Good Friends, Great Times, and a little ole' Beach Wedding....

This week our good Friends O'Day and T got married.  Deb and I have been good friends with Oday now for 6 or so years (heck maybe longer) and we had the pleasure of meeting T a couple of years later.
To go back in time a bit, Deb and I were sailing from Kemah to Corpus and Oday was one of the friends that wanted to take the trip and help make the sail.  He had been dating T and mentioned that she would be joining us for the trip.  This was the first time I met T.  I knew that she was a sailor, that she had been dating Oday for a while and that she was looking forward to an offshore trip and that she was a regular hanging out with our lake family so I figured she would be cool.

We had a blast on that trip and T fit in as if we had known each other for 10 years.  She just rolled with the flow (which is a good trait for a sailor) and it was so cool getting to know her.  That said, if she hadn't been that cool, it could have been a pretty rough trip, to put that in perspective, I was meeting her about 6 hours before we would sail for 4 days and be in very close quarters without the ability to get some distance between any tensions that could rise.
No issues at all !!!

So fast forward a few years, we have seen each other and hung out any time we are in their city or they are in ours. If too much time goes by and we don't see each other, we plan where we will go together to all hang out.  We have been to the Tampa area boat shopping together, we sailed in the BVI's for 10 days with our whole group of friends and made a few boat show trips.

The latest trip, this weekend, was for a much bigger purpose.  Oday and T were going to be getting married and I was going to be performing the service.  The plan was for a beach wedding in Galveston on the Blue Moon.  That happened on Friday July 31, 2015.  (The last one was August of 2012 and the next one is January of 2018).

A blue moon has nothing to do with the color of the moon, but rather a term that is used to reference a time when there is a second full moon in a calendar month.  The first full moon in July of 2015 was on the 1st and the 2nd full moon was on July 31st making the one the other night the "Blue moon".
We have all heard the expression "Once in a blue moon", which signifies something that doesn't come around often.    There is a lot of speculation, however; some believe that is was first referenced as a blue moon in the 16th Century by Henry's the 8th advisor Cardinal Wolsey.

Whatever the origin was, it is not synonymous with Oday and T's wedding in our book.   Like most sailors they wanted to keep it fairly simple and low key.  The bride wanted a SeaShell ceremony so we certainly did that, but also had a nice short service right at the waters edge with a group of close friends and family.

The service started with a 6 foot heart etched into the sand just above the tidal line.  Each guest had a small bag of colored sand (blues, greens and whites) which they sprinkled into the heart to 'color' it in. This made a great stage if you will for the bride and groom to stand in.  Attire was casual and most didn't wear shoes, but the bride had a beautiful white gown.

There was the welcoming of family and friends, some inspirational words about the couple and a request to all guests to take a seashell and hold it in their hand during the service and think of well wishes or blessings for the couple during the service.  (More to come on that later).

At this point there was the declaration of intent and ensuring that both would take each others hand in marriage and accept the other as their spouse.  With a question of "...Do you promise to love, honor, and cherish her for all time both on land and at sea?",  there were approvals from both the Bride and Groom and the next step was exchanging of Vows and rings.

When it came time for the vows, the couple faced each other and spoke quietly and directly to one another in a way that was really beautiful to see.  "You are the love of my life, and now my wife, today and always" was about all that needed to be uttered to send tears of joy down the blushing brides face.

The rings were exchanged, the pronouncement of marriage was made.  The introduction to the new couple was made to the family and friends gathered for the event and their nick names were combined into what I am certain their next boat will be named. "T-Oday".

Everyone was then reminded that they still had the shell in their hands, that they had been thinking blessings and well wishes upon.  Everyone walked to the waters edge and it was explained that as the shells would enter the water they would create ripples in the water that would spread and intertwine to symbolize the love and support of their friends and family that will be cast upon them.
And if the shells should be washed back upon the shore, that they may bring those same blessings and well wishes to whomever finds and retrieves them from the beach.
On the count of 3, everyone threw their shells into the Sea.

As the service ended and the bride and groom walked up the beach, it was on the backdrop of a beautiful setting sun behind them on shore, and a rising blue moon over the water.

All in all, the day was great, our friends are now joined in marriage and we couldn't have been happier than to spend the last 4 days with them celebrating their love for one another and enjoying the entire groups company.

Best Wishes T-Oday.  We love you!!!