It was two years ago. Ben and I walked into a restaurant in Lake Como, Italy, to have a quiet dinner, just the two of us, before things cranked up for Maggie and Dorian’s wedding at Villa del Balbianello a couple days later.
We couldn’t help but overhear that the people at the table beside us were also American. We had a hunch. “Are you guys here for Maggie and Dorian’s wedding?” Indeed they were, and in fact one of them was the best man, Michael. Michael was there with his fiancée, Sarah, and his parents Phil and Kathy. At the end of our respective dinners, we were all separately just finishing our wine and relaxing. The next logical thing was clearly to buy a bottle of limoncello, scoot on over to their table, and finish this night off right.
Now here I am, reminiscing not only about that night, but also (finally!) about Sarah and Michael’s wedding in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. These two got engaged after dating for only eight months (when you know, you know), but then went into a (way-too-long-for-their-friends-and-family) three-year engagement before finally making it official this past June.
It was a weekend of nonstop fun, nonstop love and happy tears. We were repeatedly warned, “This is going to be an emotional one.” And it was. These guys just love their people so, so much, like in a way I can’t even describe, and that was felt all weekend – at the bar when we first arrived, at the laid-back rehearsal dinner at the park, most definitely on the wedding day at the Hagadone Event Center, and on the last day, as we watched Sarah and Michael literally take the plunge.
And that bond that began over after-dinner drinks in Lake Como two years ago was brought full circle on our last night in Coeur d’Alene, during a boat cruise around the lake, when Michael’s mom Kathy sneaked a bottle of limoncello on board and poured a round for her, Phil, Ben and me. We clinked our plastic cups, and I let the warmth wash over me. The warmth of friendship, of families who treat us as one of their own, and the warmth of witnessing a forever love between soul mates that runs deep and inspires everyone around them. That combination is more rare than you might think.