The wedding, August 10 1996

Owl and Tigger

Events

Our celebratory weekend opened Friday evening, August 9th, with a potluck picnic supper followed by a folk dance. Then Saturday morning there was an optional tour of the area for guests. At 3:30 p.m. we had a gala concert, followed by the wedding ceremony at 5:30 and reception at 7:00.

For the honeymoon trip we traveled to New Hampshire, Vermont, Montreal, and Boston, with other stops along the way.

Ceremony pictures!

During the ceremony we had much music and four readings. Phil Kniss' meditation "The wedding of words and presence" traced the way our relationship began (via e-mail) with words, has led to presence, and continues to be both. Jane Peifer led us through the vows and pronouncement.

We had planned all details of the weekend very thoroughly, leaving very little to chance. To preserve some spontaneity, however, we decided not to decide which of us would say the vows first; that would be left to a roll of the dice at the time. As Jane got up and called us forward to prepare for this, there was an additional surprise: a bat suddenly began flying around the room, apparently awakened by the preceding music! We all paused until the bat found a resting place on the wall, then proceeded with the ceremony.

vows

During the vows, each of us presented seven promises to the other, along with symbolic objects. Some of the objects emphasized the fun in our relationship...plus we were already laughing from the bat, and from the fact that the roll of the dice had been so decisive (Gloria rolled a 3, Brad a 12).

balloons

At the pronouncement, 200 balloons descended from the balcony. The guests kept them aloft for about two minutes, batting them around until the closing music began.

Media coverage

The print media have made a lot of the novelty that our relationship began as an e-mail friendship. Through this communication, we already knew each other quite well in some ways before ever meeting in person. Catchy human-interest story which has made it to college and high school alumni bulletins, local newspapers, denominational newsmagazines....

How are the names?

What are our surnames now? How should one address us? Easy enough, take your pick, there's no change: Bradley Lehman and Gloria Rhodes, or Gloria Rhodes and Bradley Lehman. Our cats go by the single names Scheherazade ("Zade"), Tobit, and Rogan. The other animals around the house (either puppets or stuffed) have their own names as well; for example, Ferris Farrell, who (being a lion) is both ferrous and feral. No, we didn't adopt the bat.
bpl@umich.edu