This wedding was a beautiful representation of everything good that can happen when longtime friends realize they are falling in love with one another; when two cultures come together and embrace one another without hesitation; when a girl’s lifelong dream of getting married at the house she grew up in actually comes true. But there were moments when all of those things were doubted and worried about.
When Caitlin and Walid, who had been friends for 10 years, held hands and later kissed while she was on a trip to his home country of Jordan, she immediately thought, “What have I done?! I’ve just kissed my good friend!” But then, one week later they were making plans for the long term and talking about commitment.
Caitlin was nervous whether Walid’s Muslim family would approve of him marrying a Catholic, American girl. But a few days after she met his family, Walid’s grandmother, who is very traditional, turned to the whole family and proclaimed, “This is going to be Walid’s wife.”
And then there was the wedding itself. Caitlin’s vision of the perfect, sunny Florida wedding day, in her childhood backyard by the river, was met with the reality of a crazy storm that passed through, dumping rain and blasting wind throughout most of the day up until…. the ceremony itself. We scrambled and had to do formal photos in various spots inside the house and under shelter, but the rain stopped long enough for Caitlin to get married where she always wanted to – in her yard, by the water, the very place where she had played as a child, barefoot most days, the spot that meant more to her than anywhere else in the world. They were married by an imam on Friday, and by a priest on Saturday.
They laughed, they cried, they celebrated. The party that night felt like one huge outpouring of joy combined with one huge sigh of relief – that these two friends found their way back to one another, that their families adore each other, and that Mother Nature showed a little mercy in the end. Because once you’re good and married, all those brief worries fade into a distant memory, and what rises to the top is what went right.