I just love a winter wedding, especially one that is as romantic as Chelsea and James’. When this fun-loving couple hired me as their wedding officiant, they expressed wanting to have their love story told as part of their ceremony. They wanted their non-denominational service to be modern, personal and meaningful. My bespoke ceremony was perfect for them.
Our story begins at a bus station. How apropos it is that like many interesting and fascinating love stories, theirs emerges from a crossroads of sorts. It was 2008 when James and Chelsea were both working on the same film shoot. Chelsea remembers first meeting James at the Stockholm Park & Ride bus station just before the film crew jumped on board the NJ Transit to begin shooting in Vernon. She says, “I knew right away that he was a really good man…a little dorky, a little nerdy but very sweet…There was something different about him that made me question everything – I felt a shift in my life at that moment.” But, as she said to herself outside the bus station, “Damn, he’s taken,” she felt it was not meant to be. The encounter however was not one sided. James recalls the first time he met Chelsea: “I was magnetically attracted to her…it was an all-encompassing wave of emotion; an instant that told me in no uncertain terms we were meant to be together. She was so beautiful in a way that seemed different than any other girl I’ve ever seen. I also remembered that she smelled good. It was love at first sight…I felt like I was going crazy, but the time wasn’t right.” Aware that the stars were not aligned in their favor they stayed friends through the film’s completion and then went their separate ways.
Years later, still in New York, Chelsea started a Hurricane Sandy Relief program. Reaching out to all of her family, friends and acquaintances for donations and assistance she sent a Facebook message to James who was now living in Los Angeles. Upon reading her message he knew more than ever they were destined for each other. When Chelsea heard from a friend that James was single, she knew right away that he was the one. They spent the next month talking for hours over the phone every night. Four years after that charismatic first meeting, they had their first date. James says, “It was like meeting an old friend and being on a blind date in the same moment. We spent the rest of the night talking and catching up on the past four years.” Chelsea adds, “As the hours flew by I knew more and more as each hour passed that yes, that feeling I had over the phone of ahha was right. He was the one for me.” So sure was Chelsea that a week or so after they reconnected that she went around telling all her friends and family that she was getting married and having redheaded babies. Every part of her being knew it to be true. The old adage – “when you know, you know” kept playing in her mind. Six months later, James decided to move back to the city where he first met Chelsea. Romantically enough, they both described the drive cross country from California to New York as one of their most cherished memories. It was a time of excitement; a new beginning and once again a crossroad of sorts. For James the move meant no longer having to count down the minutes until he’d have to leave Chelsea, each time more difficult than the previous. For Chelsea it meant their love was real and it was happening. They stopped in Zion National Park at a beautiful hotel for the second night of their journey. There they sat out on the balcony, gazing up at the clear evening sky simply taking in the magnitude of so many stars. Chelsea describes the moment, “All of a sudden a beautiful long, bright shooting star went across the sky and we both turned and looked at each other. It was awesome. We were in the right place with each other at the right time.”
Sometimes we have to go through life’s changes and choices in order to come to the point to which where we were destined. Sometimes it’s so obvious but many times only the Powers That Be truly know how it will all come together – we just have to have a little faith.