Our wedding day started the way I’d always dreamed of: our apartment was full of ladies, curling their hair and fixing their faces. One-and-a-half year old Shae was being adorable in her flower girl dress. My mom and aunts came over to bring the flowers, white roses and delphiniums.
The wedding being in Syracuse, it’d been threatening rain all morning, but when my dad came to pick us up to go to Thornden Park, the sun came out emphatically. Someone later attributed this to Great Grandmom’s heavenly intervention.
We lined up to go through the rose arbor, Shae sporadically leading the way. The bridesmaids were carrying bouquets, and the bridesmen were carrying my tiny nephews, who’d only been born a couple of months before. Amy and I both walked with both of our parents, and each of us started misting up as we neared the center of the rose garden, because that’s where our friend Steve was Dobblering a boombox playing In Your Eyes. (That’s one of our songs. Our actual song is The Space Between by Dave Matthews Band, and there’s nothing we can do about it.)
Of course the ceremony was performed by a poet—my friend and mentor Georgia Popoff. When I pointed out that Amy’s vows were better written than mine, Georgia said helpfully “It’s not a competition,” but I was just saying that I felt lucky. Somebody said once that in good relationship, both people think they’re getting the better deal, and I’ve always known I’m the lucky one.
I’ll let you decide whose vows are better:
My Vows to Amy:
-I promise we will learn the names of all the birds and flowers.
-I promise to take you to all the good celestial events.
-I promise continued astonishment with the universe, especially that someone as beautiful as you would want to hang out with me.
-I promise to make your life as warm, cozy, and inspired as possible.
-I promise you gratitude, faith, and the everlasting love and adoration you deserve.
Amy’s Vows to Me:
-I promise you will always be my First Thought, my First Cause, my Prime Mover.
-I promise there will always be Bronze Spheres, Infinities, the Obvious Unspoken, Truth to be pursued and Beauty to be worshipped.
-I promise we will have Summers of Flowers and Birds, that we will strain our necks up at the trees and watch out for caterpillars in the road.
-I promise we will always revel under Blue in all its many shades—from highlighted morning to Sunday Paper walks to sunsets on a hill to the Deep Midnight Blue surrounding split by falling stars.
-Finally, I promise to sincerely and sillily love you. I promise you laughter magic; to read to you, to hold you, to care for you. I promise to build you castles in the air and foundations to keep them there.
Almost everyone we invited came, from Texas, Colorado, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and all over the place. Even our most conservative family members stood by us and pledged to help support our relationship.
We (mostly I) chose almost every single song played at the reception. We were presented as wife and wife to the theme from The Simpsons. Our first dance was to Philosophy by Ben Folds Five, because I’d always wanted to fall in love with a philosopher.
So, eight years later, here we are, in spite of the fact that I read Fear of Flying on our honeymoon, in spite of the fact that I’m terrible at talking about superheroes and unable to stop talking almost ever, in spite of her bad commute to Delaware, in spite of everything that keeps me from being the perfect wife I wanted to be, we’re still here. We’re still amazing.
And if they ever legalize gay marriage in Pennsylvania, I’d love to invite you to another party and march her down the aisle of my beloved Unitarian church, to make it official. Let’s get on that, shall we?