The wedding of Mark and Dora Pilgrim took place at 11:30 on May 17, 2003 in the Garden of the Fearington Inn. They were married by the Reverend Robert Webber. There were readings from Mark's Mother and Dora's sister. The ceremony music was provided by "The Tuba Quartet". The wedding party consisted of Elaine Woo as the Maid of honor, Lara Cohen the Bridesmaid, Sarah Stried the Flower Girl, Michael Stried as the Best Man and Clinton Fongas the Groomsman. The reception was held immediately afterward with music provided by "The Jazz EnRoute Trio".
Those are the facts. And if life was just composed of facts, then that would be all to tell of the wedding.
Fortunately, life is more than facts, much more, and while it was a whole event, it breaks up in my mind into little pieces, little vignettes.
Dora, walking down the aisle, was beautiful. Well, it wasn't really an aisle, because the wedding was outside, it was the grass pathway that lead to the pergola underwhich they got married. As Dora walked in, instead of waiting for her at the end of the aisle Mark walked halfway down and met Dora, then they both walked together to the pergola. It was a only a minor deviation from tradition, but that deviation carried a lot of symbolism, and speaks volumes to the kind of relationship that Mark and Dora have.
Mark looked very dapper in his tuxedo. The sky was overcast and windy. While waiting for Dora to arrive a gust of wind blew and rose petals came showering down off the roses that had climbed the pergola. Once Mark ascended the stairs he started smiling. He didn't stop smiling for the rest of the ceremony, nor for the rest of the reception. And he only forgot one of his lines during the ceremony.
At the end of the ceremony there was a little disagreement about the amount of kissing required after the Declaration of Marriage. Mark won.
During the ceremony Flower Girl Sarah Strieb stood dutifully in her spot, which for her age was quite a long time. She did spent a little time twirling the ribbon on the basket she was carrying around and around her finger, and did peek around Elaine Woo, looking for her mother, as Elaine was doing one of the readings.
Before the ceremony started Lynne and I went to find a bathroom. While waiting for my turn in the bathroom, Mark walked into the building, having been barred from the prepartion area, as Dora was arriving, and, it being before the ceremony, he was not to see her. He looked only slightly nervous.
It was bit cool outside and we had the choice of sitting inside or outside during the reception, so we chose inside, sitting with Sam Ruby and his wife. I made frequent trips to various food tables, shrimp, crab legs, tortellini, beef, potatoes, and crab cakes. All very good food.
Michael Strieb and Mark's father both gave very touching speeches before the cake was cut. Of particular note was Michael in his bare feet. This was apparently payback by Michael to Mark, for Mark had delivered a speech at Michael's wedding, in his bare feet.
One of the readings, by Mark's mother, was by e.e. cummings, which Lynne and I thought was particularly neat since we also had a reading of e.e. cummings at our wedding.
Mark and Dora's practice paid off, and their dancing was very nice. They did suffer from some techincal glitches, with the CD player dying halfway through the song. The Jazz EnRoute Trio picked up and carried on where the CD played left off and they finished in fine form.
Lynne and I got to dust off our very rust dancing skills. We had taken two years of ballroom dancing lessons, but that was over 9 years ago. Weddings are our only chance to exercise those skills.
All in all a very fine day with very fine folks. All the best to Mark and Dora on their marriage.