Corrine and Sandra’s love story is certainly an inspiring one.
Despite challenges that arose while they got to know each other – cancer, the death of Corrine’s beloved mother Gloria, Sandra living in Germany, and a number of others – Sandra and Corrine couldn’t forget each other. Sometimes it seems that the most painful challenges are the greatest opportunities. Opportunities to break ourselves wide open and to fill in the cracks with the deepest love imaginable.
And so it was with Sandra and Corrine. In their own words, “We believe we were meant to meet, but also not to lose each other after all that stood between us.”
Mindful of this divine mystery, a hundred or so joyful friends and a whole pile of absolutely delighted family members came together to witness the wedding ceremony of Corrine and Sandra. And, I might add, assorted well-wishers from the Stanley Park Seawall.
Sandra’s dear friend Dunja came from Germany, and so did her proud parents Udo and Angelika. Corrine Hunt is a member of the Raven Gwa’waina clan from Ts’akis, a Kwakwaka’wakwa village on Vancouver Island. Many of her family journeyed to Vancouver for the wedding. I was really touched by her father Hutch Hunt’s quiet grace.
The wedding ceremony was held on the beach on an amazingly glorious afternoon. I got to perform the ceremony barefoot…YAY! An excited group of nieces and nephews and other precious children in the couple’s life preceded Corrine and Sandra as they walked down the hill to the beach.
It brought a smile to all our faces to hear the children call out “The Brides are coming, the Brides are coming!” as they ran on to the beach.
The couple was all relaxed dignity in custom designed linen tunics. Speaking of design, Corrine Hunt is a gifted silver/gold carver and sculptor (update: she co-designed the 2010 Olympic Gold Medals!) She worked her magic in the beautiful wedding rings she created and brought to life. I loved the way the rings felt in my hand as I held them during the vow portion of the ceremony.
Following the ring exchange, we held a handfasting ceremony with a bit of a twist. I used Corrine’s mala (a string of Buddhist prayer beads) to wrap their hands together, instead of a ribbon or cloth. I often do this in wedding ceremonies.
Here’s an excerpt from my closing remarks. As always I wrote the ceremony to be completely reflective of the couple. I think you’ll get a wonderful sense of who they are from this. I wrote this section using their own words as much as possible.
“Sandra, you have married a loving, thoughtful, sometimes unpredictable, happy, easy, Buddha-loving, Tolstoy reading, not running very quickly, disco dancing girl born for the sixties. A talented and creative woman who is inspired by a smile from a stranger, by seeing two people together who really connect, if only for a moment…by a breath of fresh air…and belly laughs. A woman to whom love is sacred.
In Corrine you have a your own in-house poet, someone who makes you laugh, and who practices patience when you hit a golf ball straight in the grass, three times in a row! Someone who you say is, “sometimes just crazy…I LOVE it!”
And Corrine, you have married a woman who describes herself as being like a German girl, but different! A woman with a smart brain and big capable hands, who has done many things, from being a lawyer in Berlin to rising at 3 am to bake bread in a Vancouver bakery. A woman who feels she can take care of you, and is the best listener of all for your gift as a storyteller.
In Sandra you have partner who you say, “Has life jumping from out of her skin, her eyes big and blue.” When you are with her, “everything in the world seems possible.”
Sandra and Corrine, it is my very great honour to pronounce your marriage legal and binding. You are now partners in love and life! Ladies and gentlemen, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Sandra and Corrine Bars-Hunt! You may KISS your beloved!”
© Michele Davidson