ceremony: Cathedral Church of St. Luke Portland, Maine
reception: The Portland Club
caterer: Black Tie Catering
florist: Artistry in Bloom
dj: Jeff Rockwell
hair: Acapello Salon
gown: Andrea's Bridal
invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Mike and Christine, who goes by Chris, are people you meet once and feel like you've known them forever. During our initial meetings and pre-wedding day phone calls, I loved hearing Chris greet me with a "Hey lady! How's it going?!" Coincidentally, that is usually my go-to phrase for my girlfriends, so I knew we were the perfect match! Chris' warm personality is full of genuine emotion, consideration for others, and has a pension for laughing. The latter works oh-so-perfectly with Mike who has a pension for making people laugh, including me. I'm certain Mike made Chris laugh in seventh grade when they met. Yes, folks, seventh grade. And this is a true love story -- the condensed version: they dated in eighth grade, parted ways, life happened, states and continents apart, a lone Facebook post by Chris in 2009 about painting her kitchen, and the rest is history. It is a pretty amazing story 25 years in the making. This makes me reminisce about who I knew in seventh grade.
Chris was absolutely beautiful in her dress and the common wedding day jitters subsided when she saw Mike for the first look on the Eastern Promenade in Portland. Mike looked handsome in his stylish suit, wearing his watch that Chris gave to him. Chris' late aunt's blue handkerchief was busy catching Chris' happy wedding tears throughout the big day. Mike's daughter Katie was the flower girl and Chris' nephew Griffin was the ring bearer -- both were too cute. While I was fortunate enough to get a high-five from Katie, I couldn't even get a fist bump from the little man, Griffin, who was lured down the aisle of the beautiful Cathedral Church of St. Luke with his lamb blanket and a box of Pocky, the tasty Japanese treat of chocolate-covered biscuit sticks. The piano interlude during the ceremony was moving. I could feel the emotion in the music as I pointed my lens towards Chris and Mike and quietly clicked the shutter. The officiant, Ben, delivered the ceremony speaking words that were personal to them. He said he asked them why they decided to marry and their response was family, because family is so important them. I witnessed this and their amazing, loving families as well as friends who surrounded Chris and Mike on such in important day in their lives. I also witnessed some amazing dancing at the reception held at The Portland Club, just across the street from the church! DJ Jeff Rockwell played great pop song after great pop song, new and old. I was singing along to most all of them, Toto's "Africa" in particular, and part of me really wanted to jump into the fun on the dance floor, but I refrained. Camille and her Black Tie Catering crew did a fabulous job as usual keeping the day running smoothly and cooking up some delicious surf and turf of salmon and steak. It seemed to me that Chris and Mike had the time of their lives.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Chris and Mike, for allowing me to photograph your wedding day. Congratulations, and here's to another 25 years and more!
How they met, in their own words:
It all started in mid-August 1987 at East Richland Middle School (ERMS) in Olney, IL. The first day of school brought the standard excitement from most all of us. Mike was born and raised in the greater “suburbs” of Olney (meaning farm land) and the start of 7th grade was like any other. However, upon arriving at ERMS and sitting in 1st hour class, Mike noticed that there was a “new” girl in his class (science as I recall…..note the foreshadowing). Low and behold it was Ms. Christine Hendrix and on the first day of school in 1987 was the time we met. Her family had moved into Olney over the previous summer as Chris' father had taken a new position at the Unocal office in Olney. One must realize that new students were a big deal as not many families moved into the Olney area. Chris quickly acclimated into ERMS and was one of the smartest and most popular kids (if not the smartest) in 7th grade. We knew each other socially and that was the extent of the relationship. That changed in 8th grade as we became sweethearts (twice I think if memory serves). Long story short, at 8th grade graduation in 1989 Chris was the Home EC awardee and Mike was the American Legion awardee. We were each other’s date to the final dance of 8th grade….i.e. the graduation dance. The Hendrix clan did a significant amount of decorating for the dance and Chris' parents were also chaperones.
During the summer of 1989 Chris went to some of Mike’s baseball games and we spent as much time together as the parents would allow. Mike and his family went to Hawaii for a family vacation and sent Chris two postcards from the islands (which she still has) and gave her a lei.
In March of 1990, the Hendrix family moved from Olney, IL to Scarborough, ME and we lost touch with each other.
In 1993, Mike enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while Chris enrolled at Wheaton College (MA). They both graduated in 1997 with their BS (in chemistry) and BA (psychology/philosophy) degrees. Mike moved eastward to Purdue University to attend graduate school while Chris joined the Peace Corps and was stationed in Niger, Africa.
In 2001, Mike moved to La Jolla, CA for his post-doc appointment at the Scripps Research Institute and Chris was working in New York City after arriving back from her Peace Crops assignment. Interestingly enough, Mike and Chris did re-connect briefly in 2001 via a few emails.
In 2003, Mike moved to Tuscaloosa, AL and The University of Alabama as an assistant professor of chemistry and was blessed with his daughter Katie in 2004. Chris moved from New York City to Providence, RI in 2003. In September 2009, Mike and Chris socially re-connected via Facebook and exchanged a few message back and forth about their lives since 2001.
On October 9th, 2009 I posted on my Facebook wall about painting my kitchen and Chris sent me a response. This is truly where our current relationship began……….