love umbrella

Wedding Week

Maybe I’m just lucky,

Cause it’s hard to believe

Believe that somebody like you’d end up with someone like me

 

Having had as much sleep as I am able and this being untrue of my very crashed and sleepy husband, it is mass-blogging time! It’s only 4:30am Saskatchewan time out here, and I’m guessing Paul will be down for the next 3 hours at least. I’ve had a lot of problems with medications keeping me awake, so this time change isn’t so hard on me.

 

Our wedding week was what I had hoped it would be – a week of celebration with Janta and Andrew from afar and those who we know here as well, a ceremony filled with worship and joy, a party (or three) with friends who love us and whom we love, a lavishing of gifts on Sunday afternoon, and finally, the long-awaited vacation week.

 

TUESDAY

 

So very obvious to everyone watching us

That we have something real good going on

 

Janta is a dear woman to my heart, and her coming on Tuesday evening from London, England via her family in B.C. heralded the wedding week. Giving her a real-life hug in the airport was the first highlight – and then her, Paul and I, and Ken with whom she was staying, went for supper at Los Palapos, a great ethnically Mexican and South American restaurant. We just kept squealing at each other, so excited to be in the same place once again, and for such a cause!

 

WEDNESDAY

 

And I’m racking my brain for a new improved way

To let you know you’re more to me than what I know how to say

 

The next day after a dental appointment which went much better than usual, Janta and Jen Revering and I organized all the wedding bits and bytes in the uptairs room of my FutureMom’s house. We talked, they asked really cool questions and worked like dogs to get things done, to my great appreciation, as FutureMom prepared punch for us. I took Janta on a tour of Paul’s place, and then Ken came and offered us a sweet rental car. I asked Janta what she wanted to do with it and she requested ice cream, so we went to Homestead. After that I took Janta out of town on 8th Street to show her how it turns into a gravel road almost instantly at the edge of the city, and she (playing with my camera being a fun pastime) took a couple of prairie photos, including one of an ancient mailbox. I then took her on better highway out to Clavet to show her what small-town Saskatchewan is like.

 

Paul spent a lot of this evening working on the car. His cousin Andrew arrived as Janta and Jen and I were working, and we gave him his gift – the game Ninja Burger, one of my favourites.

 

Late that night after having seen Paul for mere minutes, just as I had lay down, he called and asked if I wanted to accompany him to print our programs. By 3am I was asleep on the floor and Paul was fighting a crappy printer. Not so cool. But, the programs were printed!

 

THURSDAY

 

This is the best thing

The best thing that could be happening

And I think you would agree

The best thing is that it’s happening to me

 

Having stayed up rather later than I’d expected and expecting the same result this night, I called off meeting Janta until a bit later in the morning, and then when I finally did get up, I called my parents and asked if we could all go for lunch. When Janta came over, I had my guitar out and played through the songs I was planning to lead people in worship with at the reception, then we took off for lunch.

 

Mom, Gran, Janta, Paul and I all went to Ricki’s Grill for some lunch and my family really enjoyed getting to meet her and to see us as well. I had to drive everyone in FutureMom’s Crown Vic (which used to be a police car) so it was a bit squishy, but we all fit. After I dropped Paul back at work and Mom back at home, we opened the garage and showed Janta the wrapped-up, but still mostly visible, art piece from my show (Hidden//Exposed). We also took the books so she could read them.

 

Janta and Gran and I then went out to Winners to look for Janta’s gift – luggage for us. We found a nice red four-wheeler piece of luggage, which I have bequeathed to Paul. Janta and I both found some nice shirts, she bought mine for me as part of her wedding gift, and Gran bought hers for her because, well, she’s my Gran, and anyone who knows her knows that her generosity is second to none.

 

Janta and I dropped Gran off at home, and then we went to the mall, to Corrina’s CuppaT store where my artwork is currently on display. Corrina allowed me to choose some teas that I really liked, and Janta and I enjoyed some tea lattes. Corrina, as expected, invited herself to my bachelorette, and with the help of the laptop in the store, we got directions to where we were going.

 

It was time to pick up Ricki at her work. Having been gifted with a Gift Certificate to a really cool lingere store in Warman and having some time to go there (it’s a small town/suburb of Saskatoon) we took off there and enjoyed trying on some interesting things. Ricki and  I both picked something up there, and I tried on a corset for the first time – it fit and I liked it except for a few things, so I didn’t pick that one up, though it’s certainly the sort of thing I’d love to have in future.

 

We then grabbed a very late and rushed Subway supper and changed for my Bachelorette.

 

BACHELORETTE/STAGETTE/HEN PARTY

 

Come and open up your folding chair next to me

My feet are buried in the sand, and there’s a breeze

 

My dear friend Leah outdid herself as usual in planning a fantastic party for a Bachelorette. The theme was “Fabulous” and everyone was to dress up fabulous – as a fabulous woman from history or as themselves. I came as Jackie Kennedy, there was a set of Scientists (Paul’s sisters), there were flappers, Marilyn Monroe, and more, and all the ladies who came as themselves looked amazing as well. I had the privilege of taking portraits of each of the ladies, and I have a lovely series of them, as well as one Leah graciously took of me.

 

There was an abundance of excellent snack food, thanks to Leah and her boy, and we ate and drank. Leah had prepared a number of games. There was wedding-themed Scattergories, she’d asked everyone to write down how they’d met me and why they thought I was awesome and I had to guess who’d written what, which was really cool – I got to keep all the papers after. The girls from Paul’s side of the family prepared a game of 20 questions about their whole family. Every time I got one wrong I had to chew another piece of Hubba Bubba gum – needless to say I got to blow one incredible bubble – but I did get about 70% of the questions right, so I passed the test! It was fun.

 

We played the game where anyone who crosses legs or ankles has to put on a piece of lingere in an odd and interesting way, which garnered some hilarious results. There’s a quotes list from the evening that I’ll be sure to post later when I have it around.

 

After the games had ended, a few of the girls took off, and the rest of us piled into the car to go to Shoppers to pick up some facials and to Amy’s for other girly equipment. I took a lot of wrong turns, being rather tired and having the dyslexia kick in, but Amy took over and ensured that we all arrived at Shoppers.

 

When we got back, the most precious part of the evening began – we enjoyed the facials, Jen and Leah sat at the piano plunking out duo tunes and then as the rest of us segued to toenails and giving each other earth-shatteringly comfortable neck massages, we all began to sing hymns together. We sang old classics a cappella, a beautiful sound, so holy and reverent and a perfect way to end my party – with worship.

 

Then the conversation and story-telling began anew, and after awhile, Janta and I went to our shared bed in the basement and caught some sleep.

 

FRIDAY – THE DAY BEFORE THE WEDDING

 

What day is it

And in what month

This clock never seemed so alive

I can’t keep up, and I can’t back down

I’ve been losing so much time

 

Janta and I woke up to each other’s smiles, and pillow-talked for the next hour or so before finally getting up for breakfast. What an awesome privilege to have that time with her. Breakfast was a pancake feast prepared by Leah, and those of us girls who had slept over stuffed ourselves.

 

Janta and I then went to drop off the car with Paul’s Mom, and Paul and the newly-fixed car that he and Andrew had been working on for days was finished, and I gave Janta her card, which contained a postcard-sized Tour Brochure I’d prepared, describing the tour of the city we were about to embark on. I asked her what style of food she wanted: Sit-Down, Bistro, or Lavish. She liked the Bistro idea, so we went for sandwiches at the Fine Art Café, then went walking down Broadway and into McQuarries where the coffee smells amazing, into the Bulk Cheese Warehouse, and all the other major places on Broadway that simply require a visit. We showed Janta the Bessborough, inside and out, bought popcorn from the Bus Stop (a double-decker bus that sells junk food downtown) and enjoyed eating it. We then went to the Mendel, where the shows that were on were actually really interesting, and then down to the river plaza where Paul and I had our Tango during the second Engagement Fakeout. Here I gave Janta a few minutes to read the books I wrote for the show, and Paul and I practiced a bit for our wedding Cha Cha.

 

We then went to the rehearsal, which went fairly smoothly, considering. It was a rehearsal, enough said. Towards the end my dear friend Michael showed up and I was able to talk with him for a few minutes.

 

The rehearsal dinner was a blur of eating some fantastic FutureMom-made chili, handing out our gifts (all were well received) and me sneaking ladies into my bedroom to show them the dress in the closet. =)

 

I had a wonderful moment with Leah, showing her the dress for the first time, giving her her gift – a custom-designed roadtrip for us sometime this year. She held my face with tears in her eyes. So pricelessly beautiful.

 

I then took off for a manicure. The lady was nice and the time was relaxing – well worth the $20 in that respect - but I was running late for my ice cream party and the manicure itself was definitely not the standard I require for wedding photos… so I scrubbed it off.

 

Paul had some energy and turned up for ice cream as well, and so did a few of my other friends. It was a joy to relax with them. Cathleen came unexpectedly in as well and I got to give her a huge hug. We walked over to Shoppers afterwards where I picked up some shiny nude polish and French tip white and invited Cathleen over to be company and help me organize the emergency bag for us girls while I did my nails myself that evening – and despite being a little shaky and having to perform multiple re-painting they turned out amazing, and after they dried I went to sleep.

 

SATURDAY – THE WEDDING

 

This is the first day of my life

Swear I was born right in the doorway

I went out in the rain suddenly everything changed

They’re spreading blankets on the beach

 

On the morning of my wedding day, I got up at 6:30am to a sunny day after a week of rain and had a luxurious, candle-lit bath. This was an excellent use of my time, as it set the mood for the whole day. After this I saw my future husband (being without superstitious tendencies) who was a bit of a wreck after having had a bad sleep. I sang to him and held him to calm him down, and then flew downstairs as I was just barely on time. I then picked up my dress from my futureMom’s house and drove to the hair salon – I was the first one there, and spent several glorious minutes basking in the sun of a stunningly perfect wedding day before Cathleen showed up, bearing the requested hairpins (I’d asked her to put red gems on hairpins for me the night before. Who knows how late she stayed up to do that! She’s wonderful.)

 

Then the others began arriving – Jessie, Janta, Leah, and later on after her hair was done, Ricki. I sat with a smile while my hair was fussed over by my longtime family friends and hairdressers and watched as Jessie prepared my girlfriends for the event. I asked Cathleen to stay (she’s one of my oldest friends, after all) and she stuck around, and then when we started getting hungry she acted as our “gopher” to get us food. (A bagel has never tasted so good.)

 

Jessie said, “Thanks again for not making me a bridesmaid, this is SO MUCH FUN.” I made the right decision there, apparently!

 

I did my own makeup downstairs, a remarkably painless process, and at several minutes to service time, finished putting on the dress. I got the girls to help with the jewellery and everything and then we grabbed everything, hugged Jay and Theda from whom my hairdo was a gift, and took off for the church, mere minutes away. Ken was waiting for me and walked me up the sidewalk to the church. I told him, “You realize you’re walking me up the aisle right now, right?” He grinned ear to ear and told me he was deeply honored.

 

Yours is the first face that I saw

Glad I didn’t die before I met you

 

Paul, apparently, had been just about to begin to panic in earnest when our photographer poked his head in the door of the room we’d set up for the initial viewing and told him to get ready to see me. Paul grinned ear to ear at the sight of me and told me I looked beautiful. We held each other a moment, then opened the door and began distributing my bouquet and the girl’s pomanders – I gasped with pleasure when I saw them for the first time, they were gorgeous.

 

One thing I ask, and I would seek

To see your beauty

To find you in the place your glory dwells

 

Then we lined up at the back of the church and waited as Brennan spoke, the first song played, and we got ready.

 

Leah came up to me as we stood waiting to come into the church and said, “I’m giving you your last hug as a single woman!” It turned out she also gave me my first hug (other than Paul’s) as a married woman as well. =)

 

We all walked down the aisle to “Better is One Day” – a beautifully played piece. Paul had a moment of perturbation as Brennan spoke of closed communion, but Father Lawrence came up to us and we requested that he remedy this in his homily…

 

And the ceremony began. It was as I had hoped and envisioned. Our priest is one of the most amazing men of God, and his treatment of our ceremony, my family and church family, and the whole thing, was perfect. His homily talked about my favourite part of Catholic services – the final statement of the Communion prayer:

 

Through him, with him, in him,

 in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all Glory and Honor is yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever.

 

He tied together our footwashing ceremony, our readings, and our entire marriage, complemented us by saying that we were the most prepared couple for marriage that he’s ever worked with and he’s been around for awhile, and blessed us richly by talking about the joy of having an ecumenical bishop here in Saskatoon and opening the communion table to everyone of faith at the wedding that day, not just Catholics. Paul and I had the great pleasure of watching many of our friends of different faith backgrounds receiving blessings or coming for communion, and it was amazing. It was exactly what we had hoped to see at our wedding – a display of unity and healing. After we and our wedding party had received communion, Paul and I were praying and singing together, and Janta came up and lay hands on us and prayed for us, blessing us and our marriage. That was so precious and we both later talked about what a highlight of the ceremony it was.

 

The atmosphere of worship was thick and easy to enter into, and our musicians were talented, amazing people who had worked very, very hard at making the ceremony music work. I took particular pleasure in hearing my friends singing solos and duets, and in the excellent violin playing provided by one of Paul’s friends from the medieval feast crowd.

 

I think I’ve figured it out

We need to be together

Like the shore and the sea

We are not one thing

We’re joined here together

My ocean and me

 

During the vows, something clicked in Paul – I looked over at him and he was just radiating joy! I was really pleased that I felt entirely present in that moment and that I remember everything – I’ve heard people talk about how much of a blur their weddings were and how they barely remember anything, but I was there, and I remember. And it was amazing.

 

Paul and I grinned at each other throughout the vows and rings and we were just so incredibly happy to finally be there in that moment together, creating a covenant and administering a sacrament to each other.

 

Will you let me be your servant

Let me be as Christ to you

Pray that I may have the grace to

Let you be my servant too

 

The footwashing ceremony was intimate and beautiful, a perfect expression of how we love each other, and I was so glad that we’d included it.

 

Everything went smoothly and was beautiful, and finally, the priest announced us as husband and wife and we got to kiss!

 

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

Your love makes me sing

 

After the ceremony, we hugged a zillion people. I was shocked to see Ken Switzer, my friend and former youth pastor and currently a missionary in Bolivia. He’d told me he couldn’t make it, but apparently his plan changed and he was able to after all. I was SO happy he’d been able to come to my wedding, after having worked with me so much in my youth and having seen my ups and downs. I saw so many happy faces.

 

We took a giant family photo on the lawn of Paul’s extended family, then we went for lunch! I got to drive Paul’s cousin Mike’s Tiburon to lunch, which was a pleasure, and then our food was awesome and Paul and I downed a couple of amazing Shirley Temples with our four Moms at our table and visited all the tables of our friends and family.

 

We then took off for photos at the sculpture garden on Campus, all of which I simply cannot wait to see because they are so cool. My Mom had an idea because there used to be a musk-ox statue and female and male parental oxen stand in a protective circle around their young – so Mom had all us ladies stand around Paul and the photographer get photos of it. It was a really cool idea and we liked it. It suits Paul as well, being a person who sometimes struggles with fear.

 

We then drove out to Beaver Creek, where I got the dream photo of me in my red dress with the perfectly matching umbrella, kneeling with the dress spread out in a green field under a blue sky with poufy clouds. So ridiculously cool. We then went down to the bridge and got lots of photos of the wedding party there, and I can’t wait to see those as well…

 

We got a phonecall to stall, that the reception setup wasn’t quite ready yet, and so I got to do something I had actually hoped to do – crash Warren Romancia’s annual Fuddruckers party. Warren’s a friend I met through my dear friend Jadon. As we walked up to Fudds, I recognized someone – Jena, a friend I knew in Jr. High. I greeted her warmly and then went in – well, apparently Warren is her uncle! Her Mom was there and her and everyone at the party was super excited that we came in.

 

Paul and I shared a blueberry milkshake while our wedding party hobnobbed, then we took off for the reception, where we were greeted with a stunning stage of red and black and the joy of being applauded as we took to our seats. Our emcees, Sheena and Zach, did an incredible job. We played the shoe game, which was hilarious as always. Everyone’s speeches were perfect and heartfelt and beautiful, with moments of hilarity. I especially loved when Ricki said she had one main reaction as my best friend when she heard me talking of Paul: suspicion. (Everyone laughed at that, and it was so perfect and true!)


Also, I can’t believe my Mom actually said, “Ditto” during the Welcome to the Family speech. SO PERFECTLY MY MOM. =D

 

Andrew Herron shared his family’s tradition of reciting “Red, Red Rose” at the wedding and every birthday and anniversary afterwards and (having given Paul a rose for the purpose) after he recited it, Paul gifted me with a rose.

 

Jessie and Felipe sang the songs they had sung at the Engagement evening, which was awesome. People really enjoyed the slideshow, I think.

 

At one point during the reception, a man from my church whom I think is the coolest, Scott, came up and gave me a bracelet he’d picked up from home with three interlocking rings that had belonged to his mother – a symbol that Father Lawrence had touched on in his homily, how our wedding was between us and God, as represented by three interlocking rings. It was, by far, the most precious gift we got that day – I’m going to get it hung in a shadow box in the house. God blessed me so much with that moment.

 

We should get jerseys,

Cause we make a good team

But yours would look better than mine,

Cause you’re out of my league

And I know that it’s so cliché

To tell you that every day

I spend with you is the new best day of my life

 

The reception ended and soon it was time for the first dance. Paul and I got ready to be impressive, and our loosely choreographed first dance began with us slow-dancing like we were in high school, and then proceeded into a fast and awesome cha cha. It was very well received.


If anyone could make me a better person you could

All I gotta say is I must have done something good

You came around one day and you rearranged my life

All I gotta say is I must have done something right

I must have done something right

 

Drew came up to me late that evening and apologized for an earlier moment when I’d called him my brother and he hadn’t properly responded. He said he knew it and he was sticking around to be my brother for the long haul and couldn’t wait to spoil our children. He also said, “I’ve never seen two people make beauty out of nothing the way you do.” What a precious thing to say.

 

Garrett, another dear friend who’s walked with me through hell and back, held me and cried while just looking into my eyes, with apologies for his wordless state. It was enough. Sharing that moment with him was incredible.

 

Stacy came to me and hugged me and thanked me for inviting her to this wedding – that people like Ash and I gave her hope when she was becoming cynical about love.

 

Look at the stars

Look how they shine for you

And everything you do

 

Anika, my new little-girl cousin, came up to me in awe right after the ceremony and said, “Your shoes match the lace on your dress perfectly!” It was an awesome moment of girlyness. Later while her and I were dancing together I took her aside to show her the incredible sunset and showed her how many colors there were in it – I am so excited about having the chance to mentor a little artist! Her Mom Benita told me that she’d asked if I was family now. So cool! Her and her brother Brian seem to have hit it off with Paul and I, which is awesome, because we really love them. Trent and Erin and Marina, the other younger cousins, also seemed to really enjoy themselves!

 

I got to hold Janet’s new baby for a moment, and show him to Paul, who gave him a kiss on the forehead.

 

I got to dance with friends to all sorts of awesome music.

 

And it’s you and me

And all other people

And I don’t know why I can’t keep my eyes off of you

 

Paul and I slow danced to Yellow, my favourite love song, and sang You and Me to each other outside the hall looking at a sunset-lit field of green. (We also have photos of that sunset with us, we just barely made it out to the photographer in time.)

 

I got to talk to so many friends and family. There were dozens of other amazing moments that meant so much to me, I can’t possibly record everything. BUT I’M TRYING!!

 

Finally, it was all over, and we went home. To our home, together, husband and wife – it feels so natural to call each other by those names. We love each other so dearly.

 

And here we are today in a cottage overlooking red sand. Trip blogs to follow!!!

 

Love, we sleep apart

For the last time...

Reception
Glad it was fantastic. Sorry I had to leave early. I hope it wasn't *too* abruptly. I'm looking forward to those pics. :)
I'm so glad you had a beautiful day. It sounds like it was absolutely perfect! Can't wait to see the pictures :)
oops- that last anonymous comment was me, not signed in. Just to let you know :)