Dan and Hannah Witness the Wedding of Our Year in Asheville, North Carolina

If you had 15 minutes, could you come up with ten of the 100 most memorable days of your life?  Your wedding day, your kids’ and grandchildren’s births, if any of those categories even apply, are in a whole separate category of awesomeness.

As someone with over 26,000 days (yes, that’s 72 x 365 and change) on this good green earth, I have seven that come immediately to mind (in chronological order).

One, my first date at 19 with Hannah Kraai at a fall dance at Severance Gym at the College of Wooster; it seemed like no one else was in that crowded gym that night,

Two, floating down the Salt River on tubes on a September Saturday with my Arizona State guys in the dorm, Rich, Steve, Art, and Nobes, loudly singing the Marseillaise (French national anthem),

Wedding Molly and Tip

Molly and Tip

Three, learning Robyn had a 90% chance of recovery after her leukemia diagnosis at the age of four (she’s now 38!),

Four, Molly and Tip’s wedding,

Wedding will and laurel

Will and Laurel

Five, Donna Ellis introducing us to the spiritual community Unity,

Six, climbing to Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park with Hannah, and

Seven, Will and Laurel’s wedding.

We love our weddings.  And today we have another one!  Our family friend of 31 years, Brandon Kyker is marrying Ashley on the grounds at the Biltmore Estate.  Their wedding will be outdoors followed by a casual reception at the Salvage Station, a onetime salvage yard for old cars, odd trucks, and metal of all sizes.  How cool is that!  The answer: Very cool!

Wedding Sal 1 sign

Wedding Sal 1A h by car

Wedding Sal 1B

PBR outdoor bar and the reception tent in the background

There were many building blocks to our friendship with Brandon.  I met his dad, Big Steve, when we were undergrads at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Wedding steve and amelia

Amelia and Big Steve (notice his shirt)

He from Virginia and I from Jersey were a part of a group of five who were on our own each weekend when the other guys in the dorm, who lived locally in Arizona, left for home.  We had a lot of time on our hands on weekends (see #2 above).

Wedding tempe to vienna

Moving back to Virginia, Big Steve made sure his family came to Maine every summer.  Hauling a 24’ trailer with their GMC Yukon, Steve and Amelia with Brandon and his kid brother Justin fit right in on Chases Pond Road, playing cards and doing some heavy lifting (for example stacking wood with us).  Then, the Kykers always went on to camp at Acadia National Park.  Relentless in their commitment to our friendship, they usually brought friends of their boys along for these ten day road trips.

Wedding B and A at the Nubble

Ashley and Brandon at the Nubble Lighthouse in York before they headed to Acadia

We met Ashley when she came come with Brandon and his friend Vbo to Maine in late December.  Staying with us for the overnight in York on December 30, they were on a mission to wake up very early January first in Bar Harbor to be the first ones to greet the New Year sunrise on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park; which legend has it is the first place the sun hits American soil each morning.

Wedding at Acadia

Morning has broken on New Year’s Day

Wedding Ashely at Acadia

Back to the wedding at hand.  Since showers are in the forecast today, a white wedding tent is set up on the front lawn of the Inn at the Biltmore.  Though overcast, the rain holds off and 25 minutes later Brandon and Ashley are husband and wife.

Wedding 1A tent too

Note Dan in a tie!


Wedding 3 ashley and pop

Ashley with her dad


Wedding 4 H and Amelia

Hannah with Amelia, mother of the groom


Wedding 5 J A B A

Brandon’s brother Justin, Ashley, Brandon, and Amelia


Wedding 5A

Ashley with the wedding photographers, Mary and my college roommate Rich


Wedding 6 sunglasses

Cooler than cool!


Wedding Brandon and Ashley

13 thoughts on “Dan and Hannah Witness the Wedding of Our Year in Asheville, North Carolina

  1. What a cool place for a wedding & celebration! Beautiful pictures. You inspired me to pause from reading, to write down my top 10 days!
    Love these stories Dan. Happy New Year to you & Hannah!

    • We are very fortunate that the children of our friends have become our friends. Our own children have become some of our very best friends. I am very grateful for the many experiences in my life that I never could have imagined I’d have.

  2. Beautiful bride and groom! I’m honored that the introduction to Unity is an important part of your lives! Your impact on my life is definitely in the top ten on my list, too!

    • I remember that it is was in your Scarborough place and you told us of your eye opening experience at Unity of Venice. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. After a four year break, we are now attending Unity of the Seacoast on a regular basis. It feels like home. Thank you, Donna.

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