blogitto ergo sum

July 3, 2011

#191 – I Take You [Part II]

If you haven’t read #189 – I take you [part I], please consider reading it. It may help  make sense of this post. [link]

I never mailed the RSVP card back.  I liked it too much, and didn’t want to part of it.  Silly, I know.  Still, I was somewhat offended when Howie called to confirm that I was indeed attending.  “I promised I’ll be in your wedding” said surprised me.  “How can you doubt my promise?!” 🙂

What to wear came next.  Friendship and the happy couple gave me permission to “ignore the black tie; you can wear whatever you want as long as it’s not jeans.”  For a while I toyed with the idea of a Goth-like outfit, but friendship won.  I honored the black code; my kind of black.

The VIP treatment extended to me included a ride to the wedding.  Thank you Michele!  And here we are in the ante room, very anticipating.  I remember a dark narrow corridor, waiting to be let in, air full of expectancy.  This expectancy was shared by many.  It seemed that at some subconscious level, we all knew that we are part of something special.  Writing so much later, I vividly recall the vibes as we circled the corridor leading to the Pegasus Suite.  We entered the room to the sounds of a string quartet playing show tunes.  Much better than a common quartet playing a mix of light easy digestive classics, AKA elevator music.

And we set.  Out of the 10 people at the table, I knew 4 and immediately clicked with a 5th.  The lady-half of the couple sitting across from me, was going out of her way to build a team spirit table.  Not a good idea, lady.  But since I already broke the boycott and made it to a wedding, how can I refuse a group photo?  I HATE! group photos. I gave in with a smile.  Melanie, to my left, was very supportive. Told you it was a special night, didn’t I?

Mazal Tov!

This wasn’t only a gay wedding, but also an interfaith one.  Rabbi Feinberg & Rev. Brashear who co-officiated the ceremony, opened the formal part with the following announcement, ”In planning this evening’s ceremony, David and Howard discussed with us how important it was to them to incorporate their 2 faith traditions.  Not only because each feels a strong attachment to the faith and tradition of their families, but because it is emblematic of their life together – a life that has been marked by mutual love and respect and a deep desire to grow together and learn from each other in all that they do.”

Having no hard tradition or script to follow, Howie and David created a wedding like none. This is where this touching musical interlude fit it.

My House (Bernstein) / Sing by Kyleann Burtt & Joey Douglas

Build my house of wood, build my house of stone

Build my house of brick and mortar;

Make the ceiling strong, strong against the storm

Shelter when the days are shorter;

But build my house of love, and paint my house with trusting,

And warm it with the warmth of your heart;

Make the floor of faith, make the walls of truth,

Put a roof of peace above;

Only build my house of love.

And of course, the vows.

Ani l’dodi v’dodi li

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.

I love you, Howard/David, as I love no other.  All that I am I share with you.  I’m yours through health and sickness, through plenty and through want, through joy and sorrow, now and forever.”

Ani l’dodi v’dodi li

I didn’t cry. Instead, I had goose bumps, as I was admiring how brave they are.  After last Friday’s vote of the New York’s Senate, will there be another wedding?  Will they now go to city hall?

Religion and family were well respected.  A nice touch was the roles reverse.  David’s parents delivering the Jewish traditional act; Evelyn, Howie’s mom, leading the only toast of the wedding. I was moved by David’s parents blessing the challah, following it with a Christian grace.  From my point of view, it enabled the Sinclairs to share their son’s union in a deeper level.  Touching.

Ellen and Bob Sinclair. We blessed, now let’s eat

An unexpected jaw-dropper was a dance, I mean gifting a dance.  I had no clue that Howie is the chairman of the Risa Jaroslow & Dancers.  And what a way to thank one and share his special day.  This dance was a spiritual experience.  Yes, another one.

Dancers: Paul Singh and Luke Gutgsell, Risa Jaroslow & Dancers

I don’t know what David and Howie, or the rest of the audience experienced.  What I saw/felt in this dance was a men’s love struggling, looking for its happy ending, fighting for it and finding it, not without a battle and with so much care.  It was beautiful.  And then we were back in the Pegasus Suite of the Rainbow Room on a November Saturday night.  Oh yes, I forgot to mention the location.  Me bad.  The address?  30 Rock.

After over 2.5 years, I’m surprised to what lives in my memory.  It’s not only that I let the social table-mate get me into her group photos, I even made it to the dance floor, and it only took 2 summoning.  Thank you John and Robyn, Michele, and Melanie.

The atmosphere so happy, so loving, so relaxing, thoughts of harmony come to mind… even if it was run like a military operation [trust me, I have the wedding’s script, and it’s FIVE pages long].  It’s that atmosphere, that happy and solemn air that made it so special, and this is what is engraved in my mind.  The food was great, but if you know the couple, less than great is never an option.  Attention was paid to every little detail, ensuring top quality, style, and taste in everything.


At one point, one of the best friends in our dance circle said, “this is the most straight gay wedding I’ve ever been to.”  I laughed.  Now that I think about it, true as it may be, and I don’t have other gay weddings to compare it to, this was Howie’s & David’s wedding, and this is who they are.

The guests’ gift was a coffee kit from Oren’s Coffee – yes, an Israeli coffee in New York – that came with a breakfast muffin from Gramercy Tavern.  Naturally, the Tavern’s pastry chef made those yummy muffins specifically for the happy couple. Talking quality, I shared the goodies bag with Pat a day later, and naturally, she became an Oren’s Coffee’s customer.  Yes, that’s how it goes.

2.5 years later, as I write this, I wonder what a wedding is.  It’s a public commitment, or a public announcement of a commitment.  It’s a public event to broadcast a commitment of love and future togetherness between two loving people.  Did this wedding deliver?  Oh, you bet it did.  And in a most touching way.  Wedding boycott still holds, and this was one great exception to make and enjoy.

Thank you Howie and David.  Love you.



  1. Great recount of what sounds like a very special event. Love the pictures, they are so well composed (and exposed). But why no pic of you?

    Comment by Jeff — July 3, 2011 @ 17:28 | Reply

  2. Hi Yael
    I’ve been surprised at a certain response to the Gay marriage vote in NY.
    Some people feel like their wedding isn’t valid unless it is recognized by the state. For me, the civil fight is about securing spousal rights and being validated as an equal citizen.
    In my view, our marriage happened when Howie and I made a promise to each other;  a promise made in front of friends and family, and solemnized by clergy (married in the eyes of God, not in the eyes of the state).
    You captured this notion beautifully in the last paragraph. Thank you so much for this gift.

    Comment by David S — July 4, 2011 @ 05:08 | Reply

    • somehow, the way you did it, from planning to wedding, made me see and feel the wedding, your union, in a way other weddings don’t. one of the factors that got me to boycott weddings in the first place is that i have no desire or interest in being an audience, a pawn. in your wedding [and the minions wedding too], you somehow made all of us truly feel it, feel very special being their with you, sharing your union. from the singing “my house”, through friends saying the sheva brachot, the dance… through everything. nobody was there to “decorate” your wedding, but to SHARE it. this is, i now understand, what made it so heart felt, so well, emotional. it is you and Howie that enabled me to see/experience it. i thank you back. you did it.

      Comment by yael [ya-el] wagner — July 4, 2011 @ 16:07 | Reply

  3. You can lift the “wedding” boycott. You have been very selective and chosen two very special weddings that do express what a “union” is all about. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is good –

    Comment by Pat — July 4, 2011 @ 11:27 | Reply

    • you made me laugh. boycott stays in place though. these amazing weddings are the counter examples of the weddings that i avoid. i think i rather keep it this way. and i sincerely hope that you are not planning any wedding.

      Comment by yael [ya-el] wagner — July 4, 2011 @ 11:33 | Reply

  4. Good part II, Yael. And belated “mazel tov!” to Howard & David! 🙂

    Comment by Hinkmond Wong — July 4, 2011 @ 16:36 | Reply

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