I recently attended the wedding of my close childhood and college friend, Ashley, to her sweetheart Ben on the idyllic Orcas Island in the San Juans. Ashley and Ben now live in Washington, DC, so it was wonderful to have them back in this corner of the country for a few very special days.
Orcas Island is quintessentially Northwest. On Friday, we drove off of the ferry to the town of Olga on the island to eat crab and shrimp at Buck Bay Shellfish Farm. We were in heaven as we cracked crabs with our bare hands at picnic tables and slurped down fresh Dungeness. At the Saturday farmer’s market we ate grilled cheese with foraged mushrooms and bought watercolor greeting cards from a 6th grader named Flora. We sang karaoke at the local pub on Friday night, and at the wedding we ate delicious cedar-plank salmon and slurped too many oysters to count. We were in heaven.
The special thing about Ashley and Ben’s relationship is that their love is so palpable. The entire weekend was incredibly romantic — from the personal vows, to the John Steinbeck reading, to the sweeping eagle that flew overhead after they were pronounced husband and wife. I’ll never forget the video compilation Ashley’s dad put together of several home videos from Ashley’s childhood. (Cue the waterworks.) When she and Ben were dancing to their first song as husband and wife, the joy on each of their faces was contagious. Ashley looked absolutely stunning and it was the best feeling to see our friend so happy.