A Coastal Wedding for the Ages

The sun was just setting over the beautiful river as we drove up to the beachfront. I asked my mom to take a picture of Rasmus and me just to capture the moment: adirondack chairs sitting peacefully on the sand, sailboats rocking back and forth in their slips, and in the distance, the low rumble of jolly conversation excited by the occasional chirp of a loud laugh; surely the sound of guests sharing stories of the newlyweds.

We walked up the wooden staircase of the cedar shake clubhouse and said hello to Saragh’s mother Heather. She is always a beam of sunlight, and surely this day was one of her brightest. I’ve known her for a very long time, as both a teacher of mine, a family friend, as well as the mother of my friend Saragh! We said hello to the bride’s father Stephen, who greeted us warmly, and we made our way along the poolside into the reception. The weather was superb. The perfect balance of cool and warm as you would hope for on a late summer evening like this.

Rasmus enjoyed a welcome cocktail, and we mingled with old friends. I stepped aside and picked up our table card. “Mr. and Mrs. Rasmus Eriksen.” I was able to spend about an hour catching up with acquaintances who I haven’t seen in years, it was so fun having my husband there to introduce them to! As the night went on we were greeted by a exuberant band who got us out and dancing before dinner even began! After we worked up our heartbeats we were invited to take a step back and watch the bride enter into the first dance with her groom! It was so wonderful. Moments after, we were ushered to our marvelous tables; the color scheme was bright and full of energy, and each table was topped with a zesty and plentiful bouquet.

As they poured wine, Saragh’s father began with a touching speech, followed by the bridesmaids and the groomsmen. I enjoyed hearing them speak, but I couldn’t help but let my mind wander. Over the years Saragh and I have shared a special bond. Aside from growing up in the same town, going to the same country club and school, and having similar family backgrounds, she and I both have a deep passion for design and style. Although she is a licensed accountant, having worked for one of the big four for quite some time then working her way into finance in NYC, she followed her heart into design related journalism/marketing at the Scout Guide, and is now finishing her degree in interior design in NYC while putting down roots in Dallas, TX. She has done so many wonderful things over the last few years and I am so proud of her. I’m so proud of the kind and enthusiastic woman she is. My mind raced through all of the memories we have had together.

Her father is from England, and around 2012 she treated me to a whirlwind two week vacation at their family’s various properties in the English countryside and London; it was amazing and something I will absolutely never forget.

As the speeches wrapped up, I centered myself back to reality and realized Saragh has grown up! She’s a married woman now and has this beautiful and amazing new family who are here to support her through better or worse. One of the groomsmen, the brother of Jim (the groom) said “We’ve never had a sister before, but we are so glad to have Saragh. Whether you like it or not, you have a bunch of brothers now!” There are so many quotes from the speeches that meant a lot, and I am just so grateful for Saragh and her kind and gentle soul. She will be a marvelous wife and future mother, and the kind of friend I will have for a lifetime.

The dinner was served and there was a quiet stillness as I think everyone reflected on the very special speeches, but it wasn’t before long that the beautifully paired tables started roaring with laughter and cheer. As we devoured our savory salads, filet mignon with fingerling potatoes, and other delicious treats, I had the pleasure of catching up with one of my own best friend’s and classmates from Columbia University, Alex! Ironically, she married a Danish man with the last name Eriksen! We thought this was fabulous. Rasmus and Christopher got in a lot of good chatting in Scandinavian and I even got to throw in my learnings! I haven’t seen either of them since our senior ball back in 2013 so it was an absolute treat to see them again.

Saragh and Jim had their father daughter, and mother son dances which were lovely; as well as dances with both of their grandparents!

The band got us up and dancing in no time! It was so energetic and so lively. Rasmus and I danced for so long, and shared a lot of funny “moves” with the bride, groom, and other guests! Among the dancers, they swiftly had a cake cutting of the spectacular cake.

As the evening roared on into the late evening, Rasmus and I stepped out onto the deck to look out onto the river. With the moon in the distance, and the scene around us, I couldn’t help but feel anything but at peace. Rasmus added, “That band! Wow! In Norway they’d be on the news! ‘BEST BAND EVER!'” He was right! We took a few moments to catch up with old friends one last time, before quietly sneaking out of the party.

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Mac Branin and fiancé Lindsay Walls
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Christopher Eriksen and wife Alex Smith Eriksen
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Taylor Brown and wife Amanda McKean Brown
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Dominic Phillips and Rosa Crawford
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Rasmus Eriksen and wife Brooke Eriksen

Outside in the parking area there was a food truck from the Light House, a quintessential culinary staple of our community! They have the best Italian ice and ice cream! This was the most creative and fun “goodbye” gift from the wedding! Rasmus indulged in an ice cream himself, and we gave mine to my mom!

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The evening and events of the weekend were absolutely magical. Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Jim Soltesz (!), and to Heather and Stephen (and brother, Christian!) on a spectacular event and ode to your wonderful daughter and her husband!

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