It was a Saturday, unlike any other.
I married the only woman on Earth who so perfectly fits my life and my self.
And, also, there was a circus.
The former Jaimee Fink — now Jaimee Sterling — and I spent our lives growing up in the Titusville area.
Many times, throughout our first few decades of life, we barely missed each other.
Sometimes, it would appear, by mere hours.
While I was busy playing in my garage band, from about ages 15 to 17, she was finishing up her time darting around the halls of Titusville High School.
Upon graduation, she moved out west to have many wonderful adventures, frolicking in lands of desert and mountain, for a number of years.
We had many of the same Titusville friends.
But, we just never met.
One degree of separation.
It is the strangest thing to look back on — all the near misses.
All while having the same desire to throw on some old kicks and head into Oil Creek to play or just walk around town.
We’d seen each other, in passing, here and there.
But, the universe was holding our first direct conversation for a time of its own choosing.
Upon that seemingly inevitable encounter, she was as much a vision of beauty as I recall of her from our few, brief passings.
We were a little awkward.
But, it was a good awkward.
Many, many dates later, we had ourselves a kiss, and life changed, immediately.
About a year and a half later, we were waking up, wondering how to pull off a wedding that is as casual and private as we are.
We didn’t want to over plan and make it some huge thing.
That’s not us.
Private, but fun.
We found ourselves feeling a little more frazzled than we’d anticipated the morning of the wedding.
But, I think that was a good thing.
Jaimee left with her friend, Laura, a few hours prior to the ceremony, to make her hair perfect and to add a dash of the traditional into our day.
I had asked the Drake Well Park and Museum administrator, at a city council meeting early last week, if there would be a quiet location in the park on Saturday.
Saturday, as it happened, was the Drake Day Circus.
She assured me there would be quiet grounds at the south end of the park (and, she was absolutely correct).
We scoped out a precise location, the afternoon before.
After nixing a previous plan to get married on the swinging bridge, in Oil Creek State Park, we found our spot.
The backdrop would be the fabled Dutch Hill, sloping down to meet Oil Creek.
Laura’s husband, Jason, agreed earlier to become a minister and conduct the ceremony.
So, about 2 p.m., Saturday, we found ourselves walking barefoot along a looping, sun-dappled grass hiking trail from the back parking lot of Drake Well Park to our location.
Jason read the script we had cobbled together.
The script turned out to be the perfect minimalism we were looking for. Almost by chance. Neither of us had ever written a wedding script before, but we knew we wanted to write it ourselves.
After saying those momentous words and placing some new jewelry on each other’s hands, it was over before we knew it.
We were husband and wife.
When our photographer — Herald Managing Editor Stella Ruggiero — asked what we wanted to do for additional photos, we all found it impossible to not go get photos at the circus, which was being held just a few hundred feet away.
And there it was.
We were walking through a circus, moments after getting married, getting our photos taken.
We watched a contortionist do wild things with a hula hoop.
We watched a guy breathe fire before he proceeded to swallow a sword.
We clapped along with probably a couple hundred people after each astonishing act.
The whole experience felt like a bit of a haze, with enough perfection and surrealism to make it seem like an unforgettable dream.
After the show, the entire troupe let us on stage to have our photo taken with them.
I’ve never heard of such a thing as how our Saturday went.
Loosely planned, but absolutely perfect.
What next? What can possibly top that?
The rest of our lives.
Sterling is a reporter for The Herald. He can be reached by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone, at 827-3634.