Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Finally, a Wedding Story . . .

As I began writing this post around the photos I'd uploaded over the past day or two, I noticed the date: August 11th. How fitting, and probably not quite a coincidence, that after waiting and procrastinating since the wedding (eleven days ago), I chose my parents' anniversary to post about the beginning of a marriage. Dad's been gone over ten years now, and with Mom's unreliable memory, the date may pass her by, but it will always be significant to me. . . This would have been their 58th. They didn't quite get to their 48th . . . And we'll hit 36 ourselves later this month. I wish the young 'uns as much and more . . .
Besides being the only decent shot I managed to get of my niece at her wedding, this photo expresses the nuptial attitude in all its Country-with-a-hit-of-Goth-or-Punk-but-not-enough-to-offend-the-Mennonite-component very well. The gleaming classic black pick-up, a real working truck, was minimally decorated with the oh-so-classic wedding-car flowers, no tin cans trailing, no "Just Married" sign, but just down the road, the (black) escort (muscle) car did a brakestand or two, sending plumes of exhaust out to announce the newly-hitched couple -- those who didn't see the exhaust would surely have heard the squealing tires.

Anticipating this attitude and noting the heat, Pater had argued that shirt-tie-jacket were surely not necessary. Sadly for Pater, I disagreed. A wedding is a wedding is a wedding, said I, and the bride should be able to count on her side of the family to show up dressed for one. And see? Worth the effort. He's on the left, my brother's on the right.

Of course, there were the usual family rabble-rousers who tried to incite rebellion, and argued for a different look. They were very comfortable, neat, even attractive, and they fit in very well with the rest of the wedding congregation (many of whom were even wearing jeans).

That's my chief rabble-rousing BIL at the end there, setting the example for his wonderfully good-natured, entertaining, talented, and v. charming sons -- it was great to have the younger generation represented, especially given the travel distance/time (away from friends, confined with family) to get there.

Here they are outside the church (a beautifully northern log design) unwittingly displaying their brotherhood through their body language.

The dress their mom, my sister Leona, is wearing, was one I helped her find in Seattle this spring -- it took some chasing down to find (in fact, she could only track down the next size up from what she wears, but bought it anyway and paid $40 to have it altered). It was perfect for the occasion!

The rebel BIL, my sis, and the boys rented a big hospitality suite with a patio and generously hosted us in all the in-between times that always happen at weddings, so our travel was rewarded with ample family time. I can't believe I didn't get a shot of my sisters and I together, but at least someone had the good sense to create groupings and holler for smiles. Finally catching on, I snapped a few. Below, you can see two more fruits of the Seattle shopping harvest -- my sister Rachel, 2nd from right, and the gorgeous Mother-of-the-Bride, my baby sis Hilary (Hilary, by the way, was very good about no longer introducing me as her "oldest sister" after I gently pointed out that my appearance probably already said enough about my age. So good that I have to tease her here by calling her "baby sis.")

My SIL was lovely in her floral sundress (she's on the left) a beautiful complement to her husband, my baby brother, that big guy on the right, another rabble-rouser. And on the left, the very proud (and very nervous, rehearsing the toast to the bride his daughter had asked him to make, insisting it be "as good as the ones Auntie Materfamilias makes" -- way to make me the bad guy, girl!) Father of the Bride, absolutely resplendent in his suit.
And even though I never thought to get a shot of the sisters, one of them decided we should at least get the toes -- too bad I didn't zoom in or do something fancy with filters or whatever to get the colours, mint green, ice blue among them. . .
Luckily, the paparazzi BILs were working the cameras, the appropriately-dressed one Front, Right and You-Know-Who just left of centre here.
And I handed my sister the camera to get this shot for me -- I love it, me and my closest-in-age sib, once upon a time my baby brother. . . There's something very special about the ones who remember those long-ago details that perhaps no one else ever knew, or, if they did, the adults had long forgotten. Why did Dennis B. and his "gang" take after us that summer night nearly 50 years ago? How long did that little feud persist? And what did Grandpa finally let us spend our quarters on when he took us to the PNE one day in the late 1950s? What a different world that was! And here we still are . . .

I didn't do as well with my camera as I should have this wedding. But I did get one shot that truly pleases me. Because while we were keen to celebrate a new marriage and to wish the new couple our support and our best wishes for a long, happy life togheter, we also enjoyed observing the family marriages that were going strong decades after that first set of weddings we'd attended together, once upon a time.
And since I've used that fairytale phrase twice, let's close with a magical kiss between the Mother of the Bride (who stubbornly refused to get married until today's Bride was several months old -- NO ONE was ever going to say she HAD to get married! Such were the times. So quaint. . . ) and the Father of the Bride. The story's not over yet, but so far, they're still living happily ever after. . . .


  1. How I love a wedding! It looks like it was wonderful. And I envy you your big family and loads of siblings. I have one brother (and two half-brothers in the US) and I wish I had a clan full! The dresses are fab.

  2. It looks to have been a wonderful, if warm family event. Did this take place in Northern BC? I'm so curious about the tundra-like terrain.

    What a handsome family you have!

  3. It looks like such fun....great family bonding and memories.
    Love the toe and shoe photo!
    Must have been a hot all look wonderful.

    You and Pater are a very attractive looking relaxed.

  4. Tiffany: It was worth the travel, I must admit -- and yes, I think I'm very lucky in my big family!
    Pseu: By tundra, I suspect you're referring to the treeless expanses I showed in earlier posts. These areas are actually desert, rather than tundra -- they get very hot in the summer, very little rain, sage and rattlesnakes abound.
    Ft. St. John, where the wedding was held, is at the beginning of the Alaska Highway, about halfway between BC's north and south borders, but close to the Alberta boundary. Latitude 56, so getting up there. But lots of trees there, nothing like tundra, although very cold winters (the hotel parking lot sported radiator block heater plug-ins at every parking stall)

  5. Hostess: Thanks! But the photo of me here is with my brother -- he's also in a photo with Pater, so you can get Pater and I as a couple, but you have to move between the two shots to do so ;-)

  6. Thanks, sweetie -- let's hope Uncle Pete agrees!


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