The tables are set. The guests are here. The cameras are ready. It’s the finale of a dance that started in 2006 when two professional dancers crossed paths.
“We were in rehearsal,” Brian Jolly said.
“I just thought he was cute,” Alison Epsom laughed.
But Jolly lived in Seattle and Epsom lived in London, two coasts far apart, and not the only challenge they would face.
“Definitely did not think that we would be standing here 8 years later,” Jolly said.
On Empsom’s first trip to Seattle, winter storms canceled her flight home. During their engagement, high winds caused massive damage.
Then came their wedding, planned in the small mountain town of Mazama, just north of Winthrop, where they'd fallen in love over the course of fly fishing and hiking trips.
“Our minister sent us an email saying “What are you going to do?” Epsom remembered.
The area around their dream wedding was burned, and the parts the Carlton Complex fire had spared were left with no power.
“The company that was providing our dance floor is burned down,” Epsom said. “We spent a year and a half planning this, every single detail, this perfect wedding.”
Nearly two years of planning a dream weekend and now they had just 4 days.
“They had to break the sad news to us. It was just so, so sad and emotional,” said Epsom’s father, George Epsom.
The couple hoped to share the beauty of the mountains where they fell in love, now devastated by wildfires that even family of their bridal party had to leave behind.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those people, their situation is a lot worse than ours,” Jolly said.
“[Our situation] is nothing compared to the devastation that’s happened over there,” Epsom added.
Thanks to family and friends, the scramble for a new wedding is secure, and destruction of the place where their love began, showed them that love is all they need in the end.
"That's the biggest blessing. It's brought full circle what marriage really means,” Jolly said. “It’s not just about us but about the family and community and relationships that we have.”
The couple's wedding insurance will not cover the last minute change in plans, so their friends set up an account for donations: http://www.gofundme.com/c2llrw