in my pre-wedding meetings with brides i ask how and when the couple met to start to understand their story. occasionally i get an answer that’s become almost familiar. a quick exchange of smug glances, a secretive grin and the sheepish reply ‘well, we only just met less than a year ago…’
i laugh and say ‘what took you so long?’. for some reason everyone always assumes i’m joking.
when i was 22 i took a fateful trip to uganda, hitched a ride with a stranger for three weeks, visited his home country a few months later and after zero months of dating, we agreed to be together for the rest of our lives. i landed back home in canada a changed person. i dropped a quarter into the nearest phone booth and dialled one of the only phone numbers i still know by heart. when amy’s cheery sing-song voice rang out across the line i responded with ‘i’ve met the man i’m going to marry’. she rejoiced with me and never once offered the advice that would soon become tedious about waiting and dating and giving it at least six months. being one of my closest friends for over a decade, she understood in the pit of her being what it means to find and instantly recognise the one you cannot live without.
years later she would have her own scandalously whirlwind courtship to navigate, to which i would get to be the supportive bystander. jamie and amy grew close as friends who worked together, it was nothing more than that. until one day, abruptly, it was everything more than that. it was a life long love disguised as a weekend fling. before hr could even file their declaration of relationship, there was a baby, a ring, an apartment and of course a wedding photographer bending her summer plans to suit theirs.
i could not have been happier to see amy vow to love jamie for the rest of her life. under an old willow tree they pledged to carry out the promise they made on their first date that their family would choose love every day in a thousand little ways. later that night as amy and i danced in the town hall with our respective husbands who nobody ever thought would work out, our forever flings, we shared our own smug glance and secretive grin.