15 years ago my husband and I tied the knot in a double ceremony with my longtime friends, my mentors, my family.
After a party for some other friends, we got in the car and began a drive straight through from San Jose, CA to Vancouver, BC. Oddly, after over 20 years of friendship, it was my first road trip with Rob and Joe. I guess we were saving up for this momentous trip.
Through the night we took turns driving. I don’t remember if any of us actually slept or not during our off-shift. As we drove we hit a snow storm outside Portland and rain as we entered Canada. We didn’t really care, we were about to get married!
After checking in to our hotel, we had to go get our paperwork signed, at a bank if I remember correctly. Lots of signatures and proof of identity. As we left, we kept our papers close and tight because without them, it was just a nice long vacation and no nuptials.
Although we were staying in Vancouver, we had decided to get married on Vancouver Island. Doing so meant we had to get up at a truly early hour to make it on the first ferry to the island. We drove the car on and found a seat. There was some napping on the ferry ride as the drive, excitement, and lack of sleep was catching up to us.
Once off the ferry, there was the drive into Victoria to Beacon Hill Park. When we first arrived in the park, we walked around a bit to find a spot for the nuptials. Finding the perfect spot, we headed back to the parking lot to meet the officiant and my husband’s family. All the paper work was given to the officiant and we lead everyone to the spot.
We all find our places. Cameras are set-up and rolling. The officiant begins the ceremony. And then, the chainsaw starts up. We wait a moment to see if it will be a quick cut. There is a pause and the officiant starts again. So does the chainsaw. The officiant tries to speak over the chainsaw, which as you can imagine, doesn’t really work. A little frustrated does not describe how we were feeling. After a moment of consultation, and a good-hearted officiant, we walk around the park again and land by the lake next to a wide open field of sorts and a jogging path.
We find our spots. Cameras are set-up and running. The officiant begins the ceremony. And then, the ducks join us. But, they are pretty quiet, acting as additional members of the wedding party.
With a few tears from a couple of grooms, we all say our vows, letting Rob and Joe answer first out of respect for their longevity of being together, and as the elders, the mentors, the ones who helped us get to this time in our lives.
When it was all over, we signed the official documents necessary, acting as one another’s witnesses, a great honor for me in being a witness. Some people passing by wished us congratulations, the ducks went on their ways, and we headed off to the Empress Hotel to celebrate with some High Tea.
Who would have thought that 17 years ago, two strangers meeting one another literally on the streets of San Francisco, would be where we are today.
It is hard to believe, in many ways, 15 years has passed since our wedding. On the trip is where we completed our paperwork to adopt. A little over a year from then we were about to meet our adopted children, and we’ve never looked back.
As with all marriages and relationships, there have been ups and downs. We’ve survived living apart for the first year of our relationship and a year again recently. Traveled the world, raised our children who are finding their way in the world, and have a grandson.
Life is good! Happy Anniversary Richard!! Love you and look forward to 15 more.