On a sunny May morning, my plane touched down in Seville, Spain. I had been craning my neck for the entire flight from Gatwick, trying to soak in every detail I could of the landscape below. The cloud cover was absent through the journey, and seeing England, France and Spain float by utterly enchanted me.
"Estoy aquí para la boda de mi amiga." I silently rehearsed the words in my head as I stepped up to the customs desk, where the agent proceeded to page through my passport for two minutes without a word. Stamps were applied, and I was waved forward. Well, much for showing off my fancy middle-school Spanish. (Tourist fail.)
The day was glorious. Bright blue sky and a hot breeze greeted me as I stepped out to the curb. Tamara and Art pulled up in their tiny car shortly after, and we laughed and hugged and exclaimed, "We're here! In Spain!" We zipped through the outskirts of Seville, then wove slowly through the narrow, bumpy cobblestone streets as we got to the center of the city. The colors were so vibrant, and everything was new and perfect and wild. Walking through the streets that evening, I felt like I was in a dream.
The next day, I met Tamara and Art at the Hotel Inglaterra, where they would later exchange their vows on the rooftop. Tamara put on her red dress, Louboutin heels, and rose gold jewelry. As we walked up the stairs to the roof, she beamed at me, making for some of my favorite photographs of the day.
Art didn't know, but suspected, she had chosen a red dress--so fitting for Spain, and the perfect color for her exquisite skin tones. His smile as he saw her come through the doors melted my heart.
The ceremony was splendid and full of smiles from everyone on the sunny rooftop. Beautiful, colorful buildings surrounded us in every direction. Two musicians played and sang. I watched two people I love dearly pledge their lives to each other, so far away from home, on an unforgettable Spanish adventure.
I did feel a smidge guilty when the lovely gentleman who was coordinating all the wedding details caught me in the act of briefly standing barefoot on a glass table, skirt rippling around my knees in the wind, fisheye lens and camera in-hand, taking one of the photographs you'll see below. He started stammering at me in Spanish, and I quickly hopped down, smiling reassuringly and murmuring an apology. In my defense, the table was up to it, and the shot really begged to be taken.
After cake was eaten, wine was sipped, hugs were had, and shoes were temporarily changed, we went out for a sunset walk through the streets of Seville. A cathedral beckoned. I wish we could have done it all day long, but that precious half-hour was pure magic. Seafood, a flamenco show, and mojitos followed and the night drifted away slowly, luxuriously.
Three hours after I went to sleep, I hauled myself out of bed, tucked the last of my things into my bags, called a taxi to the airport, and began the long journey home. I had another wedding to photograph back in Portland, just two short days away. As I sat on the plane with my coffee cuddled in my hands and an entire row to myself (thank you, universe), colors and smells and moments played through my head over and over. I'll never forget this journey, or stop feeling grateful that I've seen, felt and experienced all that I have.