Sushi, Photos, and Marriage

When my wife and I got married up in Port Townsend, Washington, last September -- nearly a year ago! -- we took a break to have lunch by ourselves in the middle of the three-day weekend we'd planned and many of our friends came to enjoy.We headed into town to a sushi place we'd visited a few months earlier on one of our reconnaissance trips for the wedding. The place wasn't very busy and we got a warm welcome from the chef, so we sat at the sushi bar. The chef was incredibly personable, and made us great sushi, and we started talking to him. Why were we in town? Oh, for a wedding. Whose wedding? Um, ours. Yours! By the way, he says, he's also a photographer and does a lot of weddings. We told him about our plan to have our friends, some of whom are professional art photographers and serious amateurs, take pictures and collect them all. (I'm still editing the 800+ photos that came out of the event, with a deadline of our anniversary for getting them online.) The technical director of the venue we were using loaned us a backdrop from his days as a professional photographer, even. The chef, Joshua, says, well, you know I have this setup with a pressure-bulb that I use at weddings that's really popular. People take pictures of themselves. Wow, cool, we say, what a neat idea. We talk, we eat. You know, he says, I'd be happy to loan it to you. I could just run it up to Fort Worden (a neat place where we stayed and had the ceremony and other events). No, no, we say, too generous. Really? Okay, well, that's incredibly kind of you. We eat more (yes we ate a lot of sushi, including a Popeye roll: spinach and tempura in a roll). We talk more. Why don't I just come up there and run it for you? You're kidding. No, I'd like to do it. Okay then! Bring your girlfriend. We'll feed you, please come. And so Joshua and his girlfriend came, and they were both a delight. Great people, wonderful company, and what a great set of circumstances. We've stayed in intermittent touch: Joshua went off to build yurts in Hawaii for a while; Port Townsend is full of people with lots and lots of abilities, and he's not unique in that regard, just unique as a person. Just got email from him with lovely parallelism: he and his girlfriend (fiancee!) are getting married two weeks after our anniversary. We're invited, how cool, and he wonders...would we like to run the photo booth? Of course, of course, and if I were talented enough, I'd bring sushi, too, shaped like a yurt. And, yes, Port Townsend is the nicest place on the planet. We have more stories, too, but this is the best and the warmest. Did we invite strangers to our wedding? No. To quote an old Will Rogers-ish sentiment, they were friends we hadn't yet met.