Monday, September 03, 2012
A Great Day And A Confirmation
I went to the most beautiful and love-filled wedding ceremony on Saturday. My friend Rick and his partner Doug invited me about a month ago to attend their ceremony. They've been together for seven years and recently were legally wed in New York, and this ceremony in Utah was to commemorate that.
The ceremony was actually in a part of Salt Lake City on the east side that I don't typically frequent. It was gorgeous over there. There were beautiful homes, and the area felt kind of secluded.
While I don't know Doug very well, I've known Rick for about five years now. We've done several shows together, and he is someone I connect with well. We've become good friends over the years, and I was so touched and honored to be invited to his wedding.
I found it ironic that parking for the wedding was in a nearby LDS Church parking lot. I'm not sure who, if anyone, approved that, but I liked it. From the parking lot to the wedding venue was a trail of red and white pine cones to helps guests find the property where the wedding was being held.
The wedding itself was on the property of one of Doug's relatives (who, as far as I know, are actively LDS). It was a huge, forested area and was decorated so nicely. There was a trail leading to the wedding area. At the head of the trail was a harpist playing music. and the trail itself was lined with banners containing photos of Doug and Rick as well as mementos from their relationship such as love letters and inspiring quotes.
The yard where the wedding was held was massive. The chairs were all nicely lined up in a wooded area decorated with Chinese lanterns, and there was a nearby area where tables were set up for dinner, and there was also a covered area where the caterers were set up and where desserts and beverages were laid out. There was also a nearby creek and a couple of Port-o-Potties.
A few of my friend showed up about the same time I did, and we chatted before the ceremony started. The weather was overcast, and it looked like it might rain. I hope it wouldn't. I didn't want my friends' day tarnished in any way.
Soon a Reverend showed up (I think he was from an Episcopalian domination) and welcomed us. Then he rang a gong to signal the beginning of the ceremony. Rick and Doug walked hand in hand together while a bagpiper played behind them. I was crying immediately. After their trek to the wedding area, they greeted their parents, all of whom are active Mormons as far as I know. It was so sweet how Doug and Rick were with each other's parents as well as their own. I know Rick's parents are going through similar things as my Mom, and he is so sweet with them.
After the Reverend introduced the grooms, Rick and his siblings sang a jazz version of "When I Fall in Love," which was quite nice. Then there was a prayer, and the Reverend talked about why Rick and Doug had chosen to marry. Rick's dad read some beautiful thoughts about love by Martin Luther King Jr. I wish I could find the specific quote because it was so lovely.
Then one of Doug's relatives (I think) read some thoughts on love from the Bible. Two of my friend sang "The Power of Two" by the Indigo Girls. Then the Reverend gave my friends a charge and my friend recited their vows. I so wish I had copies of their vows because they were beautiful.
Rick and Doug absolutely beamed, and it is so abundantly clear that they are deeply, deeply in love, and I thought to myself, "Anyone who thinks that a same-sex relationship between two individuals who truly love another is wrong has never witnessed this kind of wedding." I felt God's spirit and his blessing upon my two friends, and I am witness to the great love that was present there, and where love is, God is there, also.
Rick's sibling and two of Doug's relatives offered words of support and love. Then my two friends exchanged rings, after which two other friends say "For Good" from Wicked. And then there was a beautiful benediction. It was so lovely and touching, and I was so moved. But even more, I was reminded of my own deep love for Jonah and how much I miss and love him.
As I said in my last post, after my next show I am going back home to Jonah. The rational, practical part of me is worried about the financial ramifications of unemployment and worried that I am compromising my career at a time when it seems important to stay connected with the theater where I often work when I am in Utah. But Rick and Doug's wedding only reaffirmed that going back home is the right thing to do, and that I have to trust God to take care of us.
Dinner and dessert was great. The food was catered Mediterranean cuisine, and desserts were all sorts of baked goods from a gourmet bakery. It was quite a nice (and delicious) spread.
Rick and Doug couldn't have looked happier. Like I said, they've been together seven years now and have made it through some trying times, but it's clear that this event meant a lot to them, and I anticipate they will be together until one of them dies.
I loved a dedication in their program: "Thank you to our amazing parents...for teaching us just how wide hearts can open, the transcendent power of radical acceptance, and that love, while a pleasant emotion, is more so an action."