Tara + Michael: Portland, OR

Tara + Michael are such great people with a great sense of humor. At the time Tara and I started communicating via email, they were still in South Africa and I was, well, here in Southern California..

Their story of how they met was too funny to not quote (from their wedding website):

Michael remembers the moment well: it was a chilly July morning at the University of Cape Town’s orientation for foreign students. The session had already begun when the doors crashed open, and in stormed a force of nature with jet black hair. The cyclone touched down in a seat near the front, and immediately excoriated her university hosts with a scathing, sarcastic question about their preparations.

Michael rolled his eyes and turned to his friend Faiyaz. “Good Lord” he said sardonically. Just what their South Africa experience needed: another sassy North American. Worse, she turned up in his politics class the following Wednesday.

For her part, she thought he was the quintessential American, and that wasn’t a good thing. Loquacious, obnoxious, totally and undeservedly self-assured. Worst, he was a know-it-all. Here he was in an African politics class – in an African university, no less – acting like he already knew more about African politics than everyone else in the room, including the professor. Cute, sure, but a jerk, she thought.

Was it Love at First Sight?
Not in the least. After two dates, Tara was quite convinced that Michael was a jackass.

Well Then, What Won Her Over?
Robbery. Despite her best efforts to rebuff his invitations, Tara relented and accompanied Michael and his friends on a trip to Namibia, where she was subsequently robbed of virtually all her possessions. Which left her in the uniquely vulnerable position of having to rely on a guy she barely knew, and didn’t especially like, to help her obtain a new passport and buy her underwear. Turns out Michael can be pretty sweet when he wants to be.

What followed
Michael and Tara both moved back to North America, settling temporarily in DC. They spent a couple of years there before moving on to new places, he to South Sudan (for work) and her to Boston (for school). They then re-converged in Johannesburg in 2009 and moved in together.

I was pleased when I read this and was very excited to finally meet this couple in person. My expectations were high but they are even better people than I expected. They invited me to their BBQ gathering of close friends and families the night before the wedding and I came over to find out that they have mutual friends and links from Tara’s family that connected them to two of my previous clients’: Melissa + Josh and Leila + Mani from awhile back. As a matter of fact, I met Melissa + Josh’ friends and Leila’s mom at this wedding! So good to meet familiar faces, and we just had tons of fun.

The wedding day came, which started with the getting ready at the Hotel Lucia in downtown Portland, followed by the private civil ceremony at Michael’s childhood home (how cool is that), a Persian ceremony and full on reception at the really awesome Left Bank Annex. The party was great, people having fun, lots of laughter and occasional cries of happiness, but just as any good wedding celebrations, lots of action on the dancefloor (gotta love that).

Venue: Left Bank Annex Loft, Portland, OR

Check out what Tara + Michael said about Erwin