After a handful of hurtles (including an ever-growing budget), Eva Marcillefinally walked down the aisle on Sunday’s episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, marrying husband Michael Sterling.
The couple, whose wedding was back in Oct. 8, 2018, were in tears as they said their “I dos” in front of 220 family and friends including their two children, Marley Rae (her 4-year-old daughter with ex Kevin McCall) and Michael, Jr., 5 months.
It was a beautiful affair that had Marcille’s RHOA castmates NeNe Leakes, Kandi Burruss, Cynthia Bailey, Porsha Williams, Shamari DeVoe, Tanya Sam and Marlo Hampton overcome with emotion, too.
“You could just see the joy in her face. It’s magical,” said Williams.
Perhaps the most touching moment of the ceremony was when Marcille and Sterling exchanged the vows they had written.
Sterling began. “I promise to love you unconditional, unrelenting, comforting and eternal,” he said. “I promise you not only this present love, but future love. The future love that can’t forecast the unpredictability of life but is prepared to withstand the hardships, the pains, and the struggles.”
“I vow that you will never be alone because no matter where you go, my love will always be with you,” he said. “And when god sees fit to take us from this place, I promise you that I will ask Her that she will let me be with you in this next life. Because I don’t want to imagine this life or any life without you.”
“I will be your husband, and I will love you from this breath to the last breath,” he ended.
Eva Marcille and Michael Sterling
Marcille took a second to compose herself, sniffling back tears before she began.
“Michael, you’re my safe place,” she said. “In a world that is often disappointing, you give me hope. Learning to love the biggest part of me, my daughter Marley, holding my truth and my fragility firmly in your hands, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was designed for you. Our bond is unbreakable and our love is pure.”
“I promise a forever love — not a perfect love, but a forever love,” she continued. “I look forward to enjoying my golden years with you. I love you now and forever.”
The America’s Next Top Model winner told the audience: “Growing up I was not the girl who had the idea of a fairytale wedding. But now I am just overwhelmed with emotion. To be at this place today with an amazing man? What did I do to deserve this amount of favor and blessings?”
While Marcille and Sterling were on cloud nine, NeNe was having a harder time.
The Atlanta Housewife was struggling watching Marcille and Sterling’s happy time. As has been explored in previous episodes, NeNe and her husband Gregg Leakes have been fighting over what NeNe has dubbed Gregg’s “mean” and “nasty” attitude amid his stage 3 colon cancer battle.
Just hours before the wedding, NeNe and Gregg had an argument in which they talked about separating.
“When Eva was saying her vows, it reminded me of Gregg and I saying our vows,” NeNe told viewers. “I’ve had a wedding. I’ve been in that great, happy, loving place and I actually arrived at this wedding having an argument with my groom. And just hearing the vows made it very emotional for me.”
She explained more to Bailey.
“Right before I came here, we talked about separating,” NeNe said, adding that they discussed moving from separate rooms into separate houses. “He said he would go ahead and find a place. Last night I felt like I broke because he is so mean. I get that it’s a sickness but I can’t be talked to quite like this. It’s weird because you’re trying to help the sick person and they don’t want the help. And everybody around will say that I’m bad.”
NeNe added: “Gregg lets me take the wrap for a lot of things that he’s done. And people generally point the finger at me and he just kind of like, sits and take that wrath when he knows it’s not like that.”
NeNe and Gregg Leakes
As tough as it was, NeNe still found the courage to give a toast at Marcille and Sterling’s big day.
“To the bride and groom. May you live each day like it’s your first and each night as if its your last. Never go to bed angry. Stay up and fight all night,” she said. “The secret to a happy marriage remains a secret, but to me, I believe that respect and communication is the key to a happy marriage. Eva and Michael, I wish you all the best. Congratulations, we love you. Let’s toast to ‘Love wins.’ “
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo