When the wedding you have been looking forward to for months finally happens and it is even more spectacular than you imagined it would be, there is an experience of creative joy and fulfillment that is off the charts.
Right from the start it was love at first zoom for Kyler and Aaron and me. I felt like I had known these two for ever. They were so relaxed and excited for their wedding and were so open in sharing with me their love story and what was really important to them for their ceremony and celebration.
As a celebrant of Love in all its expressions and special life milestones, I have a special place in my heart for anyone who is called by the compass of their heart to love differently than is what the cultural or even legal norms. Kyler and Aaron shared their journey of discovering that they were gay and the massive courage it took to share with their families and go through the “coming out” process. They both expressed that the support of their family and friends was what allowed them to step on this road less traveled, love path and were even willing and able to do so when our country still forbade them the right and privilege of legal marriage.
How incredible that fate had a grand turn of events in store before they found each other and realized theirs was to be a life long partnership. The Supreme Court Majority Decision on Marriage Equality that occurred a few years before they met, was so significant to them that they included a summation of the ruling in their ceremony.
We had such fun planning and while there were plenty of other celebrations to keep me busy during the season, I knew I was going to be part of a grand summit of LOVE for Kyler and Aaron and their guests and I eagerly awaited the date.
When the day began with overcast skies, I prayed hard to Mr. Sun to please show up at the church on time. He did not disappoint. As I arrived at our beautiful, waterfront classic hotel, The Edgewater, and walked into the ballroom, our glorious Fireball In The Sky was already dispensing his blessings on the glittering water and flooding into the room that was being prepared for the K&A Love Fest.
One really fun addition to the end of the ceremony, was having the guests vote on which combination of last names the Gents would claim as their new married moniker.
The guests got to place a poker chip in a box with either McGee-Brown or Brown-McGee and the score was tallied and a sealed envelope was brought to our alter before we began.
The guests were really dressed to the nines for these two, and finally it was time to take their seats for the processional. Tiny little angels in soft cream dresses and floral crowns came first dispensing their petals, first a little shyly and then the whole basket dumped out to ensure the guys would have plenty to walk on when it was their turn. Then the two miniature Double-O-Seven Ring Security Agents, complete with locked ring cases, dark glasses and spy microphone wires peaking out from collars came bolding down the aisle. Next gorgeous burgundy flowing dresses and dashing blue and grey suits for the Attendants and finally the moment arrived. “Please stand to welcome our grooms.” Kyler and his beautiful mother walked together to the top of the aisle. Then Aaron and his mother, and the sweet, soft laughter brought on by The Littles, turned to a quiet, tear filled hush. The moms held hands as they walked to their places at the front of the gathering. It was ever so clear what these two amazing women had been through to usher their precious boys into this glorious moment. All Hail the Moms and Dads who stand by their kids and help them find their path of love in the world.
As Kyler and Aaron took each other’s hand and began to walk toward me, I was overcome with water filled eyes and a bursting heart of love. It takes me by surprise how deeply I can feel toward couples whom I barely know, yet this moment of walking together to the wedding alter and getting to be there to welcome them is probably one of the crowning moments of my call to purpose.
Everyone is seated and I say to Aaron and Kyler, “You are getting married! How do you feel about that?” They didn’t even get a chance to respond before the entire room erupted in cheers and whistles and clapping. Team K&A have their fan club in the room and it is clear that there is room for only joy on this occasion.
We begin with a short moment of quiet to breathe through the nerves and settle into the moment. Calling forth the practice of presence, the greatest gift we can ever give each other. We give thanks for our magnificent sanctuary right on the shores of the Salish Sea and most important of all we offer our gratitude to The Spirit of Love that bestowed its blessing upon these two beautiful men and even moved mountains and the Constitution of the United States so that they could be here at their wedding alter.
Their lovely friend Erika read the Majority Decision and after the last lines: “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right,” the entire room erupts in more cheers and more tears and even more happiness if that is even possible.
A short invocation to the Dearly Beloveds to agree to their task of “bearing witness” to the joining of these two individuals. You are gathered here, not just for the party and not even just for the love, but to literally change that which you are observing. These two separate points of light, by your witnessing of them, are being brought together as a rainbow colored, unified wave because of the power of your human ability to bear witness. In spirit speak we say, “when two or more are gathered, God is there”. In physics we say: “quantum entanglement – the phenomenon of the thing observed being influenced by the observer” Do you agree to your holy task of bearing witness, Dearly Beloveds? If so may we have a resounding YES!” You can guess what that sounded like.
On to the vows and rings. These two rituals that truly are the heart of wedding ceremonies. Kyler began his love message to Aaron reflecting on his fifteen year old self, who could have never imagined this day and this moment of getting married to his best friend, love and soon husband. Kyler’s mom was awash in memory and it was so clear to me again, the profound role that parents, family and friends play in this call to dare to follow the compass of the heart, especially as a tender teenager in a world that is so harsh and relentless in its deeply seated fears of anything not the “norm”.
It is stunning to me that the most intimate and private parts of being human seem to invoke the strongest reactions from the collective when they dare to be expressed outside the norms. What is tremendously inspiring to me is that so many beautiful, wonderful people were in attendance, not just to celebrate such deep love but, in being there, were breaking through the concrete of old rigid constructs and making our world a safer place for those precious kids that were in the room also bearing witness to these two men getting married. One of their mom’s shared with me a question that the Ring Bearer asked the day before the wedding. “Which one wears the bride costume?” To which his mom simply said, “neither of them, they are both wearing suits.” And that was that! May all such moments of guiding young hearts and minds be so sweetly normalized that one day we won’t even be having to have them any more.
Aaron followed with his vows and made equally beautiful promises to his Beloved. These two have lived a lot of life in their six years together and you could tell that they were truly committing to be “ALL IN” and to continue to grow and laugh and love together no matter what life asked of them. It is such an honor to hear the depth of understanding and acceptance of each other that these two have. The vows from couples who weathered pandemic lock down in tiny spaces together have a richness in them that reveals that they have already been living the “love honor and cherish” practices long before these vows were even written.
Rings, beautiful unique rings, were exchanged with more affirmations of joy. “I give you this ring with complete delight to have it be a sign to the world that you are my husband.”
One of the most fun parts of officiating, for me is listening for the surprise inspiration about what I will bring as my gift of love for each couple. It has never ever been the same twice and this one really took me by surprise. A lovely framed print of the Marriage Equality reading seemed in order. Surely a memento of this happy day to be included on the wall of the family home along with all the other milestone pictures Aaron and Kyler will collect over their lives together.
With so much magic swirling in the air for these nuptials, suddenly the insight that the Powerball Lottery drawing was occurring just a few hours after our ceremony. AND THE JACKPOT IS SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS.
The ticket is purchased and after presenting Kyler and Aaron with their plaque, they received their Powerball potential prize winner. We imagined them winning and during their reception, having an Oprah moment and getting to say to their guests, “and YOU get a million and YOU get a million” Everyone was quite excited about this prospect, however, Aaron was holding off on his mighty Power Lord moment and having the fun of assessing who might be worthy of such dispensations. I assured him that even if everyone got their million and the taxes were paid, he and Kyler would still have about one hundred and thirty million to start their Happily Ever After with.
The men were blessed by rose petals, invoking every possible treasure of abundance that the lotto ticket represents, for health, and happiness, impossible dreams come true, long lives together and with that we said AMEN.
” I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU HUSBAND AND HUSBAND” “YOU ARE MARRIED!” may the kissing begin.
And with that we raised the roof and I am certain that the rest of Seattle was cheering too. We happen to live in one of the most enthusiastic, sports cheering cities I have ever known and even though there was a game getting underway about the same time as our celebration, I don’t think the stadium would have even been able to hold the ecstasy that that kiss dispensed on the world.
Now finally it was time to for the Academy Award Name Reveal Vote. Drumroll please.
The envelope was opened and it is Brown-McGee for the win. As delighted as Team Aaron was to ever more have the family name be in the number one position, truth be told, everyone was completely delighted to have these two families, these two names, these two beautiful men united together FOREVER!
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Family and Friends, I introduce to you Mr. and Mr. Aaron and Kyler Brown-McGee.
And last but not least, we make it legal with the signing of the license. A blessing and a privilege granted to two amazing men who could not be more deserving.
I think it will take a while to come down off of this cloud nine. I feel like I made two new friends for life. I will look forward to following your love story, Kyler and Aaron and all the fantastic, married adventures that lie ahead.
Blessings Upon Blessings to you. Your new friend, Auntie Grace
Nice Words from Kyler
If I could just add onto this; the entire evening would not have been possible without Grace’s love and blessings that she brought! Grace is absolutely amazing. I would recommend her to everyone. She brought an authenticity that is unmatched and a desire to share the moment with us that made her feel like family. Our ceremony was perfect and it was mostly Grace’s doings. We just showed up and provided the four walls for everything to happen!