Sunday Almanac: We Tie the Knot…Finally

A gown of Cupioni silk, in princess style, was worn by the bride. Panels of Chantilly lace were fashioned in the front and in the back. The back of the skirt extended into a short train. A Sabrina neckline and long sleeves were also featured. The bride carried white orchids attached to a mother of pearl prayer book. The prayer book was given to her by the sisters of St. Veronica’s parish. —Unknown, 1958 newspaper clipping

Chef David and I were married last Saturday, exactly ten years to the day from our first date. There was no newspaper clipping and little fanfare. We invited nobody save a certain twenty-something who stood in as my ‘gentleman’ of honor, and one Scout-the Goldapeake Retriever, who served as David’s best dog. Reverend Kathy Hurt officiated; we don’t know her well, but she struck us as genuinely kind and wise and the best woman for the job. She is a minister in the Unitarian Universalist church, an institution near and dear to David’s family.

Everybody loves a wedding, it seems. And what is it about a wedding, I wonder. Hope, I think, has much to do with it. The promise of a bright future and maybe a family, a life lived well but most especially in the company of one another.

This is the second try for each of us; our families, his and mine, predate this union. It is different the second time around. We knew some of our immediate and even extended family might have expected pomp and circumstance, or an invitation at the very least, but the vows we exchanged, the “I do’s” and “I will’s” were pledged between us long before now.

Several weeks earlier, another Saturday found us sitting in Rev. Kathy’s office explaining what we had in mind, and answering a battery of questions she put to us. It was an hour well spent, kind of a mashup of wedding planning and couples counseling, I suppose. The one question we both struggled with, a little, was this: Since you’ve been together, and happily, for so long now, why do you feel the need to marry?

Good question. Later on that evening, we agreed, it just feels right. Essentially, though, we’d be restating what we already felt and pledged for one another, officially, for the benefit of the state of North Carolina. There it is, stripped of any romance: We are now legally wed.

But bankrolling a big, fluffy wedding? Neither of us desired it. Instead, we’ve thrown resources into things we find the most meaningful. Our forever home, for example, the place we expect to live out our days. And maybe at some point there will be travel to destinations in the world we’d both love to see together.

So on a flawless, sunny North Carolina day we stood out on a pier overlooking the Cape Fear River and said simple, beautiful wedding vows. I wore an inexpensive mail-order dress with colorful dandelion and dragonfly artwork splashed on the front, and made a flowery headpiece to go with it using materials I had on hand. I also wore a sterling locket I’ve owned since my kiddo was a peanut; inside it is a minuscule paper scroll with his name scrawled upon it in his unsteady four-year-old hand. David wore a beloved linen shirt he’s owned for decades with his khaki trousers. I picked up some flowers at the grocery store and made an arrangement to carry, and also made a small boutonniere for David, and attached another to Scout’s collar. Notably, a local artist made our rings, which we cherish.

A few people, strangers out for a walk on an exquisite Saturday afternoon, stopped and watched. A young mother stood nearby with infant twins in a stroller, one wide awake and the other sleeping, and a black Lab puppy cradled in her arms (“we have a lot going on right now,” she told us); she smiled through the entire brief ceremony. Afterwards, everyone we passed offered their congratulations, and when we had supper outdoors at a nearby eatery, all the patrons on the deck applauded as we walked by. We had a nice early supper and chatted with the young family seated next to us; their boy, about age five, waxed poetic about the difference between crocodiles and alligators while his toddler sister squealed with delight. They had their dog with them too, and so Scoutie had some canine companionship while he was hand fed bits of blackened fish under the table.

Then we came home, opened a bottle of champagne, and settled down with our young house guests to watch a movie.

It was a perfect wedding on a perfect early autumn day, the start to the next ten years, and what could be more joyous than that.

10 thoughts on “Sunday Almanac: We Tie the Knot…Finally

  1. Beautifully written up, Deb. So happy for you two on this simple yet joyous occasion. Enjoy your togetherness as you have in the cold Vermont winters now in the warmer climes! Love you Deb!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s been several years since I’ve checked in on your blog, and I’m not sure what made me think of it today… but I was so delighted to read this post — congratulations to you both! Your journey and your “happy ever after” has been a joy to read about, especially to someone who knew you before and knows what courage and resilience your initial move to Vermont required. I’m so glad the journey continues to unfold in such a lovely way, and now in a more temperate climate! Take care! (Signed Vivian’s mom, back from KBS. She’s now a junior at Peabody Conservatory at JHU — music major, however, not dance!)

    Liked by 1 person

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