An eventful week

What a busy week it was!

On Tuesday was at Sloan for the weekly check up and thankfully, all checked out well. MRI comes on December, 12th and seeing the doctor the day after to determine next steps!

Then the rest of the week was in making sure the details of Saturday’s wedding went well: flowers, program, the space planning, food, etc. this included paying the various people for their services.

Then on Saturday, people arrived beginning about 10 and the service with Mark Leydorf started around 11:15. The program is attached to this post. Thanks to all who had a part, whether singing, reading, toasting bearing the rings, etc.

Friday PM there was a pre-wedding dinner at OCabanon. On Thursday, thanksgiving dinner was chez Miguel at Miriam’s apartment. Interesting to be there after a break of 3 years. Many present were from Spain and it was their fist Thanksgiving.

Friday day was working on more details, but got it all done – just in time. Including a facial and a much needed haircut and mani-pedi.

Guests were from all over – people have traveled from all over New York, from New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, and Texas, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and of course from Spain.

This was not an easy week in that I was feeling nauseous, less energetic, anxious, weaker and even had a few accidents: urinary and poop. Had to rally, but worst was being around so many people. Hard to stay focused and present.

The grooms: Antonio and Alan ready for the ceremony! Antonio looking so handsome – how could I not love this man?:


The Silverman family: Florence, Chester, Andy behind Chester, Shelley, Antonio, Justin, Stefanie, Me, Mare in front of Stefanie, Lucy at my knees! See more pics at

If you were there, please add your pics and thoughts!

Started to write thank you notes – should arrive soon. Many wonderful and generous gifts!

Obligatory, well deserved kiss after the ceremony! Look for my scar from surgery! Fading a lot. And hair growing back like crazy! Darker and thicker.


Alan & Antonio


Celebrating the Wedding of Alan Silverman & Antonio Pascual

November 26, 2016

Mark Leydorf, Officiant
Miguel Moscoso, Best Man

Alan & Antonio
Celebrating the Wedding of Alan Silverman & Antonio Pascual November 26, 2016
Mark Leydorf, Officiant Miguel Moscoso, Best Man


MARK: Good morning. I’m Mark Leydorf, and it’s my great pleasure to officiate today. In just a minute, Antonio and Alan are going to tie the knot!

MIGUEL: Buenos días, mi nombre es Mark Leydorf y es mi gran placer oficiar esta ceremonia el día de hoy. ¡En pocos momentos, Antonio y Alan estarán casados!

MARK: Miguel is not only our trusty flyby translator today, but also the grooms’ best man.

MIGUEL: Buenos días, mi nombre es Miguel Moscoso y … They say I am the best man today, but let’s just say I’m third best. These two are the best!

MARK: Before we begin, I have one very important request: please silence your phones! Or, if you’d rather, turn the volume all the way up, so when you get a call there won’t be any confusion about who to blame.

For the next little while, this will be a shared, sacred space. As most of you probably know, Alan and Antonio met out on Fire Island. And if it weren’t so damn cold, we’d probably be celebrating their union out there on the beach. No matter! I’ve asked a very dear friend of the couple’s to bring the beach to us—Eric Sawyer, could you help us out?


MARK: This sand comes to us from the end of Coast Guard walk where many of you, no doubt, have sat under Alan and Antonio’s umbrella, analyzing the Neapolitan novels or solving the problem of the Middle East or contemplating another swim.

Thank you, Eric. This sand, along with the magnificent Hudson River out there, slowly rolling out to meet the Atlantic—let them perform our consecration.


All right guys, I think we’re ready for you. Everybody, please rise to meet our happy couple.


“I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles, performed by Brian Gens & Steven Wing

MARK: Alan, Antonio, welcome to your wedding. Friends and family, welcome!

MIGUEL: Alan, Antonio, bienvenidos a su boda. Amigos y familia, ¡bienvenidos también!

MARK: Today is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a time when we gather to give thanks for the many blessings we have in our lives. A wedding also serves as a reunion for family and friends. So today we have a beautiful double-whammy! To be here with Alan and Antonio today, people have traveled from all over New York, from New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, and Texas, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and of course from Spain. Welcome to all!

“Marriage is an honorable estate…” This popped into my head when I first got off the phone with the boys a few weeks ago. I pictured myself standing here with a little collar, holding a big book, and saying that. Yes, the image is ridiculous. But the truth is: I am deeply, deeply honored to be here with you both. And I think I speak for all of us: It’s a tremendous honor to be here as your family and friends. Because marriage is just that: an honorable estate. Your commitment to each other has been obvious from the start. You are allies and soulmates. You’ve crossed oceans together in joy, and cared for each other through challenges that might shatter a weaker bond. You share a transcendent love. Today we honor you, as you stand before all of us to honor each other.

MIGUEL: Ustedes comparten un amor trascendente. Hoy, rendimos honor ya que se encuentran el uno frente al otro para honorar esta unión.

Friends & Family’s Candles and Vows

MARK: Antonio and Alan met more than five years ago, and they’re thrilled to finally have the privilege of being legally married. They’d like to acknowledge the spiritual presence of some people who’ve meant a great deal to them who couldn’t be here today.

MIGUEL: Antonio y Alan quisieran recalcar la presencia espiritual de algunas personas que son muy importantes para ellos pero que no están aquí el día de hoy.

MARK: Family and friends who’ve passed away, and others who weren’t able on such short notice to fly around the world. None of us “springs fully armored from the head of Zeus.” And Antonio and Alan became the remarkable men they are—the remarkable men they each fell in love with—thanks to the nurturing care of many wonderful souls. Susan, would you come up now and light a candle for Alan?

MARK: Montse and Montse, would you come up and light a candle for Antonio? [MONTSE & MONTSE LIGHT THEIRS]

MARK: Your friend Lorena has a poem to share with us.


If a Man Could Say What He Loves” by Luis Cernuda, read by Lorena Berdún
Si el hombre pudiera decir lo que ama,
si el hombre pudiera levantar su amor por el cielo
como una nube en la luz;
si como muros que se derrumban,
para saludar la verdad erguida en medio,
pudiera derrumbar su cuerpo,
dejando solo la verdad de su amor,
la verdad de sí mismo,
que no se llama gloria, fortuna o ambición,
sino amor o deseo,
yo sería aquél que imaginaba;
aquél que con su lengua, sus ojos y sus manos
proclama ante los hombres la verdad ignorada,
la verdad de su amor verdadero.
Libertad no conozco sino la libertad de estar preso en alguien
cuyo nombre no puedo oír sin escalofrío;
alguien por quien me olvido de esta existencia mezquina,
por quien el día y la noche son para mí lo que quiera,
y mi cuerpo y espíritu flotan en su cuerpo y espíritu
como leños perdidos que el mar anega o levanta
libremente, con la libertad del amor,
la única libertad que me exalta,
la única libertad por que muero.
Tú justificas mi existencia:
si no te conozco, no he vivido;
si muero sin conocerte, no muero, porque no he vivido.

MARK: All of your friends and family—here today and far away—have made you both feel warm and welcome. And all of us vow to help you keep the light of your love alive.

MIGUEL: Todos los aquí presentes contribuiremos a mantener viva la luz de su amor.

MARK: Alan and Antonio have a pack of talented friends. You’ve heard Steven and Brian already; now Don has a song for us, too.

“Here Beside Me,” composed and performed by Don Alden

Las Arras

MARK: Alan’s nieces have a gift for you. Kaelah, Mare, Lucy, and Neve, can you come up? At weddings in Spain, there’s a lovely tradition—Las Arras, or the wedding coins.

MIGUEL: En España, hay una tradición muy bonita en las bodas, Las Arras, o monedas de bodas.

MARK: The custom is very very old; it may be from the Franks or the Visigoths or even the Romans. Being a Spanish tradition, it’s very Catholic, of course: the 13 coins stand for Jesus and the 12 Apostles. But the coins also represent communal charity— appropriate for the two of you, who spend so much time and energy helping others all over the world. And they represent the bridal dowry. We’ll let the two of you decide later on who gets to be the bride. Kaelah, Mare, Lucy, and Neve—what do you have for Alan and Antonio?


MARK: And what do the coins mean to you guys, Kaelah?


The Story of Your Meeting

MARK: Thank you. This is a day overflowing with symbols and meanings—reminding all of us that this ritual you two are performing is possibly the oldest, most sacred commitment two people can make.

MIGUEL: Este es un día lleno de significado y con muchos símbolos – que nos recuerda a todos que este ritual que ustedes están viviendo es posiblemente el más antiguo y sagrado compromiso que dos personas pueden hacer.

MARK: And now Laurie has a song.


“Throw It Away” by Abbey Lincoln, performed by Laurie Newell

MARK: This story we’re celebrating today began when the grooms met—Antonio was with his friend Eduardo at tea on Fire Island. Antonio and Alan, do you remember the moment you saw each other for the first time? Antonio, can you still feel the presence of Alan that first night? Alan, can you remember the pleasure of seeing Antonio only in that sea of men? Can you both remember what you wore? What the weather was like? Were there other sounds? The sound of each other’s voice hitting your ears for the first time? Did you ever imagine that one day you’d be here? Can you believe it…?

It’s real. It’s happening. It’s even more marvelous than you’ve ever dreamed. Please face each other and take each other’s hands so that you may see the gift that they are to you.

MIGUEL: Por favor, mírense el uno al otro fijamente y agárrense de las manos para que puedan apreciar el obsequio que esto representa para ustedes.


MARK: These are the hands of your best friend—strong and gentle, ever familiar yet always surprising—that are holding yours as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These hands will love you and cherish you through the years. These hands will give you strength when you need it, support and encouragement to pursue your dreams, and they will comfort you when you need it, with the slightest touch. Even years from now, these hands will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness.

MIGUEL: En mucho tiempo, esas manos seguirán ahí agarrándose entre ellas para recordarles esa misma dulzura inexplicable.

ALAN: Mi amor, you have been such a light in my life since we met, but especially the last six or seven months you have been such a light in my life since we met, but especially the last six or seven months. I can’t imagine how I could have done this without you by my side every day and night! You are a wonder, and I can’t imagine my life without you. What a blessing I have with you as my husband and partner and friend!

ANTONIO: I love you. Since the moment I met you. Our love is strong. Bulletproof. We have tested it in so many ways. Over time, finally being together after all the years passed since the moment we met. Through the distance, separated by thousands of miles. Through the sickness and tough moments lived in the past months. You are my pillar, my balance, the most generous heart I’ve ever known. Thank you for helping me to be an improved version of myself.

MARK: Antonio and Alan have asked Cyrus and Daisy to share some readings with us.


“Throw It Away” by Abbey Lincoln, performed by Laurie Newell

An excerpt from “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman, read by Cyrus Copeland

The day when I arose at dawn from the bed of perfect
health, refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe sweet breath of autumn,
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and
disappear in the morning light,
And when I wander’d alone over the beach, and undressing bathed,
laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on
his way coming, O then I was happy,
O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food
Nourish’d me more, and the beautiful day pass’d well,
And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening came my friend,
And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll slowly continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to me
whispering to congratulate me,
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night,
In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly over my breast – and that night I was happy.

“Touched by an Angel” by Maya Angelou, read by Daisy Boss

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
 which sets us free.

Hawaiian Wedding Prayer

MARK: Antonio and Alan have chosen to read an ancient Hawaiian wedding prayer. It’s from another time and culture, but it captures how they feel.

MIGUEL: Antonio y Alan quieren leerles una oración hawaiana de bodas. Esta oración es de otros tiempos y cultura, pero captura lo que ellos sienten.

ALAN: “Before we met, you and I were halves unjoined except in the wide rivers of our minds. We were each other’s distant shore, the opposite wings of a bird, the other half of a seashell. We did not know the other then, did not know our determination to keep alive the cry of one riverbank to the other. We were apart, yet connected in our ignorance of each other, like two apples sharing a common tree. Remember?

ANTONIO: “I knew you existed long before you understood my desire to join my freedom to yours. Our paths collided long enough for our indecision to be swallowed up by the greater need of love. When you came to me, the sun surged towards the earth and the moon escaped from darkness to bless the union of two spirits so alike that the creator had designed them for life’s endless circle.

ALAN: “Beloved partner, keeper of my heart’s odd secrets, clothed in summer blossoms so the icy hand of winter never touches us.

ANTONIO: “I thank you for your patience. Our joining is like a tree to earth, a cloud to sky and even more.

ALAN: We are the reason the world can laugh on its battlefields and rise from the ashes of its selfishness …

A&A TOGETHER: …to hear me say, in this time, this place, this way—I love you best of all.”

Alan & Antonio’s Candle

MARK: Stefanie, Alan’s niece, has composed a poem for the two of you. Stefanie?


By Stefanie Poulos-Hopkins

Alan and Antonio

Their way is with love, their way is with charm
People, do listen, they show us what is bliss and
How to achieve it
How to receive it
How to believe in it
And pass it on
In work, in speech, in touch, dance, art and song
They were given this gift
To cause a rift in reality
So we can all see there is a beautiful way
Between lovers, something more powerful than we can say
They have happiness, they have pain
They live in the sunshine, they live in the rain
They are brave and they are loud, yet gentle and adapting to the clouds
They are here to ascend and to share it with friends
It’s been written in the stars
To bring love to earth and then to seed it
Plant it in the ground and help it grow
Not for show but for immortality to know
The cells inside have changed
Their strands layered thick and transformed
But not cobwebs to be cleaned
No, said his love, there is beauty in all things
They whisper and glance words of connection
Through such love there is always redemption
Follow this same path beneath the moon
Your love continues to form a cocoon
Keep trying to listen to the softness inside
So much anguish over the cruelty of time
But the search for forever is truly unfound
Find silence and your conscious breath
There is no more perfect a union,
Within your love there is no darkness left

MARK: Now, if you two could take your tapers, let’s light this candle…


I apologize to everyone about the surplus of phallic symbols. On second thought, no I don’t!

We will blow this candle out at some point later today. But that’s all right—it’s just a stand-in for the fire in your hearts, Alan and Antonio, lit at that first meeting five and a half years ago. The flame there may flicker and flare, but it will never go out.

MIGUEL: La llama tendrá sus altos y bajos, pero nunca se extinguirá.

MARK: Steven and Brian SONG: “You’ve Got a Friend/Bridge Over Troubled Water,” performed by Brian Gens & Steven Wing

Rings & Vows

MARK: Wedding rings symbolize commitment and love.

MIGUEL: Los anillos de matrimonio simbolizan el compromiso y amor.

MARK: Like love, the rings are circular, with no beginning and no end. They represent what has been and what will always be. They’re made of precious metal, which will burnish after years of tender hand-holding, and will not dull through decades of everyday chores. These beautiful rings were made by Alan and Antonio’s dear friend, Glenn.

MARK: Thank you, Glenn.
 Antonio, place your ring on the tip of Alan’s finger and repeat after me:

MARK/ANTONIO (repeating alternatively):

Alan, I love you /
My heart is in this ring /
My love is in this ring
I promise to be your faithful husband /
to love you through the best and the worst /
through the easy and the difficult /
I promise you my unconditional love /
and I give you my unwavering trust /
When you look at this

ring/remember that I love you always /

Alan, te amo
Mi corazón está en este anillo
Mi amor está en este anillo
Prometo ser tu marido fiel
Para amarte en lo bueno y en lo malo
En la salud y en la enfermedad
Te prometo mi amor incondicional
Y te doy mi confianza inquebrantable
Cuando mires este anillo
Recuerda que te amo siempre

MARK: Go on and slide the ring all the way on. Alan, now it’s your turn.

MARK/ALAN: (repeating alternatively)

Thank you for my beautiful ring /
I love you /
My heart is in this ring /
My love is in this ring /
I promise to be your faithful husband /
To love you through the best and the worst /
Through the easy and the difficult
I promise you my unconditional love /
And I give you my unwavering trust /
When you look at this ring /
Remember that I love you always.

gracias por este bonito anillo
Te quiero
Mi corazón está en este anillo
Mi amor está en este anillo
Prometo ser tu marido fiel
Para amarte en lo bueno y en lo malo
En la salud y en la enfermedad
Y te doy mi confianza inquebrantable
Te prometo mi amor incondicional

Cuando mires este anillo
Recuerda que te amo siempre

MARK: Go on and slide the ring all the way on.

And now I get to say something you’ve been looking forward to hearing for a long time.

By the powers vested in me by the State of New York, I now pronounce you married. You may kiss your husband.

MIGUEL: Por el poder y la ley que me autoriza el estado de Nueva York, los declaro marido y marido. Puede besar al novio.


MARK: Ladies and gentlemen, the grooms!
To conclude our ceremony, we have a terrific and very old tradition. Yes—

Tradition! If you’ve never been to a Jewish wedding, this may seem odd to you— Antonio and Alan are going to stomp on some glassware. Just go with it. Florence?


Shattering this glass symbolizes several things: First, that Alan and Antonio will have to work through their challenges and celebrate their successes together. Second, because love, like glass, is fragile and must be protected, it offers an implied prayer: “May your marriage last as long as it would take to repair this glass.”

MIGUEL: Que su matrimonio dure el mismo tiempo que tome reparar este vaso. For the grooms, the shattering glass also represents the breaking down of barriers

between people of different cultures and faiths. Go for it, guys!


Mazel tov! Finally, to me it means that, now something has been broken, the party can really get started! Enjoy everyone!

MIGUEL: ¡A gozar se ha dicho!

Brunch Toasts:

Chester Silverman with blessing
Eric Sawyer
Alex Sanchez
Isabel Gibirets
Susaan Letteney

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18 thoughts on “An eventful week

  1. Congratulations, you two! Thanks so much for sharing these photos. I hope you had a beautiful celebration. I can see all the love in your eyes!

  2. You never cease to amaze me, my hero! Way to go getting it all done and staying sane. I am looking forward to lunching with the newlyweds in the new year. Much love, Paulette

  3. So beautiful! I am so happy I live in a country where this celebration and joining of lives in both an emotional and legal way is now allowed. Tears of joy for you and Antonio.

  4. Amen to habybi - plural of habibi of course! - now that there are two of you in my heart 🙂 <
    3 🙂

  5. Alan you are amazing. The love you and Antonio have for each other is equally amazing. I'm so happy for you two and wish you many happy years together.


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