Life sometimes aligns in extraordinary ways and yesterday, September 25, 2021 was most certainly one of those days. As we slip past the Autumn Equinox and know for certain, that the warm, glorious days of summer are fading fast, we were blessed with brilliant blue skies and radiant sunshine, soft warm breezes making the brilliant red, orange and yellow leaves dance and sparkle.
As some of you know, I have had the honor of being part of a wonderful new wedding enterprise called Seattle Tiny Weddings. Spectacular, all inclusive, boutique style weddings completely curated, designed and delivered with venue and vendors and every last detail taken care of for the couples. They sign up, have a few meetings and “show up to the church on time.” Long ago, I signed up to be on hand for September 25th and looked forward to being part of the line up. Three to five weddings, all day long at the same venue, ready to help multiple couples say their “I Do’s” and have their mini celebration with local friends and family and many more live streamed in from around the country and the world.
And then I received a wedding invitation in the mail for me, from my most beloved nephew, in Canada for the very same day. I was so distressed, how on earth would I be able to tolerate missing out on either of these very special events.
Thanks to our pandemic, we have figured out that there is both a will and a way to be together even when apart and may we have a great big hallelujah for Facetime and Zoom. My cousins agreed to make sure I was at my nephew’s ceremony and he and his bride included me in the fun preparations and even the gift opening the day after. Thank you Clay and Tasha for keeping me connected from far away. I would not have missed it for the world. All the happy feels are still swirling as I rejoice in your wedded bliss.
FYI my nephew has been obsessed with Batman since he was a tiny tot. I am completely blown away that THIS is their wedding cake. Well Done C&T and Cake Boss. Well Well Done!!
And thank you heavenly stars and planetary alignments that my nephew’s ceremony was exactly during my break during the three ceremony line up here in Seattle. Our family has been a long difficult journey of caring for our mother during her seven year dementia process. We had our tender farewells with her just before Christmas. Now six months later, a pandemic delay and lots of preparations, finally a beautiful, happy celebration bringing together extended family, friends and welcoming Tasha and her daughter into our clan. Being Auntie is one of my most treasured roles in life and even though I was not able to be there, both my beloved nephews and I had wonderful video chats and they made sure I was part of our family’s happiness.
I arrived at the venue after a two and a half hour drive, to ensure that I did not get caught in ferry delays. Just enough time to change into fancy wear and help the first couple ensure that all the license signing happened correctly. ( the groom was a lawyer and the officiant his brother) …you can figure out what those conversations were like. :))
If you know Seattle, you know there are many many charming areas and one of the most delightful is called the Ballard Canal . It connects two of our lakes and even allows boats to travel all the way to Puget Sound and out into the Pacific Ocean.
Our venue was a charming greenhouse that is part of Almquist Winery and it sits right on the shores of the canal. So many people streaming by on every kind of floating vessel and just as many riding and walking past on the pathway along the water way.
The Tiny Wedding team was already in full gear by the time I was there and had decorated the greenhouse in a stunning soft palette of autumn decor. The wedding arch of flowers was breathtaking.
The first ceremony was delightful, license was signed and off I go to now be a guest at my nephew’s wedding.
Back into the Tiny Wedding flow I go and now I am on for Officiating for a delightful couple, Jenna and Brett. Jenna is a dance instructor and Brett a high school teacher. They we completely charming and we had a lovely ceremony with oh so many food references and analogies for these two who actually got engaged with the gift of a cook book called The Art of Living and Eating Well, a historic compilation of all the recipes of the never before combined regions of Italy. With an Italian groom and a Sicilian bride, there was only one way to go and that was with a gift of another book, Delancey, the very fun story of another Seattle couple who got married, got pregnant and opened a pizza shop in town. I told Jenna and Brett I would be fist in line to come to their pizza shop when it opened.
Another, “of course” part of the celebration was the first dances. Jenna the dancing queen dancing with her Beloved, then Jenna and her dad and Brett and his mom. Tears and happy applause, some cake and champagne, license signed, photos and videos wrapped up and Tiny Wedding number two was complete.
And finally Wedding Number Three ( four if we count my nephew’s ceremony) and the magical ending to a beautiful day.
By the time Alexia and Chris arrived for their Tiny Wedding the Autumn sun was fading fast. Our Tiny Wedding, Magic Making Team knew we needed to do photos before the ceremony instead of after, so blink, blink, change of plans and everyone in the vendor team, including the caterers, prepping back stage for the extended celebration plan, deftly adjusted and made sure our couple had exactly what they wished and dreamed of.
Now it is closing in on dusk and the ambience is perhaps even more magical than the bright, sunlight that blessed our day. Candles were lit, chandeliers were on and soft breezes flowed through our glass menagerie greenhouse as the guests arrived to take their seats.
Alexia and Chris met just as the pandemic lock down happened and in spite of extraordinary conditions, they found each other, fell in love and were more than ready for their deeply thoughtful and delightful ceremony and celebration. We began by passing their rings around to their family and guests for what is called a Ring Warming Ritual. A moment for their support team, including those on the live stream from around the world, to offer their prayers and good wishes into these tiny bands that would be forever more the symbols and proof of their wedding vows.
The wedding party began with a delightful tiny ring bearer, followed by the groom and his parents and the bride and her mother. The ceremony included many blessings, cultural influences and deeply meaningful messages about the sanctity and power of marriage as well as some reflections on the crazy vulnerability of allowing a perfectly imperfect human to invade your heart and make you fall in love. Crazy Right?
The evening ended with candle light, toasts and so much joy.
I found it hard to break away. What a day, what a day, what a glorious wedding day.
Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making such a magical day, and as always, my greatest joy is to give thanks to the SPIRIT OF LOVE that dispenses upon us mere mortals, the greatest gift that could ever be imagined. Long live the blessing of love. Whether we be bride and groom, guest or vendor, neighbor or family or friend, it is truly the most magnificent gift to be blessed by the treasure of love.
Love to One and All,