I think it was spring last year. I got a message from Simon. It was a picture of him outside a Casino in Macau, China, with a cryptic text saying that he had now “financed the rings”. Knowing that he was visiting Lisa who was at the time temporarily stationed in Hong Kong due to her trainee program I still couldn’t put the pieces together. I received shortly another message from Simon saying: “Oh btw, we got engaged yesterday”.
First time I met Simon was during the initiation period my first year at Luleå university and is in some way one of my oldest friends. It wasn’t however until our year in the student union board we really became friends. It was also there i got to know Lisa for the first time. Both of them, being ambitious people had through other positions in the union climbed their way to their current positions. Me however, had got the opportunity without not really knowing anything about what I was getting myself into. Both of them, especially Lisa who did most of the paperwork for my part, saved my butt that year.
It was a great year. Probably the best year I had during my four years in Luleå. Sure it was a lot of work too, but it never felt like work, just friends getting together everyday having a good time. It wasn’t just work though. I won’t lie, it was a lot of parties as well.
It was sometime during the end of our year that things started to happen. Me, being the most thickheaded one of us didn’t take much notice, but luckily for me Tobias held me updated. I think the moment when I finally realised was during a party. It was a bowling/slip n’ slide party. We were all leaving and I had hurt my ankle during one of the events (I won’t explain how, but I think you can probably guess). Tobias was coming to my rescue with a shopping cart he had found somewhere to give me a lift. Lisa, who usually is very keen to look after and take care of people around her, just swept by, taking the cart and disappeared with Simon riding the cart. It ended up with Tobias carrying me the whole way back.
Yeah, I still remember Lisa! And don’t think I will forget this betrayal anytime soon. ;)
Let’s skip forward to the 19 mars 2016. I’m joining up with Simon in Luleå after a quick visit at the hairdresser where Lisa was getting ready for the evening accompanied by the maid of honor, Sandra and Isabelle. It’s morning, the sky is clear and blue and the air feels strangely uplifting, just as it does during spring in the north. My wedding gift to them was to document the day. I had packed so much camera gear that I only had room over for my suit in the bag.
Simon’s car is fully packed with stuff laying all over the backseat and trunk. I get in. He seems a bit stressed. I ask him if he’s nervous. “No” he says casually as he gets the car rolling. I try to read his expression as he answers in hope of finding any clues to verify the honesty in his reply. He has always been good at putting up formal face. I can’t tell.
We talk the whole drive. It was a nice moment. I can’t remember the last time just me and Simon talked. We arrive at Melderstein manor in Råneå where all is later taking place. It’s an old manor with a very specific set of interior. Colorful wallpapers of flowers, art nouveau furniture, stuffed birds decorates the hall and chandeliers hangs from the dining hall. It almost feels like stepping into a museum. Well fitting for a wedding I think for myself.
I try to help out the best I can, but it isn’t much I can do. Simon is running back and forth talking to people and giving instructions. More and more guests start to arrive. I kind of get lost in the excitement of meeting old friends I haven’t seen since I left Luleå almost three year ago. It feels more of an reunion than a wedding. At least until I step in the bridal suite. I knock on the door and I’m allowed in.
It’s a strange feeling seeing Lisa standing there in all white. A dear friend I seen so many times before, but still never like this. The dress is stunning but even more so her expression. She’s laughing and dancing around as I never seen her do before. For a moment i forget why I’m there. I finally get a hold of the camera and start capturing. Simon is all dressed already and is struggling with his shoes. Sandra is putting up the final touches and Tobias, the best man, is putting on his tie. Through the window the guests are starting to gather outside. It’s time.
It’s amazing how two people's happiness can spread and affected others as it does. The feeling of gratefulness I can feel for being able to be part of Lisa and Simon’s journey, even if just a small part. I’m proud to call you my friends. I wishing you all the best and I hope to continue to follow your journey, wherever it might lead you.