don't tell darci that i put this picture up of her. this is how she started the morning. after contacting a minister that the hotel front desk referred, darci went for a calming soak before heading to the courthouse.
we went to the courthouse to cover the legal stuff. they didn't ask for our i.d.s but did ask us to fill out the "race" area of the form. the couple next to us got married by the clerk. another lady was in there for a divorce; a life-in-the-face-of-death motif to give us a stiff shot of reality.
that's us right before the ceremony. we sat in the hotel lobby waiting for the minister. we recognized her by the flowers she carried for darci.
we went out to the beach. everybody got barefooted and found a somewhat remote jetty from which to perform the service. then the minister talked about friendship and miracles, love and spirituality, inserting the names "darci" and "silva" where appropriate.
we listened and held tight. we looked at each other and smiled a lot.
darci felt the whole experience was surreal.
we exchanged the vows that we wrote for each other over the last several months and aluminum rings the minister provided. we're designing a ring for darci and a tattoo on the ring finger for silva with symbols that represent what we aspire to in our relationship.
and then it was pretty much over. final. finally. we kissed. we were all touched by the moment the ritual had created. the minister, our witnesses and we dabbed tears from the corners of their eyes as we hugged each other.
the minister popped the cork on a bottle of dom and we toasted in some funky clay goblets we picked up earlier that day.
we sat around for awhile speaking about spiritual beliefs. debra, the minister, came to the keys nine years ago as a concierge, saw the need for a professional, non-denominational service and became a notary to perform wedding services. recently she was ordained by a rabbi who rides a harley with the vanity plate "rabiker," and now incorporates more spirituality into her service.
phil and sarah doersam of southern draft brew news sign the witness part of the license and make the paper work complete. they were really generous with their time and friendship -- they also had a wedding cake back at the room for us.
after checking the paperwork the minister walked down the beach, hopped on her moped which had a big yellow smiley face attached in the front below the handle bars where a basket would be.
we hot tubbed, drank good beers and champagne, smoked cigars, dined and retired. this is darci at the end of the day.