about legacy and honoring your heritage. You love celebrating the holidays and carrying on traditions from your childhood. One thing you both need to work on though is learning to enjoy the present instead of always planning for your future.
Your Wedding Date: January 20 - February 18
The Aquarius marriage can best be described as unconventional, quirky, and modern. You're each other's best friend, but you're also a very social couple that hosts a ton of parties. You enjoy going out and being amongst a big crowd. To keep your marriage strong, it's important to make sure you set aside enough one-on-one time together.
Your Wedding Date: February 19 - March 20
Pisces is the sign of fantasy, imagination, romance, and creativity. You and your hubby are no doubt an incredibly dreamy match. Expect vow renewals and anniversary getaways in your future. Beware of getting too much out of touch with reality, however. You don't want to let your emotions take over to the point where you aren't grounded as a couple and begin to overspend to accommodate your creative endeavors.
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Connie did not think that Mike was crazy at all. She was in complete shock, and then explained that she had a story of her own.
"I explained the Mike that over the past few years, everyone thought I would be a wonderful match with Mike; everyone kept telling me that one day, I would marry Mike. I loved the idea of dating Mike. I had so much respect for who he was. So when he called, I was so incredibly giddy and excited to see if everyone had been right all along."
The couple's first date was at Carrabba's Italian Grill. Little did this couple know that this casual first date would be their very last. But Mike fell for Connie right away:
"As soon as Connie walked in, we did the polite little hug, and we sat down to wait for a table. I casually asked her what she did, and she then went onto explain that she was an occupational therapist for special needs children. In that moment, I knew I never wanted to let her go."
Six months after their first date, the couple was happily married They recently celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary.
How they met is nothing less than fate, but how their relationship has developed over the years is the real love story. Mike explained that the couple has ventured into the realm of counseling couples in need — especially those who need help in the bedroom.
"It was late one night back in 2009. I had received a Facebook message from a woman who really needed some advice. She had caught her husband looking at porn, and it broke her heart and damaged her self-esteem. Connie and I read the message and gave the woman some advice that ultimately led to a very successful outcome. After we spoke to this woman, I decided to post the high points and overall theme of our conversation on social media. The response was nothing that we could have expected."
Shortest Celebrity Marriages
Shortest Celebrity Marriages
What it lacked in duration, it owned in overexposure. The much-hyped nuptials of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries took place in 2011 and cost an estimated $10 million. The marriage formally ended 72 days later.
Britney Spears has long put this behind her, but the world still remembers her infamous 55-hour marriage to childhood friend Jason Alexander. Hey, things happen.
In this photo, she's still Jenny from the Block! Jennifer Lopez married pro dancer Cris Judd in September 2001, but by June 2002, he'd danced right on out of her life.
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Esposito were husband and wife for a lovely four months until parting ways.
Mario Lopez and Ali Landry dated for six years before marrying in 2004. But it all fell apart within 18 days -- Landry found out Lopez had cheated.
The first of Drew Barrymore's three husbands, she was only 19 when she wed Jeremy Thomas. She'd only known him for six weeks when they tied the knot in 1994. Unsurprisingly, they called it quits after 39 days.
It was definitely a wild night in Vegas, and it ended with Carmen Electra marrying quirky basketball player Dennis Rodman at 7 in the morning. They had it annulled nine days later.
Drew Barrymore and Tom Green made an odd pairing, but they stuck it out for a few months. They wed in summer of 2001 and had split by the winter holidays.
A few years after Rick Salomon made his screen debut (?) alongside Paris Hilton in her infamous sex tape, Pamela Anderson snatched him up. They married in 2007, and Pam filed for divorce 60 days later. (They remarried and re-divorced in 2014.)
Nicky Hilton and Todd Meister opted for a quickie Vegas wedding in August 2004. A promising start, but ultimately the marriage collapsed that November.
Yes, this is an actual wedding photo. Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock made it official with a ceremony on a yacht. Looks like a good time, but they'd had enough 122 days later.
Long story short, Fred Armisen and Elisabeth Moss were married for 8 months and it was really, really bad. Moss has called the experience "extremely traumatic and awful and horrible."
They made for a very cute teen-dream couple, but real life was more like a nightmare. They divorced after five months, and Bush cited "fraud" as her grounds, which is definitely concerning.
Nicolas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley wed in a beautiful Hawaii ceremony, but once they got back to reality, things weren't so picture-perfect. They divorced 107 days later.
Luann de Lesseps and Tom D' Agostino announced their divorce just seven months after they tied the knot in December 2016. Rumors of cheating and even some physical abuse plagued their short-lived marriage up until the August 2017 announcement.
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That one simple post later turned into another post, that later turned into a blog, that later turned into a Facebook page. Their page, Great Married Life, focuses on strengthening both the emotional and sexual complications that arise in any marriage.
Connie explained that this was not something she ever would have pictured herself doing.
"It was a little weird that people were reaching out to us for sex advice, but then we realized that THAT is where people are hurting. People want to be emotionally and physically connected to their spouse. They WANT that connection. Everyone wants to feel wanted, cared for and appreciated. People think that after you get married, the sex slows down, like married people don't want to have sex or be desired. All of that is so completely wrong. Being emotionally and physically connected to your spouse is so important in any marriage. Our bodies were made for sex. Why shouldn't we enjoy it and also be more connected to our spouse?!"
Connie and Mike are still going strong after 16 beautiful years. Their foundation is their faith and the love they have for one another, as well as their two children.
This couple wants to stress their their relationship is far from perfect, but they hope that their transparency and openness will be a light to couples in need.