“all of the details for the wedding were coming together perfectly… all the details but damara’s hairstyle,” goetz remembered with a smile, “i listened to her indecisiveness for a few days until i recalled the theme of our wedding. i advised her to tell the stylist: french country, shabby chic, anything goes!–the phrase damara repeated whenever she presented another thrift store find for yet another reception table.” the hundred and fifty guests at the fort langley community hall burst into joyous laughter as the groom leaned over the podium in laughter himself. thankfully, damara did not request a “shabby chic, anything goes” hairstyle but rather a beautiful, side-swept low up-do that complemented her features perfectly. ;)
i have too much to say about this wedding day. how do i tell an eleven-hour wedding day in a paragraph or two? i’m always afraid my writing doesn’t do the day justice. that you simply had to be there in fort langley that day. you had to see the emotion of damara+goetz’s first look on the farm that first brought goetz to canada from his native germany, you had to feel the presence of Jesus upon the ceremony, you had to see the tears in damara’s eyes as she looked at the man she had waited thirty years for. too wonderful. the faithfulness of the Lord. i know both damara + goetz will attest to His faithfulness in their lives, again and again and again. let me tell you their story.
goetz [pronounced not guts or goats; rather a happy medium between the two–i’m not an expert on how to describe that] grew up in germany. thirteen years ago, he decided to come to canada and work for a year. he worked on alder acres, as a young man who literally knew no more than five english words. he worked hard; faithful, long hours. after that year, he returned to germany where he continued to study english and make plans to move to canada permanently. in 2007, goetz moved to canada. working throughout alberta and bc for two years, he eventually settled in langley, british columbia.
damara, on the other hand, was raised in the beautiful province of british columbia. [side note: our parents both attended the vancouver tabernacle way back in the day. when i received her inquiry, i recognized the last name. turns out my dad had even vacationed with her parents a couple of decades ago! it was a delight to be around damara’s family all day that knew my parents and grandparents so well.] she graduated high school here, moved to quebec temporarily a few years later, finished her degree and started teaching at a christian school in langley. this french teacher needed a man. turns out, this french teacher needed nothing less than a german man.
somehow one of their mutual friends [not sure of the exactly connection] heard about this single man named goetz. this friend knew this single girl named damara. her wheels starting turning. hey, goetz, you wanna meet somebody? — maybe… i want to see a picture, though. — check her facebook! — i don’t do facebook. — well, do you want to see a picture or not? fine. here, just use my account. here she is. — ohhh. yes. okay, i’ll meet her! — the phone is picked up. damara? want to meet an awesome guy? okay. he’s going to meet you at starbucks at seven thirty. i know it’s six-thirty right now. you just finished a run? sweaty mess? doesn’t matter. you’re great. you’re awesome. go meet him.
damara smiled at our first meeting when her & i sat at the same starbucks they had met in, just nine months beforehand. it was a connection. a good, solid, beginning to our friendship: i loved talking to him, loved being around him. as the story goes, on damara+goetz’s second date, they stayed up until four in the morning talking. goetz started work at the farm early the next morning an exhausted mess, barely able to concentrate on anything… he broke the tractor. [damara’s fault? or his? who cares! they’re married now and albert+dorothy, the owners of the farm and goetz’s “canadian parents” were very gracious about it all.]
six months of dating later, damara and goetz knew this was for forever. a couple of months later, they were married. the day was relaxed, full of excitement, full of joy. the Lord is so faithful to His beloved. their first look was tearful and absolutely beautiful. i know i say this a lot, but i feel blessed to witness the moment of a man and a woman seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. following an afternoon of photographs, their ceremony was held at a private estate high on the hills of fort langley. the reception followed at the fort langley community hall and the details were impeccable. absolutely impeccable. damara, you planned a gorgeous wedding. i wish you and goetz all the best in this beautiful life–thank you for choosing me as your photographer.
[Edited to add] – Three years later, I have received countless emails about this ceremony location. It is a completely private venue and they are NOT open to having other weddings there. I am so sorry! Happy wedding planning!
to see more of damara+goetz’ fort langley wedding CLICK HERE for a slideshow!