Monday, September 1, 2008

The happiest day.

What a wonderful feeling to wake up on a Monday morning and realize it is a long weekend. What an even better feeling to roll over, yawn, and smile at the person sleeping next to you before waking them with a kiss and a "happy anniversary." Today is Sam and my's first wedding anniversary, and on a long weekend to boot!

I loved our wedding. Of course I love our wedding day because the day is symbolic of my union with the man I love and will love for all of my livelong days. But I also love it because I am so proud of our wedding as an event. I feel our wedding wrapped into a night of dinner and dancing the pure essence of our personalities. It was playful, a bit classic but also uniquely original, with a great emphasis on sharing with friends and family and a minimal emphasis on pomp and circumstance.

Our Clauddah rings.

The ceremony went by in a blur, but the lasting memory of the marraige ceremony is still very important to me and I wear it every day on my left hand. The story of our rings is very symbolic of the mood of our wedding. It was more about being with each other and the people we love than the traditional bravado of a wedding. Our rings are traditional Irish Clauddah rings. The design is a heart, held between two hands and topped by a crown. This is a traditional Irish design symbolizing the qualities of the best relationships. The heart, in the center, symbolizes love. The hands surrounding the heart are a symbol of friendship, and the crown atop the heart is a sign of eternal loyalty.

Sam and I bought these rings together in Gallway, Ireland in 2003 and we have been wearing them for the majority of our relationship. I spent most of my semester abroad (and our first few months in love!) away from Sam, and the ring on my right hand was a constant reminder for me of our stable and meaningful relationship. We have worn them together, apart, in the best moments and the moments that can be hard, and we still wear them now as a symbol of our union. For me, my Clauddah ring is the only piece of jewelry I feel comfortable wearing on my left ring finger, so instead of swapping the jewelry for another ring when we wed, we kept them and turned them into our wedding bands.

As a couple, we believe in the importance of friends and family. At our ceremony we passed our rings through the crowd and asked each of or guests to briefly hold our wedding bands and give them their blessing. It was our sincere hope that as each guest held the rings, they took a moment to reflect on this symbol of marriage and commitment. Sam and I know that our individual relationships with all those that we love were an important part of who we were when we met and fell and love, who were were when we stood to get married, and who we will be as we move forward as a couple. Now, when I look at my ring, I see it as a symbol of love and support from both my husband, and from all of the people in our lives that contributed to our journey to this point and who will continue to support us through our marraige. Our rings have an extra level of symbolism from the wedding day.

While the ceremony is a blur in my memory, the reception is a gleaming, vivid, whirlwind memory of laughing, eating, toasting, dancing, hugging, smiling, and celebrating. The reception was nothing short of a riot. We feasted on a dinner featuring herbs and summer garden ingredients, including peach tarragon gazpacho, basil caprese salad, herb marinated lamb loin, creamy polenta, sage cloverleaf rolls, and of course rum wedding cake. I tucked rosemary sprigs into each napkin because rosemary represents fidelity. And we put out jars of cookies and old fashioned bottles of milk after dinner because, well, because people like cookies, and we wanted everyone to be happy.

We danced all night long on the rooftop of the historic Guenther House to Lil' Bit and the Customatics, only THE BEST local rockabilly band in town. They played a special rendition of Patsy Cline's "Walkin After Midnight" for our first dance, and Sam and I put to work the months of swing dancing lessons we, enjoyed, before the big day. Just kidding, we loved learning to dance and putting it into practice that night. I heard it rumored that our band was initially concerned that our wedding was going to be a flop of a night when they first started playing, because they were set up and performing on the rooftop while we dined demurely in the garden below. But... by the end of the night vocalist Lil' Bit and bassist Tom Cat said we were the MOST FUN wedding they have ever had the pleasure of playing because our guests were so enthusiastic with the dancing, the drinking, and the rooftop revelry. They might not have known how to swing, but that did not stop anyone from bustin' their moves on the old tile floor. There was even a pinata in the shape of a wedding cake. We closed the place down with our merrymaking, leaving me with sore dancing feet, a huge smile, and one excellent husband to have and to hold for ever more.

And that, in more words than most will read but thousands less than I could write about the day, is the reason that Sam and I share the most wonderful wedding memories one year later this September 1. Happy Anniversary my love.

Maid of Honor and my dear sister Anne, and my mother Sarah.

My wedding dress bodice, adorned with hand embroidered silk florets. The dress is most beautiful garment I have ever worn.

Best Man Roger, Groom Sam, and Groomsman Jarret waiting out the rain inside before the outdoor ceremony.

We feasted under the arbor of the Guenther House, aglow under hanging lanterns.

Champagne for toasts!

Guests feasting at the banquet tables under glowing lanterns in front of wheat grass and garden flower living centerpieces.

Reading: On Marriage by Kahlil Gibran
Read at our ceremony by my sister and Maid of Honor Annie Eden

Then Almitra spoke again and said, "What of Marriage, master?"
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kate and Sam
Congratulations on your first anniversary! We are so happy to see you so happy! Married life just gets better and better so imagine what your future holds!
Mom and Dad
p.s. It really was a special day;wasn't it?!?!?!