Friday, November 17, 2006

The Perfect Day for a Wedding

Our phone rang on Monday afternoon; it was our friend Mike, calling to ask if we were free this morning for a couple of hours. I said we were, and he dropped a small bombshell by asking if we'd join him and Stephanie, at the Multnomah County Courthouse to witness their marriage. We adore Mike and Stephanie. They're both incredibly smart and witty, with exactly the kind of wicked sense of humor we love, and we count ourselves as lucky to have such terrific friends living close by in Portland.

They started dating in 1980, and have been engaged for at least five years. Six months ago today, they moved into a gorgeous, old house in the Laurelhurst district of Portland, which is chock-full of his political and her baseball-related memorabilia. I guess getting married was a logical next-step, and they decided to do it today so they could announce the marriage to Steph's family in person at Thanksgiving.

We live a very informal lifestyle, to say the least. Most days, I shlep around in leggings and some kind of loose top, usually barefoot and always sans makeup. So it was a wee bit scary to contemplate pulling together something to wear to a wedding with three day's advance notice, to say the least. I unearthed an outfit I bought in 1998, and have only worn once (!), an intact pair of pantyhose that were hiding at the very back of my sock drawer, and a pair of shoes that could at least pretend to be 'dressy'. So I managed to pull it off, although that's about as dressed up as I can get; thank goodness we only had to go out for breakfast, not attend a black-tie affair after the ceremony.

David and I were married under the Rotunda at San Francisco City Hall, and I've decided I really like the low-key feel of a small, civil ceremony. I've done the Big Wedding (200 guests at Wedding Number One) and it is so much easier and less stressful this way.

There was a humungous, long line at the Courthouse (I guess a lot of stuff happens on Fridays), so we snuck in through a handicapped entrance around the corner from the main doors, feeling smug and smart at not having to stand in line for a long wait. Unfortunately, David was carrying his Swiss Army knife and we had a gift bag containing a box of chocolates and a bottle of champagne (no weapons or alcohol allowed in the courthouse), so he had to race back to the parking lot to stash the contraband in our car before being allowed into the courthouse. He went back to the handicapped entrance to find that the guard who let me in initially had gone off duty (of course) so he had to return to the line and inch his way back into the courthouse. We hung out in the judge's chambers, watching Stephanie conduct business on her Blackberry, telling silly stories about all kinds of stuff, and getting cell-phone updates from David as he worked his way towards the front doors of the courthouse. Luckily, the judge's 9:30 appointment was postponed, so we were able to wait for David to arrive before the ceremony began.

It was a lovely ceremony, short but warm and charming, and one of the administrative staff took a group photo (well, three group photos, actually, with each of the three digital cameras available) before we trooped out for breakfast.

After some of the worst wind-and-rainstorms I've ever experienced, the day turned out to be just gorgeous - blue skies, cool breezes and lots of bright sunshine.

A fitting - and perfect - day for a wedding!

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