10.31.2008

A NYC Wedding

Hell's Kitchen

My sister and Dan fell in love in Paris. I know, I know. It sounds a little cliche. But I assure you, there was nothing cliche about it. Rather, it was two people--scratch that--two best friends in the right place at the right time.

Tara moved to NYC soon after her graduation from Skidmore, a small liberal arts school in Upstate New York. We, her family, were sure she'd get over her big city living dreams within the year and move home. After all, she's a Portland, Orygun Native. What could a big city like that offer a big town girl like her? We expected the phone call any day, the one that would tell us she was finally ready to call it quits and come home. But it never came. It's been six years and she's still there. And we have Dan to blame for this. Well, that's not technically true. Tara loves New York. Her heart beats and her blood flows with the pulse and rhythm of that city. She loves, in no particular order: the hustle and the bustle, brownstone apartments, walks along the Hudson, lobster rolls, gallery after gallery, late nights (so long as she doesn't see the sun come up), hidden gems, music in the park, Diversity (with a capital D) and Culture (with a capital C), endless conversations with fabulous people, event planning, etc. Without a doubt, my sister was thriving in New York. She was just missing that one thing. You know that thing, that thing we all crave from time to time? Yes, that's right, L-O-V-E. My sister was craving love. You see, even with her big fancy job and her teensy fancy brownstone apartment my sister knew something was missing in her life. She wanted to fall in love.

Dear, dear sister. How many times did I try to tell her that she would never find a date when all of her free time was spent with her best friend, Dan. Dan and Tara went to college together and though they ran around in similar circles they were never really friends. That is until they both moved to a ever-bustling city where friends become dear to you like lifelines. Pretty soon these acquaintances spent all their free time together bumming around Central Park, cruising galleries, and eating their way around town. And whenever she would express her desire to meet someone, I told her that it would be impossible so long as Dan was in her life. At one point I even said to her, "You should just date the guy. You're practically there already."
"But it's not like that with Dan," she'd say.
Ha--it never is.

That is until Dan got an amazing opportunity to move to Paris to work with some uber-famous photographers. Knowing that this was his dream in the making Tara supported this journey. How could she not? It combined all of the things the two of them loved: travel, photography, and opportunity. But she was sad. Lord, was she sad to see her friend go. Her "D." And I assure you, Dan was just as sad to say goodbye to his "T." That's when Tara felt what it was like to be lonely; a feeling she's never been fond of and more importantly a feeling she hadn't had since she befriended Dan. It was a sad day when Tara and Dan said their goodbyes. The night before his flight she threw him a huge going away party and waved goodbye.

Then one day my sister told me she thought she might have feelings for Dan. You know, those kind of feelings. I remember I was sitting in my friend's apartment in Los Angeles. She was in New York and Dan was still in Paris. "Duh," was about all I could muster up at the time. (I think "Duh" was pretty much the overwhelming response from everybody once they heard about this friendship that turned romantic.) And so she went. Like a real life Carrie Bradshaw my sister left her home in NYC and flew to Paris to see if what she was feeling was real or just a classic case of homesickness. And the thing she realized while she was there was that it was both; the feeling was definitely real and that Dan was indeed her "home" and he was missing.

I think--hum--I actually know that this fact is my absolute favorite part of their love story. Although the whole world saw it before them it never mattered. It didn't matter until it hit them over the heads like a ton of bricks. Forgive me for saying, but it was in Paris that "T and D" had their Oprah "Aha!" Moment. And their lives-- our lives-- have never been the same since.

Here's a true story-- I never even asked Tara what Dan looked like until she told she was beginning to have feelings for him. I guess in my mind it never mattered until then. But once she admitted this feeling to me-- to herself, I was dying to know. "Well, he actually kind of looks like Evan," was her response. This made me laugh and continues to make me laugh given the fact that when the four of us go out together the assumption is ALWAYS that we are dating brothers rather than vice versa. In fact, when Dan's parents met Evan for the first time they exclaimed, "You look more like our son than our other son!!!" The minute Dan entered our lives like that, like in "my sister's boyfriend" sort of way, everything was different in our family. Our family became complete. Yes, that is a cliche and I'll admit it but it's true. Dan taught my family how to be a family and for that we will be forever grateful. He also supplies us with the best photography advice, the best fashion advice, and is willing to throw-down with the best of us at the dinner table. He also makes a mean tuna casserole, can play Scrabble until he can't see straight (a requirement of anyone dating/married to a Jepson sister), loves to travel, and sees the world with an eye we could all envy. Most importantly, he made my sister believe in Love and that is the best thing he's ever done in his life (in my humble opinion).

So...(whew) you can see why this wedding was such an absolute joy to be a part of. Undoubtedly it was history in the making.

Something Old; our Great Grandmother's brooch

Tara and Dan were married on a wet, blustery day. Funny thing is, the week leading up to and the days following were clear and even warm. We all tried assuring Tara and Dan that this wet weather was nothing but a good omen. The ladies drank champagne, had their make-up and hair did and done, oohed and ahhed over flower arrangements, and debated shoe choice on a friend's roof-top apartment in Hell's Kitchen. The men drank Budweiser and Johnny Walker, ironed their wrinkled shirts, and joked around in the same building, in said friend's little sister's apartment.

City Soul Mates

Their ceremony was heartfelt, full of tears, and nothing short of perfect. Large cylindrical vases housing pieces of birch and white puffs of hydrangeas flanked the aisle. Bright Eyes' "First Day of My Life" lead us all down to the chuppah. John Lennon's"Oh Yoko" lead us away.
Dinner was a four course affair, made complete by mini creme brulees, pot de cremes, and pumpkin pies.

Dinner Menus for Two

We danced the night away amongst a cityscape whose lights were humbled by brilliant bolts of lightening.

The most funked out Hora you've ever seen

The photobooth provided hours of entertainment for all the guests and in the end I literally found myself having to drag Evan away from it.


I think it's safe to say the wedding was everything we all had hoped for. My sister found her Love. And because of that she is home.

7 comments:

Kendal said...

what a beautiful, beautiful post. thank you for sharing this, and congratulations to Tara and Dan!

Elizabeth said...

You write beautifully, this made me tear up. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the photo booth pics.

Anonymous said...

Oh silver tongued one - a more beautiful, heartfelt toast could not be written. I am brought to tears (the sweet ones) once again. xxoo

msaims said...

aw.

I'm tearing up too!

and 'oh Yoko' is my favorite song.

some story for the grand kids...

Shannon said...

I love your stories - thanks for sharing a bit of real life romance with us!

Packof2 said...

You two are so cute! Love those pics!

Ali and Evan said...

Thank you Everyone for your sweet, kind, and thoughtful words. I assure you that your comments have been shared with T & D. Yay for Love. Rock on.