Emily and Zach's Portland wedding at Grace

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Two piece wedding gown. Custom shoes from Steve Madden. Dressing in her childhood bedroom. An outside ceremony moved inside. Dinner by candlelight. Band in the balcony. And the most graceful of first (ballroom!) dances at Grace. This day, this couple, their families (including cousins Ashley and Jonathan!) was pure bliss. Keeping this short so you can exercise your cheeks with a smile as they each recount their first meeting below. Much love, Em and Zach!!

If you missed their rehearsal dinner earlier, please click here.

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Zach's Version of the Story:

Emily and I first met at one of the "coffee house" open mic nights at Amherst College, at the end of my junior year and her freshman year. I had noticed Emily both at earlier open mic nights and at Amherst social events. I thought she was very pretty, and found the whole singer-songwriter acoustic guitar thing attractive too! I was too shy to ask her out or even talk to her, though. 

Emily had played a song earlier in the night and was sitting on the ground near the stage area, and I had just played a cover of a quirky song by one of my favorite indie bands ("Tim I Wish You Were Born A Girl," by Of Montreal). In a fit of confidence I thought, "Screw it, it's the end of the year and I won't see that cute freshman again for three months. Let's see what happens." So I sat own on the floor next to her and introduced myself. I don't really remember what we talked about aside from my cracking wise about my last name and how it's a dead giveaway for my Jewish heritage, which she later told me she TOTALLY didn't get in the moment. I think we were both pretty nervous. 

We exchanged numbers. My good friend, Izzy (one of the bridesmaids), watched the whole thing unfold from afar, and after I returned to my friends, Izzy fist bumped me. Emily called me almost immediately after the open mic event concluded. But I missed her calls, partly because I was too busy celebrating my success with Izzy and other friends, and partly because my cell phone had terrible reception. 

We ended up going on our first date the next day. One funny thing I remember: Emily put her cards on the table and told me I should be aware she had rather restrictive tastes--she was not a fan of vegetables, fish, and spicy ethnic food in general; she didn't like mixing items on her plate; she usually got pizza, chicken tenders, or spaghetti when she went out to restaurants, and doused everything in ketchup. So, for our second date I brought her to an Ethiopian restaurant. To her immense credit, she soldiered through and somehow agreed to a third date. I think at that point I knew she was a keeper. 

Emily must have thought the same thing, because she asked me to be her boyfriend soon after that! For the record, Emily now eats all of the items she once told me she wouldn't eat. Here's to hoping we can continue to be so honest and upfront, while still pushing each other to be our best selves. 

Emily's Version of the Story:

Zach and I met in 2008 when we were both students at Amherst College. It was the last week of classes, and the last Coffee Haus of the year -- a student-run open-mic night held every couple of weeks in one of the dorms. (Come to find out, Zach was responsible for revitalizing Coffee Haus the year prior ... but I didn't learn that until our first date). After Zach finished performing, he sat down next to me. All I could think was "Why is this cute guy sitting next to me? Should I say hello?" So, I turned to him and told him I liked his performance. He said that he liked the song I played too. That was about the end of the conversation. 

When the show was over, and to my surprise, Zach asked if he could have my phone number. I waited about ... two hours to call Zach. When you know, you know! He missed my call (he had a crumby red flip phone back then that regularly missed calls), but he called me later and we planned our first date on Mother's Day. I reminded him of what day it was when we met on the edge of campus -- and this was the first moment I knew I really liked Zach. His immediate response was "Oh, I have to call my mom and my grandmother" and he got on the phone right then and called them both, right in front of me. 

For our third date we met in his room to watch a movie. I walked in and found him hunched over his laptop finishing an essay about Wordsworth and Keats while a vinyl of Joni Mitchell's "Blue" album played. That's when I knew this guy was something very special. 

Over the course of the following week we connected a couple more times, including for a late-night walk through campus where Zach brought me onto the roof of the theater building (most people know me to be completely by-the-book when it comes to rules, so the fact that I was willing to climb onto a roof with this gentleman said a lot about how much I liked him). We talked up there for a long time, and I asked him if he wanted to be my boyfriend. He looked surprised, but said yes. And I suppose that is how it all started. 

When it came to the wedding, Maine was the obvious choice for me. It is where I grew up and where Zach and I have spent many weekends and holidays. I tried to approach the subject gently -- "So, Zach, it would really mean a lot to me if we could get married in Maine ..." Zach just cut me right off -- "Um, absolutely. Where else would we get married?!"

photographers: Emilie and Lindsay, emilie inc. photographyvenue: Grace, Portland • flowers: Broadturn Farmceremony musicians: Artful Noise String Quartetband: Young Love and the Thrillscake: Let Them Eat Cakemake-up: bride's sister • hair: Katherine Fournier, Magnum Opus Salon and Spa •  lighting: Headlight Audio Visualtransportation: VIP Tour and Portland Discovery Land and Sea Toursgown: Watters at Andrea's Bridalgroom: Enzo Custom Clothiers, Washington, DC • invitations: Minted • honeymoon: France

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