William & Jo – A Wedding Story

Instead of the normal rants, recipes and reviews that usually appear here, I’ve decided to write about a wedding Beth and I attended this past Thursday. William and Jo are 2 friends of ours that live out here in Seattle. William I’ve known for over 15 years now. We just met Jo a couple of years ago. William is originally from back east, Ohio to be specific. Jo is also from back east, England to be specific. They met online, discussing poems and writing in general. Makes sense to me that too people so good at crafting words into art would be destined to meet this way. Well, long story short, they got legally married last year, and then went about setting up this more formal wedding to allow for friends and relatives to share. After months and months of working at the location, flowers, dresses ( Jo’s, not Williams), food, vows, you name it, the big day finally arrived. Truth be told, I think they were more relieved to be over the planning, than excited for the actual wedding. So with that bit of back story, on with the wedding.

The wedding took place at Kiana Lodge on the Kitsap Peninsula. This wonderful place was used as the interior lodge shots for “Twin Peaks”, as well as the shot of Laura washed up by the log. “Laura’s Log” is still there waiting for it’s next close up. It is also just 2 miles from the Suquamish village where Chief Sealth lived. Seattle was named for Chief Sealth (Seattle), whose speech of 1854 can still move the soul. There are many spirits in this area, and Kiana Lodge is a wonderful place from which to welcome them.

We arrived about 30 minutes early and spent the time walking the grounds. The lodge sits on wonderfully landscaped grounds with flowers and local plants that appear to be growing wild, but are in reality carefully placed. The feeling was of walking through a perfect forest setting. Absolutely stunning. The lodge looks out over the Agate Passage, with a great view of Bainbridge Island. Standing quietly on the lawn, looking at the water and smelling all the flowers… pure silence never sounded so good.

As is often the case in weddings, this one started late due to a late running shuttle. As attendees to this wedding arrived by car, car/ferry, pedestrian/ferry and shuttle, it’s amazing it got started at all. As the stragglers arrived, everyone was seated. The wedding party was on a stage at the waters edge. Anastasia was officiating, with William and Jo beside her. Jo was wearing a lovely blue dress, and William was in a dark suit with shirt and tie of matching blue color.

As Anastasia started the ceremony, she welcomed not only those in attendance, but those ancestors who were no longer with us. At this exact point a black and white cat came out from under a table behind Anastasia. It walked over to Jo and sat right at her feet as if to say, “Ancestors present and accounted for.” After a bit of fun, Anastasia restarted the ceremony. I don’t think a better person could have been found to officiate by the way. Anastasia handled everything with a calm quiet grace that put everyone at ease. Her readings were wonderful, and she always let William and Jo maintain focus. A thing of beauty to be honest. During the ceremony, poetry readings were offered by Dorothy and Clare, both were moving and very apropos. Near the end, Anastasia started a Buddhist Fire Ceremony. As she was explaining how the smoke is used for purification, etc., the cat moved back to under the table. I think the spirits he was hosted wanted to stay a bit longer and were afraid of being carried away by the smoke.

The wedding ceremony complete, we started to mingle and enjoy some tasty bits and wine prior to dinner. Offered up were some large prawns wrapped in baby snow pea pods, Vietnamese spring rolls and bruschetta. All were spot on perfect, with the tomatoes and basil on the bruschetta tasting as if they had just come out of the garden minutes before. Wonderful.

After a bit of conversation with friends, new and old, we were ushered in to a dinner of salmon with tarragon, asparagus spears and au gratin potatoes. Again, amazingly good food. Sometimes wedding food can feel “rushed,” but not in this case. The food was perfectly cooked and served at the correct temperature. Wonderful. After dinner the toasts started with Jo’s stepdad giving a toast that was hands down the best wedding toast I have ever heard. It reached new levels of comic genius, while still being warm and genuine. I wish I had a tape of it to be honest. William’s sister followed with a warm, heart-felt toast. Final toast was from William’s best friend Scott who got up with a guitar, asked William to join him, and the two offered a song set to Bare Naked Ladies’ “If I had a million dollars.” Lyrics were great and the performance was killer.

After dinner, the cake was cut without wasting any on silly facial nonsense. And to waste any of that cake would have been a sin. Part white cake with amaretto icing, part chocolate with coffee and other flavors. It was so good. Then dancing, sort of, and conversation by a fire pit. After a bit folks had to leave to catch the final ferry back to Seattle. Others of us went back to our rooms at the Clearwater Resort/Casino. The Bride and Groom left to their honeymoon B&B, and Kiana Lodge was once again quiet.

A lovely wedding that left guests feeling warm, happy and secure. Well done William and Jo, well done.


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