If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 of the wedding just click on the highlighted links.
Words by Elisa:
"How Charles and I met can only be described as absolute destiny. Even though we both lived in Atlanta at the same time, we lived in our own worlds, and chased our own dreams, until one fateful year when we coincidentally decided to take an MBA course that would take us traveling throughout Germany. And so, on a cold and misty May afternoon, while on a boat cruise along the River Nekcar in Heidelberg, Charles and I met when we struck up a conversation about our mutual love of travel. We spent the next two weeks traveling through Bavaria, getting to know each other better and making each other laugh. Before leaving Germany, we exchanged e-mails and a genuine hope that we would stay in touch after returning home, but we made no specific plans.
Exactly 2 days after our return from Germany, I stopped at a local book store after work, purely as an afterthought. I was immersed in a Spanish book when I heard someone call my name. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Charles standing there, equally stunned to find me, completely by accident, literally half a world away from where we had just met 2 weeks before. Still in awe of our fateful run-in, we sat down to share some coffee and talked for hours. Not ones to tempt fate a 3rd time, we planned our first date, and have been inseparable since.
After 4 years of life together and many more travels and adventures, Charles proposed during our favorite time of year, Christmas. He sat me down by our tree, under the guise of giving me an early present. He handed me an envelope that read “That Was Then”, which turned out to contain the very first Christmas card that I had ever given him. A second envelope read “This Is Now” and contained a sentimental card about our lives. But for the pièce de résistance, he handed me a ceramic piggy bank – a childhood collector’s item of mine. I laughed and jokingly asked “does it have money in it?” as I shook it. Little did I know that there would be a clinking sound when I did. As my eyes grew wide and a question mark bubbled over my head Charles prodded me to look inside. When I did, I pulled out a perfect diamond ring attached to a tiny card that read “…and Now This is Forever”.
Given our passion for travel, we knew our wedding celebration had to take place in a location other than where we lived, and we wanted our friends to share the adventure with us. When we looked in our hearts, we knew that it could only be in one country, Guatemala, the Land of Eternal Spring. I have always dreamed of sharing the beauty of my birthplace with our friends from around the world. And the fact that Charles came to love Guatemala as much as I do made it the only destination that fit for our event. This past January, that dream came true when we were lucky enough to share an unforgettable weekend in the city of Antigua, Guatemala with 65 of our closest friends and family. Here, we were surrounded by magnificent volcanoes displayed against clear blue skies, Spanish colonial houses of every color, and cobbled stone streets that make you feel as though you have stepped into another era. Our intimate celebration, held in the ruins of an 18th century Cathedral, perfectly blended of both our American and Guatemalan cultures. These are all images that we will not soon forget about our most special day."
Elisa is a Nikon shooter but I'll forgive her for that! This was a first - the bride breaking out her own camera at her own wedding. Elisa and some of her friends are supposed to attend one of my upcoming workshops this year and I am so excited about that!
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