Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Our Love Story: The Wedding


The perfect day…that’s what it was. The day you never forget, no matter what happens. June 22, 2007 for me will always be the best day of my life. Shaina and I were wed that afternoon at in front of our family and close friends. There are so many memories from that day, where to begin? Let’s start a few days before the wedding.

I spent two consecutive days driving back and forth from Seattle, picking up my friends who were able to fly out from Massachusetts, My best friend Matthew Gagne and his wife Eunice, and my buddies Manny Gomes, and Micah Gentile. It was becoming a well-traveled route for me. My best friend Nate (from the story of the day we met) was also my best man. Rather than rent tuxedos we bought new suits. So we had taken a trip to Tacoma to K&G for new suits, I got a dark brown suit with golden tan double pinstripes and Nate got a lighter brown suit with stripes done in squares of muted, subtle teals, and reds. We made a handsome pair for sure. It was just going to be me and him, Shaina, and her best friend Kelly, plus her youngest sister was our flower girl. We intentionally kept it small.

All of us guys were at my buddy Nate’s house the night before the wedding.  We all got a late start on the day. When we were all up, we went to my parent’s house for breakfast, after which I drove my friends up the hill at Mission Ridge, the local ski hill that my parents lived at the bottom of. We took in the good views, relaxed and just enjoyed the moment. I wasn’t nervous, just excited, and happy beyond words. We all went back to Nate’s and got ready, after which we went to one of the local parks for pre-wedding pictures. It was there I was shown my beautiful bride. She was and remains truly breathtaking! Shaina will always stay that beautiful in my mind.

The time had arrived.  No one was late. We married on a Friday, so we would have the whole weekend to ourselves. My Dad gave our wedding talk, and did a great job. At one point my dad made a reference to how, as you grow older together, some couples start to look alike. I looked over at Shaina and said “Sorry!” That got everyone laughing! We had a small reception for family and friends and we kept it to sixty people. The reception was at a nice place, which normally was a bistro, but catered, did the cake, and hosted the reception. For some reason we couldn’t get my bands P.A. system to work till the very end, so just Shaina and I danced to one song before we were off for our honeymoon. We danced to George Benson’s version of “Beyond the Sea.” A good tune If I ever heard one, and great for a dance.

That closes the story of the perfect day. A day I will never forget: June 22, 2007.



We had initially planned on an October wedding. October is my favorite month, and it just seemed perfect. But in all our planning with me 3 hours away it became clear that for us to start our life together in Spokane, we needed to be together in Spokane. So we moved the date of our wedding to June. That meant we now had 2 and ½ months to plan our wedding.

And it was all I ever wanted. Moving the date up took a ton of the pressure off. We were able to keep things super small and simple and I never felt overwhelmed by the details. The day before the wedding was spent with my best friends Kelly-Anne and Katie and my littlest sister Katrina at my parent’s house in Omak. We spent the day swimming in the river and painting our nails and putting together the bouquets. The morning of the wedding we woke up early and my mum drove us down to Wenatchee. We got ready at a friend’s house and my cousin Hannah did everyone’s hair.

I vividly remember seeing myself ready in my dress for the very first time.  I remember imagining Chris’ face when he saw me in my dress as his bride. I felt beautiful because he thought I was beautiful. And then the actual moment when he first saw me was even better than I had imagined. My heart swelled with so much love for him. This was it: the day we would become husband and wife.


We went to the park for pictures before the wedding…special ones of Chris and I and our bridal party. My best friend Kelly-Anne was my Maid of Honor and Nate (from the story of how we met) was Chris’ Best Man. And my little sister Katrina got her wish to be a flower girl before she turned 10.


And then we headed to the Kingdom Hall for the ceremony. My friends and I went to wait in the women’s room while people came in and sat down. Hannah did touch-ups on my hair and I went over my vows. And we waited and waited. Finally we heard over the speaker system Chris’ dad say “Well, the Bride is in the bathroom waiting, would it be okay if we started a little early?” It was probably one of the only weddings in the history of ever that started ahead of schedule!

Chris’ dad was the one who gave our wedding talk. It was personal, funny, poignant and memorable. He made us laugh, and invited us to read the scriptures that applied to us ourselves. That was neat. He referenced Adam and Eve’s purpose to “fill the earth” and gave us a “Go Team” sign and a wink. And then he prayed to God for us as husband and wife.


After saying our vows and exchanging rings we shared our first kiss as a married couple.


And then we were headed to the reception. We invited our close friends and family to join us for dinner and dessert. We were able to find a small bistro run by a friend who catered the meal, made the cake and let us use her space as the venue. It was lovely and intimate and a fond memory sharing the evening with our loved ones. Chris’ parents had made wine especially for the wedding and even created wine labels with our pictures on them. And the cake was amazing! White chocolate with hazelnut cream filling (so good I licked the plate!).


And then we hugged everyone goodbye and drove off on our honeymoon.


The day was perfect…one that we still fondly talk about and remember. My one regret: not having it videotaped. I wish I had thought of it so we could listen to the talk again and watch back the day we became husband and wife.

That was five years ago already…and these five years have been the best of my life. I love being married to Chris and sharing my life with him. We’ve had some good times and made some wonderful memories. Even through the hard times we’ve always had each other, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.


  1. You gave me goosebumps again! What a special day! I love all your photos! Happy, happy anniversary!!

  2. Ahhh! I'm loving Anniversary week! Such a sweet story! I thought I threw my wedding together fast in 6 months. I don't have anything on you! You go girl!! LOL

  3. I am so sad that I chose to miss so much. I am so happy that you are able to spend your life with a wonderful man (He's pretty lucky too ^_~) Thank you for sharing your story. It is such a beautiful compilation of memories. Happy Anniversary Shai. <3

  4. so sweet.....this is a fun series : )

  5. Your dress is beautiful!

    1. thank you so much. I got it preserved through David's Bridal and I love to open the pretty box and just look at it sometimes. :)