This email came to me July 24, 2011:
“Jessica and I have a proposal for you that is out of the ordinary. We met in Antigua, Guatemala five years ago and we were wondering whether you would be open to the idea of traveling to Antigua with us this Fall in order to do our engagement photos. I know the idea is crazy, but would you be open to the idea? Oh, we are keeping this a secret from our family and friends.
So here is my challenge. I am to write a few words here, words to precede these photos, blog post style. Maybe something like “oh, what an incredibly beautiful place.” Or, “thanks to James and Jess for taking me to Antigua, and best wishes in your marriage.” But this won’t do. This has never happened to me before. Thoughts and feelings rest in my heart, but they don’t find their way with words. I’ve wanted to tell anyone who would care to know just every detail about Antigua, one of the most beautiful places on earth. But it’s clear to me now, I will never be able to do it. And more than that, I will never be able to express how blessed I am to know James and Jessica Skinner.
So instead I decided to write keywords, phrases, kind of picture words here. These are impressions I have of beautiful Antigua, and the special times shared with James and Jess that stay with me. These are treasures to me.
Coffee trees over a balcony
Wooden Shutters opening to a garden
Cobblestone streets and carrying heels
Children extending baskets of beaded jewelry
Vibrant rows of color at sundown
Bonnie walking beside me
Smoky volcano tops
Simon in a hammock
Suzette’s crackly meow
James’ one shot leap over Jess
Rofolfo saying “I love it!”
Baroque door knobs and doorways
Seasoned brussel sprouts and guacamole
A still life of yellow fruit
Bonnie and James both behind me at Reds
Jess’s ‘cute voice’
A personalized coffee recipe
Jake, just Jake
A morning talk with James
A giant casket “too good for photography”
A yellow church, a red rosary
A nacho mountain
An awakened flight home
Jess has gorgeous, long brown hair and thoughtful, smart eyes. James is tall, handsome and articulate. Both are academically accomplished and razor sharp. Together they will make a legal team that will be a force to be reckoned with. And such a beautiful bride and groom they made; so comfortable together, happy, and an extraordinary and unique sense of humor shared. They are for keeps. Their wedding ceremony was held at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, and by glass candlelight (which can be loud when bumped) they made promises to one another. They were surrounded by a wonderful, loving family and many friends. Their wedding colors were perfect, Dallas Cowboys blue and silver (good one Jess.) A beautiful celebration afterwards was held in the tallest skyscraper in downtown Dallas, at City Club. Every detail was perfectly planned by Bricker Bruner. More wedding images will be added soon, but for now here’s a start.
I send heartfelt thanks to James, Jess, Bonnie, Rodolfo, Brook, Dwight, Kristen, Simon, and to the Casenave and Skinner families.
Dear James and Jess, may God bless you both with all that heaven can send – long life, long love, long health, and wonderful friends. And may every happiness be yours together always. You two are the sweetest of the sweet.
This was our last night in Guatemala ~ Jess, Simon and me.