Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wedding Day: Aloha & Mahalo

To all who sent us messages via this blog and other ways, thank you will all our hearts for exuding love and support. Our wedding day was nothing short of amazing. The energy created by the love of those physically and psychically present had everything to do with the joy and perfection of the day. The weather was just right as we floated on the Monterey Bay in this little tour boat with our small group of family and close friends. It was an incredible feeling to see gathered together people who have known and loved us over the years in many different places and times. As everyone arrived, Annie and I placed a purple orchid lei around each person's neck in greeting. (We ordered the lei from Hawaii, a place that means a lot to us, and they were shipped to us. California Poet Laureate Al Young recently wrote a poem for us based on a picture we took in Hawaii.)

A few little kids who were passing by on the wharf shouted out, "Aloha!"--the greeting of love, symbiosis, grace and peace. There were a number of strangers we came into contact with us that day, and all of them beamed with happiness, wishing us "congratulations" in one way or another.

We boarded the boat to "Roller Coaster of Love" playing over the boat's loudspeaker--especially apropos since the roller coasters of the Boardwalk were in full swing in the distance as we pulled out to sea. That song segued into a whole set of songs Annie had burned onto a CD, including "our song":

When the boat came to a stop near the harbor, everyone gathered at the stern. Our friend Mary Beth, who was deputized for our ceremony, was truly inspirational as she called attention not only to our relationship but to the power of all love. Birds were singing and circling. As soon as Mary Beth talked about transitions in life--how we'd been through so many, how a healthy relationship grows through those transitions--Annie's brother and nephew played on their guitars and beautifully sang the Green Day song "Time of Your Life" (but changing the lyrics to "I hope you have the time of your life").

Afterward, Annie and I said our words to each other, our reasons for loving and marrying each other. Finally, a glint grew in Mary Beth's eyes and she said, "By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you married!" At that moment, we kissed and the captain blew the horn.

I hugged my mom, and we both sobbed.

When we got back to the wharf, everyone went to their cars to drive to the restaurant. Our friends Michele and Van chauffered us along West Cliff Drive up to Natural Bridges for a little downtime with nature. Everyone then gathered at our favorite Italian restaurant to eat on the outdoor patio. The air was so soft the heaters weren't needed.

Celebration swirled with food, wine, hilarious and poignant toasts by long-time friends Janelle and Brenda, clinking of glasses to signal us to kiss--and it all culminated in the cutting of the massive carrot cake. We hadn't planned to cut the cake and feed it to each other, but we decided to give the audience what they wanted!

Afterward, a group of about 10 of us met back at Annie's and my hotel suite overlooking the ocean. From the deck we watched the sparkling lights of the Boardwalk rides in the night. Four of our women friends stripped and jumped into the hot tub. The only man there, our friend Bobby (who's a very youthful 66), said, "No one will never believe this!"

People drifted off one by one, leaving us with our two dear friends, Carolyn and Mary Beth, who sat with us in the dark on the patio. We talked and listened to the lapping sea and barking sea lions until 1 a.m.

We didn't exchange rings that day. Instead, Annie and I both wore our wedding rings that we've had for years--and she also wore a ring that had belonged to her Mom, and I wore my dad's Chico State ring that he wore every day of his life. When I showed my cousin John I was wearing the ring, he kissed it, a gesture that took my breath away.

It is at times like these that the presence/absence of those who have gone before us becomes more immediate. My cousin Linda reminded me that 7 years ago at her son Randy's funeral, "Time of Your Life" was played. So he was present in spirit.

Also, My sister Ann tells me that my cousins Jeri Lynn and Leslie were thinking of their mother, Bonnie, that day--and that Jeri Lynn had said Bonnie would have loved the ceremony. (Annie never got to meet my Aunt Bonnie, since she died before Annie and I met, but I'm sure they would have loved each other.)

And then, at the wharf they saw this:

As Ann said, Aunt Bonnie had the best seat in the house.

I will be posting a bunch of pictures in the next few days. We are awash in love and gratitude. Aloha & Mahalo to all.


jennifer said...


Were there any strange/silly/hilarious/unexpected parts of your Big Day?

Kate Evans said...

You know what's amazing, Jennifer? I was expecting to go with the flow when things got screwed up, but nothing went awry! We didn't know the captain was going to blow the horn, so that was a nice surprise. Also, my cousin's kissing my dad's ring really stands out as a stunning surprise.

At the dinner, a friend of mine was talking to my mom, who grew up in San Francisco. My mom (who has been a full gay-rights supporter and even started a chapter of PFLAG) said she grew up in the Mission near Castro Street. My friend said, "Oh, that's a nice area" and my mom said "It used to be before it got run over by the gays"...and we all laughed hysterically. I'm pretty sure she was deliberately making a joke, but it's hard to know since she has Alzheimer's. Maybe she was unintentionally channeling her father! But she grinned and laughed and laughed too, so no matter the source, it was a wonderful screwball moment.

Chelle Cordero said...

Ain't love grand?

May you and Annie know love and joy in the warmth of each other's arms for years to come.

BTW, ...Bonnie's bench, wow, speechless.

Collin Kelley said...

Great recap of such a special day. Big smoochies to you and Annie.

By the way, when I saw the YouTube box, the frame was frozen on Tina, so I knew it was her, but I swear to god I thought it was the "We Don't Need Another Hero" video from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. lol

jin said...

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful and special day with us - I am quite "faklempt" reading all about it! Many many congratulations again to you both - so happy for you!

Jo A. T.B. said...

So beautiful there, hubby and I honeymooned in California too 18 years ago! Is Clint Eastwood's Hog's Breath Inn, still there! The water and sky a stunning blue! A very romantic place, Congrads!

Kate Evans said...

Thanks everyone! We actually got married in Santa Cruz in the Monterey Bay. But it's all one big "scoop"; you can see SC from Monterey & vice-versa.

Jin, we loved having your voice float out of the boat's speakers. Your music is so beautiful; it added a lot to our day.

Lisa Nanette Allender said...

Kate--loved reading about all the fab details of your big day! Congrats again!