Wedding & Catering : Glover Mansion
Make Up: Julie from Make Up Studio
Hair: Heather Washburn
D.J: Complete Music
There are some people you meet for the first time who feel like good old friends. Amy and Derek are such people, and I could not help but to love them as close friends. They are so cute and so fun and so sweet. The love between them is radiant. At the reception, Amy had thanked me for being there. I had tears in my eyes. Thank you both for including me in your most beautiful day. Below the images there is a beautiful love story from Amy that you must read! Trust me! I cried reading it. Love you both so much!
Derek and I first met our senior year in high school, in choir class. Our choir teacher had all of us bring our voices together in unison by having us hold hands and listen to the people around us. Derek was standing next to me that day, and as he reached out for my hand a chain of events started to take place that would change our lives forever. Later that year Derek asked me to my very first dance and we left an imprint on each other that ended up always helping us find our way back to one another regardless of time and distance apart.
We never dated in high school, but years later after I started college and Derek began his military career a strange meeting brought us together briefly. Derek was home on leave from his first deployment to Iraq, and a few friends decided to take him to a downtown club for some much needed R&R. I was out that same night, trying to let go of the stress of college life. We saw each other from across the room, it had been years since we had last seen each other. Derek just stared at me like he had never seen a woman before! We laughed and talked and it was like no time had passed. A connection was there that both of us knew was real. We parted ways again, both hoping that somewhere in the future our paths would cross again. And when Derek came home from the war one of the first things he did was track down my number and ask me out on our very first date! We spent the next 2 and a half years falling in love. But once again we would be separated.
Our lives took different paths, his to Alabama for flight school and mine to nursing school. We spent the next couple of years growing and maturing, finding out who we really are. And one day Derek picked up the phone and called me. We haven’t stopped talking since. We spent a year cultivating a friendship and falling back in love over Skype and the telephone. After we both had graduated we moved to Renton Washington together and took the next step in our lives. Now here’s where the story gets really good!
A few months pass, and April 3, 2009 started off like my birthday’s normally do, ordinary. I was convinced the day was going to be horrible and something would inevitably happen that would ruin the day (as I believe that my birthdays are cursed and will usually end in disaster). I’m a registered nurse in the emergency department, and I checked my email to find that my new job (an ER which shall remain nameless) was getting even worse, finding a nasty email from a coworker hell bent on making my life miserable (this is of course an exaggeration, but it makes a better story that way). I spent the morning in tears missing my beloved old job at Holy Family ER in Spokane. Derek comforted me and made me laugh trying to lift my spirits “It’s your birthday, and I don’t want you crying today, Honey” he said.
Later that day, after the tears had finally dried, Derek took me to a fancy dinner at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle. All through dinner all I could talk about was work and how mean they were to me and how I just wanted to be back at Holy Family. I steadily went through a psychoanalysis of everyone I worked with that I didn’t like. Derek acted like every word I said was the most interesting and important thing I had ever said. He was so attentive and caring, but I didn’t realize how nervous he was about something that was moments away.
We finished dinner and a few cocktails (which helped me chill out a little), and went for a walk on the observation deck. I was expecting a little stroll and then home. The night before I had begged and begged for Derek to give me my birthday present early (a beautiful silver locket), so I wasn’t even expecting anything in the form of a gift on my real birthday.
As we circled Seattle, the lights shined up at us like diamonds. The air was crisp and cool, and just as I started to shiver Derek wrapped his arms around me and quietly said to me “You know I love you don’t you? You know that I’ll always be here for you no matter how hard things get?” I said “yes… of course I do”. Before I knew it Derek was down on one knee with a little box in the palm of his hand. A beautiful glow shined up at me from the box, it was like he was holding the sun. The diamonds sparkled, and it was just like in the movies when you see that gleaming stone and it is so bright it actually makes a sound (once again… an exaggeration, but you get the idea)!
Now this is where things get fuzzy… I remember him opening the box and seeing the ring, and saying yes through my loud-ugly-cry tears, but I have no idea what he said! I’m sure it was “Amywill you marry me?” but my heart was pounding so hard I could barely hear anything but that! There were people around us watching, and a particular group of young men behind Derek were especially funny saying as he slipped the ring on my finger “Whoa man…this is intense”. Yes it is boys, you have no idea.
I cried all my carefully applied makeup off, and held Derek so tight! I never wanted to let go, and I still haven’t. All I could think after it happened was how silly I was for complaining about my job all through dinner when the most magical thing of my life was going to happen that night!! Derek couldn’t have been anymore understanding or sweet…per usual. I never believed in soul mates until Derek. Never thought I would get to have that. That all encompassing love that makes everything else in the world pale in comparison. But I was wrong. Normally that would really bother me, but in this instance…I’ve never been so glad to be so very, very wrong.
A few weeks passed, and I had already begun the wedding planning, when one afternoon Derek received a phone call from a commanding officer. Derek was going to be deployed to Iraq… and soon. We both knew that we wanted to be married before the deployment. After all, the military doesn’t recognize fiancé’s, and if anything were to happen to Derek I needed to be notified and be at his side. We quickly hatched a plan, and decided that before he would be sent to war we would have a special vacation just for the two of us. Our destination: Jamaica, and on that trip we would get married. Just him and I, on a beach, saying yes for the rest of our lives. The big wedding would come one day, we always knew that. But this we wanted to be something special… just for us. He spent the next 3 months on training missions, and we barely saw each other. But on September 9th, 2009 we flew to Jamaica, and stood on a floating dock over the ocean and said “I Do”. 2 weeks later Derek left for a year long deployment to Iraq. Here we are newlyweds, and separated after only 2 weeks of marriage, never knowing if we will get to continue our love story. Derek and I had a saying, like most couples have songs. It is: “Real love stories don’t have endings”. This was not the end of our story, but just the next chapter.
It was the most difficult chapter to experience for both of us. We would go weeks without talking. Me never knowing if he was alive, him worrying about me and thinking of me all alone at home. I moved back across the state by myself trying to stay the strong Army wife, and the help of my family and friends was so wonderful. I came back to my beloved old job, but a piece of me was missing. Derek got home almost a full year after first leaving and now we finally get to have the wedding we had always dreamed of. A day where we can celebrate with our loved ones, a day where we can look to the future and know that at least for now, we are together and whole. One of the things that has kept us so strong as a unit is our laughter, and Derek never ceases to amaze me at how light hearted he can be even in the worst of times. Even when we don’t know what the next day will hold, Derek takes my hand and walks with me side by side, saying along the way “it’s ok, because we’re together now”. And everything is ok. We know there will be many deployments ahead, many nights where we both are worrying about each other, and days where we are apart but together in our hearts. But when you find something as special as what we have, you will walk through fire to hold onto it. Love has a new meaning for us both now.
Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City): “Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”