Jeff DiFranco and Ben Smith were married on a spring day so perfect, the Mount Baker Community Club's parking lot looked habitable to Disney forest creatures. Watching the guests take pictures of each other under the flowering trees that surround the building, I couldn't believe that until recently this would not have been a legally recognized marriage. Inside, guests drank wine under the season's first lazily spinning ceiling fans. "So, are you with the bride's family or the groom's?" someone asked me. "I mean—ha, I can't believe I said that." There was a general atmosphere of stunned joy. Everyone in attendance seemed on the verge of tears.
The ceremony was officiated by the elegant David Schraer, a local architect. Friends read from the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling on Goodridge v. Department of Public Health and The Mirror of Clarity by Saint Aelred of Rievaulx. After the ring exchange, Abba's "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" was drowned out by applause.
I tried Ben's "Cali Cooler" and Jeff's "Fruti Fizz" at the bar, and ate delicious beans from Madres Kitchen catering, which I was disappointed to learn were unusually large, well-seasoned limas, not some rare miracle bean. I met a mycologist who had been in a marching band with Ben and who told me about a fungus that causes people to hoard cats.
After a champagne toast to the newlyweds, Jeff's mom told the gathering her hope for her son to have someone to love and to love him had been fulfilled, and his brother said he was happy that, in addition to "the San Francisco Treat," his children could now call Ben "Uncle." Shortly afterward, one of these children put on giant novelty sunglasses with Ben and Jeff in the wedding photo booth.
The grooms cut their cake, designed to look like a birch tree with a carved "J+B" inside a heart, then performed a charming, karaoke-tastic Mary Wells, Elton John, and Prince love-song medley. They led the entire gathering onto the dance floor to do the Electric Slide. "The after-party will be at the Eagle!" Ben announced. "If you don't know what that is, don't go there!"
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