I first met Emmalee and Daniel after they had been dating for a year in January 2007. I had just returned to campus from a study abroad semester in Mexico. My sister, Michaela, and Emmalee had become good friends and were singing and traveling together in an a ccapella group. Emmalee and Daniel have both become close to my whole family, Daniel even spoke at my dad's memorial service this past March. I could talk on and on about how wonderful and kind Emmalee and Daniel, and how they've been there unselfishly for people I care about in times of intense pain and hardship. I could also tell their story, but Emmalee wrote up this wonderful little story, so I'm going to let her words finish. (A couple of things, ‘Kelsey’ is a good friend and Emmalee's freshman roommate. ‘Micki’ is my sister, Michaela.)
“Daniel and I met when we were 18-year-old babies our freshmen year of college. We lived in the same dorm, I on the girls floor and he on the boys. His roomate was also named Daniel so they posted their pictures on the door. His roomate remained Daniel, and he became “DJ” for Daniel Jacobs. Many of our college friends still call him that. But Kelsey and I referred to the roommates as “Daniel” and “Hot Daniel.”
What developed initially between us was a strong and trusting friendship. I teased him a lot – for liking U2, brushing his teeth for hours, etc. During the summer break after freshman year, my boyfriend and I broke up and Kelsey and I moved into our first house. We threw a big house-warming party in the fall of 2005. Daniel rode his bike in the pouring rain with a backpack full of PBR in order to attend. Upon learning that I was newly single, he was very flirtatious and…*sorry for the cliche* the rest is history.
I moved to Los Angeles in June of 2012. Daniel had already been here for 2 months because of a job offer. I was nervous about the transition because it was my first time living far from my family, and it was difficult to leave the strong communities I had in Portland (work, friends). When I got here, I got a job nannying so I had no coworkers. And I wasn’t in school…. I was really nervous about how to make friends. But it turned out, I was just so happy to be on this adventure with the love of my life! It was the first time that we, as a couple, had really set off on our own to take on the world. And everything else came along soon after – we made fiends, I started a painting class, Daniel continued making music, we found an awesome apartment (which you and Michaela were one of the first guests in).
Daniel proposed in the winter of 2012. We were in Sweden with my parents for Christmas to visit my sister. December also marked our 7-year anniversary of being together. We had just arrived in Stockholm and had not yet met up with my family. Stockholm had just been blanketed with a pristine coat of snow that morning, which was atypical because it is the south of Sweden. There was a big park kiddy corner from our hostel called Kungstradgarden, where we decided to take a walk before our anniversary dinner. It was a weekday during work hours so there was hardly anyone in the park except for us. I was suddenly overwhelmed by the magic of it all: the lightly falling snow, the Christmasy wonderland, the romance… And I excitedly ran up a little hill ahead of Daniel. When I turned to call to him, he was down on one knee. He said some beautiful words and then asked me to marry him. I excitedly said yes and then tackled him into the snow and we rolled around joyously! He knew I didn’t want a diamond so he got me a large aquamarine stone with a double band.
Our wedding was unique in almost every way. That is to say, every element of our wedding was there because we wanted it to be and it was important to us. We weren’t pressured into anything, we did all the planning ourselves and we were 100% thrilled with the way it went down without a single hitch. Thanks in great part to Daniel’s phenomenal spreadsheet skills!That’s being said, here are some things that were extra special about our big day:
The ceremony, my uncle Kasey played the music, including my aisle song (“have a little faith in me” by John Hiatt – a surprise I arranged for Daniel). Also, being married by one of our very best friends, David. He got ordained for funzies when we were 19 and I told him I wanted him to officiate my wedding. Not even really thinking it would be to Daniel 9 years later.
The wedding party, not much needs to be said here. So helpful, so amazing, so supportive, so good-looking. And the rainbow colors of the bouquets and shoes represented our support for equal marriage rights. In lieu of gifts, we asked people to donate to the human rights campaign, LGBTQ rights, or amnesty international. We wanted to use a time when people are feeling so generous to try to make a small difference for those not as fortunate as us. Daniel hand-selected all the songs for the playlist and a hodgepodge band of all my loved ones played the reception.”