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Andrew + Shanley | Stinson Beach, California | Dipsea Gardens - Love Stories TV

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October
13
2018
Andrew & Shanley

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VIDEO
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How did you meet? Share your love story.

Andrew and I met a bit later in life, I was 37 and Andrew 35. We met at the end of a party, I came because a friend urged me to “get out of the house” to find true love and because I knew no one in the town of Belmont, California where I had just moved for work. I remember sitting at the home of our mutual friends Tif and Natalya and seeing Andrew for the first time – I felt the light in the room shifted as though coming into focus and I said “Hmm” out loud and felt surprised to hear myself. I thought he was likely the husband of one of the women at the party and/or the father of one of the many children gleefully running around the apartment. I was staring at the TV and wondering why I had come when he approached me and started a conversation. We realized we lived close to each other and he listened for the next 15 minutes as I talked proudly about my recently adopted Ragdoll cat, Yoda, whom I walked on a leash in the park between our two apartments. Before I left he asked for my name but we didn’t exchange numbers and I figured it was because he likely thought I was hoarding Ragdoll cat figurines in my basement apartment.

But, he followed up with our mutual friends for my contact information and in the year that followed we found many mutual loves in common – the open road, stand-up comedy, the beauty of a well-crafted sentence, and a deep admiration for the band Talk Talk. Adding these items up does not equal love, but finding that you can be stuck with someone in ten hours of traffic outside of LA and feel like time is on your side because you are so present for the conversation is nothing short of a miracle. I reference the song “Secret World” by Peter Gabriel below because I love the song and because Andrew shared it with me (on an actual mixed CD!) but also because it is what I think of when I think about love – that the other person has been a secret or unspoken part of you all along and you can’t believe your fortune in finding them.

After more walks in the park with Yoda, we were engaged on St. Patrick’s Day on Strawberry Hill in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco after spending five hours at the California Academy of Sciences visiting Claude the Albino Alligator and discovering a newfound mutual love for the leafy sea dragon. Andrew wanted to show me the Golden Gate bridge, in the distance, as he knew the bridge was a symbol for me about hope and risk.

Here is an excerpt from my vows to Andrew that I feel best encompasses our love story:

“There is a word I love that is I think more nuanced than happiness that struck me when I began to write my vows. The word is “soulfulness.” Soulfulness as explained by one of my favorite writers, Zadie Smith, in her essay on the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God – a book about a girl who takes some time to find the man she really loves. Zadie writes, “Soulfulness is a sorrowful feeling transformed into something beautiful, creative and self-renewing, and – as it reaches a pitch – ecstatic. Another shade: to be soulful is to follow and fall in line with a feeling, to go where it takes you and not to go against its grain.” In the weeks to follow after our first date, I kept having these moments of soulfulness and I tried, at first, to think them away. But, that’s not how soulfulness works. Soulfulness stays with you.”

When we first walked through the gates off of Shoreline Highway to Dipsea Gardens where we were married I recall thinking about the lyrics from Peter Gabriel’s “Secret World”:

I stood in this sun sheltered place

‘Til I could see the face behind the face

All that had gone before had left no trace

I remember looking at Andrew and knowing that he also felt we had found our place. And, we felt an immediate kinship with the owner of Dipsea Gardens, Elly, who had planted every flower and tree on the land there alongside her husband and watched them flourish over several decades. Elly and her husband also built the one-room Redwood gazebo cabin that was part of the gardens and that we would have the fortune to call our home over the wedding weekend. Several months before our wedding, Elly let us know that her husband had passed away. I stood in the garden with her while she fought back tears sharing the news. We held hands there for several minutes and she said that she could think of no better way to honor her marriage than to continue to open the gates of Dipsea to couples that found it as special as they did when they discovered it 40 years earlier. It is hard to describe the particular magic of Dipsea but I will try by saying it is a soulful place, a place that is felt rather than merely seen. When I look back on our wedding day, it truly felt like our very own secret world but one we got to share with all of our loved ones, I still get lost in reverie just thinking of it.

Wedding Team
Dipsea Gardens
Wedding Reception Venue
Dipsea Gardens
Wedding Ceremony Venue
Badgley Mischka
Bride's Shoes Designer
Liancarlo
Wedding Dress Designer
Light Grey with Navy Tie
Wedding Bands & DJs
Mixed
Bridesmaid's Dress Designer
Patina Pictures
Wedding Videographer
The Black Tux
Groom's Suit Designer
Wedding Vibe
October
13
2018
Andrew & Shanley

NEXT
VIDEO
NEXT VIDEO  

How did you meet? Share your love story.

Andrew and I met a bit later in life, I was 37 and Andrew 35. We met at the end of a party, I came because a friend urged me to “get out of the house” to find true love and because I knew no one in the town of Belmont, California where I had just moved for work. I remember sitting at the home of our mutual friends Tif and Natalya and seeing Andrew for the first time – I felt the light in the room shifted as though coming into focus and I said “Hmm” out loud and felt surprised to hear myself. I thought he was likely the husband of one of the women at the party and/or the father of one of the many children gleefully running around the apartment. I was staring at the TV and wondering why I had come when he approached me and started a conversation. We realized we lived close to each other and he listened for the next 15 minutes as I talked proudly about my recently adopted Ragdoll cat, Yoda, whom I walked on a leash in the park between our two apartments. Before I left he asked for my name but we didn’t exchange numbers and I figured it was because he likely thought I was hoarding Ragdoll cat figurines in my basement apartment.

But, he followed up with our mutual friends for my contact information and in the year that followed we found many mutual loves in common – the open road, stand-up comedy, the beauty of a well-crafted sentence, and a deep admiration for the band Talk Talk. Adding these items up does not equal love, but finding that you can be stuck with someone in ten hours of traffic outside of LA and feel like time is on your side because you are so present for the conversation is nothing short of a miracle. I reference the song “Secret World” by Peter Gabriel below because I love the song and because Andrew shared it with me (on an actual mixed CD!) but also because it is what I think of when I think about love – that the other person has been a secret or unspoken part of you all along and you can’t believe your fortune in finding them.

After more walks in the park with Yoda, we were engaged on St. Patrick’s Day on Strawberry Hill in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco after spending five hours at the California Academy of Sciences visiting Claude the Albino Alligator and discovering a newfound mutual love for the leafy sea dragon. Andrew wanted to show me the Golden Gate bridge, in the distance, as he knew the bridge was a symbol for me about hope and risk.

Here is an excerpt from my vows to Andrew that I feel best encompasses our love story:

“There is a word I love that is I think more nuanced than happiness that struck me when I began to write my vows. The word is “soulfulness.” Soulfulness as explained by one of my favorite writers, Zadie Smith, in her essay on the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God – a book about a girl who takes some time to find the man she really loves. Zadie writes, “Soulfulness is a sorrowful feeling transformed into something beautiful, creative and self-renewing, and – as it reaches a pitch – ecstatic. Another shade: to be soulful is to follow and fall in line with a feeling, to go where it takes you and not to go against its grain.” In the weeks to follow after our first date, I kept having these moments of soulfulness and I tried, at first, to think them away. But, that’s not how soulfulness works. Soulfulness stays with you.”

When we first walked through the gates off of Shoreline Highway to Dipsea Gardens where we were married I recall thinking about the lyrics from Peter Gabriel’s “Secret World”:

I stood in this sun sheltered place

‘Til I could see the face behind the face

All that had gone before had left no trace

I remember looking at Andrew and knowing that he also felt we had found our place. And, we felt an immediate kinship with the owner of Dipsea Gardens, Elly, who had planted every flower and tree on the land there alongside her husband and watched them flourish over several decades. Elly and her husband also built the one-room Redwood gazebo cabin that was part of the gardens and that we would have the fortune to call our home over the wedding weekend. Several months before our wedding, Elly let us know that her husband had passed away. I stood in the garden with her while she fought back tears sharing the news. We held hands there for several minutes and she said that she could think of no better way to honor her marriage than to continue to open the gates of Dipsea to couples that found it as special as they did when they discovered it 40 years earlier. It is hard to describe the particular magic of Dipsea but I will try by saying it is a soulful place, a place that is felt rather than merely seen. When I look back on our wedding day, it truly felt like our very own secret world but one we got to share with all of our loved ones, I still get lost in reverie just thinking of it.

Wedding Team
Dipsea Gardens
Wedding Reception Venue
Dipsea Gardens
Wedding Ceremony Venue
Badgley Mischka
Bride's Shoes Designer
Liancarlo
Wedding Dress Designer
Light Grey with Navy Tie
Wedding Bands & DJs
Mixed
Bridesmaid's Dress Designer
Patina Pictures
Wedding Videographer
The Black Tux
Groom's Suit Designer
Wedding Vibe