A access of wind blew administrator Albus Dumbledore’s tasseled hat off his arch and bottomward his shoulder. The benedict stepped about his helpmate to aces it up, and the guests roared with laughter.
A few account later, there was yet addition able gust, this time sending Dumbledore’s chiffon white hairpiece to his feet.
“You’re not declared to see that!” shouted Dumbledore (a.k.a. Scott Pauli, the bride’s uncle and bells officiant).
This arena was aloof one of abounding “perfectly imperfect” moments during Travis Griffin and Meghan Kotlanger’s Harry Potter-themed bells anniversary aftermost fall.
A self-described Potterhead and “Gryffindork,” Meghan, 36, had been planning her Harry Potter bells aback continued afore Travis proposed. The brace had met online in April 2008. Travis, 48, had aloof confused to the Rockville breadth and was attractive for new relationships.
“I came beyond Meghan’s page, and she seemed crazy,” he said. “There were hardly any pictures of her aloof smiling.”
Instead, there she was with her aperture advanced open, accessible to accomplish a acerb remark, or screaming. Her contour was abounding of quotes from “South Park” and photos of her orange-and-black costly spider, which she took on adventures and alleged her son (the spider alike fabricated it to their wedding).
“Travis messaged me with the aperture line: ‘Has anyone anytime told you that you’re clinically insane?’ I responded by saying, ‘I get that all the time,’ ” Meghan said.
“I knew that would appointment on .00001 percent of people,” said Travis, who works at the American Society for Clinical Oncology.
They clicked immediately. One- and two-sentence letters angry into pages and pages of texts — bad jokes, activity stories, “South Park” references and a continued adventure about Paris Hilton’s dog. They calmly exchanged hundreds of messages.
“We’re both borderline bodies — one affair would annex off into addition macro affair and augment into the abutting conversation,” said Meghan, a administrator at a D.C. blur and video assembly company.
A ages later, they agreed to accommodated at a coffee shop. To be on the safe side, Meghan, who was 25 at the time, Googled Travis, and anon accomplished that he was 12 years earlier and afar and had a son.
“Travis was my aboriginal absolute relationship, and accepting that affectionate of alliance [experience] was alarming to me,” she said. “I knew that I admired talking to him and enjoyed his company. So, I told myself that it would be fine.”
Meghan was able to acquaint him she capital to be aloof friends. “But aback we assuredly met in person, we had the best conversation,” she said. “We were crying-laughing aback we were talking to anniversary other. It was like a admirable bold of exact tennis, area whenever I would say something, he’d adverse with a point that was alike funnier than I had made.”
From again on, the brace texted anniversary added consistently throughout the day and afraid out frequently afterwards work.
“I fabricated it bright that I capital to date and that I didn’t appetite to be aloof friends,” Travis said. “I was in from the beginning. I knew it from the affiliation that we had.”
By the end of June, they were official, and on the Fourth of July, Travis said “I adulation you.” Meghan, however, anticipation things were affective too fast. So instead of the “L” word, they agreed to say “I don’t abhorrence you,” which to this day is their pet byword to appearance affection.
A brace of months later, they had confused in calm and were inseparable.
But it wasn’t until years later, in 2016, that things absolutely confused into aerial gear.
Travis absitively to adduce on an accessible cruise to the Dominican Republic. Meghan, the accepted artist and organizer, was ashore with deadlines at alum academy and delegated planning duties to him. What she didn’t apperceive was that her mother had accustomed Travis her old bells arena and that he had beatific it off to be re-set at a bounded jeweler.
Meghan ample things out anon enough, though, aback she saw the adornment abundance allegation on their acclaim agenda statement. She bound assured that he was activity to propose.
“I saw the receipts, but I did my best to accumulate my aperture shut,” Meghan said. “I don’t abrasion jewelry, and I apperceive that our ability to anniversary added are usually article from GameStop.
“I had a agitation advance appropriate afterwards that — not because he was activity to propose, but how was I activity to plan a Harry Potter wedding?”
In the Dominican Republic, Travis proposed at a bank treehouse, accepting bottomward on one knee while cutting a affected charlatan beard. They animated with celebratory beers.
On Oct. 8, Meghan and Travis were affiliated at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Alexandria with their actual families in attendance. And then, on Oct. 27, it was all Harry Potter: addition commemoration and affair at Chase Court in Baltimore, a gothic-style area with angled windows and aboriginal adamant chandeliers. It was a absolute aphotic accomplishments to the wizard-themed celebration. Meghan planned every detail, and it showed. She had set up “classrooms” at anniversary window apery the courses from Harry Potter: Herbology, Potions and Divination. A toy Dobby, a abode elf, sat in the bend quietly. And in anniversary restroom, a affiche of Moaning Myrtle, the blue apparition who haunts a Hogwarts bathroom, was there to “silently judge” patrons.
Each bedfellow had been arrive with a alone letter and a gold-foil Platform 9¾ RSVP ticket, which was captivated calm with a 3-D printed aureate snitch, all references to capacity from the J.K. Rowling books. Once there, they drew their names from a “sorting hat,” area they accustomed a basement appointment in the dining hall, which had been disconnected into the four Hogwarts houses: Gryffindor in red, Hufflepuff in yellow, Ravenclaw in amethyst and Slytherin in green. The tables were adorned with manzanita timberline centerpieces, cauldrons and amphibian candles, and astrologer wands as affair favors. Meghan had alike collaborated with the Chase Court buyer to actualize Dementors and ghosts in the aback garden.
Before dinner, Meghan and Travis exchanged an “unbreakable vow” beneath Dumbledore’s alert eye in the tree-shaded courtyard. They entered the dining anteroom with a circle in advanced of the broiler as a smoke apparatus set a blurred scene, and again danced to the “Potter Waltz” as guests coiled their afire wands.
As the absolute Dumbledore tells Harry in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”: “Pity . . . those who alive after love.”
And that’s what Meghan and Travis’s anniversary was all about.
“I had the best time,” Meghan said. “I admired actuality at the top of the stairs seeing Travis, alike admitting my uncle’s wig fell off. I admired every moment.”
And Travis? “I did, too.”
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