Best Friends Tie The Knot
story and photos by Trebor Britt
Sovanne Ek and Eric Lunsford of Knoxville, Tennessee exchanged vows surrounded by family and close friends, at an intimate wedding ceremony along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline on Siesta Beach.
Uniquely, a hepatitis B virus scare contributed to this fabulous couple meeting one another. Eric decided one day to give up his vegetarian lifestyle. Wondering where to have his first non-vegetarian meal, he decided the cleanest/safest place would be a restaurant that recently had a hepatitis B scare. At the time, health inspectors were actually living on the premises. You guessed it, Sovanne was his server. After countless visits to the restaurant, Eric and Sovanne would become best friends.
They both fondly recalled a key event two years into their relationship. Eric said, “I invited Sovanne and her daughter Bopha to go to the zoo one day (Knoxville Zoological Gardens) while I worked on a college class photo assignment. Sovanne called me as I was on my way home and asked, “Why are you playing hard to get?” I was completely unaware she liked me. I think I stammered something unintelligible and goofy and we have been together ever since.”
The death of Sovanne’s father was another key moment for this outstanding couple. She related, “I realized then Eric was my rock, my love and best friend. I was going through the toughest time of my life. He was always right by my side through all the hospital/nursing home visits. He comforted me, listened to me and was the shoulder I cried on.
I can honestly say I am not sure if I would have made it through without him being there for me. I love him for that. He is my everything and he completes me.”
After attending a beach wedding a few years ago, they decided it would be the perfect location for them. Sovanne and Eric stay very busy raising a family and working in the Knoxville area. She works in human resources and is a business analyst and he’s a database and software developer.