Melissa and I were married three years ago today, August 8, on a sandbar in front of her parents’ house on Fairfield Beach. We had only a handful of guests. Several friends and family members were unable to attend (and were very missed), but given that we planned and pulled the celebration together in eight days, we forgave those with previous engagements or a too-long of a way to travel. Eight days? Why the rush, you ask? I was working in Abu Dhabi and Melissa planned to make the move as well. However, it is illegal (very illegal) to be unwed and cohabitate in the UAE. August 8 happened to be the only day that aligned with my trip back to the U.S., Melissa’s parents being in town and the availability of several of my family members.
When I arrived in Connecticut on Friday, August 7, Melissa and I immediately headed to town hall to obtain a marriage license. However, we weren’t aware that Fairfield decided to close town hall on Fridays to save money in “this economy”. But, as they say, the show must go on. (Our friend, Will, was the officiant and gave us a one-minute redo on August 14, which is our legal wedding anniversary). We hit one more bump-in-the-road that Friday afternoon. Melissa had ordered flowers from a Westport florist. However, he’d forgotten to pick up the dahlias and other late-summer garden beauties. Luckily, the farm stand on the way home had oodles of just-picked zinnias and Melissa thought would be perfect in the glass jars she planned on using for centerpieces.
The day of the wedding, we spent the afternoon setting up tables and hanging out on the beach. Melissa had a local designer, Giuliana Boutique, make her dress and it was completed about an hour before guests were to arrive! I photographed Melissa and her mom as Maria Dominici applied their make-up. Maria, commented that it was the first time she had had a groom photograph the bride getting ready. It may have been a bit out of the ordinary, but our wedding didn’t follow many traditional rules.
Once everyone had arrived and the tide was out, we gathered our guests and requested they light a votive candle, make a wish for us, and then carry the candles to the sandbar, creating a circle for us to stand in during the ceremony. In typical “Will style”, he created an out-of-the-ordinary ceremony, quoting lyrics from The Book of Love by The Magnetic Fields. Melissa and I exchanged the vows you see below as wish-filled candles, family and friends encircled us. Two dear friends read poems, one from Rilke and the other The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.
We followed the ceremony with delicious barbeque catered from Wilson’s and cake from The Pantry. Following dessert, the kids played in the hot tub, the guys smoked cigars and everyone took in the breeze as the tide rolled in.
The following pictures are a collection of my work as well as our photographer friends’: Bruce Strong, Ken Harper and Carl Kiilsgaard. Of course, credit must be given to our Cross Fit-Mixed Martial Arts-Paleo Diet comrade, Chi Ng who rocked it with his point and shoot and to my mother-in-law, Lynne, who documents everything with her iPhone.