Couple says ‘I do’ in wedding on Willamette

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(KOIN 6 News, Ellen Hansen)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It was a very special wedding on the Willamette River just outside Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival.

It was a wedding that was a long time coming for a couple that has been together for decades but isn’t sure how much time they have left.

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(KOIN 6 News, Ellen Hansen)

With the preparations almost done Saturday, the wedding cake awaited Mike Gilham and his bride-to-be Linda Donovan as the blues blared in the background.

“We didn’t know for sure any of this was happening until yesterday morning,” said Donovan. “But you know, it’s been 30 years in coming — so I guess it’s time.”

Their friends put all this together following Gilham’s diagnosis of cancer. They said he may not have long to live but he wants to spend that life with Donovan.

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Mike Gilham prepares for his bride-to-be Linda Donovan as the Waterfront Blues Festival blares in the background. (KOIN 6 News, Ellen Hansen)

“We’re trying to make this day incredibly special for them,” said friend Jen Tonneson. “We’ve been waiting for this day for 31 years; that’s how long they’ve been together, and finally are going to say ‘I do.’ So this is the most incredible, special occasion that we could ever hope for.”

With the rings and vows exchanged, two people who’ve already spent much of their lives together promised themselves to each other ’til death do them part.

The happy couple-squeezed in their nuptials between performances at the Waterfront Blues Festival. They were married aboard a friend’s boat, called Shangri-La, docked just below the blues festival. The festival ends Sunday.

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