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Thursday, July 26, 2012

One down; four to go!

Anastasia’s wedding was magical, from beginning to end. I expected no less from a girl who always does things her way, which is a bit different from everyone else. Anastasia and Andrew don’t watch TV; they don’t read much either. They aren’t on Facebook and she just learned to text last week. They hunt, they train their hunting dogs, they work in the bush and they do a lot of canoeing and camping. He is a carpenter and she is a Montessori teacher. Annie spent much of her spare time in the past months creating picture collages, place settings, signage, tissue flowers and other decorations in preparation for her wedding day.

I hadn’t seen the wedding site before the rehearsal. I knew it was in a meadow but I had no idea you had to go through a pasture, a forest, a cornfield and another forest to get there. The couple had spent many weekends this spring cutting trees, clearing a round in the middle of the pasture and stacking wood into a wall to be used as a photo backdrop.

On the wedding day, guests were transferred by 4x4 truck, ATV, and a lovely wagon with padded seats, pulled behind an antique tractor. Lemonade and other cold drinks were served under a white tent, and tree stumps with pillows were provided for seating. The groom was nervous, and the dogs were restless, as everyone waited for the bride. Finally we heard something. We heard the bridal party before we saw them, honking their horn and screaming like banshees. Finally they entered the meadow, in a cloud of dust. The bride was at the wheel of her pickup and her maids were in the truck bed, waving their bouquets and hollerin’ “yee-haw!”

The girls climbed down out of the truck, and the bride pulled the veil down to cover her face. I turned the music on: Spanish guitar and flamenco, “Boy with a Coin”. Not your usual processional music for a wedding. Anastasia has a Latin streak in her blood. As she walked the aisle, she exchanged nervous smiles with her groom. The dogs, two Labrador Retrievers, had the rings on their collars. As soon as the officiator asked, “who has the rings?” the pups stepped forward.

It was a short and sweet ceremony, then off to the wood wall for photographs. After several groupings for family photos in the 30+ degree heat, we started ferrying people back to civilization, where they took their cars to Burritts Rapids Community Hall for the potluck reception. The bride and groom went to the water’s edge for more photographs. What a beautiful little village for a wedding. Every house on the main street looks like it belongs on a postcard.

We packed close to 100 people into that hall, and tested their air conditioning. Anastasia wanted a small venue; she doesn’t do well in crowds. In the Moment Event and Party Planning provided servers from Catered Affairs. Those women were amazing. It ain’t easy coordinating a buffet for one hundred.

After the dinner we did speeches, then my 97-year-old grandma Vicky got up and sang the new couple a wedding song in French. Then the bridal party performed for the crowd. The groom sat in a chair while the girls circled him and the bride danced in front of him. It was all choreographed and performed to the song “Down in Mexico” from one of those Tarantino movies they love. I think he liked it. I remember thinking, those dimples are going to ache by morning.

The crowd boot scooted and boogied til about midnight, then they finally agreed to call it a day.

It took us approximately 6 hours to set up and 6 hours to tear down and clean up the hall. I keep saying, “next time, we just pay someone to do this...” but like me, Anastasia prefers to do it herself. The happy couple is now on their way to P.E.I. via New Brunswick. I hope they have a fabulous time. The bride has never seen the ocean.

The “children”, Rupert and Baretta, are happily ensconced at Grandma Leeson’s house. The bride cried when she dropped them off this morning. She had wanted to take her pups along on the honeymoon, but we managed to talk her out of it, to the groom’s great relief.

One daughter down, four to go!

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