September 3 2007

Yes, the rumors are true. Today is a special day.

Happy birthday to Alan, Nathan, and Rich (and Chris?).

OK now that that's out of the way :-)

Yesterday, on the shore of Lake Michigan, I got married! Please allow me to self-introduce Mr. and Mrs. Deborah and Ed Brill:

Mr. and Mrs. Brill

We were married on the beach here in our community in the Town of Fort Sheridan in the presence of family and friends.  I am sure the 15-20 other people down at the beach at the time were a bit surprised by the sudden appearance of a wedding party -- but I was surprised that there were 15-20 people at what is normally an empty beach!

Several things about the celebration were very interesting to me.  First, I struggled for many weeks as to what, if anything, I was going to share on the blog about getting married.  In the end, other than a couple of obvious-if-you-knew hints, I didn't write anything in advance.  It was one of the first times since I started mainstream blogging that I asserted a line between my professional and personal lives.  This resulted in a number of comments in the last few days, as word got around, of "I had no idea!"  The pseudo-celebrity public presence of being a corporate blogger, read by many of my coworkers as well as customers and partners, means that you all know a lot more about me than I know about most of you.  Given that, I decided at some point that this was an event where I wanted no public build-up, no "where's Waldo" contests, and, honestly, no expectations around attendance.  We wanted a very small wedding, and it was very difficult to decide who, amongst a very tightly-knit and long-term community and a long tenure at a single organization, to include in the festivities.  Thus, radio silence ensued.  Obviously I am incredibly happy and do want to share that with everyone, but I thought it would be better done when it was over.  

Second, getting married in the modern era of communications means that greetings came yesterday in many forms.  In addition to the traditional greeting card and phone calls, we received notes via e-mail, text message, instant message, blog entry, facebook, flickr, and at one point before the ceremony started, I thought we were getting buzzed by one of those flying greetings trailing a single-engine plane (it turned out to be advertising Dick's Last Resort -- I'm sure there's an irony in there somewhere).  Thank you to all of you for those wonderful and warm thoughts.  

Technology also played a part in a very different aspect of the wedding.  In Judaism, the couple signs a "Ketubah", a marriage contract, as part of the process.  When I was first married 15 years ago, it was a fill-in-the-blank document which the Rabbi or someone used arbitrarily.  Yesterday, we signed a beautiful, 100% personalized Ketubah ordered over the web.  Character map was my friend as I carefully input the relevant Hebrew language information via an English keyboard, and the artist/company that made it was incredibly helpful.  It's a fantastic-looking (and surprisingly large) document, now proudly displayed in our home.

Finally, our wedding renewed my faith in the basic value of human kindness.  We were fortunate to have just about everything go "right" -- from the celebrants to the weather to the caterer to managing those last-minute issues (though if you hear any rumors about me ending the ceremony in the back of a police car, that is true).  A large number of people, mostly strangers, made things happen for us that I would never have imagined possible.  I have my wife to thank for her confidence, many times over.

It is trite to say that I am the luckiest man alive, but it is genuinely how I feel.  And my wife and I will (continue to) live the life we've always wanted.  Thank you to all of you for being a special part of it.

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