Marlies & Victor
Idaho Springs, CO
Oh, where do I even begin? The Camino de Santiago in Spain, a hike we all decided to go on early last year not having any idea what would be ahead on the road. In the bus terminal heading to St. Jean Pied de Port, our starting line, my mama hurried up to me toting a blonde girl just behind. With a big smile, she said, "She speaks English!" We'd been in Spain for a couple of days, and I guess that was a welcomed change for my mama. Marlies, who's name I just couldn't seem to get right the first several days, is from Germany. She'd embarked on her own journey to the Camino, and she was my first friend on that trip (thanks, Mama).
Victor was somewhere in the small bunch of people looking out for the right bus to take. Marlies had noticed him before heading into the loading area, thinking he looked like he might be a fellow pilgrim and wondering if he would head to the bus she'd eyed to be potentially the one we needed. Victor, not wanting to seem weird by following her out, made his way into the gift shop instead. I sat by Marlies on the way up the mountain, and we met Victor later that night as he and a few guys were hanging out by the laundry line we had to grab a couple of items off of.
It wasn't until a few nights later that we all really started to get to know each other. We'd walk here and there with different people and end up in the same places to stay the night, forming a little family without realizing that seeing familiar faces each evening was becoming an anticipated and happy occurrence for all of us. Over family meals our relationships grew, and Marlies & Victor's love began to bud.
I walked the whole trek with these two. Marlies killed us... she's literally a wonder woman. I became their unofficial photographer and have a gallery of images of their relationship together on the trail ;) and when we said goodbye in Finisterre, Victor was already talking about marrying her. A little over a year later, and here we are!
Marlies is Bavarian, so she wanted to have her traditional dress to celebrate in. Victor has only seen photos of it, and he thinks she's so gorgeous in it, so it was a special treat that her mom could send it along in time for their day. We planned a weekend in a cabin tucked in the mountains of Idaho Springs, Colorado, where we enjoyed good food (Marlies made an authentic lasagna from scratch that took two days to complete & a homemade dessert called Sau Gaude... and it was SO GOOOOOD) & good company between the two of them, Victor's brother, and myself.
The morning of the elopement, we headed out for a hike to scope things out for that evening. After a lot of huffing & puffing from this Georgia girl's lungs, a snowball fight, and lots of climbing, we reached the peak they thought would be perfect for saying their vows. That evening we took the trek once again, only this time Marlies carried her wedding attire in her backpack and the two got ready up on the mountain. She'd made her own bouquet from a few flower shop finds and some foraging she did the day before we headed to the mountains, and she completed her look with a floral eternity symbol that she'd taken from her mother's wedding dress and put in her hair. Victor hiked up the mountain in his suit and hiking boots, and he held their marriage license so dearly. He wouldn't let that thing out of his sight! They exchanged personal vows, Victor's brother Jesus shared a word over them, and we all got to sign the marriage license as witnesses to this precious moment!
Once back at the cabin, Victor & Marlies shared bites of a Chewy bar as their "wedding cake" and we headed to town for a nice meal to celebrate. Next year, they hope to have a big celebration in Germany that all of their friends and family can be a part of. Cheers Marlies & Victor, and Buen Camino :)