Nestled on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean is an idyllic small coastal town called Seabrook, where the fog can quickly and quietly appear to greet the inhabitants of this tiny community before dissipating into the early evening.
Trails wind between the sweet and colorful cottages, with my favorite one leading down to the beach.
Here along the shoreline, the chilly yet clear ocean bear small gifts of sand dollar remnants while waves gently wash ashore and flecks of tiny gold sunlight glisten in the sea drenched sand. It’s a beautiful place to exchange vows in the coming days.
Maelyn and Darrell had embarked on their first road trip to a stretch of the coastline called Ocean Shores, which was just to the north on the highway. A short few years later, friends and family now travel from all over the world to share in the joy as they take on a new lifetime adventure together.
On the day we arrive, Maelyn excitedly describes how the folks at Cafe Soleil closed their family restaurant in Mukilteo for several days so as to be able to provide catering for the planned events. Not surprised, I simply smile and am happy for my friend.
It was in another life when we met. I ran a little do-it-yourself frame shop near the university district of Seattle, and she walked in looking to frame some recognition certificates for her co-workers at Boeing. With each visit, we often chatted during the assembly of her projects and became fast friends.
Shortly thereafter, I found myself at a potluck at her backyard. On a cool, autumn day under soaring cedar trees, I met many of her longtime friends and enjoyed my first PNW barbeque.
It was also Maelyn who introduced me to the Dalles in Oregon. On one Thanksgiving, we visited her grandmother as well as traveled on the Washington side of the Columbia River to see the farm where she grew up. Then as her guest, I attended an extravagant unveiling, complete with rock music and red carpet, of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner at the Everett plant.
“You know, they just finished painting the doors on last night,” she shared as we listened to Tom Brokaw host the event to thousands of Boeing employees, retirees, airline executives and worldwide media. I sat in awe, not ever having been a plane geek but nonetheless finding fascination with this moment of aviation history.
It was late last year when she called to tell the exciting news of their engagement. Their first date over Thai food at May’s Restaurant in Wallingford had led to overseas travels to Japan to meet the family that hosted Maelyn during a college study abroad. With Darrell’s avid enthusiasm for Burning Man, Maelyn wholeheartedly embraced the artful treks to the desert, with breathtaking intermissions in Hawaii to balance it all out, of course.
Then the big day finally arrived, with Maelyn and the bridesmaids preparing at the Eagles Nest cottage.
While blocks away and just down the hill, Darrell takes a moment to breathe in the sea air while putting on finishing touches to his attire.
The night before the wedding, as Maelyn’s girlfriends gathered around the table to catch up, a friend curiously inquired, “Do you know what his vows are?”
With a laugh, Maelyn replied, “No. But I wonder if he’ll mention a dream I had where I woke up and punched him.” She relayed how one night she dreamt being badly hurt and losing lots of blood, and that he had adamantly refused to take her to the hospital. Waking up, she turned over and shook a very sleepy Darrell awake to insist that he take her to the hospital, no matter what the circumstances would ever be.
And sure enough, before an audience on this day, Darrell promised to do exactly that and more.
Smart and thoughtful, Maelyn and Darrell ingeniously wove together all the very people and things they cherished, from walking down the sandy aisle to the paisley notes of Prince to introducing a beautifully arranged shabu shabu to guests at the reception and pairing it with C.C. Lemon Drink to a fierce Ragnarök battle inside a ring of fire at dusk.
Even mini strawberry chocolate Oreo bars from Japan with handwritten notes awaited guests to enjoy.
And cake pops flown in all the way from Dallas…
The day drew to a close by gathering on the beach to watch friends, dressed in medieval armor, wield heavy swords and axes inside a fire ring. Hardened steel clanged amidst blazing flames while a modern-day sound system delivered a battle soundtrack to carry our imaginations right into the days of Arthurian legend.
Maelyn and Darrell, thank you, for sharing with us your genuine affection for life and one another. Much love to you both, today and always.
Also big heartfelt thanks to a wonderful team, who made this day come true with great fun and the utmost professionalism. And special shout out to Sam Lewis and Tyler Carlson of True Northwest Productions, and Emily Hui (aka “the wedding fairy”) — it was a truly a privilege to work alongside each of you.
Wedding Venue: Beach at Seabrook
Reception Venue: Seabrook Town Hall
Planner: Ellie Haisch, Maris Events
Florist: Harbor Blooms
Makeup & Hair: Spa Elizabeth
Videography: True Northwest Productions
Photography: Doris Ting (feat. Emily Hui)