I would never have predicated a few years ago that I would some day have the honor of officiating their wedding ceremony. And it was a huge honor! For one thing, Maggie swore to me she was never ever getting married. Which simply proves the point about making absolute statements. They're always wrong.
I flew into Washington early Friday, April 19. Maggie and Roy picked me up at the airport and took me back to their place for a little rest before they needed to get to their salons ~ a haircut for him and a cute soft curl hairstyle for her. While they were pampered in the chair, I headed over to Rosemary's Thyme Bistro for a relaxing solo lunch, just me and BBC Sport to catch up on all things English Premier League.
We were a little worried about the weather holding, but by the walk back to their home it was pretty obvious the storm would be coming in later. We were in the clear for an outdoor ceremony. They had originally planned on holding it in Meridian Hill Park, but on the way back to the apartment decided a little courtyard in their building would permit more privacy and block the pre-storm winds.
Maggie was ready in a flash and had on her dress and jewelry by the time the photographer, Deb Lindsey, arrived around 2:30. Roy, on the other hand, was still struggling with his bow tie. As you can see in the pictures, he reached a resolution without having to finish the YouTube video on how to tie one.
The four of us went down to the courtyard and promptly began their humanist wedding. Maggie and Roy chose to include a sharing ritual, The Wine Ceremony, in which they each take a sip from a glass of bitter wine and sweet wine. This ritual is symbolic of their pledges to be there for one another in both good times and in bad. Their joys are multiplied and their sorrows divided because they share them. And as I reminded them, it's all symbolic so they made sure it was a wine they would both enjoy sipping during the wedding and finishing together later.
I cannot decide if the best part of the wedding was Maggie bursting into tears after the kiss or pronouncing them husband and wife with instructions to update their Facebook statuses. Maggie was so worried she would cry during the ceremony, but instead got the giggles. Her laughter is so infectious, it was awesome!
Maggie and Roy went over to Meridian Hill Park for portraits after the wedding while I went back upstairs and read for a bit. When they returned, I joined them in the lobby for more picture taking and the signing of the marriage license. I managed to get it in the mail back to the Courthouse before pick up! I have to say the Washington, DC marriage license is much prettier than the Florida one, and I like the triplicate copies. Very nice!
Roy and Maggie changed clothes quickly, took a few more "going away" photos and the three of us hopped in a cab. We headed over to the W Hotel where Maggie and Roy had booked a room for me too. (Luxury!) We had a lovely glass of champagne in the lobby upon check in. I managed to snap a few photos of them toasting with their champagne since they opted to abandon the cake back at their place. I figured they needed some sort of "reception tradition."
Our timing enabled me to get about an hour of rest before dinner. I was grateful for the down time as I'd been nursing a cold/flu-y sort of thing for a week and it decided to turn vicious again right about then. I began to worry I wouldn't be up for going downstairs to have dinner with them at the J&G Steakhouse. On top of feeling tremendous anticipatory guilt they might come down with it on their honeymoon. I'd never forgive myself for ruining that!
I made it to dinner and it was, of course, out of this world. We're talking Jean-Georges Vongerichten after all. The restaurant was an appropriate choice as Roy and Maggie had dined at his restaurant in New York City the evening they were engaged to be married. When our server became aware it was their wedding day...whoosh...another round of champagne appeared at the table.
I do believe that was about the time the storm peaked in intensity. Maggie and Roy timed everything beautifully. We were tucked safe and warm inside a gourmet restaurant with the rain lashing at the windows, thunder booming periodically, and lightning dramatically lighting up the sky from time to time. Good food, wine, great friends, and an elegant ambiance. The only thing missing to make this an absolutely perfect evening was my husband. Oh well, someone has to stay home and watch the kids!
The next day I flew back to Florida and they jetted off to Tahiti...or Bora Bora...or some such South Pacific tropical island. In others words, Paradise.
Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous —
not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were
beneficiaries of chance… That pure chance could be so generous and so kind…
We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.“ ~ Ann Druyan