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Wedding!!

When I was a kid, my sister Claudia got to be in a wedding as the flower girl. I was so jealous. She was maybe four or five years old and got to wear a special dress and looked like a little angel. I was maybe seven or eight and looked pretty much like an ordinary kid in nice clothes that I already owned. I knew at my wedding that I wouldn't single out any one child to be more special than the others.

So I ordered a ton of rose petals, put them in a basket, and got someone to organize the children downstairs to throw petals down the aisle. Any kid that wanted to could participate, but no kid was made to participate. I think that there were probably a dozen kids of flower petal throwing age downstairs, so I was certain that at least some of them would do it. And apparently my dad roped in my friend Vivian (age six and a half) to be in charge of the flower children.

From what I understand, the kids really got into it. At first, they didn't really get it. But with encouragement of the crowd, they started throwing petals with gusto. And when a gust of wind picked up some of the petals and blew it into the crowd to a roar of laughter, the kids started playing it up. They'd go back and pick petals they threw already, and they'd throw up in the air with the hopes that some of the petals would fly into the crowd again. Apparently someone brought bubbles, and that added to the sense of frivolity. It was reportedly awesome.





My dad reported later that our officiant, Smash, looked like a Greek Priestess waiting for the ceremony to start under the saris. She'd dyed her hair to match her outfit, and she just looked fantastic. She waited patiently, but she also commanded that crowd. They totally looked to her for cues on what was going on. And of course, Millie, her co-(dependent to)-officant was right by her side.





Graham and his siblings went first. We sort of felt that it was unfair that the bride usually gets a procession and the groom sort of just slides on in as if he were unimportant in this whole wedding thing. We didn't coordinate on how we were going to do this, so he and his siblings had their way of coming in, which I think was in age order single file.





Jose, Liv, Claudia and I, on the other hand, clung to each other. In part, this was because I wanted my siblings to walk me down the aisle. In part, this was so we could all keep it together and rely on one another to help us down. I loved so much how Celosa confidently took the lead. I loved how Chicken stopped to smell random stuff as we were walking. When the sun came out right as we crossed the road towards the site, I knew everything was just perfect.





At first, we just had to navigate tables and chairs to get from the house to the ceremony site, so I was paying more attention to our route than what was ahead of us. But when I saw the ceremony site, I was overwhelmed. I had been up in my parents' bedroom waiting for the last hour, and I hadn't seen all the people arriving: everyone else did. I had intellectually understood that there would be 220 people at the ceremony site, but I hadn't seen them. And everyone there was someone that I knew and loved. The very first face that I saw was that of my best friend, who I hadn't seen in a few years.

I was also so happy that it worked! We'd been envisioning this thing for months now, and it looked so wonderful. Tons of people. Some sitting, some standing, some on the grass on blankets. Kids and elderly. Babies and dogs. And it was just everything that I had envisioned. Tattoos and suits and family and friends. And they were intermingled. No area was really designated for a certain type of person. It looked so great.

And I was so happy. Part of me wanted to stop and say hi to every happy face that I saw.





But the other part of me wanted to get to Graham, who was staring at me intently at the end of the aisle, as quickly as possible. My brother stopped to grab Zapata, who was with my mom seated in the front row, so we could have all three dogs in the family in the wedding party. I had meant to stop and give my parents a kiss and a hug, but in my haste to get to the front, I totally forgot to do it. By the time I remembered, I was with Smash and Graham and it seemed I missed my opportunity.





There was a small audio hitch that lightened the mood, and then the dogs sort of barked at each other, which helped also. I'm so glad that Smash later e-mailed the ceremony to us, because I totally missed the first few words. I just kept staring at the crowd, smiling like a fool. All of these happy, happy faces were smiling back at us. And I could tell that this was an amazing moment that I'd savor forever.





After an introduction where Smash asked the community to support us, she talked about how she was there when we met.

I am very humbled and honored to be participating in the ceremony today. I was fortunate to have been friends with both Graham and Christina before they met each other.
I was also fortunate to have been there in the desert when they first met. I remember looking over across our art car, and seeing the two of them sitting very very close to one another and holding hands. They had smiles on their faces, the kind of goofy pure joy smiles that one couldn’t possibly wipe off their faces if they tried. There they sat, already in love, the bright shiny one and the grumbly grumpy one, a perfect match. Inseparable from that day on even over distance and time.


It was beautiful.

She then talked about marriage and what it was that we were getting ourselves into. I started staring at Graham.

Then, she had our mothers give us some white roses, and I was able to hug and kiss my mom. She looked so very happy, and I was so glad to have her be part of this. She took Zapata back to her seat with her, because he, like every other person there, was having a little bit of trouble controlling his emotions. Graham and I exchanged the roses.


Now may I ask the mothers to present the roses. The single rose as a gift says “I love
you” These roses represent the love you have for each other.

In every marriage there can be times where it is difficult to find the right words. Sometimes it can be difficult to say "I am sorry" or "I forgive you". If this should happen, if you simply can not find these words, you can leave a single white rose for the other - the rose says that “No matter what, I love you."

Please exchange these white roses as a gift to one another that symbolizes this day and of the love that brought you here today.

You have prepared vows to express your love and commitment to one another.







And then it was time for our vows. I turned to ask my brother for something, and the crowd laughed at the fact that we were using our iphones for our vows. Graham started, but first, we got a text, and Graham's text alert reverberated across the PA.





Graham:

In the summer of 2007, I wasn’t sure of a lot of things in my life. But, there were a few things I knew. I knew I wasn’t going to get married, that I would never find that special person I was meant to be with for the rest of my life, and that having a family of my own was not going to happen. I was OK with this. It seemed that was what was fated for me and that was just fine. I went to Burning Man that year by myself. I was content to just hang out with my Villains and enjoy the madness that is the playa. Then, in that desolate, beautiful place, I saw you. I will never forget that first dusty kiss we shared out there, and how I felt when you told me you weren’t letting me go. You didn’t, you haven’t, and I know that you won’t.

Christina, I promise to love you as much in 45 years as I do right at this moment. I will be your partner, your conspirator, your ultimate truth teller, your lover, your friend, your husband, and even as I grow old with you, I promise to never stop growing with you. If the last 4½ years are any indication, we’re in for a helluva ride. I am both deeply honored and incredibly fortunate to take that ride with you.



Me:

From the beginning, we took shelter. From that day forward, I knew that I would be safe with you. I knew that you would do everything to make sure that I was ok and happy and comforted.

And I knew that you would let me make sure that you were ok and happy and comforted.

You are more than my best friend. You are my compliment. You let me be my very best self without asking anything more than to be with me. You let me be the funniest person you know. You put up with my random trains of thought and my weird goat thing. You make me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. You make sure I have a towel and diet coke. You make me smile and laugh and I never feel uncomfortable or self conscious with you. I’ve never trusted anyone as much as I trust you. And like all of the other productions that you put on, you make me shine. If I look good, it is because you are there to make sure that I am happy.

I will be the same for you. I will let you be yourself. I will support you and laugh with you and experience life with you. I’ll NEVER think that the root beer incident wasn’t funny. I’ll make sure that your feet are warm on our cold floor, and that you have your coffee in the morning. I will be your very greatest fan, relishing that I get to be your only groupie. I will make sure that you are able to be the person that you are, the person that I love.

On that horrible day last year, when we almost lost each other and we thought we lost the puppy, I knew that so long as I was with you, it would be ok. And you found me, and you got me out. And it was ok.

I don’t need you. But I want you. And I can’t imagine being without you. And I love you. And I plan to for the rest of my life.



And then we called our pretty little puppy to give us the rings. They were attached to Celosa's collar with a carabiner, and she was such a good girl to come when she was called. It took us a second to get the rings off, because her leash was in the way, but after that, she didn't need to be leashed anymore. She walked over to my mom

Graham and I had a minor battle about which finger my ring would go on, since he was using my engagement ring as a guide, and I had moved it to another finger. It was quickly resolved, and our rings were secure on our fingers!





Then the final words:


Smash: Do you?
Graham: I do!
Smash: Do you?
'stina: I do!
Smash: By the Power invested in me by the Great State of Texas
I now pronounce you husband and wife.



Then the Lick the Shins version of "Can't Help Falling in Love" started up, and I kissed Graham and he kissed me.



And Chicken started barking her head off.
And there was all sorts of clapping and cheering and yay!ing, and I hugged his siblings and he hugged mine, and we hugged Smash. And then we went to our parents and hugged them. And I looked around and EVERYONE was dabbing their eyes. And then I started hugging random relatives and people that were on the edges of the aisle until Graham pulled my hand towards his and we walked down the aisle together.






And we were married!! Holy crap!

Comments

( 4 comments — Say something )
fallconsmate
Apr. 24th, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC)
i read this and cried and my son laughed at me.

blessings on you both, and may you have many many happy years together! and HOLY CRAP you look gorgeous in your wedding dress!!

that's some big ol shit-eating happy grins on y'alls faces and may they always be there. *hugs and skritches for the puppygirl for being such a good ring bearer*
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carlamlee
Apr. 25th, 2012 04:16 am (UTC)
It has been so wonderful reading all your posts about the wedding. I totally teared up on this one. Many, many blessings and good thoughts for you guys.
( 4 comments — Say something )