Christmas is happening. Right. Now. Presents are probably being delivered in all US timezones. And somewhere, Erika and Amando are celebrating this first Christmas as husband and wife. The journey to the wedding of “AmErika”, as they refer to themselves, was truly a journey. After spending much time apart due to work, these two shed their earthly responsibilities and took off on a six-month adventure around Southeast Asia. During this time, they evolved into intrepid travelers, published an awesome travel blog with stunning regularity, and, oh yeah – planned a wedding! Ralston White Retreat was obviously the perfect venue for Erika and Amando. Despite its size and expansive grounds, Ralston White really feels like an intimate home, cocooned by forest and sky. Tucked away at the top of a winding mountain road, Ralston White also offered numerous rooms for guests to spend the night. Friends traveled from places as distant as Singapore to join in the celebration, and some of the guests were travelers with whom AmErika had bonded during their trip. The entire day I was amazed by the thought and effort that had gone into all the details – which was even more astounding given that AmErika were on leave from the world for a while! With the generous help of friends who provided everything from DJ skills to decoration, and fine wedding coordination provided by the very capable Melanie from MSH Events, the day quickly and successfully took shape. One of the most moving parts of this wedding was the fact that Erika elected to wear a wedding gown that had been in her family for generations. She was the fourth woman to don this dress, and it appeared effortless and perfect. This continuity of tradition was just another pillar of a day when everything and everyone seemed to connect. The guests toasted, feasted, and hit the dance floor. The couple’s families bonded easily, and no matter which part of the mansion I found myself in, it just felt like we were one big family celebrating together. All day I observed and captured the way Erika and Amando looked at one another, and I realized just how in love they were, and how proud they must have been of everything they had accomplished in this consummating year. From here on out, no matter where they find themselves in the world, AmErika will always be home.