Wednesday, July 11, 2007

We did it!

Yup I'm back. I made it through unscathed and
I am now a very married man

Erica and I got back from our vacation on Monday about midday and since then I've been trying to play catch up, while Erica actually got on a plane for a work trip to LA Tuesday morning. Quite a honeymoon, I know... But thats just what had to be done, and honestly I'm cool with that because after everything we went through last week. All the amazing emotional highs its not bad to just get back into a regular routine. And hey, the planning is all over! that's a very VERY good thing. :)

Let me just start by saying our Wedding was amazing! I had such a great time. Everything came together perfectly, everyone had fun, Erica looked absolutely beautiful, it was really just exactly what we'd been hoping for. And I'm so glad we had so many great friends around to share the experience with. I mean if you've been around you know how fun weddings can be. But when you're right there getting married yourself, and you're in such an emotional place, to have this amazing level of love and support all around you is just fantastic.

Ok, I know I'm not being very descriptive, amazing and fantastic are kind of tricky words, But I'm not sure I really know how to convey just how honestly loved I felt to have everyone there with me and Erica to share in our wedding, and our lives. I get why people are sappy at weddings. Its a very pure feeling and I really appreciated every second of it.

Erica and I flew up a week before the actual ceremony to get everything ready and visit with our family and friends. Erica's Grannie, who mind you is 90 years old, and a slew of Erica's Scottish aunts and uncles came over from the black isle to be a part of the festivities. And we all spent the week in the farmhouse where Erica grew up outside of Caledon, Ontario. Yes I said farmhouse. I personally grew up in downtown Toronto, and we live downtown in the beautiful city by the Bay now, but Erica spent her youth out in the country. And let me tell you, this was a absolutely amazing place for a wedding. I wish I had more pictures to show you, we don't get our "official" ones in for a few weeks but I'll sprinkle what I do have throughout this post. Believe me though, this land is lush, and clean, and alive.

We spent a lot of time getting things ready, although there had already been so much physical work put into preparing everything that we were really touched by the efforts of our friends and family. Erica's parents have 40 acres out not too far from the city. This is maybe an hour drive to downtown Toronto, and maybe 15 minutes outside of Brampton for anyone who knows the area. And if you are familiar with it you know that an Ontario summer, while sometimes hot and humid, is also really beautiful. So we set ourselves for a ceremony out back of the house down by the pond, and then the reception up in one of the old barns. This is not a working farm mind you. But its a really historic old farmhouse and a lot of the amenities of the era when it was built, approximately 130 years ago, still exist. So the barns, well at least this barn has been converted into a workable hall of sorts.

All the hay had been pulled out of the barn, and the wall and floors washed clean, they even installed a dance floor a few years back for Erica's older sister Nicole's wedding reception. So while there was a lot of work to do, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Erica's father had replaced the old warped dance floor with a new one, and built a raised stage area for both out head table in the barn, as well as down by the pond for our ceremony. So much of the work Erica and I had to do involved the decorating rather than the building. This was a good thing because we worked pretty much straight through on getting everything as great looking as we could until the wedding.

I don't know if you can really see it here, but click to embiggen the pic above and check out those lights strung on the rafter. Erica's brother John and I strung white Christmas style lights all over the barn rafters. It really looked wonderful. As it got dark especially the entire barn had a great intimate quality that was very pretty and comfortable. We painted, we hung the disco ball, we cleaned, and put out all the little touches that made it our wedding. Basically Erica and me, with some amazingly helpful other hands went to work building a wedding.

I wont bore you with all the little details but we did a bunch and quickly to get things ready. Because we didn't even have all week to plan. Erica and I had party plans starting Thursday and going right through the wedding this past Saturday night. Scheduled fun is still fun, and Erica and I did our absolute best to enjoy every minute of it. :)

Thursday night was I suppose what you might call Erica and my version of our bachelor and bachelorette parties. Not precisely because we all ended up at the same bar but it was a really wild night that I had a very good time at. Check out some of these pics...


It was a bit of a wild night but I think everyone had a good time. I know at least Erica and I did. Also it was cool to catch up with everyone. Basically this was the night of release. Planning can be stressful, especially with all the family and relatives around. Good but stressful. Thursday night was a well needed distraction.

Anyhow, on to Friday we went right into the more prep followed by the rehearsal dinner. This was organized by my mom and held at the local community center. While usually a rehearsal dinner only consists of the immediate families and the attendants we decided to have the entire extended families as well, especially because we had a lot of people flying in from all over the world. It was nice and a good chance to see our families. Also it was a good sign that everyone seemed to genuinely get along. ;)

This post feels like its getting long so I'll wrap it up with the big stuff.

Saturday was wonderful. We had the ceremony at 4pm, and while yes it was a bit hot, at least it wasn't raining (that happened on Sunday). I managed to get all my lines right during the ceremony, and although I was really very nervous I still managed to not faint. Erica was beautiful. Check out this picture...

I'm looking forward to hearing an audio recording of the ceremony because everyone seemed to think the minister, who is a close family friend of Erica's parents, went on a few unusual tangents in his speech. I know I caught a reference to both Jerry Maguire, and Klingons, but to be honest I was a bit too focused on staying standing to catch everything.

At the end of the service we had a bit of a surprise. Erica's dad and my dad, went and grabbed these two large picnic baskets and brought them onstage to either side of us. Erica and I are standing there looking at each other neither of us having any clue whats happening. And then I see one of the lids of the baskets move. What kind of beastie could be inside moving around and what the hell was going on? Well, I'll tell you honestly my first thought was that Erica's dad had taken the two barn cats and put them in the baskets and was going to release them on us. I don't know why he would do that, but then I thought oh well maybe the cats will be like decorated or something for the wedding. You know? Like maybe they were dressed as a little bride and groom cat or something... Instead though, to my and Erica's great surprise they opened the lids to reveal a flock of white doves that flew off into the sky. I know I know it sounds cheesy, but it was really very beautiful. And it was so sweet that neither of us knew anything about it. I'll have to wait until I see some pics of it to get the full effect I think. For now check out Erica and my reaction shot to finally seeing these birds.

Nice... So everything went off very well. And Erica and I we're both very very happy with the ceremony. Don't we look good in that pic too? ;)

Next we went and had photos taken while everyone else got appetizers and punch and wandered around the farm. One of the great things about the old farm is also the old stuff that Erica's dad likes to collect. We had some great classic cars around for people to check out including a '69 Isetta, oh and we'd hired a piper to play. Oh yes, did i mention that? we had a bagpiper for the wedding. It was very cool.

The one snag, if you'd call it that, of the night came when the caterers told us that their portable oven wasn't working, thankfully their offices were only like 15 minutes away and they just ran everything over there to cook it. So we had to rearrange the schedule and put the speeches before the meal. But seriously. A wedding is a crazy huge production, and that being our only minor problem; I mean that's great. No worries.

Speaking of the speeches we had a number of really really nice words from people. Bernard especially had some great things to say, and it was really sweet of everyone to be so kind. Nice to just know that people are there for you too. After speeches it was dinner and then dancing.

The night came together really really well, I caught up with a lot of old friends, and we danced the night away thanks to some clever playlist editing by my soon to be brother in law and faithful podcast co-host Devon. I don't really have many pics from later in the evening. I'll put a few at the end here though. Erica and I had a blast though, even if it was a bit like being pulled in every direction at once for a while. I was stoked to have everyone there, and see everyone really enjoying themselves.

At the end of the night Erica and I went off to the local Best Western and retired to our suite to pass out. Big days are tough. But man that was a really fun time. Hopefully Erica and I can do it again sometime. How long do you have to wait before renewing your vows???

Thanks to everyone who came out to Toronto who reads this. You guys are what made the day so special for Erica and me. The love and support we felt was amazing and very very much appreciated.

I've got a lot of regular posts to catch up on now, so I'll head off. talk to you later today everyone. bye bye.


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