As my relationship with Brian was developing three years ago, one of the things we agreed on right away is that we both wanted to live in a home where the doors were open to our friends and family. Where dinner parties, backyard bbqs, and celebratory functions of all kinds were not occasional… but frequent enough events to characterize our home, to imprint warmth and companionship throughout.
We’ve been in our house now for about twenty months (coming up on two years – how does that happen?), and in that time we’ve hosted at least a dozen dinner parties, two wedding celebrations (one of them our own), a few birthdays, meetings of our neighbours group, and several impromptu backyard hang-out sessions with friends. With the addition of our “Bookshed” and hot tub last spring, we created more useable social space in our yard that got lots of thumbs ups over the summer. And we’ve got more of the same planned for 2011, as well as some Village Vancouver workshops and the like I’m sure.
It probably goes without saying that the most memorable gathering at our home this year was our commitment ceremony and party (which followed on the heels of our very tiny legal wedding ceremony on the island). About forty-five people crowded themselves into our small living room to witness and participate in the vows that B. and I shared with each other – my friend T. “officiating” by helping to secure and maintain our space, many of our guests sharing words to honor our life and the home we have created together. Beautiful, humbling and definitely tear-inducing (and not just in me either!)
And after all that incredible communion of love and words was shared? Well then we just got down to a serious par-tay….. Two and a half cases of wine, I don’t know how much beer, two table-loads of food, an *incredible* cake made by our friend Jill, and a bottle of Amarula were consumed between five pm and two in the morning when the party actually ended (the remaining guests, naked in the hot tub) – and it was all super fabulous, replete with wine-soaked love and conversations all night long.
And it was the conversations, of course, the meeting of our friends from various places that tickled me at my core everytime I looked around our house at the people knit together in bright conversation. My really good friend A. came all the way from LA and for the first time ever was introduced to my Vancouver crowd (many who said – “that’s the guy you were hiking with when you broke your ankle?”), friends from Victoria descended and camped in our house, and people who had never met previously just generally got along with each other – laughed and told stories, and found out some new things about the world.
Wild and crazy? No. But that’s not the hallmark of a great party to me. Warm, sociable, diverse, friendly, and meaningful are some of the words I would choose to describe this most valued of gatherings in 2010. And although we can’t replicate a commitment party every year, I hope the spirit of it lives in all our planned social gatherings upcoming (next one, open house on Xmas eve!) I haven’t written much about this party here because it happened during a particular rush of activity in my life – so I want to say a belated thank-you to all you awesome folks who came and shared such an incredible night with us!