On to today’s tale!
Upon our engagement, to assist Don and I in determining the best day to get married, we consulted two talented astrologers for their advice. Fortunately, a date selected by them coincided with a time my father and step-mother were already planning on being in Buffalo!! So without hesitation we moved quickly to plan the affair as the selected date, August 23rd, was only two months away!
Don and I really wanted a small wedding. Prior to being engaged I never understood the need for a big, elaborate wedding and had even gone as far to joke that IF I were to get married (I never saw myself as the marrying type) I’d elope. But, when it came down to it, we didn’t want to disappoint anyone. So in two months time, we planned three days of wedding events: a blessing ceremony which mimicked a traditional wedding reception with our closest friends and family, the only caveat - WE WERE NOT MARRIED YET; a backyard barbeque where we invited all our friends and family, NO ONE was left out with over 300 invitations being sent; and, the actual commitment ceremony where Don and I were able to do it OUR way.
As with any wedding weekend there were some hiccups and disappointments, but overall it was truly beautiful. Family members still say it was one of the best (and most unique) weddings they’ve been to in awhile. People loved the music (Friday night we hired Nick Battistella who croons to songs by the Rat Pack and Saturday we were serenaded by Total Eclipse, a local cover band who even allowed Don’s Best Woman, Chris, to get in on the action and knock out a song on the drums); others loved the caricaturist who did pictures for wedding favors; others continue to comment on the beautiful invitations designed and created by my good friend Teresa, the proprietor of Willow Branch creations; others it was some the cheesecake from Say Cheesecake; and, others just appreciated the flowing spirits and hired bartender (it’s not an Irish wedding without an open bar!)… The one aspect that EVERYONE remembers and reflects upon however is the GEESE.
After the Friday and Saturday celebrations, on Sunday morning we had an intimate ceremony in Yates Park (aka Green Lake) conducted by one of my best friends, Reverend Amie Michaels. We hadn’t arranged a place, but were glad to see that the small gazebo next to the water that sat about twelve (perfect for our guests) was empty. It was there that we exchanged vows.
As we professed our love and commitment, the wind picked up slightly and just as we were saying our final “I dos” not one, but TWO flocks of geese flew overhead. Everyone present scrambled to get a picture… for we all knew it was something special.
We have taken the geese as a sign that spirit was blessing our union as a goose is a symbol of marital fidelity for a goose never leaves one of its own kind behind. Should a goose become injured during its migratory trek, another goose will leave the migrating flock to stay with its partner. This goose will stay with the injured until s/he has recovered or until its final breath. As such, Don and I knew this marriage was for the long haul.
Now four years in, we’ve had ups and downs in the road. But we always keep the geese in mind and one of us is struggling, the other stands by and helps the other. As I say to Don when he annoys me, “Oh goodness… at least it’s only for the rest of YOUR life…” which hopefully will be longer than shorter.