Ifong Chen Weddings

October 30, 2015

Courtney & Jed engaged!

The meeting was arranged for Jan. 31, 2014. Jed walks into The Saranac Public House prepared to meet a woman he knew little about. A friend of Jed’s spoke to him about a beautiful, brilliant, adventurous woman and said they should meet. Tonight would be the night. The women were seated in the back, three ladies sitting in a booth. Jed says “hi” and sits down. Pleasantries are exchanged when the fourth woman walks up to Jed, “You are in my seat,” she says. Courtney – a lawyer – fails to object. Surprised and apologetic, Jed stands up just when his friends walk in. The meeting was over in about a minute.

But a minute was enough. He finds her stunning. Although they only spoke briefly there is no doubt she is someone Jed wants to meet again. Lucky for Jed, a text message buzzes on his phone at 11:07 that night. “You should call Courtney.” So he does – three days later. Courtney misses his call. After listening to a very calm and confident voicemail Courtney is intrigued and quickly calls back. In three days they will have their first date. Courtney, unsure what to expect, knows two things: 1. She wants to meet new people. 2. Jed has a movie-star smile.

The date is set. Jed is waiting outside Courtney’s office looking dapper in what Courtney will soon recognize as his uniform, a Filson cruiser jacket. She also recalls him wearing rubber boots – but this memory Jed swears to be false. He sees her to the Jeep and she is dazzling.

It is a cold February night on Spokane’s North side at a cocktail bar called Bon Bon. What is supposed to be just drinks soon turns into dinner. The couple exchanges their first laughs and tell stories, both pleasantly surprised by the quality of the other’s company. After the date, Courtney finds herself admiring Jed’s intellect, light-heartedness, and obvious desire to live life to the fullest. She can not wait until their next date. That is, if Jed will call. But he doesn’t. Not for a week…. Cool move, Conklin. Real cool.

Their first date was on a Thursday, and so is their second. Thursdays are becoming their day. Jed and Courtney continue to go out every Thursday for a month. Thursdays are comfortable – almost the weekend but not too committal. For two people not looking for love, Thursdays are the perfect solution. Yet…something changes. When Courtney leaves for vacation, Jed finds himself counting the days until she returns. He can’t stop thinking of her. She is smart, compassionate, caring and absolutely beautiful. This development is fortunate for Courtney because she is thinking of ways to break into Jed’s weekend schedule.

From that point forward the couple is inseparable. Adventure is the theme and Courtney and Jed find themselves hiking, hunting, flyfishing, exploring, rafting, skiing and loving each other unconditionally. In fact, it was in Glacier National Park, standing in a glacial stream, fly rod and bear spray in hand, when Jed says “I love you” for the first time. Just over a year after their first date, Jed asks Courtney to marry him, surrounded by dear friends, while flyfishing on the Big Hole River in Montana. Moments after she says “YES!” the champagne cork pops, the sun comes out and a double rainbow appears framing a small white, riverside chapel. Bald eagles circle overhead, both carrying a trout, and a moose swims across the river. The moment can not be more spectacular. For two people not looking for love, love certainly finds them.

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