Time: Approximately 2pm, Saturday, November 7, 2009
Place: San Francisco Bay
Witnesses (and dear friends): Mary (officiant) and Larry (captain)
Jack and I made a very conscious decision to get married on the water. We’re both water folk—both former competitive swimmers, kayakers, I’m a competitive rower, Jack’s spends nearly every Friday morning surfing Half Moon Bay with Larry and a bunch of buds. I learned to swim at six months old and Jack spent a good portion of his life at swim meets and going for gold. We both feel most comfortable in the water. We also have some fond memories of sailing together earlier this summer, so it seemed fitting that we commemorate the next phase of our relationship while sailing San Francisco Bay.
We were honored to sail with Jack’s good friend, Larry, who was our captain and witness. And my dear, dear friend Mary flew out from New York to officiate our union.
The day was beautiful. It is unfortunate that our families could not be present so we will celebrate with them in the Summer of 2010 when all can fly in from their various out-of-state and international locales. For now we went with simple and sentimental.
We all met at South Beach Marina in San Francisco, about 10am. Since it had been gloomy and rainy the day before we were concerned about foul weather, but it ended up being a gorgeous day out on the bay.
Saying a quick thank you to the weather Gods we leisurely set course for our destination: Angel Island.
Mmmm. I love that sexy face. (Sorry. Just had to stop and admire the view.)
Jack and Larry popped the sail …
while Mary and I relaxed …
and just took in the beauty of the San Francisco skyline, the frolicking seals and waved at fellow sailors nearby …
Our sail out to Angel Island provided plenty of time for us to sit back and enjoy each others company. We broke out Jack’s gourmet picnic along with a great bottle of wine. Life was good.
Jack and Larry took turns behind the wheel.
We ended up mooring in an idyllic cove off Angel Island. (Thank you, Larry, for suggesting such a wonderful spot.) We chatted, ate, drank and were merry. The weather was gorgeous and the mood aboard was happy and tranquil.
Then we got down to the business of getting married.
Before making our way to the bow of the boat Jack presented me with a garland of roses for my hair in lieu of the traditional bouquet. It was incredibly thoughtful and represented yet another symbol of the traditional in our very non-traditional approach to getting married. While Jack and I are somewhat unconventional about our approaches to life, at our core we are still very connected to our families, to our roots and their traditions. Throughout this simple ceremony there are nods and mementos honoring our heritage.
Mary and Larry stood at the prow of the boat with Jack and I in front of them, facing each other and holding hands. (Although there are no photos of the ceremony itself, Larry did videotape and audio record it. We’ll post them once we’ve got it all put together. This photo is courtesy of the local park ranger who’d motored out to us for a quick “hello”.)
With her customary joyfulness Mary officiated the ceremony. (For a complete transcription of the ceremony, visit The Vows. They’re wonderful.) We hadn’t rehearsed or gone through the vows with Mary prior to the ceremony. We didn’t give her any specific instructions or even any detailed input. We just trusted her. We expected simple.
What we got was intimate and emotional. It was more special than we could have imagined. The ceremony began with this poem.
The Passionate Shepherd To His Love
By Christopher Marlowe
Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, hills and fields,
Woods or steepy mountains yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;
A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair-lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.
The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning;
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.
Eight minutes, a few sniffles and lots of smiles later, we were married. A heartfelt thanks to both Mary and Larry for their participation and orchestration of the ceremony.
Finally, it was time to celebrate.
After a late lunch we had a beautiful sail back into the city. Well wishes came from all over.
Lovely. Simply lovely.