Yesseree! Child Unit 2 (you may know him as Drew) has gotten hitched! Drew met Rachel Bolin, his betrothed, at a conference several years ago and pretty much they became a thing.
First things first, for this post you don’t need to be Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz to figure out who took which photos, between the hired gun and yours truly. Drew and Rachel hired Kari Geha (karigehaweddings.com), who was amazing, as you will see in her photos.
How did Rachel and Drew meet? According to Drew…
I met Rachel because of a love of coffee and a corresponding inability to hold said coffee in my hand. After a small bit of small talk centered around my recent kerfuffle which may or may not have ended with a coffee stain on my shirt, we spent the day together. While a city planning conference may not be in most people’s top 10 romantic spots, it nevertheless provided a great backdrop to get to know each other. I then made a plan in my mind: I’ll ask for this girl’s number at the happy hour. So there I waited, and waited, and waited some more, yet despite my patience, which I hear is a virtue, she was nowhere to be found. However, after a beer or two, I decided that A: Since I wasn’t a city planner I would probably never see this girl again and B: Since I would probably never see this girl again, what do I have to lose, I found a friend who knew her and convinced him to give me her number. We went on our first date and if I do say so myself, it went wonderful. That following weekend I left town to attend a friend’s wedding. At the event, I mentioned to a friend who had been married for a few years that “I met a girl the other day, and I’m going to marry her”. And here we are.
And according to Rachel (to the tune of Avril Lavigne’s Sk8r Boi)…
He was a water resources boy
she was a transportation planning girl
can I make it any more obvious?
He was a dork
she did pottery
what more can I say?
He wanted her
she’d never tell
secretly she wanted him as well
But he asked his friend
for her number
And the rest is history.
I think both Drew and Rachel caught a break and got lucky meeting each other. Months ago, they announced their intentions to get married in November (11/11/22), and that event has now occurred!
We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Rachel into our family (in truth she has been part of our family long before now)! Rachel is such a special young woman, and we are thrilled for Drew. And honestly, this past weekend could not have been more fun. And it was a delight for us to meet the rest of the Bolin family!
Drew and Rachel hosted us (the Roberts and Bolin clans) to an early Thanksgiving on Thursday at their house, or what they describe as Fam’sgiving – fried turkey and all the fixin’s.
For the wedding, Rachel made her own gown – from scratch! Keeping some family ties into the formula, her sleeves were from her mother’s bridesmaid’s gown. AND she made all the ties the guys wore – each one with something personalized on the inside. I hate talented people.
For the Friday wedding service, these two were extremely fortunate to have secured the Right Reverend Niles to officiate! Originally, he was scheduled for the reading of an estate, but slipping $2 into his trouser pocket caused his schedule to suddenly open up. Can I get an amen? You can read the script of the service at the end of this post.
Situated in Cheesman Park in Denver, we set up folding chairs and took over the gazebo for all of 30 minutes to conduct the ceremony. How cool!
While it was an extremely small wedding, it did provide a chance for the kids to get together with best buds.
Steve Bolin, Rachel’s dad, escorted Rachel to the ceremony, and Jeanette Bolin (Rachel’s mom) read a beautiful poem she delivered for the occasion.
We couldn’t be prouder or any more in love with both Drew and Rachel.
For the wedding confetti, Karen made up bags of leaves and flowers to surround the kids as they took their first steps as husband and wife. Most amazingly, before our trip this summer she bought a hole punch that punched holes shaped like a heart. Everywhere we stopped, she gathered leaves and punched out hearts for literally everywhere we traveled. She also added roses, and baby’s breath. Later that evening during dinner, she told the group that the heart-shaped leaves were to celebrate their travels together, the roses were to celebrate their undying love, and the baby’s breath… You get the idea.
More photos from the wedding…
Afterwards, we reconvened at Jovanina’s in downtown Denver for cocktails and a fabulous dinner. Let me just say – for a small group we made a lot of noise!
Today Rachel and Drew are living in downtown Denver. As the saying goes, you can run but you can’t hide. We can visit and camp from time to time at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora, which butts up against Denver. Both the Roberts and the Bolin’s own RV’s, so watch out!
And now, to put you to sleep… the script…
[Cheech and Chong]
On behalf of Rachel and Drew, let me welcome all of you to this very special event!
Today, on this 11th day of the 11th month of the 22nd year of this century, we will witness the marriage of Drew Bradford Roberts and Rachel Elena Bolin, two people we love unconditionally.
Who could possibly love this couple more than this audience? We each have our own very special relationship with these two. You saw Steve Bolin escorting Rachel in on his chariot. Steve, I told you – no theatrics!
Another is Jeanette Bolin. Jen found a poem she would like to share to kick off this ceremony. Jen…
Thank you, Jen, that was beautiful.
Let’s talk about this day. The biggest misconception the bride and groom have is they think this day is about them. We’ll let them believe that for the moment.
Drew and Rachel asked me some months ago if I would say a few words at their wedding. I said sure, I would be honored! In my mind, I would, like, make a toast, or say something witty over the wedding dinner.
As discussions progressed, it became apparent there was a misunderstanding on my part, as to what my role was to be. What Drew meant when he said, “say a few words”, was really, “Dad, would you officiate our wedding?”
Here we are today in this beautiful setting, under these clear skies, with this loving couple, and here I am performing a service I could not possibly be happier or more honored to perform.
Plus, the opportunity to stand in front of your child and force him to listen to you for 5 minutes, without comment, without interruption, is more than any father could possibly dream of.
Trust me – I am under no illusions. Neither one of these kids will remember a single word I say up here today. Neither will you. But you will remember that this day, above all else, was about love.
I thought a lot about this moment, and my responsibility. Officiate a wedding? What do I say?
I had no knowledge of anyone who has ever officiated a wedding that I could turn to.
Well, except for Drew. I couldn’t very well ask him for guidance. That would be, shall we say, awkward. It is, after all, his wedding.
I didn’t want to google what others have said or done previously, because those wouldn’t be my thoughts or words.
Karen, over the years, has provided me with the very best counsel. If I asked her for help, I knew that in very short order she would come up with great advice and possibly the perfect soliloquy. But they wouldn’t be my thoughts or words.
So, I thought, Brad, stick with what you know. That very quickly ruled out chemistry.
It also ruled out biology, world history, automotive repair, engineering, brain surgery, architecture, and animal husbandry.
I needed to pick something that I could relate to, that I see and experience every day. I chose to talk about love.
In my mind, and perhaps in its’ simplest iteration, the concept of love is to serve.
I believe anyone who has ever volunteered has felt they received way more satisfaction and fulfillment than their efforts cost them.
The same can be true in a good marriage. Volunteerism, small acts of kindness, and simple thoughtfulness, can be the most rewarding activities we ever perform. Marriage can and should be the pinnacle of thoughtfulness.
Love is not some big bang moment. OK, that is a lie. I personally experienced a big bang moment when I first saw Karen on the dance floor at our 15th year high school reunion. To this day it still makes me swoon a little whenever I hear her voice or see her smiling face.
Perhaps most importantly, we are best friends. Next April, Karen and I will be married 35 years, 7 of them happily (who wrote this!). May you two enjoy even half of our happiness.
In the coming years, you will be many things to each other. Hopefully you are, and will remain, best friends. With any luck, you will grow to be old and withered, well beyond ours and Steve and Jen’s lives, with countless memories of your own together. And maybe, just maybe, you will have children just as loving and wonderful as ours.
I see love when I see Drew and Rachel perform the most mundane chores together, ride their bikes, or goof on each other during photos.
I see love as I watch the Bolin family and friends interact with Rachel – as daughter, sister, and friend. I see love when I see Evan sneak a glance at Mallory. I see love represented by all your participation here on this special day.
Love is not one thing, but a thousand things. It is kindness, heaped upon kindness, that becomes this tightly woven fabric.
Words of wisdom? I have a few words, although it remains arguable how much wisdom.
- Listen. Careful, attentive listening is the truest form of respect. The key to good listening is caring. Listening is loving.
- Own your own path. We all navigate our own paths; there is no one right answer, and no one else knows the right path for you two.
- Invest in your love. Inevitably, you will say or do something to the other that is ill-phrased, perhaps something unintended possibly in the heat of the moment. In other words, you will say or do something incredibly freaking stupid. As Captain of this Starship, I have personal knowledge. You will need your love account bucket to be well funded. A bucket empties faster than it fills.
- Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. I never read this book, but I believe that technically this is a correct statement. Vive la difference.
- Pick your fights. Not every fight is worth winning. But some are. Choose wisely.
- Cheer for New England sports teams. When you do this, people will assume you are a bit of a psycho, and as a result they will tend to leave you alone.
- Be honest. My mother’s guidance to me was, to thine own self be true. Always be honest with yourself, and with others. Honesty and integrity matter.
- Be open-minded. Karen is usually right, even in the face of my incredible brilliance. Not everything you think is right is right. Be open to the others’ ideas. Drew and I may share several traits, but one trait we share? We both found, as they would say in Boston, smaht pahtnas.
- Smile. There is NOTHING more endearing than a smile. A simple smile is like a superpower. And in this world, we need more smiles.
- Laugh. Laugh a lot. Because, as it turns out, shit can be very funny.
I said at the outset that the bride and groom think this day is about them. It is not. It is about us.
It is about our shared responsibility to make certain Rachel and Drew have every possible advantage, to ensure their success at this thing called love, marriage, and success.
This is our day to commit to Drew and Rachel that we will love and support them – forever.
Will you join me? Rachel and Drew, please face our guests. I ask you all to stand up now and join me, to make OUR vow to Drew and Rachel:
Repeat after me.
I (this would be where you say your name), will support Drew and Rachel, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until parted by death.
Please be seated. Rachel and Drew will now pronounce their vows to each other.
John, this might be a good time to find their rings.
Drew, do you take Rachel to be your wedded bride to live together in marriage? Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health and forsaking all others, be faithful only to her so long as you both shall live?
Rachel, do you take Drew to be your wedded husband to live together in marriage? Do you promise to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health and forsaking all others, be faithful only to him so long as you both shall live?
By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss!
Let me now introduce, for the first time ever, in the history of this galaxy, Mr. and Mrs. Drew and Rachel Roberts!