A few weeks before their wedding, I met Jeff + Emily for beers.
We tucked ourselves into a table at a pub a few minutes down the road, and we talked. At first, we didn't talk about the wedding at all. Just life. I'm pretty sure our glasses were nearly empty by the time we turned our conversation towards their wedding day. But once we did, I was struck by two things:
1. These two wanted to throw one heck of a party.
2. They recognized their wedding was just a piece of their story, not the whole story.
(Which, if you ask me, is the recipe for a beautiful day.)
I watched as their community boarded ferries from Seattle and gathered at a summer camp set in the mouth of a cove on Vashon Island. I watched as the day turned unseasonably warm and the trees turned gold. I watched as Emily's sister zipped up her wedding gown and Jeff's dad pinned a boutonniere on his only son. I watched as Emily's mom, an ordained minister, performed their ceremony and her dad, at various moments throughout the day, radiated with pride and joy whenever he saw his daughter. I watched their friends hug and toast and celebrate that these two finally got married. I watched the pies and wine disappear just in time for everyone to wear a hole in the dance floor, sing improvised songs at a worn piano, and end the night circled around an outdoor fireplace.
I watched and collected these moments like treasures. And here they are, laid end to end, start to finish, top to bottom... the memories that make up one day - one beautiful, important, lovely day - in Jeff + Emily's lives together.