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Messages to Flowers for Al and Don

The following are messages we've received about this movement. We can't be certain if these folks received bouquets from us--there are plenty of people sending flowers to San Francisco--but it's the sentiment that counts.

I just wanted to let you know what it was like to be on the receiving end of this incredible gift. My partner and I arrived at City Hall at 7:00am, to discover that we were couple 213, way too far back in the line to be married in all likelihood that day. Still, we decided to stay on, showing how many of us hope to have our relationships legally recognized. It was raining, but spirits were high, despite a religious zealot with a microphone telling us what it would be like to burn in hell. Most folks treated his with humor, posing for photos like he was a character at Disneyland. Then this van pulled up and a guy jumped out asking, "are you getting married?" I must admit I was a little nervous, but we said yes.

The Happy Couple

The guy popped the trunk and pulled out bouquet after bouquet - huge arrangements with so much color - every one unique. We were handed one that made us cry because it contained lisianthus, an uncommon flower that looks like an old fashioned rose. You see, Jenna and I got married five years ago. It wasn't legal, but all our friends and family were there, and it was the most beautiful day of my life. My bouquet that day was made of lisianthus. I don't know how it happened that we got a bouquet with this same flower, but it made it seem all the more magical. Those bouquets made such a difference to every one of us in line. I know I am speaking on the part of many other couples when we say it meant the world to us, reading the cards from dozens of different states, knowing that each represented someone else's life, and their choice to support ours. We never did make it to the front of the line, but we'll be back next week, and I'll be carrying that bouquet.

Kathy


My partner of 18 years and I were married at SF City Hall on Sunday, Feb. 15. I read about the flower project in the paper this morning. It made me cry. Thank you and everyone who donated for the flowers and for the spirit that you are sending our way. It will not be forgotten.

Patti and Magin


Thank you! We are one of very fortunate couples who received your gift of flowers #(08996). We came to San Francisco from Connecticut in hopes of getting married...and I am happy to say that we are now spouses for life! My husband and I have been together for 9 years and today (February 25, 2004 at 11:00am) we got married in the center of city hall. It was a very simple ceremony that was witnessed by a lesbian couple that we met in line while waiting for our license. They too were married in city hall just a few minutes before us. Sadly to say there was no family around us to share in our moment, but our new friends helped to create a very special memory that will last forever. The flowers that your so generously donated is a beautiful arrangement of pick and purples....tulips, lilies, daisies, snap dragons and tuns of others that I do not know that names of. I wish I could personally thank each and every person who helped to make this the happiest day on my life. Knowing that we have your love and support means a great deal to both of us.
Sincerely,
Mr. & Mr. Tim and Toby, Winsted, CT


I was one of the couples who actually was lucky enough to get married at SF City Hall on Friday, February 20 and since you all have been so kind to send us so much love, I thought that you should get a firsthand account of what it was like.

On February 20, 2004, I was married in San Francisco City Hall. My partner and I left our home in Sacramento at 1 AM on Thursday night and secured our place as the 55th couple in line at 3:30 AM on Friday morning. I cannot even begin to describe to you how amazing it was to be in that line hoping that we were close enough to the front to get in that day. It was raining and very cold all night and we arrived on one hour of sleep. Everyone was a bit tense to get in before the court case was heard on Friday at 2:00, where they could have issued an injunction stopping all of the weddings at City Hall. But spirits were high and people were amazing.

While in line, we met very nice couples, many of whom had children who were there to be a part of their wedding. The women in front of us actually tucked me in when I laid down on the sidewalk at 4AM with my head in my partner's lap. They pulled my blankets over me and made sure I was covered all the way down over my feet. People were passing donuts down the line as the sun came up. A couple who had been married a few days earlier came with gallons of coffee, creamer, sugar and cups and were handing it out to people in line. Gay and straight people from around the country, and even the world, are sending flowers to be delivered to any random person waiting in line to get married with cards saying things like, "Best of luck and wishes for a long life of happiness! -Love from Supporters in Minneapolis" We saw dozens of such bouquets handed out, though we did not receive one because our family brought enough flowers for a small army :) The recipients of the flowers were so touched and moved and it was just such a pure and beautiful show of love and support. Most of have spent our lives fighting for our rights and to have such a pure moment of love was so amazing.

As the sun came up, protestors started arriving and shouting. We started singing. Peaceful songs, patriotic songs. Since we got there so early, we were 55th in line and were in the second group to be let into City Hall. The line was long, but every couple that walked past with their marriage license was met with loud cheers from everyone down the line. When we were approximately 10 couples back in line, the protestors stormed the building and stopped all progress by laying down and blocking the doorway. They were chanting "This is Wrong" and singing religious songs. The Media was swarming everywhere. The couples in line all responded by singing the National Anthem to drown out the protestors. They were in there for maybe 10 minutes before the Sheriff escorted them out.

When it was finally our turn, City Hall was amazing. They were efficient, caring and wonderful. They told us how much they supported us and told us to take a deep breath and relax that we were in their hands and they intended on making our wedding special and wonderful. We went in and did all of the paperwork, took an oath and signed the documents. We had our license then. It was not official, however, until we had our ceremony and were married by an ordained official. An escort took us to the Capital Rotunda and inroduced us to our official, who was wonderful. We exchanged rings. We said "I Do". She pronounced us Spouses for Life.

What an amazing experience, and what a feeling to be on the receiving end of such an outpouring of love from the community, both locally and worldwide. I am forever grateful to have been a part of this all and to have been married and to be able to feel the depth that has brought into my life and relationship. Thank you all for your love and support.
Stephanie


I got married in San Francisco yesterday to my partner of three years, Brian.

You can imagine how absolutely shocked and delighted I was to receive a huge, gorgeous bouquet of flowers in the middle of the grand rotunda at City Hall with a congratulations card attached:

"Congratulations, with love from Work Place Alliance Out Front Minneapolis"

in an envelope from Flowers By The Bay addressed "To The Happy Couple c/o City Hall, San Francisco".

I was absolutely in tears. Thank you all so much for sending these flowers -- it absolutely made my wedding the most stunning, amazing experience.

Here's photos of my wedding:

http://foxden.org/gallery/Wedding

You can see the flowers at:

http://foxden.org/gallery/Wedding/aat

It's wonderful that you're using PayPal to send flowers to newlyweds like me. Thank you so much.. you've really touched Brian's and my lives, and I deeply appreciate what you're doing.

Ben


We would just like to thank you for your random acts, not only of kindness, but of inspiration for a world which can share the beauty of all love. We were one of the thousands of fortunate couples finally allowed official recognition of our relationship after 23 years. All we were missing was the tuxedo and flowers. Then suddenly,with your gift of flowers and your creative machinery, we even had that. Although it would have been nice to have family around us to share in our moment, your generosity and thoughtfulness created a shared experience with a much broader , more involved community, which very few couples have the opportunity to enjoy. We wish we could personally thank each and every person who helped to make this the happiest day of our life, but we can certainly start with you.

In common brotherhood,
Gene and Ben, San Rafael, CA


My new wife and I married yesterday and as we left the steps of the Rotunda, we were handed a beautiful bonquet. Thank you so much for the donations, it was a wonderful surprise.

Thank you and best wishes, Dorrene and Pauline


We are two grandmothers from Texas, together 15 years, who appreciate your making our wedding today even more memorable and beautiful than we expected . We flew into San Jose in monsoon-like weather yesterday, met our 10-day-old grandson for the first time last night and got hitched today at City Hall, moments before Rosie and Kelli tied the knot. The flowers you sent are beautiful -- we both feel so validated by the support of people whom we don't even know who have gone out of their ways to support our right to secure public recognition of our love for one another. Your generosity will long be remembered.

Thank you,
Holly & Patti


The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus has had the privilege to sing at some of the marriages taking place at City Hall. Yesterday (2/26) we were able to sing for Rosie O'Donnell and her bride following their private wedding ceremony. Before the couple arrived, the rotunda area filled up with hundreds of well-wishers and media people and the space was abuzz in anticipation. The chorus members were all given individual flowers to hold from some of the donated bouquets (#08996) through your website. As Rosie and her wife proceeded down the rotunda steps to the delight of hundreds of cheering folk and paparazzi, the chorus belted out "Going To The Chapel." As we swayed in unison to the song, each of us held a flower aloft to honor the new couple. It was a really beautiful sight. Thanks to everyone who has brought so much joy with their heartfelt gift of flowers!

In support of equality for all,
Jim, San Francisco


On behalf of my newlywed friends, Edwin and Lyndon--who were married in a moving ceremony at the top of the stairs in the magnificent rotunda of San Francisco City Hall on Friday, March 5, 2004 at 2 p.m., I want to heartily thank you for the kind and beautiful gesture of sending a bouquet. The bouquet from you and others was such an uplifting confirmation of the absolute rightness of all people to be able to be joined in legal union. These marriages here in San Francisco are a great breakthrough for civil rights for all people and your contribution added much to its personal, political and moral meaningfulness.

Charles, San Francisco


My partner and I were very surprised by the warm welcome the city of San Francisco provided to us on our special day....My lover, (Daren) and I drove 6 hours to reach San Francisco from southern California....We were not sure what to expect when we arrived at City Hall....We walked around for awhile checking the place out from top to bottom, it's very nice. The civil service went smoothly....We were told that lots people donated flowers, and City Hall had some donated flowers around the NW wall of the main hall....Other couples were picking flowers....And when we got to the head of the line, it was our turn to pick some out....My partner, Daren, picked up very beautiful roses....The only red roses in the hall. Anyway, thanks from the bottom of our hearts for the warm and loving feeling the roses provided...

Rick & Daren Rosamond, California


Thank you so much for the flowers at our wedding. We are two ladies who have been together for 18 years and have two young children. It meant so much to have the support as a group of protesters sang and chanted as we left city hall. Our daughter was delighted to have more flowers to carry.


Thursday, March 4, was such an incredibly wonderful day. Bob, my partner of 30 years and now "spouse for life", and I were married at the top of the stairs under the rotunda of San Francisco's spectacular City Hall. Receiving your lovely bouquet added so much meaning to our day. What a beautiful gift to couples you don't even know - but want to be a part of sharing in their loving celebrations. Who knew that such deep feelings about gaining legitimacy are out there in such numbers... We thank you and all of those supporting you from the bottom of our hearts.


Just wanted to say thank-you for the beautiful bouquet that we gave to our daughter. This day was unusual for us and we didn't think of all the little things. It was so thoughtful of you and the many individuals throughout the world for thinking of the little things. We picked a beautiful bouquet of pink tulips for our "Angel". Here's a picture of the happy couple! Thank-you again!


My partner and I were married in San Francisco yesterday and received a beautiful arrangement of flowers from Flowers By The Bay. We want to thank you for your generosity and support. Some couples who receive these flowers are there without any support from anyone, except that of a thoughtful stranger. For us, it was very touching to know that somebody far away was supporting our decision and thinking of us. Your generosity and kindness means a great deal, and we will always remember that thoughtful, anonymous somebody who cared enough to send us a little bit of love on that very special day.

Cody and Trevan,
Salt Lake City, Utah


Its Michael from Church Street Flowers. Monday morning we were at City Hall to hand off webbing bouquets to happy couples. Today Tuesday March 9th we made two trips today to City Hall. On our afternoon run the outside front of City Hall was filled with small-minded people with there signs that say homosexuality is a sin and so forth. One of our employees and I walked into City Hall where we handed more wedding bouquets to happy couples. I cant begin to tell you how much I enjoy this process and how happiness you all are bringing these couples.

Michael , Tom and Stephanie


My partner and I were married at City Hall in San Francisco on Monday, March 1. While waiting in line with three other couples of our friends we were given, as were all of the other couples in line, a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Not a teeny one, but a huge one! Neither of us has even basic knowledge of flowers (other than being able to tell a geranium from a petunia), so we can't describe the bouquet to you, but it was a mixture of bright complementary blooms including some kind of lilies (I think).

We weren't prepared for the emotional impact of participating in this civil service. Nor did we have any idea of how profoundly we would be affected by the joy and love that permeated City Hall as couple after couple moved through the three lines necessary to complete the process. Not only were there multitudes of happy couples, but the City Hall staff was to a person warm and extremely helpful. And then there were the numerous volunteers who helped out in a variety of ways, including the distribution of these glorious bouquets of flowers from persons not known to the recipients. We ask God's continued blessings on you for the love extended to us through these flowers. Thank you, thank you!

Mari (age 70) and Jeannine (age 56).


My partner of 29 years were married at San Francisco City Hall on March 1, 2004. We had arranged the marriage in such a hurry that we didn't have time to purchase flowers. Imagine our surprise when we were both given a flower bouquet at City Hall! We were told how people from all over the
world were sending flower bouquets for the happy couples getting married! So, we are writing to say a big thanks and the flowers made our day that much more special.

Big thanks!

Elizabeth and Rose




Here are a couple of reports from our volunteers who have delivered flowers:

I just got back from delivering fourteen bouquets and about eight dozen roses to people waiting to get married at San Francisco city hall.

In addition to people getting married there was a strong presence of journalists, police, and supporters. Some people were there to promote the political cause, some to help out (including one gentleman who was offering free queer coffee to all), and plenty were waiting to get married. I understand from the people there that there is at least one hearing scheduled for today, and possibly more, though I don't have the details handy.

As I approached the center of the chaos, several people came over to me to ask me how much the flowers were. "Free! They're gifts from around the world to the people getting married." I started at the front of the line and passed out bouquets to anyone who wanted one, and then worked fairly hard to get rid of all those roses.

While I was there, a few different florists showed up with bouquets destined for random couples in line, and everyone there seemed to be well taken care of. The general reaction was surprise and delight to be receiving gifts from total strangers. It was quite wonderful to be able to play even a minor role in this amazing event.

Patti


We dropped off 15 bouquets this morning (early afternoon, actually) and City Hall seems to be innundated with flowers. I left two 5 gallon buckets with water in them for the flowers wwaiting for couples and 4 vases. We put the vases of bouquets in the Assessor's office (where they first go to fillout paperwork). We handed out 2 bouquets (to couples) and left the rest with the volunteer coordinating bouquet donations. City Hall is really pretty now - they've put out lots of greenery and the arches are decorated with gorgeous maroon drapes. Really pretty! I put one very tall bunch of flowers in the greenery and it is really pretty. Tiny little pink buds on branches.

The flower volunteers (they are also witnesses for weddings) said that last night they had leftover bouquets (it sounds like they're only doing about 70 weddings/day) and gave them out to some of the offices but hope that the water buckets (that I dropped off) might help. If anyone lives in the City and is volunteering to deliver, they might consider dropping by City Hall first to see what the flower situation is.


Missy and I found a vendor at the flower mart who gave us an excellent deal on the tulips. We bought 30 bouquets of flowers for $200, and we decided to give each couple two bouquets. We got to the court house around 9 am. The first couple of the day was being married, and the flower receptionist was happy to see us. He told us that flowers hadn't been arriving until later in the day, so the morning couples were missing out. Missy and I had every intention of leaving the flowers and getting to work, but the amazing ceremonies around us were just too beautiful and heartening to not observe for a bit. One couple from LA asked us to take pictures and videotape their ceremony. It turned out that they also needed witnesses to the ceremony, which we were more than happy to do. It was most moving when the words, "and by the power invested in me by the state of California you are now spouses for life" were said because it was so refreshing and such a great relief to see my government sanctioning a gay wedding. Of course the courts may decide otherwise, but at least it was today. Thanks to all those who have contributed to Flowers for Al and Don for making these couples feel supported outside the walls of city hall. I can tell you the flowers were very appreciated. Missy and I definitely want to do a delivery again next week.

Stirling and Missy

Kind messages from donors:

I love this.......as a mother of gay child in the midwest ......i am happy happy.

we just dontated a little money should come under Mojunkk......i would like to list this on your donation site.....from ....Wallace Family from Missouri ......if possible.

Thank you... i look at the new wedding pics everday.......and i cry tears of happiness.....
Mo


THANK YOU to the newlyweds, for bringing us so much joy! We wish we could
be there in person. Instead, our hearts are with you. Thanks for the
romance, thanks for hope!

Richard & Deborah, Des Moines, IA


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