Simon was in high school, just 16. Julie was a good friend of his older brother’s and 25. The 8-year gap may not be a lot later in life, but it’s half a lifetime when you’re 16. There was a spark, but they let it go. The chasm in ages was too large to cross. She knew he was forbidden fruit.

They would meet every year at her employer sponsored bowling game. And every year his older brother would goad them to become more than just bowling partners, but they would just laugh this off.

Now, 10 years later, it would be different.

She zoomed in and kissed his unsuspecting lips. He registered surprise followed by the look of pleasure. Game on!

It didn’t take long for them to start seriously dating. They both knew in their hearts that the age gap was gone.

Six months later on a gorgeous October day, they headed to the orchards to do some apple picking. It was a day neither would easily forget. But not for the apples. Simon had some other matters on his mind. Getting on one knee he asked Julie to share his future with him. Without a second of hesitation she agreed and said yes!

Within six months we attended their beautiful April wedding. We’ve known Simon since he was three. He is like a second son to us. It was amazing to see Simon so handsome, complete with bow tie and slicked back hair. Julie was one of the most gorgeous brides I’ve seen. It wasn’t just the outer beauty, although she was wearing a stunning gown. No, it was the inner glow of love. The essence of knowingness. They both knew they were meant for each other and it shone through them with stunning clarity. When you know, you just know!

As part of their wedding gift I knew I wanted to make something personal for them. I collaborated with a wonderful wire artist, Heather Boyd, to design a wire apple orchard. I painted the backdrop and asked her to create the wire figures of the apple tree and Simon on one knee proposing. It is a gift that will always remind them of the day that changed their lives forever.