On Friday, November 11, 2011, at 11:11 a.m., my friends Alfredo and Matt got hitched via Washington’s Domestic Partnership! The day was stormy, windy, and wild, and yet, oh so perfect.
I arrived at the cute Seattle neighborhood of Maple Leaf a bit early, so I went into Cloud City Coffee Shop and had one of the best cups of coffee I’ve had in a long time. From my seat next to the window, I watched the wind and rain storm come in.
At 11 am, I made my way over to the Domestic Partnership Office and was delighted to see a room full of Alfredo and Matt’s family and friends joyously gathered for the event. There was a screen/monitor displaying the official time down to the seconds. Alfredo and Matt waited for the magic numbers 11:11:11 a.m. to hit and, at that very moment, signed their Domestic Partnership documents. I was so incredibly moved.
Later in the afternoon, we all met at Sutra Yoga Studio where I taught a Partner Yoga Class for Alfredo, Matt, their family and friends, in which all of the postures were done in pairs. We all fell in love with the studio. It is beautifully adorned with big lush plants, giving the place the feel of a conservatory. This yoga class was different than any other class I have ever taught. It was festive, celebratory, and quite boisterous! There was an 11 month old baby, Gracie, crawling around, adding to everyone’s smiles. There were two other adorable children doing the partner yoga together next to their parents. The session was perfect in every way. I began the session by having everyone introduce themselves and tell me what their passion in life is. I was meeting a lot of people for the first time and it is a wonderful way to connect to people instantly. At the very end of the yoga session, I had everyone gather in a half circle and Matt and Alfredo sat facing each other for the ring exchange. Earlier, I had written out the words I wanted to say before the ring exchange took place. And guess what? I left those notes at home!! It worked out all the same. The words were in my heart and came out easily (though maybe not as perfectly as they were written out):
Today Alfredo and Matt share their commitment and love for one another with their loving and supportive community of family and friends. We, as your family and friends, are honored to be here!
The commitment Alfredo and Matt make to one another signifies one of our deepest, most universally held desires-that of finding an all-encompassing, passionate love that will last a lifetime.
Alfred and Matt attended a retreat I hosted at Ocean Shores and I was moved by their love and respect for one another. Their love for one another had a wonderful effect on all the other retreat participants and on Rick and myself. And because of their loving presence, we ALL found ourselves falling in love with life and the rich possibilities that life has in store for all of us.
So today two soul mates, Alfredo and Matt, are united for life!
All of us here are witnesses to this remarkable love and commitment that Alfredo and Matt have for one another. We share in your happiness and congratulate you.
As they exchanged rings, they each took turns saying the following Loving Kindness words to each other and then they said the Loving Kindness words in unison:
May you be SAFE
May you be HEALTHY
May you be HAPPY
May you be at PEACE
And may you be FREE FROM SUFFERING
In the evening, we all had a fantastic dinner at Sutra Restaurant. Sutra Restaurant is next door to the yoga studio and is owned by the same folks. The restaurant serves organic and vegan food and the food is unique and delicious. Sutra is a small restaurant that offers a set menu and there are only two group seatings per evening. Our meal went from 6:30-8:30 pm and the next seating started at 9 pm. Before the meal was served, the chef described the various items on the menu and then we, the whole group and the chefs, all took a moment to give gratitude to the farmers who produced the food from their land, to the foragers who picked the chanterelles, to the earth which yields such bounty. We were served a four course meal of unique foods.
Here is a sample of the Second Course:
Sunchoke-Roasted Chioggia Beet-Balsamic Braised Cippolini Onion-Ground Cherry-Basil and Garlic Roasted Chanterelles with a Habenero-Hempseed Sauce finished with Mountain Rose Red Potato Crisps
If the above description, taken directly from the menu (can’t you just see me taking notes in the restaurant?), makes you dizzy just reading it, well, imagine eating it! The dining experience was a true culinary feast!
I am sad to say that I didn’t take any photos other than the ones you see above because (1) I have a hard time taking photos while I am teaching, (2) there was a photographer taking tons of shots the whole day and I figured I will get those sooner or later, and (3), I simply wanted to enjoy the day and absorb all the love around me!
Alfredo and Matt really did an amazing job of tending to all the details of the day’s events. Every part of the day was so carefully and thoughtfully planned. I really enjoyed their beautiful wedding/domestic partnership day.