I traveled this weekend to Washington not only to spend time with my Italian friends, but also to attend the wedding of Matt & Mariah. M&M are relatively new to Phoenix. I met them at a happy hour several years ago when they’d just arrived. Mariah is a public health practitioner too and we struck up an easy conversation. Now, M&M are in the bowling league and they are Sydney’s proud parents.
Traveling to such a beautiful place to celebrate their union was a no-brainer. Wedding at an organic farm on a peninsula in the Puget Sound in August when you live in Phoenix? Also two of my favorite people were also attending? I couldn’t say yes quickly enough.
It was the wedding of all weddings. The ceremony, performed by a minister friend from the Church of Canada, was brilliant. I’ve honestly never before heard a minister do such a great job of capturing the spirit of the day, the couple and the environment. He told funny jokes, was sentimental and poignant — incredibly difficult to pull off. Also, he asked the guests to say vows for the couple, ensuring we’d hold them to what they were promising each other. It was meaningful and tactful. He walked a fine line between those who were spiritual and not, and did so with grace.
Plus! The ceremony included random performances by many of the talented guests. A man played a harmonica solo at the beginning that had everyone tapping their toes and aching for the dance floor. As a surprise to her new husband, the bride coordinated a handful of friends to sing the chorus from “Love Actually” — “Love, Love, Love” at one point — (as they do in the movie), including a trumpet solo. (The guest actually hid the trumpet in her dress on the way in. We were all shocked that suddenly this gorgeous Norwegian woman was standing up, whipping out a trumpet and quite literally blowing us all away.) And for the finale, the bride’s brother sang a Van Morrison song and played a guitar and had everyone in tears.
This was just the ceremony.
The party afterward included an open-mic portion of the evening that brought out a handful of random performances including OutKast sung with a ukelele. Imagine thirty people spinning in circles singing, “Shake it like a polaroid picta’!” There was a donut buffet instead of wedding cake. There were fresh cut flowers on every table that were as stunning as the surrounding gardens. And the toasts — the bride’s mother gave a toast that brought down the house. There were guests who flew in from a dozen countries to celebrate with the pair; what a great sign of their friendships and the way they lead their lives.
Such an incredible party, celebration and start to a beautiful marriage. I am so thankful to have been there. I truly feel richer for their friendships and for witnessing such a creative union.
Plus, this one kept me giggling the entire time. We are too much trouble together!