Today marks Jamie and Will’s one year wedding anniversary. The Philadelphia teachers had their academic-inspired wedding at The College of Physicians on May 26, 2013. One year ago, as we watched this beautiful couple, so in love and celebrating their marriage with family and friends from near and far, none of us knew what would happen a few months later. I’ll never forget the day I heard the news. I got up and checked my email like I normally do. I read the message from Jamie’s dad, Ron, with an audible gasp. I was in disbelief. Jamie and Will were in North Carolina for a friend’s wedding. It was a Sunday morning, and they were on their way to the airport in a town car. They were wearing seat belts. Their driver veered off the road and into a tree. They didn’t make it. The driver was later charged with DWI.
I know it’s a sad story, an unexpected tragedy. Not something you’d expect to read on a wedding blog. But in the short time I knew them, I grew to care about them and I still think about them often. I feel lucky to have gotten to know them and be a part of such a special time in their life. To witness their love firsthand. Their love of each other. Their love of life. The way they positively impacted everyone they met, including the kids they taught. Jamie and Will are a reminder to never take anything for granted, to enjoy every moment of life, to be patient, to be a good person, and to love with all of your heart. And I couldn’t think of a better way to honor their memory than to share their day and story.
Some of my favorite details and moments include the academic accents such as wooden apples and abacuses, the handmade origami stars created by Jamie’s mom, the heartfelt welcome and toasts, Will dancing with his mom to Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” Jamie and her dad recreating their sock hop twist competition to Chuck Berry’s “Never Can Tell,” their strawberry lemon thyme ice cream cake, and Jamie and Will giving out demerits to their rowdy guests.
Please consider donating to the scholarship funds helping future students in Jamie and Will’s memory… the William and Jamie Reid Scholarship Fund, c/o Phillipsburg High School, 200 Hillcrest Blvd, Phillipsburg, N.J., 08865, with checks payable to the school. Contributions also can be made to the Jamie Soukup Reid Memorial Scholarship Fund, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA, 99362.
images via love me do photography