I’ve been incredibly blessed to have extraordinary men marry into my family. My youngest sister, Rebecca, and her husband Paul have a relationship that makes me cry for utter joy any time I see or hear anything that even reminds me of them. I mean that literally. Songs, smells, recipes that Rebecca makes for Paul, people that resemble one of them…it’s a real thing. And now, my middle sister, Rachel, is getting married to a man named Eric. I feel just the same. I call him “the good egg”.
BHLDN was lovely enough to partner with me on sharing their story! So I photographed Rachel in the Ephra Gown on a snowy day in Lexington, KY at the beautiful old apartment building I used to live in with Rachel — the one that will be their first home!
Rebecca sat down with Rachel and Eric a few weeks ago to talk about how it all began…
Rachel: Ahhhhh, well, Eric was working at Amazon as a workflow analyst. I got hired as a seasonal costumer service associate and we were taking a tour of the building.
Eric: She was wearing a purple coat and high heels and was a full head taller than everyone else.
Rachel: While we were taking our new hire orientation tour of the building…
Eric: I was going to get some coffee and ran into their group, and their tour guide introduced me to their group, and I awkwardly waved with my handlebar mustache. And the 6’4” girl, at the time, because of her ridiculous heels…She was easily noticeable.
Rachel: Well, I smiled and waved because that’s what you do to strangers when you’re introduced, but I had no thought that he noticed me in particular. So while I was going through training and stuff, Eric made it a point to find out my name…
Eric: And I stalked her on Facebook a bit, and I didn’t think it was her, because, your Facebook picture at the time, looked like a model. It was the cover of that magazine you were on.
Rachel: Umm…and then, the new hires were having a debrief with Workflow so they understood how their time off worked, like how to request it and stuff. And in that meeting, he called me out by name, but he shouldn’t have known my name at that time, which was curious. But he played it off really coolly as if he knew everyone’s name.
Eric: It was a fallacy.
Rachel: So in that meeting I had asked if I could have my lunch hour moved on a certain day, and he said it wasn’t possible. But he found me in the hallway later. He said, “I just wanted to let you know, I had to say ‘No’ about moving your lunch hour, but I would not have to say ‘No’ if your manager asked me to move your lunch hour.” So he was being very sly and helpful. And, when he was done telling me that, I thought he would just walk away, because he was a big analyst, and I was a nothing seasonal hire, but he stuck around to talk to me even though I was a nobody, and I thought that was very sweet. After that he would come by my desk at times, just to chat, and he was always drinking Earl Grey tea. And when I found out he lived in Lexington, I invited him to come hang out with a group of us that worked at Amazon and lived in Lexington, and would just hang around, like bowling and getting sushi or watching Disney movies on Walt Disney’s birthday.
Rachel: So the more we hung out in groups, and the better friends we became, the more it became clear that he was developing feelings for me, and he ain’t no slouch neither.
Eric: Well, I did slouch a lot, I had poor posture.
Rachel: And, eventually, he got up the nerve to ask me out on a date.
Eric: Via text message…
Rachel: But it was after a conversation, so there was context. And we went out and we started going on dates. We went to Table 310 on our first date.
Eric: We got a cheese plate that included Camembert and chorizo.
Rachel: That was a really good cheese plate.
Eric: I won her over with my charms and my humor and my general shape.
Rachel: So then we kept going out, and the more time that we spent together, the more we fell in love with each other. We found out we have a lot of random things in common. He was just really easy to fall in love with.
Eric: I’m kind of a nice guy.
Rachel: He’s so sweet and thoughtful and wants to do the right thing,
Eric: And she’s really hot, and there’s other things too.
Rachel: And, at the same time, he’s so smart and humble. Because I had never been in a relationship before, and I was 24 years old when we started going out, at that time, there were so many criteria that I had trimmed off my list, like the guy being taller than me, the guy being able to pick me up and carry me around a building, the guy being sweet and thoughtful… but Eric turned out to be all of those things.
Eric: She is intelligent. I can have a conversation with her. That was it [laughs]. She is very lovely, um, she is very friendly and kind. She made me feel very welcome in her presence. She gives good presents.
Rachel: Do you feel appreciated because I believe in you? [yells passionately] Do you feel encouraged and inspired because I believe in you!?
Eric: I do.
Rachel: Well that’s too bad, because I don’t believe in you. [laughs]
Eric: [sings] I believe in a thing called love!
Rachel: I can be completely myself, my best and my worst, and he appreciates me and encourages me…and feeds me. [laughs]
Me: So, Eric. I just have one question, and it’s not, like, a part of the interview or anything. I’m just curious. What was it, after you saw Rachel, that made you search for her on Facebook and find out her name?
Eric: She was my size…and she had a very lovely smile.
// THE BEGINNING //
More soon. They will be married on April 2, 2016.