It’s true. Either you have them, or you don’t. Not everyone is lucky enough to have genuine old friends, the kind where you may not talk each other for a while because distance, and life in general, just gets in the way. The kind of friend that when you do get the chance the reconnect again, it’s honestly like you’ve never missed a beat. That friend with who you can reminisce like it was yesterday and laugh so hard your stomach hurts.
I’ve got two old friends like that and yesterday they married each other. I was the lucky one who got to help them make it official.
When Ondrea and Dan first asked me if I'd officiate their wedding, I was really sad to decline as the dates they had chosen didn't work for me because of my bookings for the current wedding season. It's not my style to cancel a client at short notice just because 'something else came up' so I was incredibly disappointed but prepared for the fact that I would miss out on their big day.
Bless their hearts - so what did they do next? They only then went and changed the wedding date completely, so it would coincide with my planned Christmas trip to the Deep South. What was more important to them than the date, they said, was that the person that first introduced them to each other 20 years ago would also be the person to help them get married, half a lifetime later.
A bit of backstory. The newly minted Mrs K is the girl with who I shared so much in my teenage years. There were a few years there where we did absolutely everything together and if I'm honest, we definitely had PLENTY of misspent youth. We had so many mad adventures - honestly there are too many to count! And boy, there were plenty of near misses too and the evening of my 16th birthday is one in particular that stands out - frankly we're lucky to be alive to tell the story. Which I won't, on the grounds it may incriminate us but needless to say, when I think back to those crazy and fun days, she's in pretty much every one of those memories.
I was even privileged enough to be present at the birth of her first child, a moment I haven't and will never forget. Yesterday it blew my mind to see that tiny little baby boy as a now nearly 20 year old man, proudly standing with his brother and sister alongside their Mum and Dad as they said I Do.
Mr K and I first became acquainted with each other when he was a regular patron at a bar I worked at a few years later and we became good mates. He is, and always has been, one of those legit good-guys who was straight shooting, with no pretences, no bullshit. The kind of friend everyone needs in their circle and as a direct result of that, he then met the love of his life.
My two friends, previously unknown to each other before one fateful night where she came to meet me after work - and it so happened that he was also there and I introduced them, as you do. After that moment, I recall a big night out on the town together with the typical shenanigans but the upshot is that they have never been apart since and the rest, as they say, is history.
I've never before felt so much pressure writing a wedding ceremony. When you already know all of their story, it should make it easier but the opposite applied in this case. Because I love them both it was incredibly important for me to get it right and to take their guests on a journey that truly represented their 20 wonderful years together.
By all accounts I achieved that, but the personal nature of their ceremony got to me right at the end...either that or someone nearby was cutting onions.
The end result was - two more legitimate soulmates got signed-up for life yesterday and I was so honoured to be standing there with them on such a special day. They are not the first friends I have married, and in the next 12 months I have other good friends I'm also going to be officiating for. But never again will I marry any friends who are older friends to me than they are. They've got that title, and they'll have it for life. Which is as long as they'll have my friendship, and as long as I'll have theirs.
Over the past 20 years, I have certainly changed. They too have changed. Most of all, the world around us has changed. But what has not changed is the deep love and respect that they have for each other, and yesterday it was plain to see.
Congratulations again you two - you did it. ❤️
Love to you always, from your old friend Amber xx
Photo credit: Monica Toretto