Ria & Jesse's wedding. perfect. backyard. bliss.
Today I am reflecting on a more personal note - after all it was a Walker wedding, and the first in the family since Matt & Jenna tied the knot nearly five years ago. Jesse is Matt's cousin and, in many ways, more like a brother to him. Naturally, then, it is with great joy and a tad bit of long-winded excitement that I am thrilled to share Jesse & Ria's story.
The past year has been one of waking and heart for Jesse Walker. I still remember floating the Green River with the entire Walker crew. It was August of 2007 and Jesse had joined us in spending a few days up a canyon, far removed from his monotonous desk job. The very nature of floating down a canyon stirs up the dreamer in even the most practical of folk. Nothing was off limits - moving to foreign countries, starting new businesses, saying sayonara to the desk job. But Jesse has something else up his sleeve. I will never forget the intensity and excitement he shared about the latest ventures with his band, the Flobots. They had just finished recording a new album, Fight With Tools, and he really believed it might go somewhere. We listened to the album in complete awe. The canyon came to an end, we went on our separate ways and that was that.
Not a few months later, the dream hadn't died - the same can't be said for the desk job. The Flobots released that very album - which would eventually climb to the near top of the billboard charts. A record deal. A european tour. He would come to perform to fans around the world, inspire community action, meet the Dalai Lama, Conan O'Brien, Leno... But of all those people he met along the way, it was an Irish girl who would bring him home. To waking & heart.
Her name was Ria. They had met at a camp which promotes Israeli-Palestinian peace. He had cancelled on her for their first three dates. The rest is history.
I met Ria for the first time but a few weeks ago. There is no other way to describe it - she lights up the room. Sure, she has sassy red locks of hair and an accent you can't help adore. But more than that - Ria exudes a confidence & energy that is truly contagious. She radiates a sweet and playful love. She twirls to her her own tune. She is true of heart.
Together, they are a syncopation of honest hearts and happy souls. On June 21, 2009 it became all too clear that this is the path they are meant to travel.
Ria's best friend, Rashaad, came all the way from Cape Town, South Africa to walk her down the aisle.
A barefoot bride. She wouldn't have it any other way.
Happy Father's Day, Joel.
...and Grandpa Ned.
Ria walked down the aisle to the sweet melodies of Paper Bird.
A Mariachi band surprised the guests upon Ria & Jesse's departure as newlyweds. Bliss.
The Flobots - plus one. These are the folks that saved Jesse from the 9 to 5. They are currently busy writing their new album. We were able to hear but a few of those tracks they are working on, and the verdict is in - we have nothing but confidence that they will continue to inspire a nation with the new album. Stay tuned!
Ria's crew came from around the world...and I love them!
The Walker contingent.
Details details details! AMAZING props to Ashley Summers with Table 6 Productions. Her creative vision for this backyard soiree was nothing short of magical. Paper lanterns and butterflies. Custom paper flags cut with the couple's names and wedding date. a pinata and a photobooth. I'll let her creativity speak for itself!
The photo booth - what a hit! I have a feeling I will be accepting pleas to delete a few of these for some of their guests.
more than anything.
let them eat cake.
Ria had never brought down her Irish Luck on a pinata. What better time than a wedding. And in case you recognized this pinata - yes, she did name it George.
No shoes necessary.
You might recognize these guests. (Not too often that they are guests at a wedding!) Isn't my niece pretty stinkin' cute?!
Ashley Summers with Table Six Productions - your enthusiasm for this wedding did not go unnoticed. We are so grateful for your hard work and your talent.
Alex Witkowicz - For second shooting (and allowing me to enjoy a Gin & Tonic come 6 o'clock. thank you!)
Paper Bird - Your musical talent brings tears to our eyes.
George the Pinata - For getting the party started.
Jesse & Ria - Congratulations doesn't cover it. I have so much admiration for your open hearts, your creativity in life, for your journey ahead. We are so happy to see blessings rain down on your life and wish for you all the bliss this life can handle. May your road be filled with just as much waking and heart as we saw on your day one.
Katie (and Matt & Jenna!)