**I left their names out of it, and just went with 'he' (the groom) and 'she' (the bride).
In something like September or October in 2003, I spent the night in my friend's house the day before they moved in. I had been helping them paint their entire house after they bought it and were doing pre-moving renovations. It was an old group home. It was a sad place. All the bedrooms had locks on the outside of the doors, so they could lock the kids in. There was even an anger room down in the basement with, you guessed it, a lock on the outside of the door. The walls in that room had holes all over them from the kids hitting them. It was terrible. It broke our hearts being in there a bunch of the time. It didn't feel right, and felt very off, because it was thick with connotations of pain, hurt, sadness, anger and, when considering the locks on the outsides of the doors and an anger room filled with holes in the walls, there were also all the implications of abuse. Apparently there was suicide in the house too.
I spent so much time in there working during the day and overnight. At least half of the time I was by myself, so, while I was lost in my own mind when I'd be deep into the abyss of monotonous painting, I'd get really sad for what must have gone on there...whatever it was. My friends and their family were good people though (They still are...giggle), and I started feeling like I wanted to do something nice for them before they moved in. I just wanted to pour a little love into the place. I spent the night by myself. I had the idea to bring all my driftwood, feathers and other wild-crafting things so I could put something like this together in the front room and try to spread a little love throughout the night.
In the morning I told them to first come down without the kids 'cause I wanted to talk to them alone. I just wanted to show them first...before the chaos of five teenagers rolled in. Needless to say, they were pretty blown away by it, and possibly somewhat overwhelmed too.
I'm not too sure when it was now that they were getting married, probably a couple years later, but they asked me if I could do something similar for their wedding. I was a bit surprised by that, that someone would want me to decorate their wedding ceremony space. Aside from the bit of surprise, I was also touched by them wanting me to be a part of their day in that way. I only had one condition: once I had all my stuff unloaded and in the space, they had to get out...get the fuck out...and not come back until it was time for the ceremony. I wanted it to be a surprise.
They had a few personal things they wanted me to incorporate into what I was gonna put together for them that were to be a part of their ceremony. Aside from that, it was free reign for me to go for it however I wanted. They trusted me in whatever I came up with.
I was putting it together right up until people started trickling in for ceremony time. As is the case with the groom, he came in there first, so he got a good look at things, and we talked for a moment before things got started and I finished the last second finishing touches. He was pretty psyched. I then went and took a seat right at the back because everyone else was already in and seated. (I cut it right under the wire.)
She came in shortly after I sat down. Even though I was on the aisle, she didn't see me as she walked by. I had serious butterflies swirling in my belly. I desperately wanted to do a good job for her. When she got to the altar area, you could see her pause as she scanned over it. She then immediately turned around with a couple of trickling tears and started looking for me. Being on the aisle, I was an easy find. I shot her a big smile when we made eye contact. Then the ceremony began. It was an excellent day.
Unlike the creation (I never know what else to call it.) I did in their house that I took apart right away, I left this overnight for them to enjoy. When I came back the next afternoon, I snapped a few photos and then packed 'er all up to take home.
**The windows weren't in the new building yet, and it rained that night with some wind, so that's why there are some water spots on the floor.
**The windows weren't in the new building yet, and it rained that night with some wind, so that's why there are some water spots on the floor. Also, I put the full view photo here at the bottom rather than the beginning because the light is kind of darker.