Slightly out of order, but ok…

Having not quite gotten around to doing the post on the post-wedding brunch and particular and Sunday in general, I’m now about to do a small post on the ‘mini-moon’ we took in Powell River. So I’m jumping around — it’s my blog!

So.

In a fit of brillliance that could only have been dreamed up by the non-sick, we decided to go camping. Now camping in May isn’t necessarily a stupid idea, but camping in May on the Wet Coast while sick as little sick dogs was maybe not the all time brightest move.

That said, it was fine.

The first night was great, even — Steve’s mum and dad got him the birthday present of a night in the Rockwater’s ‘Tent Suites’ which was Monday night. He groused a little back in March, but when we arrived Monday night he was all “ok, this is an AWESOME birthday present!” And it was… I’m not sure why I don’t have any photos at my disposal, but I’ll find some ’cause it has to be seen to be believed. There was this great walkway through the forest (like the West Coast Trail except more civilized) that led to the tents, each of which was off on its own for privacy. The ‘tent’ (and I use the word loosely) had its own balcony that looked out on the ocean, complete with loungers. There was a huge bed with a down duvet, a slate tiled shower, heated slate tile floors, and a jaccuzzi tub with jets, bath salts and COLOURS. Yes, the tub was pretty cool. It was a very nice way to wind down our ‘wedding weekend’.

Tuesday morning we took our time getting ready. We packed slowly, taking our time looking for my Grandma’s earring that I’d been wearing since the wedding. Steve, my hero, found it somewhere that I couldn’t see it.

We drove from Halfmoon Bay back to Gibsons to pack the jeep and pick up the dog. We also took a gift certificate we had gotten for Canadian Tire and invested, wisely, in an air mattress with a built-in foot pump. Ahhhhh, bliss! Neither of us had ever camped with an air mattress before and man! was it ever nice.

We booked it to the ferry in Earl’s Cove where we discovered that ferries run even less often than they do between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale. We waited and waited, and I found out that I burn in convertables 🙁

The dog enjoyed the sun while we were waiting for the ferry, but not so much the wind when we were actually driving.

We found our campsite at Willingdon Beach which is the city campground right in the middle of ‘new’ Powell River. It is a great campground and we were, as we requested, Right On The Beach. I can only assume that it was because we told them we were honeymooning that they put us right at the edge next to the trees. It was lovely and private except for the stream of people coming right past our tent to walk the Willingdon Beach Trail first thing in the morning.

We rolled in just as the sun was going down and set up camp… with only a little snapping. We borrowed Mike & Laura’s massive Tent of Doom (the Funhouse 6, I believe). It had windows and doors and was almost the size of our bedroom. It was quite the eddifice compared to our little nylon backpacking tube. We briefly considered digging it a moat.

Once the tent was up, Steve wandered the whole 10 feet to the beach and took pictures of the sunset.

We found dinner at the local Safeway deli. It was… adequate. Very adequate.

This cedar tree was right beside our campsite. It was very unusual and beautiful — like a ‘weeping cedar’.

And that was the end of Tuesday.

The next morning, Steve went and walked the Willingdon Beach Trail. When in Rome, I guess.

The Willingdon Beach Trail is set up as an outdoor forestry museum and has all sorts of bits of machinery along the side of the trail. Including a boat.

You know, I never even managed to walk this trail, though I’d love to. Someday. When I’m not sick.

The only complaint I have about the WB campground is that the website says free showers… and they aren’t. I had to go back for a loonie, and the four minutes purchased by that loonie was simply inadequate. I rinsed in the sink. But I’d go back.

We got underway on Wednesday morning and found the tourist information booth. We left the dog in the jeep in the parking lot.

Angel was eager to get underway, so we left for Lund, which we’d heard was absolutely lovely, and an hour up the road where Highway 101 runs out.

We thought we were going to leave Angel in the jeep while we had a quick lunch at Nancy’s, the locally famous bakery. Note the word ‘thought’ — while we were walking around the top of the building, we heard a suspicious jingle, much like the one that comes from Angel’s dog tags. We called for her, and walked around looking for her, but no little white dog… until we asked a couple coming up the stairs from the restuarant. We asked them if they’d seen her, and they said yes — the little white dog had rushed into the restaurant and was still there, as far as they knew.

We rushed downstairs into the restaurant and there she was, looking from table to table for us while simultaneously licking every inch of floor. Mmm… floor.

We called her out and tied her up outside. Bad dog! Bad! Actually she was really cute, and we brought out our (justifyable famous) lunch and ate with her.

Then we walked around Lund. It didn’t take long. Lund is small and pretty, and perhaps if we’d been more energetic we’d have rented kayaks or taken the Water Taxi over to Savary Island or some other adventure. As it was, we just looked at the waterfront and a very nice art shop under the Lund Hotel.

Then we went home. I mean, back to Powell River. We went and had rather good and cheap chicken wings at a little pub that was right on the edge of Powell Lake. We tied Angel up.

After dinner, we scooted back to the historic part of Powell River in order to join a walking tour that we had been told would leave at 7pm. The guide never showed up, so we self-guided ourselves around according to the brochure. It was quite like old times (I used to be a tour guide).

The old houses were lovely — old Powell River was a town built, and planned, by the Pulp Mill for its employees. Somewhat surprisingly, they did a fantastic job and the little old town is really quite wonderful. Except, perhaps, for its view of… the pulp mill.

We cruised around deciding which house(s) we’d like to buy… property in Powell River is relatively inexpensive, and Powell River itself is a very nice town, but it really does feel much more isolated than Gibsons.

But look at the houses!

We settled on this as the house to buy:

Or this one:

They were built for management — typical, huh?

There were three churches in a block, but two were no longer churches. We then decided that it would be amazing to live in a church.

We got back to the campsite and Steve went down to the beach to photograph the sunset. There was also this crane — I mean HERON — which we had seen briefly the night before. He really liked the little bit of beach beside the tent and every so often I’d look up to see Steve stalking the crane. I mean heron.

Sometimes he was more sucessful than others.

And it was the end of Wednesday.

Thursday Steve tried to get me to walk the trail with him. It didn’t work.

By this time we were feeling significantly better, so we decided to try a little hike. And by little, we mean very small. Tiny. We hiked up ‘Mount Valentine’ which is such an easy hike that they even give you stairs. We reached the top pretty easily and enjoyed lunch and views that were amazing.

There was a big bug and some very ambitious ants, so we left and wandered around the top of the hill, which was exquisite. The area was developed for Mill employees to have a picnic and recreation spot, so there were lovely steps and stone benches, as well as some newer picnic tables. Did I mention there were stairs to the top? Nice.

This is new Powell River. It is wonderfully far from old Powell River.

We went down and looked at ‘The Hulks’, which is a man-made breakwater for the Mill’s logs.

They are beautiful and shockingly ugly at the same time.

We went to the Cranberry Pottery and bought souveniers, since apparently this is The Place To Buy Souveniers. Actually, their stuff is lovely. I really liked some neat… well, I thought they were ginger jars, but apparently they were urns for ashes. And they came made to order! Ew.

Then it was off to try out the new jeep: I found some logging roads in the hopes of getting it into fourwheel drive. Steve napped. The worst potholes I’d just about ever seen, and Steve… slept. Like a baby.

We — ok, I — found a beautiful lake, which I woke Steve up for.

There was also a quarry which was used for stone for the logging roads.

By this time Steve was mostly awake, so I celebrated by driving through a big puddle.

We went back home and had icecream from Dairy Queen. Ahhh, Dairy Queen.

Steve took more sunset pictures and stalked the crane some more. Um… heron. We shared our (fitfully burning) fire with a very nice couple from Edmonton who were tenting, like us. You know, there were tons of people there in campers and the only really friendly ones showed up in a tent. Coincidence? I think not.

And that was Thursday.

Friday we went home to Gibsons, and ate yummy breakfast while waiting, again, for the ferry. This guy ran the snack shack and was friendly.

He offered that we could go pet his horse and miniature mules (yes, miniature mules). They were all very friendly and cute and dirty, and we pet them and fed them grass, which they appreciated for just long enough for someone else to come by and bring them grass.

The shack-guy also said that to stop wasps from coming into the house, hang up a bag full of water just outside the door. He swore by it, though I have yet to try it out. While we were there, tons of locals came by and chatted about all kinds of stuff. It felt very comfortably rural.

In short, we enjoyed Powell River very much. It never actually rained on us (though we put the top on the jeep for precautionary purposes), we did in fact get better rather than sicker, we read books and lounged and napped on our air mattress and generally had exactly the downtime we needed after the civilized chaos of the wedding.

Our ceremony, in entirety. Yes, it was a long ‘un.

WEDDING CEREMONY OF STEVE & LORIEN

What greater thing is there for two people than to feel that they are joined together? They share with each other all gladness, comfort each other in all sorrow, strengthen each other in all labour and are one with each other in silent contemplation and in mountaintop exultation.

This love – as we call it – is a most marvelous thing: it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life.

Steve & Lorien, you have found this kind of love. We are here today to share with you your celebration of that love and witness your commitment to joining your lives together.

My name is Helen *** and as a Marriage Commissioner I am authorized by the province to solemnize this marriage. It is a privilege for me to be here today.

Marriage in the eyes of the law is a binding contract, a voluntary union between two people to the exclusion of all others. It is a very serious commitment and should not be entered into lightly or irresponsibly, but reverently and with serious understanding and appreciation of what is involved.

Clay Hepburn reads:

“Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like D.C.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breaths
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

Steve and Lorien, this day marks the beginning of a new chapter in your lives – a day when you each will be making a solemn commitment to go forward together as husband and wife, sharing whatever the future may hold for you.

Steve and Lorien have asked me to read from a medieval Persian poet, Rumi. This is his ode 2667, “This Marriage” translated by Kabir Helminski

May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcome
as the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

Before Steve & Lorien make their vows, I must ask if any person can show just cause why these two persons may not be joined in marriage. Let them now declare their reasons or else from this time forward keep their peace.

And I must ask you both in the presence of these witnesses, that if either of you know of any legal reason why you should not be married, you do now reveal the same.

GROOM: I solemnly swear that I do not know of any lawful reason why I, Stephen Patrick Quattrocchi, may not be joined in marriage to Lorien Islay Heather Dunnett Wallace.

BRIDE: I solemnly swear that I do not know of any lawful reason why I, Lorien Islay Heather Dunnett Wallace, may not be joined in marriage to Stephen Patrick Quattrocchi.

There having been no reason declared, I will ask you to answer these questions:

Do you, Steve, promise to give Lorien
all the love of your heart,
your wit and your wisdom;
to be her star and compass,
her faithful champion,
her husband and her best friend?

Answer: I Do.

Do you, Lorien, promise to give Steve
all the love of your heart,
your wit and your wisdom;
to be his star and compass,
his faithful champion,
his wife and his best friend?

Answer: I Do.

Susann Richter reads:

“Union” by Robert Fulghum

You have known each other for years, through the first glance of acquaintance to this moment of commitment. At some moment, you decided to marry.

From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. Just two people working out what they want, what they believe, what they hope for each other.

All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”

Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. You have learned that good company and friendship count for more than wealth, good looks or position. And you’ve learned that marriage is a maze into which we wander – a maze that is best got through with a great companion.

Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this – is my husband, this – is my wife.

The vows through which you accept each other as husband and wife have no hidden power within themselves, but only to the extent they express your intention and commitment do they have meaning.

Jody Garnett reads:

Pavanne for the Nursery

Now touch the air softly, step gently, one, two…
I’ll love you ’til roses are robin’s egg blue;
I’ll love you ’til gravel is eaten for bread,
And lemons are orange, and lavender’s red.

Now touch the air softly, swing gently the broom.
I’ll love you ’til windows are all of a room;
And the table is laid, And the table is bare,
And the ceiling reposes on bottomless air.

I’ll love you ’til heaven rips the stars from his coat,
And the moon rows away in a glass-bottomed boat;
And Orion steps down like a river below,
And earth is ablaze, and oceans aglow.

So touch the air softly, and swing the broom high.
We will dust the grey mountains, and sweep the blue sky:
And I’ll love you as long as the furrow the plough,
As however is ever, and ever is now.

I will ask you now to join hands and face each other as you say your vows.

STEVE: (repeat after me)

I, Steve, take you, Lorien, to be my wedded wife,
To have and to hold from this day forward,
For better and for worse,
For richer and for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
In rainforest and in boreal,
To love and to cherish
‘Till death do us part;
This is my solemn vow.

LORIEN: (repeat after me)

I, Lorien, take you, Steve, to be my wedded husband,
To have and to hold from this day forward,
For better and for worse,
For richer and for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
In rainforest and in boreal,
To love and to cherish
‘Till death do us part;
This is my solemn vow.

Your vows, once said, are as much a part of you as your breath, your blood and your passion for each other. Even though the words themselves are dispersed to the breeze, look always to your rings as the pure and powerful symbol of these promises.

Here are more words from Rumi:

I am here, this moment, inside the beauty,
the gift God has given,
our love:
this gold and circular sign
means we are free of any duty:
out of eternity
I turn my face to you, and into
eternity:
we have been in
love that long.

STEVE: Please place the ring on the third finger of Lorien’s left hand and repeat after me:

You are my best beloved and my best friend. I give you this ring as a complete and perfect symbol of my love for you.

LORIEN: Please place the ring on the third finger of Steve’s left hand and repeat after me:

You are my best beloved and my best friend. I give you this ring as a complete and perfect symbol of my love for you.

Jeff Boothroyd reads:

“Valentine” by Carol Ann Duffy

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

Here.
It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
if you like.

Lethal.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.

Marriage is a serious business, as well as a joyful one. In your lives together, just as in your lives individually, there will be moments of profound bliss, as well as those moments of deepest sorrow. Whatever comes, you will weather it together.

A marriage is a lifelong adventure, made most splendid by being shared.

May the love that has brought you together continue to grow and enrich your lives.

May you always respect this love, remembering it is not a possession but a special gift. It should serve as a source of common energy in which you find the strength to live your lives with courage. From this day onward you have the opportunity to come closer together than ever before, and at the same time, your love can give you the strength to stand apart, to seek out your own unique destinies, to make your own special contribution to the world. The most important thing to remember as you venture through life, together and individually, is to always be each others best and truest friend.

And since you, Steve, and you, Lorien, have joined yourselves in marriage, and have signified your commitment to each other by the making of vows and the giving and receiving of rings, I now pronounce you to be Husband and Wife.

Begin your marriage with a kiss.

SIGNING of the REGISTER

Oh wait! I forgot to mention the FIRE!

Yes, the FIRE!

After dinner sometime, one of the (carefully stamped) paper napkins in front of Steve drifted over one of the tealights on the table. Since paper + flame = FIRE! the expected happened.

There was Steve, with a flaming napkin almost in his lap, and all I could think was “I am NOT going to have my brand-new shiny husband burned to bits in front of me.” After our West Coast Trail debacle, who can blame me?

Very calmly (at least I think it was calmly), I stood up and dumped my glass of Pellegrino on the fire. That seemed to put it out, which is good, because my next glass to dump would have been Laura’s red wine. I guess I would rather have had him stained than injured!

I don’t think anyone got a photo of it, unfortunately. I’m not even sure anyone other than myself, Steve, Alex and Fi even saw what happened.

In the end, Steve was a little dampish, and I had to brush some grey ash from his sleeve, but otherwise unhurt/scorched.

I guess it’s funny now, eh?

The Frabjous-est Day Ever.

So.

Almost three weeks ago, Steve and I got married. This is the recap. The trip report, if you will, for a long and wonderful journey that culminated in a destination… that is the beginning of another long and wonderful journey — much longer, this one.

As you probably already know (and may even have caught from me — sorry, Sandy!), I was sick. Really quite sick. I had a tickle in my throat Monday morning and made myself a doctor’s appointment. On Wednesday the doctor declared a full-on bronchitis and gave me precautionary antibiotics. I spent all day Wednesday on the couch, instead of doing any of the other million things I had planned.

My main stress was the ugly boat that had been sitting in the front yard for the previous week. At least by the time of the wedding it had moved to the driveway.

Poor Tracy, Alex and my aunt Joan did a whole lot of hanging around, waiting for me to think of things for them to do. It was so great they came down early; there were many things I was just able to drop into their laps.

“Here is a box of candy. Here are fish. Here are bags. Please make favours.”

I won’t go much into the details of Thursday or Friday… suffice it to say that there was much running around, a bunch of coughing and a little bit of rain. The good things that happened were that Rod and the jeep made it safely; Petals Flower Farm came up with amazing local peonies for cheap cheap cheap; my cousin Debbie made it down despite Greyhound going on strike just as she entered Kelowna; Debbie, Joan and Tania cleaned our house beyond all recognition; the pedicure lady only messed up one toe three times and Gayle and Helen came through AMAZIINGLY to set up for the open house at our place on Friday night.

The open house was something that I thought would be great BEFORE I got sick: a casual time for all the families to meet (remember that Steve’s dad, John, and my dad, Rod, hadn’t actually met before this night) and hang out before The Big Day. Also, so many people came so far, it seemed a shame to not have lots more visiting. That said, I was as sick as a very unwell dog and basically told Gayle I had absolutely no idea whatsoever what to do to get ready. At all. None.

Helen (our wonderful officient) and Gayle made food out of thin air, placed it on platters that I didn’t know I had and made wonderful hostesses. It was amazing. Like magic! only better.

After the week of rainful uncertainty, we decided Friday night to go with Plan B — having the ceremony in the hall. Tania, our intrepid roommate, used to be a stage tech and had all sorts of useful suggestions for lighting. We used the sandwich boards my dad made to give instructions to anyone who went to the pier:

I painted those pink on Friday afternoon with Debbie’s help. Steve had mocked my pink paint a little, but he eventually saw the purpose (we used those to give directions Friday night, too).

Saturday… what happened Saturday? Oh right, we set up the hall. And let the caterer in. And ran around like idiots. We stacked little cedar trees and rosemarys in paper bags — a tree bagging factory, we were.

Steve, Alex and the Dads (Rod & John) set up the lighting: many, many fairy lights and two spotlights to shine down on the risers on which we’d actually get married. The lights would then shine on the tables that would replace the risers, at which we’d sit.

We used the brown organza table squares that Julia’s mum had given us the weekend before, when they were cleaning up from Jody & Julia’s wedding. They were lovely (again) — the advantage to us having our colours so similar!

I wrote up a seating plan between mouthfuls of chopstick’d broccoli at the szechuan place. (That was one of my Wednesday tasks that got abandoned in favour of couch-lying.)

One of the things I had wanted to do was the flowers… once at the hall, I found myself faced with a table full (beautiful flowers; a mix of bought and given by Phil & Susan) without a single clue as to what to do or how to do it. Given time, energy, and a head not full of neocitran I think I would have been ok, but as it was I just felt completely helpless. My mum Tracy, in her most helpful act of a helpful week, told me “um… I did spend a summer working in a flower shop when I was 18… I could help, if you like.” I handed the whole table over to her and stumbled off to do other things. Which was amazing, as her and Debbie made BRILLIANT bouquets and table flowers. They were stunning — peonies (from the flower farm) and roses (from Costco) and chive flowers and disbuds and daisies and lily-of-the-valley and all sorts of other pretty things.

Just before I left to go home and get ready, I surveyed the hall and found it exactly to my liking: the nice glassware and silver shone in the light, the flowers (in canning jars) added to the sparkle, the fairy lights twinkled on the sparkly things, the napkins (carefully stamped) added detail enough for my most type-A-est desires… it was perfect.

While people were waiting for us to arrive, the kids played on the risers that stood in the middle of the hall. These are the triplet nephews and baby Owen, a second cousin of Steve’s. So cute!

I left the hall and Joan to do some final clean-up and to provide us with the flowers as we arrived.

Here she is pinning Steve’s flower thing on.

Mike, the best man. Sideways, until I can figure out how to rotate him.

Steve, the Best Man.

See? pink balloons.

Andie, who came in late Friday night and didn’t let up working for a minute (an expert tree-bagger), helped me get ready just after we shoo’d Steve and his dad out of the house. (“Good God, I look like Princess &#@* Diana!”)

Rod & Tracy & Alex and I all drove to the hall in their Hummette (the new Jeep) just in time to see Steve and his family walk into the hall.

Alex led Angel in.

We walked in to “Baltiorum” played by Di on her wonderful harp.

The bridal party, waiting for the bride:

Note the pink stool for the photographer (Andie) to stand on. Yes, it too was painted Friday afternoon. It’s the little things that make me happy!

Here are Rod, Tracy & I, peeking to see if it’s time yet.

Walking down the aisle. I was so excited, I could barely contain myself.

I was in such a hurry to see Steve I got my dad to lift my veil (“veil me, Rod!”) and didn’t even turn to my mum. She might have had words of wisdom for me, but I was too excited to hear them in that moment.

See Angel staring down Mike. Or was it Mike staring down Angel? He said he was fixing on the dog to stop from crying… awww!

Yes, Steve cried for most of the ceremony. Some kind person gave me a tissue with a wedding cake on it, and I used it every so often to dab at Steve. I cried a little too, right at the beginning, but then I was too busy worrying about Steve. Everything went off without a hitch, though. The readings were beautiful, the ceremony was the right mix of light-heartedness and reverence, and our “rainforest and boreal” line got a great laugh.

Clay did a brilliant job of one of our readings “Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali. He got lots of laughs (even from Steve).

We also had Susann read “The Union” by Robert Fulham, Jody read “Pavanne for the Nursery”, Jeff read “The Onion” and Helen read several poems from Rumi. It was a poem-heavy ceremony, which is kind of appropriate. Anyway, it was nice to have so much friend/family involvement. Even Angel participated!

Angel was so good, it was as if we drugged her. We really didn’t! She just truly is the Best Dog. I put our rings on silk ribbons (Steve’s on brown, mine on pink) and tied them around her neck. Tania even gave Mike the heads-up on how to get them off (spoilsport!).

Then, we were married!

We held hands during the signing. Jody apparently thought it was Way Too Cute. I stole this picture off his Facebook, since he hasn’t yet sent me the photos!

Then it was done! We were Mr. & Mrs. Quattrocchi, and headed for the door for air and photos. I can’t remember a moment in which I’ve been happier and more satisfied than at this moment. So happy!

We did a few big family photos and then broke up into smaller groups. It felt very strange having so many people take photos of us: almost as strange as posting them here.

The whole family were really in the wedding party, as far as I’m concerned: our parents walked each of us in and all our siblings (and the dog) were all part of it.

Here are our parents, Helen and us:

And my immediate family (less Steve, who is now my most immediate, chosen family)…

We took a few photos against the backdrop of the wooden walls of the hall. They lent a rustic-ness that seemed very appropriate to the day.

We took some family portraits with Angel.

She was tired of being the Best Dog by now, and had moments of unco-operativeness much more in keeping with an over-stimulated terrier.

I’m glad someone took the opportunity to snap the snappers.

After a while we decided to venture into the bushes to have the beautiful green backdrop. It is Robert’s Creek, though, so we had to be careful of grass traps provided by the local dogs. How romantic!

These are some of my favourite photos.

Angel got excited again. Or maybe she was just admiring the bouquet.

Here we are, doing what newlyweds do best. Angel is getting a little tired of it. “Can we go NOW?”

We took the obligatory ring-shot. What doesn’t show is badge from Grandpa’s (my dad’s dad, who passed away just after Steve and I met) beret that was tied to the bouquet with blue ribbon — my something old and and my something blue.

Here you can see the medallion hanging from my shirt: this was my something borrowed. My mum’s mum passed away just before my sister was born, so my sister got my Nana’s Capricorn medallion as they were both Capricorns. I borrowed it from Alex to have on my person, just like my cousin Anita wore it on her wedding day, which was the last wedding in my family.

I still love my shoes: I found pink silk China flats in a little hole in the wall on Commercial Drive two weeks before we got married. They were so comfy, I wore them all night.

While we were outside, the amazing caterers took it upon themselves to pack up the risers and move the ‘head’ tables down from the stage and set them up. Ricolan Chef Services — look them up! (The food rocked too).

We had three round tables — one for the wedding party and one each for our parents and relatives — set up in the middle of all the other tables. We were nice and central for people to come and talk to us. Mostly I was trying to keep my veil out of the food. Actually, I found it difficult to get my dinner eaten: we had hinted that we would only kiss for poems (thinking we’d get lots of eating time as poems aren’t so easy) but there was a shocking number of people with poetry either made up, memorized, or willing to substitute song lyrics.

Susann, Verna and a bunch of other people sang a Very Funny Song about ‘Wedding Boot Camp’. I thought Steve was going to choke on his dinner.

The food really was amazing. We went outside the traditional wedding fare: lamb curry, halibut, seafood on a mirror, pasta, bococcini and ceasar salads… it was plentiful and incredibly tasty. Here I am not eating:

The tables were lovely. Everything was so sparkly and the peonies smelled better and better as the place got warmer.

Alex looks great in this picture. She was so pretty, and didn’t even complain about wearing the sparkly headband.

Mike gave a great Best Man’s toast. It was Very Very Funny. Steve was crying in hilarity.

Tracy also gave a beautiful toast, as did John.

Steve went up to give our thanks (most of which he remembered) and said a poem that he made for me. It was wildly sweet.

Alex went up and gave an impromptu toast that was just wonderful. She also wrote most of it down in a card for us.

The fortune-telling fish were fun. I’m not even going to tell you what it said I was that night… sick.

The kids table was a big hit, but not quite as big as the candy in the goodie bags 🙂

Really, though, they were just waiting for cake.

The cake was divine — April Quereshi from the Sweet Chef made the most delicious wedding cake ever. There was a lemon cake and a chocolate cake, and the most cunning chocolate-dipped strawberries made up to look like little brides and grooms. The cakes & strawberries were our wedding present from Mike, Laura and The Boys. Thanks guys! (and our guests thank you too!)

This is our favourite photo from the whole evening. It was taken by Tania’s daughter Cas, who is taking photography lessons from Steve. We also got great photos from Andie, who was our official paparazzi (Cas was looking for the journalistic angles) and general Girl Friday.

Steve looks so perfectly mischevious in this photo and I’m so completely unaware. I hope this doesn’t bode badly for the future!

The cake-cutting was a team effort. It’s harder than it looks!

The cake-feeding also went well (deliciously well, in fact). I did have a little moment of thinking “why on earth does the inherently messy person wearing a white dress much against her better judgement have BLACK ICING all over her hands?”

Angel got some well deserved pets and then mopped the entire floor for crumbs.

She had some bling of her own — I got her a dress-up collar for Christmas. It’s pink!

We did our first dance to “Ricky’s Waltz” by Diana on harp and Barbara Lee on mandolin. It was magical.

My eBay veil was great, but it sure got hot.

I was just about to rip it off when Andie sensibly removed it for me. Whew! I was pretty rosy and I wasn’t even drinking! (due to the antibiotics.)

After dessert, the band played. Steve’s friends are so darn talented, we couldn’t have hired at better band if we’d tried — not that we’d have wanted to. Susann & Ray loaned us the PA and Ray came early to set it up — thanks!

Steve played with the band, but also came out and danced with me. I danced a bunch and rested a bunch and talked a bunch and Finally Ate My Strawberry.

The boys’ sugar high eventually wore off.

Even thought we’re neither of us Quakers, I grew up near a Quaker community. I adopted the Quaker tradition of having a wedding certificate which is signed by all witnesses to the ceremony — in this case, all our guests.

Here is Andrew, the lone representative of the UK family, signing the certificate. Andie made it as our wedding present to us. Beautiful!

It has two crows on it: crows mate for life and are “two for joy.” It also has cherry blossoms: a coastal springtime icon… and pink!

Realizing partway through that most people didn’t understand, and didn’t sign the certificate, I braved the microphone and made an appeal to the crowd. One clever person signed the certificate “Elvis Presley”. The King made our wedding!

I visited with people and had lots of pictures taken but it was still somewhat of a blur… I know there were people I never said anything more than “hello” to. Here are Lisa and Fi and I:

Here is Andie giving me a great big hug. I was a little warm… maybe I’d just been dancing? (more pink!)

The word ‘magical’ keeps appearing in this blog and in conversation. Really, though, that’s the best word to describe it. Perhaps all brides and grooms feel that way after their ‘Big Day’, but I think Steve and I are remarkably unbiased in our opinion. There was the right mix of sparkling and rustic — or sparkling AND rustic, like the canning jars that held the flowers. There was attention to detail but still enough casual-ness that people could come in jeans and that was ok. There was amazing food and great wine and people laughing and talking and dancing. Most importantly to me, we didn’t try to dress up a sow’s ear as a silk purse. Well, we didn’t try to make the Roberts Creek Hall into the grand ballroom of the Ritz Carleton: we just tried to make it the prettiest, funnest, most gracious community hall it could be… and we weren’t disappointed. It was wonderful, and so magical, and we were overwhelmed and humbled by the love we were surrounded by.

Eventually, however, I was coughing more than I was talking, and Steve’s voice was long gone. Some perceptive people started to clean up, and it snowballed so that the whole hall was put away within 20 minutes. Thanks, guys! Rain took on drill sargeant duties and got everyone moving.

Andie drove us to the hotel in the tiny blue car with pink balloons tied on (the car) and we were put to bed. Unfortunately, I forgot clothes for the next day, and Steve forgot pyjamas. We both forgot neocitran or cough syrup. We coughed and coughed all night.

I’m afraid we kept the entire floor of the hotel awake that night, and not in the traditional newlywed way. Sorry!

The next day was a wonderful brunch at Wayne & Maureens stunning new house in Granthams Landing… which will be the topic of the next post!