I don’t often cry at weddings. But this one had me in tears. I’ve known this bride and her daughters for a long time now. We were both ballet moms back when I was struggling a LOT as a parent. Amylyn’s fun-loving, yet compassionate personality was just what I needed once a week to rejuvinate my spirits. I was so excited for her when she told me she was dating someone. The joy in her voice was so evident. I asked her if the girls had met him and if they liked him and she replied, “Yes! And Yes! Because he’s AWESOME!” I didn’t get a chance to meet Otis until the night before the wedding. And she was so right. These two actually dated 25 years ago before eventually parting ways. They met while working for the Appalachia Service Project. I can’t imagine a better place for two such kind and giving people to meet. In fact, they INSISTED that none of their guests bring them gifts. But knowing that so many of their friends also have giving hearts, they requested that a donation be made to ASP if they felt inclined to give.
The wedding took place at the stunning Corey Ippolito Winery. The weather was perfect and the company was so fun.
Everyone arrived less than an hour before the ceremony began. Amylyn and her sister expertly helped her girls get ready. In the meantime, Otis took care of some last minute details while dealing with a little ribbing from him mother.
With just minutes to spare, Otis made a few last minute additions to his wardrobe. He found it incredibly amusing that he’s been dressing himself for as long as he can remember, but no one had ever documented that before. One of the things I loved most about their wedding was that nearly all those involved were people who had impacted their lives in one way or another. Including the priest.
Even though it was less than minutes before the ceremony, Otis made it a point to send his best man to find Amylyn. He gave her Otis’s last piece of chalk and his last piece of gum (I think I got that right). I have no idea what that means or why it is significant, but Amylyn had a hard time containing her emotion and it was clearly an incredibly thoughtful wedding gift.
I LOVE that her sister stepped in to walk Amylyn down the aisle. These two have an amazing bond that was cemented, in part, by an incredibly selfless gift that Amylyn gave her nearly 19 years ago. Amylyn and Otis dated for a substantial amount of time in college and her family got to know him well. Her sister even contacted him several years ago when she was preparing a thoughtful gift for her Amylyn’s birthday.