For a lot of people, high school memories seem so far away. Bits and pieces are sharp, totally in focus inside your head, but a lot of them are fuzzy, more feeling than true memory. Even if we keep in touch with friends from then, the road to adulthood brings new experiences, new loves, and new lives.
For some of us, though, something stays – high school sweethearts.
Like Moriah and Kristopher.
They’ve known each other for nine whole years, brought together by their passion for music. You don’t sign up for high school band on a whim, after all. Between drill sets and the one-two-three-four of the metronome, Kris would talk to his future best man, Seth, about the cute girl standing down the field from him. Moriah and Kris were friends, of course, but Kris was nervous. A dance was coming up, and Kris wanted to ask Moriah. He wanted to take her to a nice evening, to boogie the night away (at least, as much as you can when you’re a teenager!).
Nerves can get the best of us, but Seth wanted to hear none of it. “What’s the worst that can happen?” he asked Kris. It was true. All that Moriah could say was yes or no, and if the answer was no, well, Kris had his entire life ahead of him. As you might guess, though, Moriah went to the dance with him.
Her mom, Brenda, got the other side of the story. Moriah thought Kris was pretty cute too, but when he asked her, she wasn’t sure what to say. She accepted, but that night, Brenda got the full story of the nerves and the excitement… and the nerves. Moments like that seem so huge to teenagers, and it’s true that their impact can indeed last for years to come. At the same time, though, Brenda knew that Moriah had a ton ahead of her. A younger boy asking her out? The horror. (That’s sarcasm, of course. What Brenda actually told her daughter? “It’s just a dance, Moriah–you’re not going to marry him.”)
The two of them hit it off, not just because of the band or high school putting them together, but because of a love of Disney, of shared values, of a willingness to live and learn and grow alongside one another. (A love of country dancing helped, honestly.) These two grew together, learning to be their own authentic selves while maintaining a romance that they hoped would last forever. Kris was confident it would: he proposed to Moriah at Disneyland. And again, she said yes.
That Disney magic ran through the wedding itself, too. The day was warm, with just a touch of cool breeze to make the great outdoors perfect for the event. Kris’s groom suite held the essence of a prince, giving him the confidence to walk down that aisle to Moriah as he got ready with his groomsmen. Moriah’s ballgown reminded her that she had Belle’s strength, the fortitude to make it through everything with Kris, through bad and good and everything in between.
Megan, Moriah’s maid of honor, treated her like a true Disney princess the way a best friend should, fixing her dress and makeup to make sure everything was just as it needed to be. The other bridesmaids shared all their love with Moriah, cracking jokes and swapping tales between snapping photos. Their affection for one another was clear.
Kris and his groomsmen joked about days gone by, about shenanigans and antics they’d done together, about the hidden details throughout the wedding that only friends that knew them well would spot. When the time came to get going, Kris took a deep breath, his groomsmen becoming the knights to his Disney prince.
The walk down the aisle could have been a royal procession–Beauty and the Beast inspired pops of rose red placed throughout the venue, and the wedding party was dressed to the nines for the occasion.
Moriah walked down the aisle with her stepdad, Carl, and her father, Chad. Some people get wedding jitters, but Moriah was serene, tranquil, confident. Kris, too, stood with the strength not just of his family and friends, but of his own soul and his love for Moriah. Vows came easily to the two of them, the rings fit perfectly, and the kiss could have awoken Snow White. These two were meant to be.
Like Disney, family is important to Moriah and Kris, so they weren’t about to let their loved ones just attend a wedding. Instead, Moriah’s Aunt Ann came in all the way from Texas, home-cooked brisket in tow, to cook for everyone. Mac and cheese, cream corn, brisket, you name it: it was there, and it was amazing.
Kris danced with his mother April to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and April’s pride in Kris was clear for everyone to see. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room, especially when you could see them singing it quietly to one another. Moriah and Chad had their own dance, too, the familial connections fully on display and shared with everyone around. There was nothing but love in the room, even leading to Ann dancing with Moriah, to group boogieing, to speeches and plenty of happy tears. Seth even called all the way back to that high school dance: “It worked out pretty well, buddy!”
Before Kris and his new brother-in-law and father-in-law partied with an unplanned chugging contest, before Moriah and Kris scored nearly perfectly in the shoe game, something even more important was said. Something that stuck with us, that we’re pretty sure hit everyone in the room.
Moriah’s father Chad said that nobody can take away the fact that you choose to react to any situation. No matter what life throws your way, the reaction is up to you. It’s true of everything in life, from tragedy to hurt even to love. Chad reminded us all that the true cornerstone of a relationship is to choose to love one another when times get tough. He even quoted Friedrich Nietzsche: “If you know the why, you can endure anyhow.”
Moriah and Kris choose to love each other every single day. They became each other’s why.
Moriah, Kris: congratulations! We know that life will bring you so, so many good things, that together you’ll be able to handle all of its twists and turns. Thank you for letting us into your lives. We wish you nothing but the best!