We were lucky enough to be invited to our friend and neighborâ€™s wedding Saturday afternoon. As luck would have it, and this was an outdoor wedding, our usual â€œIndian Summerâ€ returned just that morning (the warm weather supposed to be around for the whole week, yeah!)
Peter McGovern and Jeanne Levasseur were joined in a Quaker â€œWorship for Marriageâ€ Ceremony that far different than any Iâ€™d ever been to, but beautiful. The Quakers write, â€œThe right joining in marriage is the work of the Lord only, and not the priestâ€™s or magistrateâ€™s; for it is Godâ€™s ordinance and not manâ€™s. We marry none; it is the Lordâ€™s work, and we are but witnesses.â€
As we all know, the Quakers can hardly stand the last 5 years of rule in our own country because of the war (yeah!). Peace is one of the primary tenets of their faith. Hence, a wedding ceremony here involved NO preaching (Yeah!). Family and friends sat together for a period of silent worship. Peter and Jeanne then stood on their own when ready and exchanged vows, then rings. They signed a wedding certificate that was read to us all and that was followed by a period of silent worship once again. In this silent period though, anyone who felt spiritually inclined stood and spoke of their love and affection for these two people beginning this new portion of their life as wedded couple. It was a beautiful and so personal ceremony, I loved it. As things closed, everyone shook hands together and a fabulous buffet was opened with lots of beautiful spreads, breads, meats, fish, veggies and an open bar. I got to find out what a Potato Knish tastes like, finally.
Peter grew up in New York City and is Jewish. Jeanne is from Bellingham, WA and is not. So we did have two absolutely different families here that shared the BEST quality anyone can: HUMOR. I donâ€™t think anyone who got up and spoke didnâ€™t show that trait. One guest stood up, and then I recognized her husband from a web page for Haggen Grocery. Yes, the CEO of Haggen and wife canceled an international trip to be here for Jeanne. Jeanne had worked for them a few years, and they absolutely love her as we all do.
The day started with our joining the Smiths who had been hosting some of Jeanneâ€™s family for breakfast. Karen prepared fine waffles topped with warm syrup ORâ€¦..fresh baked apple dish. Her brother Pierre and wife Rita were here from Austin, TX. ALL these folks were fun. Since Jeanne had admitted pirates were involved in the family genealogy, we plotted to somewhere along the wedding day to be able to break out with Baird leading a â€œYo Ho Hoâ€â€¦â€¦..to be followed by â€œAnd a bottle of rum, AAARGH!â€
That plan sort of muddled into the silent worship, but the â€œaaarghâ€ came back big time when pictures and preps for cutting the wedding cake came along. I loved it that one of Peterâ€™s NY cousins found the â€œAAAARGH!â€ so captivating, she couldnâ€™t quit saying it and for quite a while, after every tiny thing that happened, weâ€™d hear her, â€œAAAARGHâ€ once again. Fun fun fun.
Out swim instructor Holly showed another one of her talents by doing all the flowers, and they were absolutely beautiful both in arrangement but in color coordination as well. The wedding was at LEACH BOTANICAL GARDENS here in Portland, a landmark for natural and organic gardening. Sitting above a lovely stream, the reception area was so very lovely. The link can only take you to a â€œtemporaryâ€ web site as they are still preparing the permanent web page this park deserves.
Thanks Peter and Jeanne for letting us share in your joyful wedding celebration!