So we were married last weekend. Saturday at 1:30pm to be precise. We planned it as a small ceremony, just immediate family. Well, we’ve actually been together over twenty years – it was the first wedding the guests had been to where they had been to anniversary parties before the marriage itself. So no, we did not where white.
Everything went off flawlessly. The location – the little park near the base of the stairs that form Lyon Street between Broadway and Vallejo in Pacific Heights – was a perfect Italianate garden backdrop. By about 1pm when we gathered there, the fog had lifted and thinned out so that we had still winds and sun. Hopefully the photos turn out as nicely as the ceremony itself. Our friend Ken Yeager who is now on the Santa Clara County board of Supervisors performed the actual ceremony, and R and I read our own vows. R didn’t even break down in tears – well just a smidgeon really – as he read his. I was just glad I had brought my own cue card because, much as I had rehearsed them, the lines flew out of my head as soon as I started and I had to grab that card from my pocket.
One of the nice things about doing it was that my father had never been out here to meet any of R’s family before. He’s 87 so doesn’t travel much anymore – in fact I don’t think he’d been on an airplane since the 80s. The 1980s, not his. Since we had hired a photographer – I was not going to rely on snapshots for this, our joint families are not much even with the point-n-shooters – the event also provided an opportunity for family photos. We had nearly everyone save for a couple nieces and nephews and my younger sister. I had even prepared a list of the twenty or so combinations of people to be photographed and appointed B to manage the list with the photographer. (Thanks for the tip Megan!).
Not that I feel any different about R after the formal joining, but I did feel a very emotional charge during the whole thing. Perhaps it’s the weight of the whole tradition of marriage in our culture as a symbol of love and, really, maturity I think. I mean unmarried people used to be considered flighty and unreliable. (Remember that brief show “Occasional wife” from the sixties? The one where the guy is going to get his promotion as long as he can prove he is married? And gets his apartment neighbor to go along?)
I don’t think I choked up or anything doing my vows, although I kissed Schmoopy prematurely. Apparently vows are not officially enough. Ken had to say ‘By the power vested in me by the State of California I now pronounce you married’ or whatevah!
So we kissed again after he said that. I didn’t stick my tongue down Schmoopy’s throat or anything too hot or R-rated. Just a nice made-for-TV kind of kiss.We headed over to Green’s for lunch afterward with everyone. Toasts were alternately emotional and humorous, which I think is the right way to do it. Even I choked up and that never happens but I think I was feeling relaxed by then, or it was the effect of the champagne. R’s twin sister even choked up, just after reminding everyone of his own crying-jag toast at her own wedding.