The ceremony finished with one of our ministers introducing us as a couple…partners for life. That one phrase marked the beginning of our life together as husband, and well, husband. Three weeks later, we find that we are still learning to say “husband” instead of boyfriend, or partner. We even use our new term for our relationship and giggle, just like most newlyweds.
Our wedding day started with a list of jobs to be accomplished. Our music room was stacked with boxes full of decorations that would grace the tables, the favors, the candles, and the placecards. We would be hauling all of this and my digital piano, the music stand and more to the restaurant. We kept breakfast light, and went about the business of the day. I cut the flowers from our gardens and arranged them in the vases purchased just for our wedding. By 10:00am, we were loading the van and heading to the venue.
At the restaurant, the tables were set and ready for us to place the centerpieces. There were many helpers, so the job went quickly. Everything was completed, including the set up of the sound system, the communion table, the guest book and place-cards within 90 minutes. We couldn’t believe that it had gone so smoothly and so quickly. There was nothing left for us to do but return home for a light lunch, then prepare for the ceremony that began at 6:00pm.
This is where our day begins to blossom. I make a light lunch for Scott, our guest Daniel, and myself. We chat a little, then decide to relax outside in the warm sun. We find that we have time to soak up the sun’s rays, and even nap a little. The time just seems to slow down for us. All of the jobs are accomplished and it’s still not time to prepare ourselves for the wedding. I thought the wedding day was to be a mad rush, a whirlwind of activity, and here we are napping and sunbathing!
Eventually, as in 2:30pm, our children start arriving. We’ve chosen to dress 5 of the 7 kids at our house, keeping their new wedding clothes with us until this day, for reasons that other divorced folks might understand. The older 2 kids are able to take care of themselves for this task. It seems that by 3:30, we’ve got 5 boys, 10-18, showered and dressed. Let’s take some photographs. We’ve got more than enough cameras, digital, disposable, and even an old Nikon SLR. We take pictures in the music room in front of the fireplace and in every conceivable combination of dads with kids, dads with stepkids, and of course, the grooms. There’s still plenty of time remaining, so we head out the front door for a family portrait that includes both grooms, all seven of their children, and a girlfriend of a son. We head out back to use the backdrop of sunflowers and cellphone cameras are used to share these early wedding pictures.
The New, Blended, & Gay Family
And we still have time to sit down and have a glass of wine at the dining room table.
By 5:00pm, we start thinking about heading to the wedding. This is about the point where time decides to speed up. We arrive before 5:30 to discover that many of our guests are either anxious, or unable to read. The 15-20 minutes we thought we had to organize, and perhaps take a few more pictures was lost to attending to those last minute details and playing hosts to our guests. Before we realized it, it was time to begin the prelude music and start the festivities.
I could write an entire article on the music for our ceremony. The musicians were incredible. I asked Jim, our pianist to play something to get the music started, then Daniel took the floor to sing “Red is the Rose”. I moved to the piano to accompany Stormie on her French Horn for the Beethoven Adagio Cantabile that I had transcribed a few weeks earlier. Daniel sang again with a show tune, “Will You” and Sterling followed with “Dream a Little Dream of Me” singing and playing his guitar. Finally, Daniel finished up with “Not a Day Goes By” which was perfect for describing how we feel about each other:
….As the days go by, I keep thinking when does it end,
that it can’t get much better much longer,
but it only gets better and stronger
and deeper and nearer and simpler and freer
and richer and clearer, and no,
not a day goes by…….
At that point, Pastors Tracy& Janet, Scott and I moved to our places near the communion table and we began our ceremony. We kept things simple, a brief invocation, two scriptures, our vows, the exchange of rings. There were some unique features to our rites, like the Loving Cup, and a Druidic vow of unity. We asked that communion be one of the first things we do as a couple, and in a very moving part of our service, Scott and I served our guests communion. It was all I could do to keep from crying.
More than the parts of the service, was the way in which Scott and I seemed to be in a world all our own. After the invocation, we joined hands and locked in on each other with a gaze that none could distract. In the weeks leading to the wedding, I could barely watch our video, or read through our vows without breaking into tears. At the rehearsal, I could hardly say the words without my voice breaking with emotion. Yet something mystical, perhaps magical, and very assuring took over. I was able to speak out my vows loud and clear, and give that strength to Scott as his voice wavered with the emotion brought on by the love we felt at that moment. We held each others’ hands and slipped the rings on each finger. We picked up our Loving Cup and spoke the ancient words that would bind us as each other’s anam cara. We briefly allowed our friends and family to enter our world as we served communion. Then we turned to each other once more to make one more vow of unity in the Druidic tradition.
Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now
We swear by peace and love to stand
Heart to heart and hand in hand
Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now,
Confirming this our sacred vow.