A Very Small Wedding
I met my friend when he came to work at the Quaker school a good many years ago. Before he arrived for his interview, we looked at his resume and marveled that he had three middle names! He was born in England, where this is apparently not uncommon.
A single dude, young enough to be my son, he is very bright and very funny. Very sensitive, too, and very caring. We hit it off from the get-go and I'll never forget how tight he hugged me when I told him I was losing my job. We never talked about it one-on-one, but a coworker told me he'd sworn he'd never marry.
I've let go of most of my colleagues from the school. In those early weeks/months it was just too painful to hear school gossip. But I didn't let go of this guy, the one I consulted on haircuts, the one I called "my boyfriend."
Summer before last, about five months after I'd left the school, we met for lunch. He confided that he'd met someone. Someone special. And it was going well. He actually said that he'd never felt this way before. I was surprised. And hopeful.
I kept hearing about her. It was lasting a very long time for him. So this past summer I invited him to dinner. And told him to bring her. We had a fun evening -- me, my husband, my boyfriend, and his girlfriend -- and a couple of weeks later I boldly messaged him: "She's a keeper. When are you going to put a ring on her?" To my delight the reply was "Later this fall. But she doesn't know it yet."
In Pennsylvania, due to the Quaker influence, people can marry themselves without having to have an officiant. Just a couple of witnesses.
The wedding was last night. There were eleven of us -- the happy couple, the "better man," the maid of honor, their spouses and collective three adorable children, and Joe and me -- gathered in the rain under a gazebo behind the Art Museum. She in her silver lace dress looking like a calm and elegant princess, and he in the first white shirt and tie I've ever seen him wear.
They'd asked if I would lead them as they made their vows; nearly speechless with surprise, I accepted before they could come to their senses, and quickly offered Joe's services as photographer. It all took about ten minutes and then after a couple of posed photos, we all hustled off to a wonderful Italian restaurant for pasta and lots of red wine. It was one of the happiest evenings we've had in ages and ages, and we've talked about it all day.
They like William Morris and earth tones. I think I nailed it.
God bless Niall and Sue.