Fathers of sons will never get to experience the feelings of shock, pride, amazement, joy and deep, pure love that overtakes them when they turn around and see their daughter in her wedding gown. A few weeks ago, my youngest daughter Whitney gave me this incredible gift. She was beautiful –and I cried. As I walked her down the aisle, I cried. When I toasted them, I cried. As we danced, I cried. When I hugged her and her new husband Ryan as they were leaving for their honeymoon –well you get it, I cried!
When I was not crying like a little girl, Sally and I had a fabulous time celebrating Whitney and Ryan’s nuptials with all of our (and their) friends and family. Whitney and Ryan were married in a beautiful afternoon ceremony in Seattle’s Martha Washington Park. While lovely, it was a bold move. As our dear friend Debra Prinzing said to us “only a Texan would plan an outdoor wedding in Seattle in April!” Luckily, their gamble paid off. Whitney and Ryan were truly blessed to be able to celebrate their love for each other in a beautiful place, on a perfect, rainless day in the Pacific Northwest.
As a man, I may never fully understand why weddings are such big deals to women. However, after being a part of four weddings in the past four years, I have learned one thing about them. Weddings are BIG EVENTS and they cannot happen without the help of a whole lot of people that care a whole lot for the bride and groom. This wedding was no exception. We could not have done it without the help of many, many caring and generous people.
As a budding (pun intended) floral entrepreneur, Whitney is friends with many talented people. Several of those friends chipped in to make sure this wedding celebration was beautifully adorned and beautifully documented. Many thanks to Adam and Alicia Rico of “Bows and Arrows” and Erica Knowles of “Botany 101”. They used locally sourced, sustainably grown seasonal flowers from the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market to create stunning arrangements that, despite the grandeur of the setting, pulled the guests in and made them feel a part of the small, intimate event. Robert Kitayama of KB Farms donated the gardenias that comprised the simple, yet elegant bridal bouquet. Also, huge thanks go out to Angela and Evan Carlyle of Angela& Evan Photography. All of the photos in this post were taken by them. As you can see, their photography is amazing. They are also incredibly professional and amazingly fun to work with.
Finally, I want to say a very special thank you to Debra Prinzing. Debra has been so kind and generous to Whitney over the past year and half. She is the mother of the “Slow Flower” movement in the US and a big part of the reason my daughter moved to Seattle. To call her a friend greatly understates how entirely wonderful she has been to Whitney and our entire family. In typical Debra fashion she opened her home to the entire bridal party for the entire day! She started by hosting the loveliest of bridal luncheons (with help from Cynthia Alexander of Quarry Flower Farm) for all of the women that were there to celebrate with Whitney. Then, once the luncheon ended, she allowed the wedding party to stay and have hair and makeup done, make floral head pieces for the ceremony and dress. She even delivered Whitney to the ceremony!
There are many kinds of wedding gifts. While matching silverware is nice, the giving of your time and talents to make a special day for the people you love is the best gift of all. Whitney and Ryan, you are blessed to have so many people in your lives that care so deeply for you. And all of us are blessed to have you in ours!