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Meet Shonnie Lavender & Bruce Mulkey

Thanks for taking the time to get to know a bit about us. Besides learning about who we are, you may also be interested in the experience that led us to write this workbook and our intention for this work. Detailed information is located in our Media Room.

Bruce Mulkey and Shonnie Lavender met while training for a marathon in Austin, Texas, in 1995. After participating in a running group together for almost a year, the two decided that they could transcend their three-decade age difference, but not the triple-digit Texas temperatures. Thus they moved with their blended family of cats to the Southern Appalachian Mountains in 1997 to a home near downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

Shonnie and Bruce coauthored I Do! I Do! The Marriage Vow Workbook based on their experience of consciously crafting their own marriage vows for their May 30, 1999, wedding, commitments they continue to uphold.

The experience that led us to write this workbook

Over the years, friends and strangers alike have remarked on how we are with one another-the love we openly express, the respect that we exhibit, our ability to promptly resolve difficulties as they occur, our willingness to ask for and offer forgiveness. Probably the most important thing we did to build our fulfilling life together was to consciously create our wedding vows, the commitments we made to one another on our wedding day that we have continued to abide by. In our vow-writing process, we took the opportunity to go deep, individually and together, to gain a greater sense of who we were, why we were together, and where we wanted to go. Out of this experience, we wrote vows that brought us closer from the first instant we recited them to one another.

In the years since our wedding day, we have revisited our wedding vows on a regular basis to remind ourselves of our intentions and to return to integrity with our commitments when we've strayed. We know that we've benefited immensely from this process, and we believe that you will too.

Our Intention

One of our highest intentions is to help create a world of greater compassion and connection, and this workbook was formed out of this calling. Now, by crafting your wedding vows and living them with purpose, you will be sending your love into the universe. When you take the time to open your hearts, write your truths, and share your authentic selves with one another as well as those around you, you'll not only be creating a loving, lasting marriage; you truly will, as Gandhi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Shonnie Lavender, Bruce Mulkey

Shonnie Lavender & Bruce Mulkey

Wedding vows from Shonnie Lavender and Bruce Mulkey, authors of The Marriage Vow Workbook


What we discovered in I Do! I Do! is a thought-provoking and uncompromising message for couples who want to create a conscious, committed relationship. Whether marriage is in the future, has already happened, or may never happen, this workbook is a means to move relationships more toward the good for which we all yearn.

~Helen Bruch Pearson & Luther E. Smith, Jr., Ph.D., Emory University's Candler School of Theology
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© Shonnie Lavender & Bruce Mulkey |
16 Spears Avenue, #19, Asheville, NC  28801 | 828-505-1447