23 June 2016
One year ago, we celebrated Lilly and NIK in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Just after their wedding, I published the words I spoke at the reception, but I have taken my time reflecting on the day. I could lie and tell you that it has taken so long because my work days are crowded, but the truth is, I wanted to be sure that Lilly (and Nik) loved the recap, and the stress of that had me avoiding WordPress.
A few weeks ago I recruited the other Katie’s help. That felt exactly right. A post from the two of us is far better than a post from just me. Katie is funnier than I am, she is an active photo taker (almost all the photos in this post are hers) and she’ll never admit it, but she is the better writer.
We’ve organized our memories into three categories: what made us smile so big, what made us so emotional and what made us so grateful.
Enjoy our walk down memory lane….we really did:
What made us smile so big…
Even before the wedding day, we smiled big.
Katie Kopil: The proposal (planned by NIK) happened during a weekend away in Vermont with a long winter walk, fireside sharing of dreams for their life together, and, naturally, delicious pie. It was a complete representation of how Lil and NIK love to spend time together.
Katie Krum: When Lilly called to tell me they were engaged, I didn’t have many words, so I just took screen captures of the Facetime moment. My heart was so happy: My best friend was so joyful.
Katie Kopil: During a dinner at Lilly’s bachelorette in Austin, we sat around the table at the house rental eating BBQ and chatting. Looking around, we realized that the collective group of friends that had gathered represented every part of Lilly’s life. We each claimed our own chapter. We smiled. And maybe cried a little too.
Katie Kopil: And we laughed more than smiled when we asked whether NIK and Lilly’s trip up to Williamstown was easy … they got pulled over and had to explain to the officer that they were getting married and were just so excited they forgot the speed limit.
Katie Krum: During the wedding weekend, Lilly and NIK stayed true to form, which mostly means they put everyone ahead of themselves. While most brides are worried about their hair and make-up (of course!!), Lilly left very little time for the curling iron and was much more interested in perfecting the wedding day decorations and spending time with family. My favorite homemade wedding decoration: The colorful flag bunting strung throughout the reception tent ceiling.
Katie Krum: Lilly’s wedding dress: Lilly thought for a quick moment that she was going to wear a more casual frock. (She’s a fashionable, yet casual women. Sneakers with skirts and skinny jeans with relaxed, oversized button down are her jam.) But instead (I think Reagan convinced her!) she went with a lace, full-length wedding dress. Perfect.
What made us so emotional…
Katie Krum: When friends asked me: How was Lilly’s wedding!? I almost always replied: It was beautiful. And so much emotion. Just raw emotion. Lilly’s mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2013 and stuff hasn’t been easy. Like all weddings, we wanted everything to go off without a hitch. But there was an extra layer: We hoped that Mrs. Preston would be present.
Katie Krum: While Lilly was getting ready, I snuck away for a moment to practice my speech. Lilly’s mom turned my way, so I asked her if she would be my audience. She nodded. I spoke the words with gusto and love hoping that even if she wasn’t following along in full she felt the love. I finished and turned to find Lilly watching us.
Katie Kopil: Their vows. Holy cats! We were left speechless. An excerpt:
“I will always see the inherent wonder in a universe that brought me to you, and made you give me a second first date. Had a single step or stumble been different, we may never have met or become the people we are.”
“I will not pretend that the hard moments are not hard, or tell you that everything will be ok when we know it will not. When there are times to cry, I will cry with you. When you feel weak on your legs, I will be there to hold you up, and say, “I’m right here.” And I always will be.”
“I will make your parents my parents. Your sister my sister. (Your brother my brother.) Your family mine and mine yours, as we build a family of our own.”
Katie Krum: NIK’s (the speech writer’s) speech. All the speeches made us very emotional. I called it a speech throw-down. (Katie and I were very intimidated to give our speeches!) But NIK, who went last, stole the show. He called me a few days before the wedding and asked what I thought of him giving a speech about Lilly’s mom. It was an overwhelming yes, but, at the time, I had no idea:
As NIK shared details about Mrs. Preston’s generous and warm personality he had collected from friends and family and shared the parallels of personality between Lilly and Mrs. Preston the room unwound: Tears. Tissues. And intense listening. Everyone was present. Including Mrs. Preston. We all watched as she smiled with the mention of her name and the standing ovation at the end of the speech.
What made us so grateful …
Katie Kopil: That Nik’s godparents, Jay and Rachel, couldn’t be talked out of their impromptu offer to share their home for the wedding –- breathtaking, intimate, and perfect for Lil and NIK’s desire to make sure they spent the day focused on others.
Katie Krum: The wonderful weather!
Katie Kopil: Lilly was able to steal quiet, special moments with her family…like having pie with Regan and her mom, and an under the radar father-daughter dance with JP.
Katie Krum: Recently I very randomly met a woman who went to high school with Lilly. I exclaimed: This is crazy! Lilly isn’t just my friend, she is my person! Lilly, Katie and I will always be each other’s people. But NIK is truly Lilly’s person. And Lilly is NIK’s. This makes us the most grateful: That they found each other. Happy 1 Year Anniversary! So much love.