Last Saturday was an exciting day: Dan and Maria finally quit living in sin decided to declare their love for each other in front of friends and family, and got married!
It having now been a week, we’ve had a chance to shake off the laziness, get things tidied a little, and I’m even drying the bouquets to see if they’ll be pretty and preservable.
Although I think it would be fantastic, I suspect that the bridal bouquet (which has dramatic black calla lilies in it) will not fare so well over time, as those lilies seem to turn to mush all of a sudden, rather than dry gracefully as roses do.
It’s hardly fitting to start a wedding day story from a week later — let’s wind back to last Saturday instead! I didn’t kidnap Maria’s camera until midday, and was not in a position to take any pictures during the ceremony, but I tried to take a couple of the ensuing fun. I tried so hard, in fact, that I exhausted the poor little camera’s battery at the cake-cutting. Happily, many other folk have more pictures that they’ve posted too.
The day of, we got up fairly early and met up at the salon. I learned at this point that I am much fussier about makeup than I’d previously thought, although this might just be a manifestation of my “If I am paying for a service, they had better be doing a better job than I would myself” attitude.
Aaaaanyway. We retired to Maria’s hotel room where her dress awaited, along with tasty blackberry cider! (Yes, of course it was after 11 by then.) We got Maria laced up into her dress (I was quite thankful that her seamstress had given me lessons; I’ve decided at this point that with a little practice I’d probably make a pretty good Mammy. I’m definitely bossy enough.), ran around the room a little for the photographer, and got dressed while he whisked Maria away to the lobby for more photographs. (Although we haven’t seen them, we have her assurances that there are no piano-top horrors awaiting in the proofs.)
After all of that, we met up with her parents — who seemed very calm and happy, for folks attending their only daughter’s big day — and headed off to the ceremony!
It was a bit of a drive, but very scenic and, as predicted, the day was beautiful with a gloriously blue sky and a crisp wind, which I’m sure the guys appreciated. (The girls? Not so much. Luckily Maria thinks of everything, including bridesmaid loot bags, which included awesome pashminas to help keep us toasty.)
Once there, we assembled on the grass and walked in.
Other than mine, which doesn’t count, this was the first outdoor wedding ceremony I’ve attended, and there really is something fantastic about them. They feel, for some reason, much more intimate than even a tiny ceremony in a church.
I’m not sure what it is — after all, there is still a formality, still a process at work. Perhaps it’s the way nature is invited to add an element of randomness, maybe it’s the light. All I know is that when I walked between the rows of seats, even though there were still almost 100 people, I felt as though I was brushing right by everyone there. Hopefully Maria felt the same way; it was definitely a good feeling for the start of a wedding ceremony.
The officiant was good, the reading was great, the couples’ vows (which they wrote themselves) were lovely and the cause of a lot of sniffling and eye-dabbing. (Luckily I know that I am a big suck and packed not one, but two of those little packages of tissues. What can I say? I was a Girl Guide.) All in, the whole ceremony was over far too quickly and before we knew it, people were clapping and blowing bubbles at the new couple (yay!) and gathering for pictures.
Aha, pictures. After all, what kind of wedding entry is complete without pictures? As I said, I didn’t get any ceremony shots, but I do have a picture of the couple kissing, so let’s start with that.
Before all the shots in Almonte Towne, however, we actually took some photos at the ceremony site: the Mill of Kintail. As now seems to be the tradition, as soon as the wedding party was out of sight of most of the guests, the beer was broken out.
For the record, although Maria posted a beer shot of the two of them from the Mill, I thought this one was much cuter:
Despite appearances, however, Dan wasn’t hogging all the beer. There was, in fact, more than enough for the whole wedding party. (Note the awesome, toasty pashminas.)
Umm, so I don’t actually have a picture of the whole wedding party all together, but I try my best. Yauza would have been in this picture, if he hadn’t been otherwise engaged at the time.
Part of what made this wedding so much fun was that the wedding party, and many guests, travelled in from all over the country. It was exciting to see folks from university, people I’d met briefly in Vancouver, and of course a whole bunch of folks I’d never met at all.
For us, the fun actually started over a week prior, when Josh (from BC) flew out to stay with us. Also staying at our place were Alex (from California) and Evelyne (Dan’s sister from Toronto). While we are always happy to have guests, it seems The Boy got along unusually well with Evelyne.
Anyhow, after some fun at the Mill, and a brief sprinkling of rain (which actually led to some fun umbrella pictures), we headed off into town. Almonte Towne, that is.
Along for the ride in the bridesmaids’ car was Pigette, resident of Maria’s vehicle.
After those pictures were taken, we headed back to a different town, for the reception, which was masterfully MC’d by Yauza. Awesome speeches were made, tasty food was eaten, a fantastic slideshow (complete with surprise video) and the shoe game were played and, of course, cake was cut.
The evening’s festivities included a very lucky young man “catching” the garter, a somewhat more honest bouquet toss (congrats Lorraine!), a choreographed dance, and a basket full of slippers!
(As a girl who habitually ends up barefoot on the dance floor at weddings, I have to say the slippers were definitely a very nice touch.)
Eventually the evening wound down, and we helped take down the hall. Although it was sad (you mean it’s over already?) it was also kind of a nice way to end the evening. It’s always nice to get a bit of closure on big events; it helps assuage that sad, hollow feeling afterwards when it’s all over.
The next morning, there was a brunch with much silly conversation and made-up game-playing, before guests were shooed out of the house so the couple could grab some rest before heading out on their 6am (!) flight to South America.
Judging by their blogs, they seem to have made it down there in one piece, so hopefully they’ll have a wonderful honeymoon of happy adventures. I wish them a fantastic voyage and warm welcome home, where they will create years and years and years of memories of a happy life together.