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John Makely  /  msnbc.com
updated 5/6/2008 12:34:57 PM ET 2008-05-06T16:34:57

About the bride: Annie is a 25-year-old freelance writer who describes herself as an "urban hippie."

About the groom: Tom is a 27-year-old business owner who has a passion for life and loves to travel.

Time together: Six and a half years

Engagement date: March 3, 2007

Why he’s the one: "We were standing in a cramped train car, and rather than give in to frustration, Tom made up games to pass the time. He constructed a MacGyver-like seat for me. It was that small gesture that showed me his love that day."

Why she’s the one: "Annie has this type of courage, strength and passion for life that I just haven't seen in anyone else. From the very first day that I met her she's made my life better, and I can't imagine a day without her."

Annie and Tom met on a college retreat and they can't deny that their attraction to each other was electrifying. Annie was impressed with Tom's height, his chiseled good looks and that he had grown up on an actual farm! Tom thought that Annie was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen, yet he was worried that she was way out of his league. That first night of their trip, they talked for five or six hours until the sun rose the next morning.

One thing Tom admired about Annie was her inner strength. Annie was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disorder, when she was 17. After she was diagnosed, Annie feared that no one would ever be able to love her completely for who she was as a person. Yet it was her chronic disease that gave Annie an inner strength and drive to succeed, all qualities that to this day Tom constantly admires about Annie.   

They were together for five years before Tom finally planned to propose. He wasn't waiting for the perfect moment, but the perfect event. He decided to publicly profess his love at a company conference — in a room filled with 3,000 people. There wasn't a dry eye in the house! As for the wedding, the loving couple tried to beat out other spouses-to-be during last year's Today Throws a Wedding, but they didn't make the cut. This year, they are trying again and maybe persistence will take them to the altar.

Now, more than a year after their engagement, Tom and Annie are looking forward to the perfect wedding and a life filled with yoga, tofu, and traveling. Through thick and thin, good times and bad, Annie and Tom have stood by each other, fighting illness with love. 

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