02 August, 2013

Won't you marry me....

I went to a special wedding last weekend. My friends Andy and Jim, after being together for 16 17 years, finally got married. The reason it took them so long to getting around to tying the knot is that they are gay men, and up until this year, they could not get married.
Thanks to the voters in Maryland, homosexuals can marry and get the same civil benefits that heterosexual couples get from marriage as regards to sharing insurance, finances, being each other’s next-of-kin, etc.
The ceremony.
It was, of course, fantastic. They had it at their home; the ceremony was in the back garden, which was in bloom. There were butterflies flocking around the flowers and it was a beautiful setting for a wedding.
Thomas and I did our best to help out wherever possible. On Friday we went over to help with the set up. While I ironed five large tablecloths, Thomas helped move furniture and organize things in the coolers, bars, etc. Then we all (Jim, Andy, Jim’s sister, Andy’s niece, and us) had some pizza and then went back to working on the refreshments. I finished up the night by putting together the wedding program in MS Word.
We made Italian appetizers. That is a bamboo skewer with the following threaded on it: cherry or grape tomato, slice of Italian cheese, basil leaf, slice of folded pepperoni, and a black olive. Rachel and Karen made dozens and dozens of cucumber sandwiches.
Jim’s theme for the food was for everything to be small/miniature/easy to eat. If you know him, you know that anything that gives him a reason to use tiny plates or mini serving vessels makes him happy. So the menu included:
  • Shrimp cocktails that consisted of 2 shrimp on a skewer, in a tiny cup with a bit of cocktail sauce
  • Miniature mushroom pies in a tiny pastry cup
  • Our Italian skewer appetizers
  • Cucumber sandwiches
  • Thai chicken salad in phyllo cups
  • Prosciutto wrapped melon on skewers
  • The cutest crab balls served on wee little plates with wee little forks
  • Spicy ground beef broiled on toast squares
  • Shot glasses of cold watermelon soup. This was truly delicious, not too sweet, sort of minty and refreshing. I drank several shots!
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Toast rounds with thinly sliced roast beef topped with onion jam
The drinks also flowed freely. We had a champagne toast, lemonade, sangria, vodka tonics, red and white wine, Dark and Stormy cocktails, and beer. Thomas was one of the bartenders and he did a great job of keeping everyone’s glass filled.
The champagne toast.
One of their neighbors was in charge of taking care of the food in the kitchen. She warmed things, or kept them cool, and plated everything and two hired servers circulated and made sure no one was ever lacking something tasty to eat. Jim and Andy were smart to get help, because that way they could relax and enjoy their own special day.
There were about 50 people there. The wedding was a simple service. The readings were from the Song of Solomon and from a poem by Walt Whitman. All of Jim’s family was there, and two of Andy’s siblings were there. Although the United Methodist church is not (yet?) marrying gay couples, the service was a basic Methodist service and more than half of the guests were from our church.
Grace friends - Sue and Linda, David and his husband Jerry, George, me!

The champagne toast for the happy couple.

The wedding cake was from Patisserie Poupon. Delicious!
I was happy to be there and to be with so many friends and family with Jim and Andy. In the past years they have supported each other through a lot – the death of three parents (including Jim’s Dad’s slow decline from Alzheimer’s), the ups and downs of employment, health scares, and surgeries. Getting married just put an official stamp on their commitment.
Listen! I will be honest with you;
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes;
These are the days that must happen to you:

You shall not heap up what is call'd riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,
You but arrive at the city to which you were destin'd--you hardly
settle yourself to satisfaction, before you are call'd by an irresistible call to depart,
You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who remain behind you;
What beckonings of love you receive, you shall only answer with passionate kisses of parting,
I give you my hand!
I give you my love, more precious than money,
I give you myself, before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?  - from A Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman

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