Close to a year passed from the time that I met Alicia and Tony until their wedding. But even at that first meeting, when we were far from their wedding, I knew they had their priorities in check. They described how they envisioned their wedding to me, and I was hooked. For them their wedding was going to be a low key time of celebration for their closest loved ones and family. Plus, Tony is a fellow Search and Rescue volunteer in Southern California, so there’s that.
As soon as I arrived at the Ahwahnee Hotel to meet up with them on their wedding day, I knew their plans had worked perfectly. Alicia was slowly getting ready in a cabin with her daughter and friends. Already, at this early time in the morning, there was a spirit of love in the air and sense that good things were to come.
Their ceremony was on the Ahwahnee Lawn and it was the first time that day that Tony saw Alicia. There weren’t tears of joy coming from his eyes, but there was amazing happiness and gratitude plastered all over his face. He had been waiting a long time for this moment and it was finally here. Their ceremony was filled with smiles and good laughter as they promised their lives to each other.
Just after the ceremony, everyone headed up the the patio of the Ahwahnee to enjoy cocktails in the afternoon sun. It was simply beautiful out this day, spring seemed to have sprung just for them. I’m one hundred percent sure that everyone stood outside with a drink in hand and couldn’t imagine a more perfect place to marry.
Then we all came inside to enjoy a delicious meal together. It was actually one of the smallest weddings that I had seen inside the Solarium, but together they filled out the room beautifully. The little bit of extra space inside seemed to mirror the open expanses just outside the windows perfectly.
After much good food, drink and cheer, Alicia and Tony led everyone into the Winter Club Room for their first dance together as husband and wife. It was signaled the end of the reception, but also at the same time it captured the essence of the entire day. Here were two individuals dancing around as one. With joy and excitement the held each other and moved around the dance floor with both the love of youth and the knowledge of finding what is important in life that only comes with years.