This is Dad’s writeup of Deirdre’s wedding. Since I haven’t gotten anything written yet, I thought I’d just post what he had to say. :) “I” in this posting (after this paragraph, anyway) refers to my father. :)
As one of our friends said, it was the nicest Hindu-Moslem-Buddhist-Jewish ceremony she had ever
been to. Gavin and Deirdre asked Praveen, an East Indian friend of Gavin’s, to conduct the marriage
ceremony. Somehow he captured most of the major religions and everyone was delighted with the ceremony. It was a very unorthodox wedding, and it was a joyous affair. It was ceremonial and intense, but it had a spirit of relaxed improvisation and love.
We were seated at tables that were arranged like spokes, with the marrying area being the hub. Gavin’s grandma played some pre-show classical music, I brought the bride in, and it was off to the races.
First Praveen had everyone hug other people in the audience. Much to my surprise everyone joined in with a will and it took a while before we returned to our tables. Then some of the nearly newlyweds’ friends said nice things about them, and I sang “More I Cannot Wish You” from Guys and Dolls.
Next Praveen lit some sage and smudged the couple, clearing away any negative energy. Then he put oil and water on the nearly newlyweds’ foreheads, put lighted incense on the floor and had them walk around it seven times. The nearlys started giggling [they lost count! –ed] and so did most everyone in the audience. Praveen gave a brief talk about marriage and about Gavin and Deirdre, and they said the vows they had prepared. Praveen announced they were husband and wife, they kissed, and presto-zipto, a thousands of years old tradition was culminated.
Many more things that included interesting entertainments, conversations, and food and drink took place. The pre-closing event was two bridal attendants plus the bride and the groom cartwheeling down a grassy slope. The final event of the evening was tossing birdseed at the bride and groom as they ran the gauntlet of guests.
One of the best entertainments of the evening was when Deirdre, Gavin and their friend Nathan sang We Were Cruisin’ Along on Airport Way, The Cannibal King, and a couple of other songs I taught Deirdre and Catie many years ago – songs that my mother taught my sisters and me. During the singing I looked over at Mother and Aunt Mabel and they were both singing along. :)
Oh, yes, Gavin ended the ceremony part by taking off his sandal and replacing it with a big boot. Then he took a wine glass wrapped in a napkin and smashed it. It was a great ending and loud cheers erupted from the audience.
When I talked to Praveen after the ceremony, he said he figured he had enough bits of religious ceremonies in there to offend everyone present. I told him there were people there who ranged from conservative Christians to avowed atheists and everyone loved it. He said he was glad because he already had another wedding gig in California next month.
I have left out many details, but I think you can tell it was an unforgettable wedding.