Wedding Bells are Ringing

5/9/2010 Sunday 9:15 pm

Saturday was a very special day indeed.  A little while ago my dear friend Travis, who is a work colleague, and key partner in the development and direction of our ACGS education program, surprised me when he told me that he and his fiancee had been talking, and had decided they’d like to ask if I would consider acting as officiant at their upcoming wedding!*

I am not a wedding officiant of any kind, never have been!  So I was surprised to be asked, but I was also deeply, deeply honored to be asked, and I told him that, as long as it was legally possible for me to do the job, I’d do absolutely anything necessary.  It turned out that the process involved in getting me positioned to perform the ceremony was actually relatively straightforward!

So Travis, and his lovely fiancee Marisa, who had met years ago in high school and dated on and off as they were traveling around for school and career over the years, wrote a lovely ceremony for me to recite.  They even left me a small section to “freestyle”.  On Friday I went out to the wedding site and we had a rehearsal where we went through the motions for the ceremony, got our timing down, and interfaced with the 4 musicians (all 4 are fine current or former students of Travis’!).  It was a lovely, cool evening and it was a great pleasure to meet the friends and family that had already arrived for the wedding.

Then on Saturday, after a day of teaching (and private recitation of the ceremony!), Glenda and I went out to west Austin for the ceremony.  I wore my grandfather Curt’s cufflinks for the occasion…  My dad gave me Curt’s cufflinks after he passed away 5 years ago.  They are gold cufflinks with a red image of Hercules and the lion with four diamonds in each.  The diamonds each represent a certain number of years (perhaps 5?) that Curt worked for a company called Hercules – and so altogether they represent a large portion of my grandfather’s professional life.  I treasure those cufflinks but had never worn them, and for some reason it seemed like just the right occasion to put them on**.  Perhaps it is because Curt and my grandmother (Jackie – who is thankfully still with us) had such a long and loving marriage, that they seemed like the right choice for last night.

The whole evening was just amazing.  The music was lovely, the weather was cool and comfortable, the location was peaceful and beautiful, and our careful rehearsal the day before helped everything to come off without a hitch.  I played my little part being careful not to make eye contact for any length of time with either Marisa or Travis since we were all on the edge of tears.  I believe the ceremony itself was deeply emotional yet at the same time, we were all able to, more or less, maintain our composure throughout!

What followed was a long evening of eating, dancing, making new friends and catching up with old ones.  It was a lovely wedding.

My wedding Bells are Ringing post would not be complete without a mention of our neighbors Claus and Stefania who celebrated, Friday evening, their 10th wedding anniversary.  Friday was a long and wonderful evening, actually, because after returning home from the rehearsal at around 9:15, Glenda and I went across the street to Claus and Stefania’s where we stayed until around 1am celebrating with our friends (and 40 more of their friends as well!).

* I should say that Glenda and I, on our second wedding day (November 3rd, 2001), chose a similarly unconventional officiant in my guitar teacher/mentor Adam Holzman!  We were looking for an adult figure in our lives who had been of particular significance and he was the clear choice.  The day remains one of our fondest memories.  It was our “second” wedding day, because we had been married the day before in a traditional Vietnamese ceremony in Houston – so we had a double-header!

** The story of the cufflinks continues because, much to my dismay, at the end of the evening last night I discovered that one of them had slipped out of my (right) shirt sleeve.  We looked around for it for a while but to no avail.  Its a happy ending, though.  I was overjoyed to receive Travis’ text message this morning at 11 saying he’d found it!  So lucky.

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