Friday, April 21, 2017

A Marriage of Hearts

My friend Michael made it to the age of 60 before he found his one and only. I'm so happy I got to be there!

As anyone involved in any part of planning a wedding knows, it can be a lot of fun with some crazy mixed in, ending in just a lot of fun and joy. This was no exception. Well, add in being on an island where things can be slightly slanted for a bit more zing. Like getting the wedding bouquet and watching the flowers turn to a bad imitation of themselves, finding nothing like them, and then finally finding a grocery store with roses that worked beautifully instead. Island adaptation is an art form sometimes, and Terry, an old friend of Liz's, who is a florist and not from an island, adapted with the best of us. Five stars!

Terry takes a well deserved walk on the beach before the ceremony
When Michael's told me his best man couldn't make it due to health issues, I was thinking as we were talking about who would do the honors. It turned out he had already decided; I would be his Best Ma'am. So if you wonder why there aren't photos from the wedding ceremony itself, it was because I was busy hoping I'd not drop the ring or do anything else to mar the moment (I didn't drop the ring or fall down or anything else memorable, so that worked out). I still feel honored, and know Pratt was there in heart...wishing him well.

Liz and Shannon came by straight from the hair and make-up time.
Nice work, Shannon! Gilding that lily worked very nicely.
As much as I like to talk (and you know I do, no need to add any helpful comments), talking in front of a large group of people isn't one of my favorite things. So instead of doing what I planned on doing, a bit of a trip down memory lane, I read two of my favorite poems about love by e.e. cummings and Pattiann Rogers, which officially made me done with my happy duties. Well, mostly, the rest was clean up stuff but that was fun. 

But before all of that, here's a look around where the wedding happened. The folks at Freedom City Surf Board Shop & Grill, good friends of Michael's, were amazing, as were all the friends who made incredible hors d'oeuvres (shrimp and cheeses and roasted garlic and and and), the people who did the pig and chicken, the cake, the musicians - so many who love these two made it an amazing moment in time. 

Freedom City is on the west end of St. Croix

Irie the Great Dane was chill, waiting for the food part

One of the beaches I used to find a lot of chenay on, long days gone by.

Before the fire! I really like this thing.

The goodies crew. I was drooling.
Michael was looking very dapper (okay, I've never, in 20 years, seen him in a suit...he cleans up well!), the busiest groom ever, making sure everything was just all right. And it was.

Friends were excited for this moment in his life.
To put it mildly.

And then it was time. John Macy, aka Big Beard, presided, gently getting us all in our places with bright happy faces. It was so very good to see him! 

Photo stolen from by Nicole Brown
John had all the cell phone people step back to allow photos of the ceremony with that amazing background to not be filled with everything but the center attraction. Liz's Matron of Honor was her old friend Fern, who I got to know, along with Terry, staying at the house together. She's a trip, in the good way. Both women had me laughing a lot and that is always a good sign. 

Stepping up for their first dance

I think they're in love

And pretty happy about it

What that cool thing looks like lit up

Michael was only allowed to play one song
mixing business with pleasure.
Of course, making music is his business and his pleasure.

Lots of eating and drinking and talking ensued. Two people I hoped dearly to see were there, Tito and Sue, who have done (still do!) the crab races here for a very long time. I think my arms and mouth were almost sore from hugging and grinning. It was a good reunion. Very good.

But then it was time to move on. Goodies were gathered, food was packed away, the bride changed into her bridal trip togs. Bob opted for a sign rather than tin cans (JUSTis Married), someone got some electrical ties, I poked in holes with my knife - oh my god! I just went through TSA with that!!!! oops.

And they were off! And so am I, sitting in the airport on STX waiting to go to Vieques and another wedding of heart friends. Love is in the air and it's pretty damn sweet. 

The best wishes of my heart to Michael and Liz, who found each other on the life road and that changed everything. 

Have a Freedom City Friday. Do something forever. 

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