Friday evening after returning to Kansas City, Tawn and I met my cousins (one local and two visiting) as well as a few KC-based friends at Cafe Trio. Trio is a nice restaurant/bar right on the Country Club Plaza shopping center with a nice deck that overlooks JC Nichols Memorial Fountain. Of course, they couldn’t handle seating for a dozen so we just occupied the bar area, slowly expanding as adjacent drinkers left.
Eventually, one of the owners came over to see if we were planning on eating dinner. I explained that we wanted a table but the maitre d’ had said they couldn’t accommodate us. Telling him that it was our wedding night (my gaydar went off when speaking with him, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to mention it) and we wanted a table, he was accommodating and a few minutes later we were sitting at a group of tables on the deck. Sitting on it was a complimentary bottle of champagne. Nothing like pulling family strings, huh?
Saturday was the big reception. We opted for an afternoon reception since our guests included several young children and some older adults for whom a late night event might be tiring. The site was Lidia’s Kansas City, the first restaurant in Lidia Bastianich’s small chain. You may know Lidia from her Public Television cooking shows. The restaurant location is a former freight building across the tracks from Union Station. It is beautifully designed and their upstairs reception area has lots of light. We enjoyed great service from our two servers, who really went out of their way to make it a special event.
Above, Albert makes a very nice toast to our health and happiness.
It was a lovely reception with lots of family members, family friends and a few close friends who came in for the event. These included three high school friends who have been close to my family over the decades.
The meal was a three course menu with a choice of entrees: either a lovely lemon chicken or a trio of homemade pasta with included a wild mushroom ravioli, seafood fettucini and a rigatoni with Italian sausage and broccoli rabe. Dessert was a lemon olive oil cake with basil sauce. It was really nice. All their pasta is freshly made on site, which makes all the difference in the taste and texture.
In addition to a very thoughtful toast by Albert, a long-time family friend, my mother made a beautiful speech:
Chris and Tawn:
We never thought we would be able to celebrate this occasion of your wedding. How much joy we feel that it is a reality for the two of you and for our family.
One of the realities of being parents of a gay or lesbian child is that the child is not the only one who much “come out of the closet”. To continue with our relationship as your parents, we had to come out as well. We had to grow into the understanding that this is who you are and that it is necessary for us to continue loving you and supporting you in your life because you are our child and everything else is secondary to that fact. For us, that means sharing your activities with extended family members and friends with the same openness that we share Jennifer and Kevin’s activities.
A similar growth has occurred for your sister, her husband, and more recently their daughters. Likewise, your grandparents have grown in their understanding of this aspect of who you are. Aunts, uncles and cousins, to widen the circle, have also experienced a growth of understanding.
This understanding is: You are of us and we are of you and that will never change.
Today the family has gathered around you, both physically and in spirit, to celebrate this road of your life’s journey. We welcomed Tawn with open arms nine years ago, loving him as your choice of a life partner. Now, Tawn, we welcome you as Chris’ husband and Chris as your husband. We love you both with all our hearts and pray that your life together will be strong.
How lucky am I to have such supportive parents and such a supportive family?
Knowing that we were heading to New York City next, most of our guests had chipped in to make our visit there very memorable. The gift bag, which we are opening below, contained a one night’s stay at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, two tickets to see the Tony Award-winning show Billy Elliot, and reservations at Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin, which Restaurant magazine rated the 15th best restaurant in the world this year.
Such a thoughtful gift! Something we will really enjoy and, an added benefit, it certainly packs easily!
Saturday evening my sister and brother-in-law hosted an open house, with pretty much all the same guests gathering for further visiting and home-smoked barbecue. It was nice to have several more hours to visit with everyone, especially since several people flew or drove a long way to visit.
Yes, it was small and not nearly as fancy as many weddings and receptions I’ve been to, but I think it was very nicely suited to who we are and what we value as a couple.
Lovely reception. I’m so happy for you both! re: Thailand… Yes it’s still in our plans but looks like it’ll be postponed. I will not put your research to waste however and will be in touch when we plan it for sure. Thanks!
Thank you for your sharing. Your mother’s speech is very interesting as it also describes the view of the family towards a gay/lesbian child. Very interesting. Have a nice honeymoon in NYC.
That was so delightful to read. Thank you for posting it Chris. I loved the heartfelt openness of your mom’s words. Such class and elegance on her part! You are blessed. It seems like you will have a grand time in NY; have a safe flight back to Bangkok. I am hoping that you got the book I sent. Lots of love to both of you.
It was a lovely reception and open house! 🙂
That was a very nice reception and especially your mom’s speech. I just hope every gay parents were as understanding and supportive like yours. BTW, Le Bernardin! Lucky you two!! Bon Appetit!!
Such a lovely speech! A beautiful reception too.
Wow, your mom’s speech made me tear up!!! Your family really sounds amazing. What a nice way to end a really good day!
I am in tears. You are truly blessed.Your mother’s words are so true!My parents are now in the closet pretty much for me.It is such joy to have your relationship so so publicly acknowledged and celebrated! Thank you for sharing with us.Our community especially the younger ones really need to seethat this is possible! ^^Thank you!Once again Congratulations!
I just re-read this and realized you’ll so close to me on your HM! I only work 4 blocks away from Time Square. Sounds like a great time you’ll be having! I’ve been to Le Bernadin once – yummy fish/seafood! You’re going to really enjoy it.
I am getting teary eyed reading your post – especially your mom’s speech. *hugs to both of you*
Wonderful. You are much loved. Many years of happiness to you and Tawn!
What a wonderful and loving family! The photos were great – I’m surprised that you didn’t get any food pictures, hehehe. Have fun in NYC.
Great family! Do enjoy Le Bernardin’s wonderful seafood and Billy Elliot!
you are blessed with such a supportive family! And of course was really touched by your mom’s speech! Congratulation!!
Hi Chris! Frequenting your blog for a while now. Just want to say this entry made me teary eyed especially your Mother’s speech. You are really lucky to have such a supportive and loving family. Thank you very much for sharing this happy event. All the best to you and Tawn!
Irene (reader in HK)
@irene – Hi Irene. Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I’m very lucky to have such a supportive family.@agmhkg – Thanks, Angel.@TheLatinObserver – We’re definitely looking forward to both.@murisopsis – Actually, there are some food shots but didn’t post them as they didn’t seem to be the heart of the story.
@waiszeblogs – Certainly let us know when you do make it to Thailand.@beowulf222 – Yes, her perspective was really interesting.@ZSA_MD – Thank you Zakiah. We’ll have a fun time… and take lots of pictures.@yang1815 – Made all the nicer by your presence and that of Sugi!@curry69curry – @Dezinerdreams – @TheCheshireGrins – I really wish every person had parents as supportive as mine. Certainly they haven’t been perfect – nobody is – but they’ve given me a lot of support over the years.@ZenPaper – We’ve been very fortunate to have many examples in our lives of healthy, long-term relationships – both different-sex and same-sex. It is important for young people in our community to see those examples.
@ElusiveWords – Thanks, Matt. Hugs back.@snowjunky8 – Thank you!
You guys are one of the longest lasting gay couples I have known. If anyone should get and expect a lasting marriage, that would be you. Congratulations!
@christao408 – glad we could be a part 🙂
It was lovely to be there to celebrate your marriage! We are so glad we were able to make it. Had a great time! hugs and kisses to you both!
Congratulation! I am very happy for you ^_^
@ToyPetFishes – @sagicaprio – Thanks, guys. Looking forward to seeing you soon.@stebow – Glad you could be a part; it was very important to have you there as you were like surrogate parents to us after my parents left for Indy.
So glad and honored to step in.
So happy to witness the reality of life with you and Tawn and having unconditional love and support from your parents. The speech from your mom is incredibly expressed and if I may, can I quote some of the contents with friends who are reaching out to learn from such fine exemplary.Hope you and Tawn enjoy Billy Elliot. James, me and Stephanie saw the performance in Melbourne as part of my birthday treats! Happy day
What a really wonderful reception the two of you had!!! And I must tell you that I was so touched by your Mothers speech to the two of you!!! I hope that ALL mothers would feel that way…about their children no matter what life’s journey brings to them but of course that is a pretty Pollyanna wish. I know that it would be quite a journey…to find that one of your children is gay or lesbian…I have never traveled that journey but I hope and truly think that my attitude would be the same as your Mothers at the end of that journey!!! Have a wonderful time in New York!!! Ruth Ann
It was such an honor and privilege to be a part of your wonderful wedding weekend. We have brought so many lovely people into each other’s lives. Your friendship is a treasure.Albert
Aw…this just puts a big smile on my face
Just be able to put my comment. Congratuations to both of you and wish you even more happy than before. Nine years is long but the years after that is even longer and I know you both are full with love and stable relationship. Pune