Emily Barrow and Jon Birdsong are about to be husband and wife

This is an event that I've been looking forward to for a long time. Jon's the co-founder and CEO of our company, along with being a friend. Which means eavesdropping on one-sided conversations, talking about it during our executive sessions, and otherwise generally sharing in his enthusiasm, anticipation, and happiness for this day.

For the longest time, Sonali and I were convinced Emily did not exist. She's a hardworking resident with crazy hours and a schedule that's generally incompatible with hanging out during normal social hours. When we finally met, it was like catching up with an old friend. We already knew so much about each other through Jon's stories that the night flew by.

The two of them are a great couple and we were thrilled to pile into the car and head up to Highlands, NC for their wedding.

Mira and Amanda

The weekend got an extra boost of awesome because the entire Rivalry team went. Emilie was kind enough to let us crash in her beautiful house (Thanks Mr. & Mrs. Norton!). Mira loved that "her friends" were always around and enjoyed exploring the house. She also enjoyed utilizing their laps to get a better view of the festivities.

Look at those white teeth!

Jon with his groomsmen

Jon's pre-wedding "crunch time" and teeth preparation paid off. I don't think I've seen a groom as positively beaming on their wedding day.

Emily makes an entrance with her dad Dan

This is how we know Emily is a good match for Jon. I know how hard it is to upstage the guy, but she did it effortlessly with her entrance. There was a noticeable ripple through the audience as the carriage doors opened to reveal the gleaming bride.

The ceremony was beautiful. I like Christian ceremonies because they focus on the essentials, family, vows, the couple and God. The simplicity gives import to what the Bride and Groom are promising to each other. The whole setting reflected this mood. The white columns, the light rain echoing off the tent, the elegant flowers, and the sophisticated clothing reinforced that we were there to witness something special.

Mr. and Mrs. Birdsong

And they're married!

The Old Edwards Inn does a great job with weddings. The rain had picked up a little during the course of the ceremony and they had umbrellas ready for the 100ft walk under uncovered skies. It's little details that like that really make you appreciate the effort that everyone put in to make this day happen.

Mr. and Mrs. Birdsong

The wedding lead directly into a cocktail hour featuring good drinks and a giant ice bowl of seafood.

The cocktail hour melted into reception hosted inside The Farm. This venue was impressive with how the indoors melted into the outdoors and vis versa. The tables were were very nicely arraigned and one touch I liked was that it was open seating, which I feel makes it easier to meet new interesting people.

Mr. and Mrs. Birdsong

The reception officially got started with the couple entering. After dealing with the paparazzi, they went directly into their first dance. This was followed immediately by the Father-Daughter dance, then the Mother-Son. A quick blessing later, the party was on!

Father and daughter having a dance

The officiant was still in the house to bless the food

The reception was phenomenal, impressively phenomenal.

The band wasn't a good wedding band. The band was a good band, period. We weren't at a wedding, we were at a concert.

The food wasn't good wedding food. It was good food, period. I think you know where this was going.

What I loved about this reception was that it wasn't about Jon and Emily. They made it about celebrating the day with them. The dance floor was open from the start. There was one little lady that especially appreciated that. Mira loves music and loves to dance and was so happy to get out on the dance floor. She danced her little heart out. Then Emilie took her home and Sonali and I got to dance our slightly bigger hearts out.

Once again, simplicity equaled significance. The events they did have mattered. Dr. Barrow's speech spoke to every father in the room, Jon's toast was real and from the heart. The send off with sparklers was just plain fun.

The girls of Rivalry

Us

The dance party got real

I woke up Sunday morning awed that that just happened. The wedding was so well done. I spent quality time on the dance floor with both my girls. I got to spend a weekend in an amazing house with Mira's co-opted older sisters. And I got to share in my friend's special day.

I want to thank everyone that made it possible. The Birdsongs and the Barrows raised two amazing kids. I want to give a special shout out to Emily's mom Molly, who I know was a force in making this wedding work and to the Norton's who kindly allowed our 3 year old to rampage around their house.

Team Rivalry