Stearns is married off.
Everything went smoothly. Stearns, unexpectedly, was in control of everything on her wedding day, from the timing of speeches to whether the whoopie pies were being properly refreshed. I had to convince her to let Hopkins finish preparing the flowers (that Stearns beautifully arrange) while Stearns was in her wedding dress. I know she didn't want to let anyone else do anything (even Hopkins who is the height of ability when it comes to flowers and lots of other things). (In contrast, I did zero things on my wedding day, entrusting every single thing to everyone else.)
At the bonfire post-reception party, Stearns and Mr. Stearns donned matching aprons and dipped up ice cream cones for their guests. I can't imagine having the presence of mind to take someone else's food order on that, most exhausting of days. And then, ever so cutely, Stearns and Mr. Stearns took to the dance floor with their own ice cream cones and danced their first dance, Toto's Africa. And we're still eating the delicious left over ice cream.
#1tomatolover entertained us all with his enthusiastic and undying dancing for the rest of the evening.
Fr. PS's homily was excellent. A great reminder of the point of marriage (and what we lost out on when we moved away from DC). And his company was wonderful, as always.
My speech, for posterity:
Stearns has rejected dozens of suiters over the years without a second thought--no one can rise to her standards. We had lots of conversations about what was wrong with them, with me pleading on their behalf, but Stearns never wavered. It turns out she was holding out for Mr. Stearns, about whom, in a huge 180, she can't find any fault. So Mr. Stearns, you must be nearly perfect, or at least perfect for Stearns. I think, in her words, you are both weird in exactly the same ways.
Stearns, you are brilliant and beautiful, and I hope, Mr. Stearns, that you've learned that Stearns' love language is compliments and giving her your stuff.
Stearns and I have shared many things over the past several decades: Clothes, to her delight and my consternation; gelato at sunset in an empty square in front of a beautiful church in Rome (not small dishes of gelato, but a half gallon with two spoons); wine from a nalgene bottle on a hill overlooking Florence; demanovka in Slovakia. We've shared an apartment, many books, friends, a conversation. We even dated the same person once or twice, not at the same time, of course.
Now we get to share the cross, the trial that we're all celebrating today: Marriage.
Mr. Stearns, I wish you the best as you take over the role of sharing with Stearns. And the main thing to share is the gift of yourselves with each other as honestly and openly and lovingly as you can.