August 27, 2005


Well, the day finally came. And in an instant, it passed. The weather was gorgeous, the ceremony was flawless, and the reception was shameless. A good time was had by all...We hope. Our sincere thanks to everyone who came and/or contributed to our wonderful time. We love you all.

The entire trip home was surreal. We dropped the dogs off with a sitter in Salt Lake and flew into Boston on the 20th. On the approach to Logan, reality set in as we reflected on so many fond memories of Boston. We dropped off our luggage at the Myers' condo, downtown and headed out to Newton for a Medina Sod show. We entered a bar full of friendly faces, which was overwhelming. Liz and Dave showed up and even gave us a ride home, but not without a stop at Stevie's for a greasy slice of late-night pizza.

The next morning we met up with Joe's folks at the MFA for the Ansel Adams exhibit. His work captures the romantic side of wilderness, reminding us why we moved out to Utah in the first place. Later we met up with Tim and Erin for an afternoon around town and some trivia in Harvard Square. Shellie even came out for a bit.

The trip to Maine was nostalgic. Joe's parents lent us a car to get around for the week. We arrived in Kennebunk at Sarah's Grandmother's house and were treated to a series of epic family gatherings. Grandma Anastasia and Grandpa Richard played such gracious hosts the entire week. Uncle Rod and Aunt Marcia flew in from Colorado, Aunt Gretchen and Uncle Joe came down and helped every step of the way.

Sarah’s parents, Patty and Gary stayed calm despite the mounting momentum toward a culmination of a year’s planning and 27 years of hopeful good intentions. They might tell you that raising a good girl is a lifetime of love and hard work. Raising a best friend however, is an equal partnership of respect and trust, and a masterful effort at that.

Anyway, despite the best efforts of its occupants, a full house of adults sharing one bathroom is bound to foster a certain level of chaos. In fact, the common morning joke was that you had to wait in line to use the back yard. Sarah’s friend Carrie came down from Bethel to help with preparations and planned a wonderful “girls’ day” at the beach with Alison and Tera.

Meanwhile, Joe stayed occupied during the week making trips to see his brother Jim, Sister-in-law Abby, and 3-year-old nephew Jimmy Junior. For little Jimmy’s birthday, Joe went to his parents’ house in Epping, NH, to fix up his old scooter. No accounting for craftsmanship, little Jimmy lit up with appreciation anyway. Joe also snuck out of the "hen house" for 2 rounds of golf and 2 kayak trips with Gary and Uncle Joe during the hectic week.

On Thursday we attended a dance lesson in Portland with Carrie, Patty, Gary, and our ceremony official and family friend, Annie Gregory. We didn’t learn to "dance" per se, but it was enough to pass the mustard for our “first dance” on Saturday. Friday, we checked into our honeymoon suite at The Beach House before the big Lobster Bake. Grandma gathered friends and family at the house for dinner and drinks. Of course, the crowd being made up of jokers and partiers, the mood was soon raucous. It was well after dark before we could organize a rehearsal down on the beach. Stumbling around the rocky shore with keg cups in hand, we each tried to gather essential information about the following day’s duties. A sequence that would have been perfectly conducted mere hours before, was now the ultimate test of patience and a process of increasingly diminishing returns. But what a howl! As the night wound down, we stumbled back to our hotel room along a sidewalk that somehow wasn’t wide enough.

We woke up early to the sound of crashing waves and sunlight beaming through the oversized windows. We quickly parted to minimize any bad luck induced by seeing each other on the day of the wedding. Joe met up with friends Mike Spalluto and Brian Naughton to clean up the ceremony site. They raked the area clean and smoothed out a path for guests to walk and got cleaned up at the Kingsport. Meanwhile Sarah, Carrie, Meredith and our niece, Nichole Muller attended a hair appointment in Kennebunk. Then they got ready at our honeymoon suite with Patty Caret, Aunt Gretchen and our photographer, Emilie Sommer.

As the hour approached, Joe arrived at the reception site, On The Marsh with family and friends to secure the details. A mini-panick attack set in as time ran thin to manage details. So many things had to be left to fate…a control-freak’s worst nightmare. Surrounded by cooler heads, Joe agreed to just “show up” and let it all go. Arriving at the beach Joe was surprised to see a middle-aged man sun-bathing right in the middle of the path he had raked earlier. He politely asked the man to leave and was shocked at his indifferent response. “I’ll think about it”, he said. Eventually the man graciously moved a few feet. As the crowd gathered on the rocky point we picked out a year before, another crowed of strangers gathered around the perimeter.

When Sarah finally stepped off the trolley, beachgoers encroached in frenzy. As parents, grandparents and bridesmaids rounded the corner, anticipation was palpable. The only sounds were the typically ambient noises of seagulls and children playing in the waves as we had done. On the arm of her loving father, Sarah glided into view. Joe’s eyes welled up with overwhelming joy as the weight of this moment paled next to his sheer delight. Gary graciously handed his daughter to Joe with a hug to begin the ceremony. Knowing it was not permissible to kiss her, Joe could only kiss her hand to contain himself. Annie began the ceremony, atop a flat rock with a painterly ocean backdrop. She gave way to a reading by Sarah’s cousin Anastasia. Then to our attendants who surprised us with speeches of praise they prepared for us. At the height of the tribute we exchanged vows, choking on the words in tearful recognition. With the exchange of rings, it was quickly over.

After a quick photo session we arrived at our beautiful reception site, On The Marsh. We were received with love from friends and family, who needed no encouragement to start partying. We are lucky to be surrounded by so many fun people, ready to dance, anxious to party and eager to laugh. Our rehearsed dance sequence went off well enough, and dinner was spectacular. Our champagne toasts were an emotional rollercoaster. Gary touched the room with his loving dedication to his favorite girls, Sarah and Patty. Mike Spalluto drew some chuckles and touched on some key strengths in our relationship, we thought only we were aware of. Meredith Finn pointed to the duration and power of our love as only she could know, having been so close to us since college. We cut our cake and made our way to the dance floor where the party really got going. Dancing broke out immediately after Sarah’s idyllic dance with her father and Joe’s chaotic dance with his mom. The room gyrated and shook while drinks flowed. Some stayed quiet in the side room, and others sought fresh air outside. But there was room for everyone, and all was well. Before we knew it, the night wound down. The few remaining guests hopped on the trolley for a wild ride through the port. We bid everyone good night and retired under the moonlight. We’re still reflecting on the pure, yet surreal enjoyment of the day. We can’t believe it’s over. But we recognize and appreciate all the efforts of family and friends. We love you all and thank you for all your generous gifts. We sincerely hope you enjoyed yourself. Here’s to more good times to come.

One final thank-you to Patty and Gary Caret. Your love and support is such a blessing. We could not have realized this beatiful day, and in many ways this beautiful life without you. We wish to pay you back in any and every way we can. We can't wait for you to join us in Utah.

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