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A 'ferry tale' wedding for Hyak's chief mate and crew

Washington State Ferries Chief Mate Mark Desdier, the groom, second from right, and Toni Desdier, the bride, standing beside Mark, pose for a photo along with their Sept. 11 wedding party. The Desdiers exchanged vows in a ceremony onboard the Hyak, presided over by shipmate Bart Christie, back row, far left, an ordained minister.  - Scott Rasmussen
Washington State Ferries Chief Mate Mark Desdier, the groom, second from right, and Toni Desdier, the bride, standing beside Mark, pose for a photo along with their Sept. 11 wedding party. The Desdiers exchanged vows in a ceremony onboard the Hyak, presided over by shipmate Bart Christie, back row, far left, an ordained minister.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen

The date of Sept. 11 is remembered in different ways by different people.

For Mark and Toni Desdier, it stands now as a joyous occasion, a day of love and celebration, the day that the two were wed.

The Desdiers exchange vows onboard Washington State Ferries’ Hyak, Sunday, Sept. 11, in a ceremony presided over by Bart Christie, who, like Mark, is employed by the state ferry system, but who also happens to be an ordained minister.

The ceremony took many passengers by surprise, and then by delight, as what began as a small but festive ritual quickly turned into a full blown community event, Christie said.

“It just grew and grew until we had around 800 guest,” he said. “They were standing all around us and filled up both sides of the walls.”

The ceremony featured musical accompaniment as well, as two violin players, bound for Friday Harbor for a wedding performance, joined in.

Toni Desdier, who works in the boat’s galley, said they chose the date of Sept. 11 to be wed by design.

“Because of all the 9/11 sorrow and stuff, we wanted to have a celebration of happiness,” she said.

Mark added, “It’s time to move on.”

But there' more.

Earlier in the day, the Hyak and its crew also participated in a pre-planned memorial service, in which a woman said farewell to her deceased husband, a life-long diving enthusiast, as part of a brief ceremony conducted in Peavine Pass.

The couple were married 58 years.

The events of Sept. 11, 2011, may sound like an extraordinary adventure onboard the Hyak and its crew. According to Mark Desdier, however, it's just another day at the office.

“All in a day’s work,” he said

— Scott Rasmussen

 

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