This is it
After 8 years, we’re finally getting hitched. Tying the knot. Jumping over the broom. If you already thought we were married, surprise! ...and don’t feel bad, you were mostly right. Now that we are finally getting around to making it official, we want you to be a part of our celebrations. If you want to read the story of how we met, just keep reading. :)
We are so lucky to have you - wonderful friends, family, and community - to support us in our life together. Thank you for being a part of our lives, and we hope that you can celebrate with us. Whether it's in person or from a distance, we feel the love and support and are grateful. We're doing a private ceremony on Friday Oct 26, and a big reception and dance on Saturday Oct 27. There will be two spaces - one for eating drinking and talking, and another for dancing. We'll start with the first, then have cake, then do one big community dance together, then start the rest of the dancing.
We imagine our reception being an old fashioned community event, and invite you to contribute in any way that you feel inspired. We will provide some finger foods and drinks, and also welcome your contributions. Several friends are making cakes (we are not having a formal wedding cake), and if you love to bake you could contribute your favorite cake to the assortment. If you would like to help set up or offer your musical or calling skills, we'd love that too. If you're short on time and money, come anyway because just your smile and good energy will make it extra memorable. For more details on the reception and dance, please visit the Evite or the Facebook Event page.
Instead of physical gifts (we have plenty of stuff) we're asking you to please support our house fund financially through this GoFundMe campaign. If you didn't already know, we've been the proud owners of a fixer-upper for the past couple years. We have already removed popcorn from all ceilings, renovated the main living space,installed new flooring and light fixtures, renovated the hall bathroom, painted the entire house, repaired the septic, plumbing and electrical systems, and fixed drainage issues around the house (fortunately before Florence!).
Our biggest current need is getting a new HVAC system and insulating our attic. We've survived the past 2 years with window units and room heaters and would really love to graduate past this stage. Getting a new system is estimated to cost around $6,000. We have about $2,000 in our house savings fund now, but ideally we'd like to keep that as an emergency buffer as we still have other things we know may need replacement soon (30 yr old water heater, roof, gutters, etc). Anything you contribute would really be a lasting help, far into the future.
Ok, ready for our story?
In fall of 2009 we met at Feet Retreat, a weekend of contra dancing, waltzing and hanging out. Set at the foot of Hanging Rock Park in North Carolina and at the edge of the state park lands, a historic inn and dance barn were surrounded by woods and wildflowers. It was in that big barn, with stone hearth and festive decorations, that our big smiles, and flirty dancing lead to some interest (on the dance floor and off). Perhaps it was fate that we both independently thought the same thing, “I’m not really in the right mental/emotional place to date someone right now...” And so the only result at that time was a casual friendship on Facebook.
One year later - same dance weekend, same great spot. We see each other again, and there's mutual excitement. Isn't that nice, when you're excited to see someone, and you can tell they are too? Two amazing dances and one purely magical waltz later and, well...things are different for both of us this time. A year older and a year wiser. Open to the possibilities.
Later that evening, September 24, 2010 we took a moonlit walk down the driveway. It was fate again and things started to fall into place, as we breathed fresh air, listened to ambient insect calls, watched the music of the moon on the leaves, and learned things about each other that interested and intrigued us.
A walk with friends the next day and, what's that? A chance to hold hands? You betcha. Sitting in a hammock that evening, chatting and sharing chocolate with friends, and - cuddling? - definitely! A natural way to fend off the cold. Moving to the couch inside when the cold was too much...a first kiss, very nice...more please...no such thing as too much.
Saying goodbye at the end of the weekend, the question was on both our minds.
D: "How far is it from you to me?"
V: "About four hours"
D: (optimistically) "Oh, that's not too too bad."
V: (skeptically) "Well, it's not impossible."
Ah but fate was on our side once more. (And mutual interests didn't hurt.) It turned out we were both already planning on attending a dance organizer's conference the following weekend. Nice! Then we were able to be at the same dance weekend the week after that in the TN mountains. Very nice. 2 weeks more, another dance weekend, this time in Charlottesville, VA. A very sweet start to our love story.
Over the next months and years talking on the phone, seeing each other regularly but not every day, was actually a pretty great way for a couple of independent introverts to get to know each other, and as it turns out, to fall in love. The long distance meant spending long weekends in either VA or NC. The bright soul connection we found with each other meant the not-so-fun parts of the relationship were worth working through. The family, friends, and community around us meant we had support, both as individuals and as a couple.
A few miles down the road and a few years removed from our magical moonlit beginning. We step out of the dark and rain and into the camp site host's RV to see if we can still get a campsite. It's the late start of a birthday weekend planned by the procrastinator among us. (The other was not impressed, not happy, but like a true peacemaker chose to bear the shared consequences of another's poor choices, without starting a huge fight.) "You're in luck," the host said, "usually these camp sites are reserved in advance, but we have a few open due to the weather." Did we mention it was pouring rain? Whew.
It rained on us as we set up the tent. It rained on us the next day as we hiked, ate, and watched waterfalls crash onto the rocks. It rained as we went to a local evening music jam at a historic general store. Rain threatened the following day but then cleared up. It was beautiful. We hiked up to the top of Hanging Rock, and the views were awesome, the air clear and refreshing. We found a spot to sit and relax. We found some of the amazing little puddles that develop in the middle of huge rocks. A tiny cave on the cliff face with flowers growing out of it. A bit more exploring, a few pictures - a lovely day with all the earlier frustrations of the weekend forgotten. Sunshine, blue skies, gentle breeze.
What happened next.
D: Ok I think this is my best chance....a few deep breaths...you can do it! An expression of love and commitment, then down on one knee.
V: A look of surprise, heartfelt tears, and a smile.
D: Opening the ring, "Will you marry me?"
V: "Yes!! Yes." A long kiss, a longer embrace, and then "Wow, I had no idea you had been planning this!"
...Some couples plan to get photos taken of their engagement. This hadn't been part of our plan, but a little bird had the ear and eye of one of our fellow hikers - a complete stranger - who captured the moment and offered to send them to us afterwords. Amazing!
You know about the house, which has been the big adventure since getting engaged...so now the next thing we're adding to our story is our wedding! We really hope you can come and be part of our celebration.
David and Valerie