Sometimes high school friends keep in touch for a few years from distant universities, sometimes they quickly drift apart, only coincidentally bumping into one another while visiting family for the holidays, and, sometimes, high school friends strike up a decade-long romance that carries them into a joyous wedding day and beyond. Such is the case with Shay (Richel) and Mike.
“Michael was not my type at all but I think our friendship was the foundation for everything,” Shay explained. “I found myself falling very much in love with him and completely forgot this ‘criteria’ I had for the ‘perfect man.’ He ended up being everything I wanted and needed.” When asked, Mike told a slightly shorter version events. “She made fun of my sunglasses,” he recalled, “We shared a good chuckle and the rest is history.” Whichever way the beginning of the story is told, everyone agrees that the resulting relationship has been one full of the most important things in life; love, laughter, and cheap-movie Tuesdays.
Finally ready to take this robust long-term commitment to each other one step further, Shay and Michael tied the knot in the company of family and friends, then promptly moved over to Riverway Golf Course for the reception. The day was soft; bridesmaids all in blush, a flowing veil delicately draped over a chair, golden accents tempered by lived-in wood, complemented by classic florals in white and green. For all the subdued grace of the wedding day, the couple themselves were charged with energy, as is generally the case.
“It was Richel’s outgoing personality that drew me to her,” Mike said. “She was so energetic, friendly and humorous. From the first day we talked until now, we always find ways to make each other laugh.” Shay agrees that an eerily similar sense of humor has kept the laughter, and the love, between them alive. She added, “Michael is and always will be my partner in crime. We scheme together, make goals together, laugh together, cry together- we do everything together.”
Just as their day of holy matrimony artfully embodied the contradicting concepts of soft and bubbling-with- energy, Mike and Shay’s relationship accommodates a healthy balance of contradictions. So, while true partners in crime, who are practically joined at the hip, the two lovebirds also allow one another to feel they have all they need to spread out their own wings. “I couldn’t be more blessed to have someone who also pushes me to be my own person and supports my independence,” Shay said. “Mike inspires me in every way and he’s one of the main reasons why I always aim to be the best version of me.”
Of course, how lovely Shay looked in her lace and elegant updo, as well as how sharp Mike’s crisp blue suit was, will be remembered for many years to come. Fond memories of dancing (read twerking) into the night and sharing the day with loved ones will live on. But the most important thing that will be carried out of the day is a promise to learn and grow together, and the ability to rest assured that when you’re feeling a little hesitant to give the jalapeños a try, someone will be there to support you through it. Shay knows she’s found this someone in Mike, “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to find anyone who is as patient with me as he is.”