A Great Western Love Story

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On a warm & breezy October evening in Muir Beach, two of Great Western Power Company’s favorite folks tied the knot! Marie Schwindler and Avram Pearlman have been a fixture on the GWPC scene for years, from members, to instructors, to grass-roots community builders. It was wonderful to share an evening with a handful of fellow “g-dubbers” to honor them and the partnership that they’ve committed to.

GWPC Oakland climbing and yoga

How did you guys meet?
Marie: It was a double blind date. Chelsea Griffie, a former GWPC Yoga Instructor, set us up. Neither of us knew we were going on a blind date. Chels sent us both a text message stating: ‘A bunch of us are going climbing at the new gym in SF, wanna join?’ We both took the bait (of course), and when I showed up to Chelsea’s place, it was just the three of us, and he was staring at me like a piece of meat.

Your wedding was, non-traditional to say the least. How did you come up with all of these kick-ass ideas?
A&M: In general we like to consider ourselves non-conformists. Additionally, we love to be silly, play games, dress up in costumes, and laugh as much as possible. That being said, we chose a dress-up theme to the wedding because we love dressing in costumes, and we wanted to share that with our guest, and give them the opportunity to cast away the day-to-day conformity that society often places on us, and embrace a new identity, even if just for one night!

Additionally we wanted our wedding to have the feel of a carnival or fiesta, where there would be games, shenanigans, theater, good food, cool people, and dancing; therefore, leaving the guests feeling as if they had just gone out for a great night on the town.

You managed to mix crazy & fun shenanigans with some really touching moments. I even cried a little!
A&M: Yeah, while we wanted to make sure our guests had a blast, we also didn’t want to lose sight of the very reason we were all there for: To celebrate our choice to spend the rest of our lives together. To celebrate that we had both found our soul mates. So we had very serious, loving moments mixed in with the ridiculous ones. We were hoping our friends & family would know us well enough to just go along with our unconventional plan, but we were surprised at how many people really embraced the theme!

Here are some toasts from Avram & Marie’s friends/family (and GWPC community members) who wouldn’t let us publish this without letting them  say a few words about the bride & groom:

“It was a blast and an honor to celebrate this special day! The ceremony was aptly eccentric (who has a skit at their wedding, you might ask? You might… if you don’t know A&M), and a perfect way to witness Avram and Marie further enrich their partnership. Leave it to these two wacky, wonderful people to get even an uptight curmudgeon like me on the dance floor with friends–some I’ve known for years, some I’d just met that day. I’m so happy to have been in attendance. Wishing you both the most extraordinary adventure!”

– Heela Homman (Touchstone Member & Friend)

GWPC oakland climbing yoga fitness
“I met Avram three years ago in his core class – ­his cursed floor sweeps kicking my butt every class. I steadily went for months until one fateful day Marie, being the ever so supportive partner she is, showed up to one of Avram’s classes. Within minutes of our meeting I knew she was going to be one of my favorite people on this earth. It was also within minutes that I had agreed to go to her bootcamp class the next morning. And only a matter of weeks before I had swapped sides completely from core to boot camp. What can I say? Chicks before… not chicks!

There’s a beautiful quote by Paul Coelho that says, ‘Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning’. Avram and Marie truly embody this quote, every time they look at each other or talk about each other, you can see that they are (to each other) the one who has infused that word with meaning & purpose.”
– Katherine Vanderford (Touchstone Member & Friend)

“Well, unlike most of their friends, I didn’t come to know Avram & Marie through climbing. I first met Marie when she started at Summit Medical Center ER, where we have cleaned up every bodily function known to human biology, but have cared for many individuals; varying to the penetrating “foreign objects”, paper cuts and cardiac events and beyond. And through all of life’s varying spectrums, her compassion and joy ALWAYS radiated to those around her. Working in an emergency room environment would be much darker and dismal without Marie’s wit and irrepressible zest for life. It’s through Marie that I first met Avram and as I’ve gotten to know Avram better, I’ve come to truly appreciate his take on life and how we should live it, which is ‘Owning minimally, but living optimally’.
– Darrell David (TRX Instructor @ GWPC & Friend):

Their wedding perfectly captured their fun and crazy personalities, from getting married by Elvis, to encouraging guest to come dressed in steampunk/flamenco/roaring 20’s themed costumes, to acting out a skit and playing musical chairs! I am so blessed to have met these two and call them friends.”

I met Marie and Avram through climbing and Avram’s core/yoga classes at GWPC (check it out if you haven’t done so!)What I love most about M&A is their amazing personalities which were on display in its full glory at the wedding. From the crazy costumes people were wearing, to the friendly and social atmosphere, it was never a dull moment! My most memorable memory of the wedding was the skit that performed before the ceremonies showcasing how M&A met. I was cracking up laughing at some of their stories and how the actors were able to mimic their personalities perfectly! All in all, I had a great time and I wish them the best!
– Eric Wilkins (Touchstone Member & Friend)

yoga wedding

“I met Avram and Marie through Great Western Power Company. At my first boot camp class with Marie, not only did I become addicted to her crazy workouts, but I also completely jived with her ridiculous sense of humor. I remember laughing to myself, mid-burpee, and thinking, ‘damn, this girl’s jokes might be just as awkward as mine!’ After just a couple of conversations with her, I became inspired by her enthusiasm and optimism and touched by her unbelievably caring nature. Now, she’s not only become a dear friend to me, but she’s also become a huge inspiration and mentor. Sometimes, after hanging out with her, my face hurts from smiling and laughing so much! I wish that there were more genuine, wonderful people like Marie and Avram in the world. I wish them a lifetime of love, happiness and adventure!
– Andrea Nicholls (Touchstone Member & Friend):

If you’d like to personally congratulate the newlyweds, they can be found teaching Bootcamp, Core & Yoga, or sharing smiles and secret handshakes around the gym!

Mazel Tov!