Holy matrimony!

A little after 10 last Wednesday morning, I strolled back into the office after a two-week hiatus. I left as Mr. Evan Tuchinsky and came back as … well, Mr. Evan Tuchinsky, but wearing a ring that says there’s now a Mrs. Tuchinsky out there.

Meredith, CN&R’s able associate editor, told me not to worry about the 30th-anniversary issue still in production; “just take some time to catch up.” I knew the honeymoon was over when I dived into the e-mail pool: Juanita Sumner called the July 5 Newslines feature about Chico planning ("Sins of Commission") “more like a one-sided bitch fight with Enterprise-Record editor David Little,” and Miles Jordan—one of our contributors!—branded the July 19 Oriental Buffet review “the most pathetic I’ve read in the 29 years I’ve been reading the News & Review.”

That didn’t pierce my Maui mellow, though. The island vibe is potent. And I did survive the 7/7 circus, after all.

Amy and I were among the 400-plus couples who got married in Hawaii that Saturday. (The state has received 441 marriage certificates from July 7, with more expected to trickle in.) Our planner alone had 18. Waiting in line at the rental-car counter, we met a bride, gown in tow, who had to settle for July 6, and she wasn’t the only one.

We got married on North Maluaka Beach in Makena, on the southwestern side of the island. Linda, our ever-pleasant wedding coordinator, asked the wedding party minus the bride to arrive at 5:35 for the 5:45 wedding. My “best man” (who in this case was a five-months-pregnant woman) and I got there at 5:30, and Linda asked us to wait five minutes while she finished up with the preceding couple.

Next to the spot set aside for us, a full-blown Polynesian ceremony hit its crescendo. The drummers, dancers and torch-twirlers soon gave way to a wholly different group: bride, groom, minister, photographer, photographer’s assistant and caterer. And we thought our party of 28 was small …

We hadn’t had a rehearsal, so when the Hawaiian minister asked about the set-up, I didn’t have an answer. No worries; he’d already officiated at a handful of weddings that day (and had another after ours). “Do you have the license and the rings?” he asked. We did. “Good—otherwise this is just a party on the beach.” The rest would fall into place.

By 5:45, the harpist and flutist started to play. Minutes that seemed like hours later, the bridal procession began.

Our service was spiritual, not religious, drawn from Hawaiian traditions. I don’t remember much of what the minister said, except this: Her strengths will make up for my weaknesses, and mine hers.

We posed for pictures through sundown, drove along the shore in our Just Married convertible, then ditched the formal wear for our low-key luau.

The next night, I asked Amy if she felt any different now that we were wed. “Not really,” she said. “Me neither,” I replied. Apart from the new tan lines, photos and housewares, we’re basically the same. But I have a hunch that down the road—say, 7/7/08—we’ll feel differently.