After a season of not enjoying or feeling at peace on dates, the sound of a man’s incredibly joyful laugh made Robyn pause, listen, and take a deep breath before opening the door to a bonfire and bourbon-tasting party. It would be the night she met her husband.
Robyn and Greg talked at the party that night and continued the conversation over the following weeks, sending each other music and poetry recommendations. But it wasn’t until a month after their first meeting, when they found themselves the only two in a D.C. Metro station on Divine Mercy Sunday, that their friendship moved toward dating. As Robyn descended the escalator to catch her train, she found herself face to face with Greg.
From the Bride: That day Greg and I met again at the station, we spent the next few hours walking up and down the Georgetown waterfront, talking nonstop about everything. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, "They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered." It's a line that comes to mind often when I think of how our story started. The next week, we had our first date.
We dated for two years before getting engaged--traveling, camping, wine tasting, dancing, reading--slipping more and more into that intimacy. It wasn't always easy between losing a job, adjusting to new careers, and much self-discovery about how to be the best version of ourselves in a relationship, not just the “best girlfriend” or "best boyfriend” to make each other happy. But it was full of more laughter and joy than I had ever known.
Two years after I stumbled upon Greg in the Metro, he surprised me at the same escalator with his great-grandmother's ring.
We wanted to make sure our wedding celebration expressed our personalities and our stories. Picking the Mass readings was somehow the easiest part our wedding planning. Although both our families are mainly Catholic, we have many friends who don't belong to a church, and wanted this to be a moment for them to hear the Word of God in all its joy. We wanted the readings to not just represent the sacrament of marriage for that day, but to express ideas everyone could relate to. With that in mind, we chose Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 31-31, Psalm 34, and Romans 12:1-2,9-18, and Matthew 22:35-40.
Our wedding took place the weekend after Easter--Divine Mercy weekend, echoing when we found each other in the Metro. Gorgeous Easter flowers still filled the Church, and the joyful music of the liturgical season reflected that of our wedding feast. Looking back, two of my favorite moments during the Mass were walking down the aisle to "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" with my father, such an important song in my spiritual life, and us receiving the Eucharist together on our knees for the first time as man and wife.
It was a gorgeous spring day, with a few cherry blossoms remaining in season, and we had such sweet moments alone after the Mass to take pictures. But being quickly whisked away into our huge reception was surreal. Greg and I had both agreed on a large wedding because it was important to us to have all those we loved there, and less important to have the most expensive dress or fanciest reception.
Our first dance song was "Like the Dawn" by the Oh Hellos, a beautiful love song written from the viewpoints of Adam and Eve, and one of the first songs we really bonded over early in our friendship. The opening line is "I was sleeping in the garden when I saw you first." With that in mind we tried to make our reception feel like a laid-back spring garden: large windows around the room, centerpieces I designed with my favorite flowers, and a pie table--our favorite dessert to bake together. The day was overwhelmingly full of joy and tenderness, and hands down the best day of our lives.
At one point during the Mass, about to say our vows, I remember looking out over the congregation and seeing loved ones from all points of our lives, and it really felt like we were in heaven. During our wedding reception, when Greg had the chance to thank my parents for making this magical day possible, he addressed the crowd and echoed my feelings perfectly: that he’d always imagined heaven as a large banquet, and here we all were today at the wedding feast, our own glimpse of heaven.
Through so much of my spiritual life I've focused on planning (and then worrying), achieving and searching. I could never have planned for Greg. I could never have orchestrated finding him on the Metro on Divine Mercy Sunday. Our wedding day was a strong reminder of the joys and mercies God desires to lavish upon us. Having a day to feast with everyone we love most, the many helping hands who made the day wonderful, and even the last minute perfect weather made it feel that creation was rejoicing over Easter and seemingly over us. It was a day, much like our marriage, abundantly full of joy and mercy.
Photography: An Endless Pursuit | Nupital Mass or Engagement Location: St Leo the Great, Fairfax, Virginia | Wedding Reception Venue : Harbour View, Woodbridge, Virginia | Caterer: R & R Catering, Dianna Gilbert | Florist: Twinbrook Florist, Tonya Evans | Transportation: Reston Limosine | DJ: Black Tie, Deon Wilson | Wedding Designer: Be Seated, Janeen Parrott | Dessert: Mom's Apple Pie, Avis