Thinking there might be a Flower Boy or two, the bride’s attendants were billed as Flower Children, but the boys did not appear, or at least not in the procession. I didn’t get a photo until they were sitting at the bride and groom’s feet as they listened to tales of Amperands, jars of blueberries, roots and fruitfulness, and other things that made the 10 year old boys among the attendees squirm.
But to take a step back. When we arrived at Greg and Rebecca’s house, final preparations were still underway. Gardens had been raided for the bridal decorations and friends were still arranging table bouquets.
There were flowers on the table.
The wedding bouquet included flowers of every season.
Friends made an array of wedding cakes. The ‘official’ wedding cake was heavy laden with garden blooms. My cake was more modestly bedecked with pink grootendorst rugosa blossoms. My friend Ida, a knowledgeable horticulturist, said no one would recognize them as roses; they look too much like mini-carnations. Oh well.
During the ceremony my husband talked about ampersands, and the fact that many people know us jointly as patandhenry, to such a degree that sometimes we are not recognized as Pat or Henry – that we have to say, “You know, patandhenry.” Oh, yes. then all is clear. He brought a framed ampersand with him as a visual aid. After the ceremony, the ampersand made the rounds of all the family and friends gathered to celebrate Greg and Rebecca’s new joint identity.
The groom’s father Alan and his wife Betty took their turn with the ampersand.
So did John, the groom’s stepfather with his wife Bernadette.
Elaine and Carlos are the bride’s mother and stepfather. Carlos read a Pablo Neruda poem during the ceremony. He decried the advice so frequently and consistently given to children, to work hard, to be serious, and again to work hard. If they took that advice he wondered what they would be left with as their days dwindled down. He thought the 20 year old Neruda was amazingly wise when he wrote Every Day You Play which concludes with these words:
“My words rained over you, stroking you.
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body.
I go so far as to think that you own the universe.
I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells,
dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.
to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”
A perfect thought for all the couples who posed with their ampersand.