Memory is a funny thing. I can recall almost everything about the day I proposed to Kati except what day of the week it was! It was definitely a weekday and it was definitely between 2 & 3 and it was the last time we would be on the air together during the February drive. We had been together for over five years at that point and had discussed marriage casually so I thought the chances for a refusal were remote.
As I recall the drive was going well and our hours between noon and three contained the usual pulling of teeth and good humor that accompany the mid-day at WBJC. Kati was running the board and I was answering e mails from listeners while the music was playing. I don’t know whether we were flirting on air, but 20 minutes before I actually proposed to Kati a random listener asked me if we were getting married. I responded that I would ask her at the top of the hour provided we made our fundraising goal!
Finally, the top of the hour arrived and it was time for us to clear out so Judith Krummeck and Dyana Neal could begin their fundraising shift. We had made the goal and Kati was anxious to go back to music so we wouldn’t infringe on any of our colleagues’ time. I don’t know if it was now or never, but I certainly knew it was now. When I listened to the recording of the whole proceedings it’s incredible how calm we both were. I suggested to Kati we get married and she said OK! In fact it was so calm that most of our colleagues and many of our listeners barely noticed that anything out of the ordinary had happened. When a few listeners called in to ask about the proposal they were told that nothing had happened and that we would say just about anything to get people to pledge.
Long before the wedding was a thing of reality I knew what I wanted to happen. I knew the wedding would be in Santa Fe, where Kati’s mother lives, wanted it to be in her mother’s friend Carol’s garden and the all-girl Mariachi band from Tomasita’s would have to be present. The catering would be done by Vinaigrette, a Santa Fe restaurant we both like very much. Our wedding party (all four of us) would stay at the Inn At Loretto until our wedding night and then we would retreat to the Silver Saddle Motel afterwards. Kati’s requirements for the wedding were simple. She wanted Carrot Cake, she wanted not to be bothered with a million errands, and a fabulous pair of green shoes. For my sartorial splendor I wanted to be married in a seersucker suit. A quick visit to Messrs. Jos. A. Banks and I was outfitted with 3 perfect suits! (Why buy just one!) With the suits came a desperate need for bow ties and the knowledge of how they are tied. A few YouTube videos later I had it more or less down.
Our original date was to be May 22 but that had to be pushed back to May 18 to accommodate my mother who would be coming from Montreal. The task of choosing who would actually be at the wedding was a simple one. If you were crazy enough to come to Santa Fe, you were in! We never sent out invitations and all communication was done through Facebook, email or phone. We expected 20 some people and 20 some people showed up. They came from as far away as Montreal and as close as Albuquerque. There wasn’t a single person there we didn’t know and didn’t care for a great deal. It was magical. The next question was who would marry us? We didn’t want a religious ceremony as neither of us are the least bit observant and we didn’t want to be married by someone who didn’t know us from the proverbial hole in the ground. Since our good friend Bryan Young was coming to the wedding anyway, I asked him if he would like to officiate at our ceremony. Bryan quickly got himself certified in the Universal Life Church and we were set. Our ceremony was intimate, personal and most importantly brief! We were Bryan’s first wedding and I’m sure there will be many more to come.
On the day of the wedding numerous things went (to quote the poet Burns) agley. And it didn’t matter at all. The musicians arrived late and one by one so we just got to enjoy chamber Mariachi! Truthfully, it wasn’t their fault because Carol’s garden is well hidden from GPS. The Vinaigrette servers failed to arrive so Carol and Richard wowed everyone with their serving prowess. Finally, the salmon was closer to Sushi than poached due to a faulty hot box. Frankly none of these things mattered at all and only added character to a wonderful afternoon. Even Santa Fe’s temperamental mountain weather cooperated to give us an hour of rain free afternoon so we could have the ceremony outdoors. At one point I looked around and thought to myself that Kati is exactly who I wanted to marry and this was exactly how we wanted it to happen.