Sunday, October 31, 2004

Enchanted Evening

EITHER THE STARS WERE IN ALIGNMENT, luck was a lady, or God was on our side. Whatever the cause, it was a freakishly warm night in "fog city" and the sky was clear, clear, clear with just the right amount of clouds to make for a swirly pink-orange sunset. On board the Tall Ship Balcutha, the bride and groom quietly said their hand-written vows of love, friendship, commitment, and respect as the sun nestled into the horizon.

The 100 or so wedding guests could barely hear their whispered voices due to the harbor sounds of motor boats, helicopters and squawking gulls. But they were palpably moved when the big-hearted groom weeped openly as the two stared intensely into each other's eyes.

The reception was downstairs in the hull of the ship, a rustic and dramatic place to drink wine and converse. The crowd was a fascinating group of friends and family of the well-traveled, well-educated, well-liked couple. The two, who met by way of kismet and match.com, are a matched set in terms of joie de vivre, outlook, intellectual curiosity and life goals. On match.com the groom, who works at an educational policy think tank in Washington, described himself as overeducated and wacky. The bride, who is a doctor at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, described herself as tall, slender and honest. She responded to his blurb and, as they say, the rest is history.

Dinner was down a creaky ladder-like staircase to a candle-lit room of white tableclothed tables with exquisite centerpieces of thick candles and deep red roses the color of passionate romance.

Pirates were the theme of the evening. It was explained that on the couple's first date, the two planned to attend "The Go Go Puppet Show," an updated retelling of "Treasure Island" by a performance art group in Baltimore. They missed the show entirely because the conversational portion of their evening was such a success. The groom did give his date an eyepatch which she immediately put over her eye. This impressed the groom no end. Later in the evening he e-mailed a note to himself, in which wrote: "I think I met the woman I am going to marry tonight." And they did catch the pirate show the very next night.

Pirate eye patches for all were included in the charming party favor sack at everyone's place setting in addition to a tattoo and a generous amount of chocolate coins. After a meal of salmom, chicken and saffron risotto, there were eloquent toasts by the best man and the maid of honor. A Gilbert and Sullivan style pirate song written and performed by a college friend of the groom was a high point. Then the couple, clutching a microphone together, said their vows again because so many people had been unable to hear them the first time.

This time the guests were moved by the thoughtful intensity of the couple's words of love. Some swooned, other's sighed in wonderment at this union, which seems so full of promise and poetry. For the old-married Smartmom, their vows brought back memories of her own wedding day and the many years after. She would be the first to admit that marriage is a compelling challenge -- and that it is definitely not for the weak-hearted or the easily discouraged. But all in all, its considerable pleasures more than make up for the hard work and toil.

The crowd moved upstairs for cake and coffee (and more wine for those so inclined). They watched the bride and groom "perform" their first dance, a nifty disco routine they'd obviously rigorously practiced. Smartmom and Hepcat danced the night away to the seventies and eighties tunes picked by the excellent deejay. The two stole away every now and again to catch the view on-deck of the sparkling city, which was lit by a nearly full autumn moon.

2 Comments:

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Blank Postcard said...

Hey,
Sorry for scaring the hell out of you in the Holiday Inn "Business Center". You're pretty hot.

 
At 12:11 PM, Blogger Blank Postcard said...

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