I was recently asked to share some of the photos from our wedding day!
and since it's Thursday and my sister is engaged (love on the mind) I figured- why not?
While I'm at it- I'll document a little bit of our love story, because I'm feeling nostalgic and sentimental
also- sorry for the photo overload.
a girl can't help herself.
Steve and I met on a frigid, hectic December night, studying for finals in the library. As fate would have it, I got up from my cubicle to get a drink of water and ran into a girl I knew from the freshmen dorms whom I hadn't seen in a few years. We caught up for a couple minutes and it came up that in January I was heading out on a study abroad to Jerusalem, and wouldn't you know it? The boy she was dating at the time was headed to Jerusalem too! What a coincidence- and wouldn't I like to meet him? "Sure! I'll keep an eye on him for you while we're abroad!" You didn't know this story was so juicy did you? Don't worry- it gets better.
Upon meeting, Steve and I both instantly knew we were not each other's type. He was blonde, wearing argyle, AND he had forgotten to put his deposit (for Jerusalem) down- clearly not on the ball. I was wearing a rather eclectic assortment of bright colors, and therefore, clearly must be one of those whimsical artsy types.When Steve stood up at orientation as the only guy in our flight group my mom elbowed me in the ribs with her eyebrows raised saying "Hey Jess, he's cute! You should totally date him." To which I replied something to the effect of..."that is literally the last boy on this study abroad I would end up dating, not only is he totally not my type but we were introduced by his girlfriend who i know. Totally off-limits." I'm sure there were a lot of "totally's" in my argument.
And so we jet-setted off to the Holy Land to the best experience of our college careers, a little nervous and completely oblivious to the fact that the person we were meant to be with was only a few rows away. Upon arriving to our study abroad Steve and I became fast friends. There was a little trio of us that spent a lot of time together canvassing Jerusalem. Aleni and I cut Steve's hair through the whole program, if that gives you a good picture of how chummy we were. Come to find out, I was a country music-listening, novel-loving cowgirl from Yosemite and he was a snow boarding city boy who listened to rap. We couldn't be more different on the outside but our kindred spirits couldn't keep away from each other. We constantly found ourselves paired off talking (out of our group of 80) on field trips and jaunts in the city. The great thing about it was we knew we were off limits to each other. We had written each other off romantically. Ironically, this let us get to know each other without all the awkwardness that inevitably comes with a potential "beau". We didn't feel we needed to impress each other and it was easy, easy to be together.
I feel I should mention here that Steve broke up with his aforementioned girlfriend right after we got to Jerusalem. To be clear.
I feel I should also mention that I had written Steve (and any other boy for that matter) off for another reason besides the fact that I knew his ex-girlfriend. I had this "missionary" coming home that Spring. He wasn't a missionary like "I'm sure I'm going to marry him" and we sign our letters "I love you" kind of missionary, but he was my first kiss and we were good friends and I was stubborn and always said I wanted to at least see him when he got home from his mission. I can be awfully stubborn you know- it's the cowgirl in me.
So the semester went on and I started realizing that in my heart, my friendship with Steve was slowly changing. I wanted more and I couldn't understand why. I poured my heart out to God, wondering why I was having these feelings! I prayed to know if it was the right thing and I prayed that they would go away if it wasn't, but gosh dangit those butterflies kept coming. It cumulated on a deserted beach in Galilee after our group of friends dwindled away leaving the two of us alone together. We clasped hands and talked as we walked along until we ran out of sand. We'd crossed that intangible barrier and there was no going back.
On the one hand being with Steve felt different than it had with anyone I'd ever dated. I felt safe and peaceful. Being with him, I didn't overanalyze or think about the eventual possibility of marrying him. We just were and it felt right. On the other hand, I was conflicted. That darn stubborn streak wouldn't give up and I was confused. When Steve tried to kiss me a couple nights later I wouldn't let him get close, my arms stiffened and I told him I didn't want to be exclusive while we were on our study abroad. Steve wasn't happy about it but obliged for the time being.
Hereafter follows a time I don't much like to recall. My heart was confused and ruddied and it came out in sarcastic biting remarks, pushing Steve away- then pulling him back again. I think we both left Jerusalem a little confused and downhearted about the whole situation. Steve spent that spring studying and working in Provo and I went to Palo Alto to nanny my little cousins. We g-chatted and sent a lot of really funny sarcastic e-mails to each other. I told him about the "missionary". I dreaded doing it but I knew I had to. He told me he would wait until I knew what to do. I still shudder to think that I could have lost him then and probably should have. I was such a twit.
The spring waned and at the end of it, the dreaded moment arrived. I went down to a girlfriend's mission farewell and stole away one evening to see said returned missionary. It was good to see him. We chatted for a couple hours, caught up on the last two years and I came driving back thinking that not much had changed. The next few days felt like I was walking in a fog. I was cranky and unhappy- I drove back to Utah in a car full of my best friends and I couldn't even enjoy it. Ask them- I was aloof and kind of a crank. At first I didn't connect my mood to my heart...PMS? Then I realized what was wrong. The missionary was a great guy, he had brown hair but he was not the one for me. I remember as soon as I knew I sent him and email explaining that I just wanted to be friends, nothing more. It felt like a huge weight off my shoulders. Steve knew I was back in Utah and he called not thirty minutes later to ask me on a date to the Strawberry Days rodeo. I said yes and I don't think I've stopped smiling since. I saw him that night at a Jerusalem reunion and I thought my heart was going to fly out of my chest. I made the right decision. We went on a date that Saturday, went on a long walk on Sunday and Monday, exactly three months after we first held hands (to the day), we kissed.
The rest is a sun-filled blur of happiness. I guess we got all of our bickering out before we started dating because I don't think we said one cross word to each other our entire dating experience. It was so easy and so right. Falling in love with Steve was better than even my Jane Austen reading 14 year old self could have imagined. One summer night we went up the canyon and Steve lifted me in his arms and told me he loved me. Of course, I knew. When he dropped me off at my apartment that night he said "I'm in love with Jessica Veater", smirked as if to himself, and drove away.
That fall we got engaged under a canopy of flaming red trees up the canyon where he'd told me he loved me. I wasn't expecting the proposal that night but he wrote me a song on his guitar and got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I'd never been more happy in my life. We were married in the Fresno temple that December on a beautiful sunny day surrounded by family and close friends. The day was perfect and beautiful and even though I like to toy with the idea (especially since Pinterest came around) I don't think I would have changed a thing. I got to design the silk dress of my dreams, my man was handsome and a big brass band serenaded us to Sinatra tunes in an old renovated ballroom downtown. The only thing that I regret is getting married out of peony season.
We introduced each other as "husband" and "wife" with baby faces glowing with pride, then left our reception in a tasteful, rose petal adorned car (thanks to Kasee and my sister who fended off the ravenous groomsmen)
and we've been living happily ever after ever since.
^^ my favorite photo from the day ^^