Notes from Vermont: David & Alyssa's Wedding

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When we arrived at Common Ground, it was raining -- the hardest it had rained since we had stepped off the plane in Vermont seven days earlier. And although the forecast predicted rain for the weekend, we all stayed optimistic. The back-up plan was to marry in the barn of the property... My brother and his girlfriend-soon-to-be-wife shrugged. They weren't worried about it. (They weren't worried about any of it.)
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David and Alyssa were cooking when we arrived... this was as DIY as it got. (EVERYTHING--the food, decorations, flowers--were done by David and Alyssa, friends and family--except the wedding dinner, which was catered. Alyssa even made her own dress.)
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I have always been in awe of my brother - like standing on one planet looking up at at another. I have only ever been able to see him from afar in the way very different people who love each are able to see each other. David can do it all well. People say that but with David it's actually true. One day he picked up the guitar and killed it. He writes with wisdom and profundity and can hike a thousand miles uphill. He can dance and he can sing and he can cook and he can brew his own (gluten-free) beer and he can create and solve equations as long as this room. And he does all of those things beautifully. He is humble and gentle and kind. He's loyal (and has always stuck up for me, here, and everywhere else). He is stubborn and funny and wonderful. He's truly the greatest.
He is the kind of boy man who deserves the best kind of girl woman.

And holy shit, did he ever find her.
Alyssa was still working on her dress the week before the wedding and if you watch the film my cousin made (see below) you will hear the whole story of why it was important for her to do it herself. She forgot her makeup at home and she and my brother camped in rustic cabins (without water and electricity) the nights before and after the wedding. Against an industry that prides itself on Bridal suites and full-on hair and makeup teams to prep for the big day, THIS, to me said it all. Alyssa and David didn't want to be anything but themselves on their wedding day because THAT is how they roll. They were married by friends who are also married - a man and a woman - as if to speak to the feminine and masculine in their marriage and ceremony. Friends and family where given words to speak about during the ceremony. (Hal and I were given laughter and kindness and we asked the kids for help. We quoted Fable, who said, "treat each other with curiosity and kindness" which I thought was so right on. CURIOSITY is exactly how we should all treat each other.)
Alyssa walked down the aisle with damp hair (blow driers, psh!) but before she did, I was able to snap a few photos of her and my brother in the window of the lodge, watching as their friends and family took their seats at the ceremony. It was, to me, the highlight of the entire wedding. Such palpable gratitude in their eyes...
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From the very beginning, David and Alyssa were the picture of cool calm collectedness, completely open to whatever it was that would happen... They recognized that a wedding, just like a marriage is full of unexpected turns.
"I'm worried about Bo running off in the middle of the ceremony,"

"What? Why! Don't be! It's all good."
"Hopefully it doesn't rain."

"If if does, we'll use the barn, we don't mind."

...David and I went to two different high schools, went in opposite directions with our careers and our lives up to this point, but being present at his wedding made me feel, for the first time, perhaps, that we were somewhere... similar? Not that I am an authority on marriage by any means, but I've been cruising this highway for a while and now, it's like, there he is. HONK HONK! WE'RE BOTH ON THE SAME ROAD, NOW!

Our sister played flute as my parents walked David down the aisle, followed by Alyssa arm and arm with her mom and dad.

And after they exchanged vows and rings and "I do"s, they danced back up the aisle to When You Love Somebody by Fruit Bats.

"You introduced me to that band, remember?" my brother said to me later. "You burned me a copy of all their songs one year..."

"I did?"

"You totally did."

It sounds stupid, perhaps, but in that moment I felt like I had a hand in something... I wasn't able to introduce my brother to much in the way of life lessons but the one thing we always had, together, was music. The one thing we were able to relate to were songs...

I said this during dinner (my toast was a mess. I was hysterical and totally insane) but I want to say it, again, here -- if I were to hand select one woman out of the 781792873981738917 women in the world to be with my brother, it would be Alyssa. She's quite possibly the kindest person to ever exist on this earth and I can't believe how lucky we are to have her as our sister, daughter, aunt... We fully won the lottery with this one.
My cousin, Erica, who is a documentary filmmaker, made this film for David and Alyssa. (Erica was also roommates with Alyssa in Chile while studying abroad and Alyssa was actually at Erica's wedding and David and she never met. They met years later, however, in Boston and made the connection later. Crazy, right? Total Kismet.) Anyway... Erica, our cousin and Alyssa's friend, made a documentary about David and Alyssa's wedding/family/love story and it's amazing.
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Not just for our family but just... in general... Erica made something real and poignant and truly original and you should totally hire her to shoot your wedding or event because it's all here in this video and it's beautiful and I've watched it now 8989789 times and all of the songs in the background are my brother's songs (I told you he was talented) and just... yeah. The film is pretty long (40 minutes) so I'm going to link to it here for those interested.

Here's a shorter ten minute version that's pretty wonderful, too:
I was never so happy for him, for all of us, to welcome such a dynamite human being into our family. We are so lucky to have you, Alyssa. And in the words of my father, who orchestrated a WooKoo (Woolf/Koomas) poem we all wrote together days before the wedding...

"Mighty David has struck gold."
Congratulations to David and Alyssa and thank you to all of David and Alyssa's family and friends who contribute to their happiness. I love all of these people with everything in me and I am so thrilled Alyssa is part of our crazy little (not so little) tribe.
Love and light to you and yours and cheers to La Familia.
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