If I had only one word to describe Sam and Heather’s Stonepine Estate elopement in Big Sur, it would be: Quiet. Everything about the day was so tranquil and as I recount the events, I struggle to recall any sound. Chateau Noel, a manor-style estate, stood stoic and silent nestled among Italian Stone Pine and Olive trees as I approached the main piazza where I saw Sam standing. Sharply dressed and looking like Humphrey Bogart ready for a night out at the Pump Room, Sam couldn’t have looked any cooler standing there in his black tuxedo. Inside the Chateau, Heather was nearly ready with only minor nerves. I have to believe it would be easier when you have friends or siblings there to pronounce that you’re “ready to do this” but when you’re on your own, it’s on you to feel absolutely ready and to take that leap and leave the room. Just outside in their private garden courtyard, Sam was alone with his thoughts, awaiting the arrival of this woman who’d first captured his heart when they met in grade school so many years back in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Back then, they were just kids figuring out life and new emotions like Kevin and Winnie. Ten years pass and Heather and Sam, now adults reconnect and picked right back up from where they’d left off; Is this not the embodiment of true love? Heather is ready and has left the room and is remembering to breathe as she approaches Sam who is waiting around the corner. They look at each other with giddy smiles, then hold each other as if for the first time in their lives, and they don’t ever seem to want to let go. I drove with Sam and Heather to meet our officiant Ken Robbins at a point along the Pacific Coast Highway north of Big Sur for the ceremony. We found a spot that was just accessible enough for us to make it down the cliffs a bit and it was breathtaking. Quick note here, it was a pretty dangerous trek down in my hiking boots so three gold stars and double high-fives to Heather who wore heels; Ken was thoroughly impressed! Heather and Sam’s love and intensity was mesmerizing as they stood there in a nook in the bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I don’t mind admitting that Sam and Heather’s outward expression of their love for each other was amongst the greatest I’ve ever experienced and that’s possibly why the day felt so quiet; they truly were the center of the universe that afternoon so it was hard not to be transfixed. We spent some time along the coast letting the sunlight and salt air wash over the remnants of the afternoon before making our way back to Stone Pine. We had just enough time and twilight to tiki-tour around the grounds of the Chateau and cut their cake before we said goodbye. Looking back through the photos and recalling the events of the day, there were so many times that they looked at each other with that look of undeniable pure love and there was this stillness as they held each other so tightly you thought they would never let go. Happily, I’m sure they never will.