We ate a lot of snacks out of a lot of different vending machines. We had to ask guests at a wedding in Georgia to clarify what a “fill-up” station was. I found myself wearing a tank top in Michigan in August, only to find out I was woefully unprepared for it being 49 degrees when we arrived. We snorkeled with sharks, sting rays, and sea turtles at our first destination wedding in St. John, USVI. A woman who owned a diner in Connecticut showed me her teeth she was having worked on that afternoon. A little boy in NC answered the door for us wearing a werewolf mask. We finally got to see the Gaffney Peach in South Carolina. Babies were born, hands were held, and cats were most definitely petted. We were happy to see old friends and meet new ones in comfortable, familiar places like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland. And we went on a personal trip to Iceland with clients from a few years back who have become dear friends of ours. We went through a lot of different camera bags, cracked the screen on the back of one of our 5DMIIIs, split at least one pair of pants, and racked up hundreds of flight points on the rewards card and thousands of miles on the Mazda.
In 2014 we made a lot of new friends. Here are some of them.
Greetings from Asheville! Oh man, it was great to be there for the past few weekends because the humidity drops substantially and it was actually cool and wonderful outside for a change! Asheville’s also an awesome place to have a wedding in the States when you have quite the international crowd as these guys did. I believe we had some Brits, a Danish guy, possibly a Finn if we’re remember correctly… and many of them live in Guatemala. :) Jamila and James themselves have been internationally long-distant frequently over the course of their relationship. They met salsa dancing in Guatemala, but Jamila was finishing up her doctorate and residency in Connecticut while James lives in England running his business. But they stuck it out and made it work, and now that their wedding is finally done, and Jamila’s officially a doctor, she’ll be going overseas to live with James in England. :)
They held their wedding in Asheville because Jamila’s family lives there, but also because it’s a beautiful place to take all of their awesome international friends for a gorgeous wedding over the 4th of July. We were super excited to be there and photograph the wedding among a supportive cast of characters who love Jamila and James so much! For instance, check out the lengthy scroll of the Best Men speech below (completely with rainbow stickers and hearts on the back for decoration). That was, in fact, the actual length of the speech, and it was an incredible speech for all ages (I wish we’d have videotaped it, but we kind of were occupied taking photos). Their reception was a crazy amazing dance party where we felt incredibly inadequate comparing our non-existent dancing skills to theirs (but thankfully people don’t pay us to dance). A huge thanks and congratulations to Jamila, James, and their wonderful family and friends for having us in Asheville!
Date: July 5, 2014
Ceremony Venue: NC Arboretum // Asheville, NC
Reception Venue: The Venue // Asheville, NC
First Dance Song: “La Llave De Mi Corazon” – Juan Luis Guerra
Jamila’s Occupation: Doctor
James’s Occupation: Entrepreneur
How You Met: Salsa dancing in a bar in Guatemala through mutual friends
Interesting Fact about Jamila: She still knows all the Disney princess songs by heart and sings them regularly!
Interesting Fact about James: He drove a Guatemalan chicken bus from Kansas City to Antigua, Guatemala. What bus license?
Honeymoon Destination: Maldives!
Vendor Credits: Officiant –Rev. Gary Mitchell (fun fact: was to be Jamila’s high school choir director before he changed careers) | DJ – James Donaldson of Sound Extreme | Florist – Beth Hohensee at FloraDiva | Cake – Karen Donatelli at Donatelli Bakery | Caterer – The Venue | Hair – Adorn Salon | Makeup – Wendy Ballance at Blush | Coordinator – Cassey Barret
Susan and Michael have fast become some of our favorite people. Previously Carolyn had declared herself and her sister as the unofficial presidents of U2’s fan club, but I’m happy to say that we’re going to scootch over a little bit to make some room for Susan and Michael, and we’re happy to do it. I could say a lot about these guys… and how they are awesome and kind and funny and genuine… or about how they made a bunch of paper cranes for their wedding and then thought, “Is this enough paper cranes?” and it turns out that it was way more than enough paper cranes… or about how all of their guests were so sweet to us and there were a lot of Jamaicans there wearing hats and were highly entertaining people… or about Susan and Michael’s super good fashion sense that makes me want to raid both of their closets. But instead I’m going to leave a bit of the reading that they read to each other here. They edited it a bit, and I’m writing down what I can remember from a combination of my memory and the actual book text. (so forgive me when I inevitably get this a little bit wrong) But it’s too sweet to not put in the blog post and has been one of my favorite wedding readings ever.
“I like you and I know why. I like you because when I tell you something special, you know it’s special, and you remember it a long, long time. When I think something is important, you think it’s important too. We have good ideas. When I say something funny, you laugh. I think I’m funny and you think I’m funny too. I like you because if I am mad at you, then you are mad at me too. It’s awful when the other person isn’t. If you find two four-leaf clovers, you give me one. if I find four, I give you two. If we only find three, we keep on looking. I like you because I don’t know why, but everything that happens is nicer with you. I can’t remember when I didn’t like you. It must have been lonesome then. If you and I had some drums, and some horns and some horses, if we had some hats and some flags and some fire engines, we could be a HOLIDAY! We could be a CELEBRATION! We could be a WHOLE PARADE! Even if it was the nine hundred and ninety-ninth of July. Even if it was August. Even if it was way down at the bottom of November. Even if it was no place particular in January. I would go on choosing you, and you would go on choosing me, over and over again. That’s how it would happen every time.” – Excerpt from I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg.
Date: May 31, 2014
Ceremony and Reception Venue: NCMA // Raleigh, NC
First Dance Song: “The Way I Am” – Ingrid Michaelson
Susan’s Occupation: Career Counselor at George Washington University
Michael’s Occupation: School Administrator at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School
How You Met: In a French class at North Carolina State University
Interesting Fact about Susan: Studied Arabic in Morocco and Jordan. Mumtaz!
Interesting Fact about Michael: Went to Space Camp…twice!
Honeymoon Destination: Santorini, Greece! Bookended on either side with a night in London.
Vendor Credits: Officiant – Dan Holodnik (friend of bride and groom) | Band – The Swinging Swamis | Florist – The Watered Garden | Cake – Cinda’s Creative Cakes | Caterer – NCMA (Iris) | Hair/Makeup – Body Bliss Salon | Coordinator – Morgan Greer of the NCMA