PRELUDE: WEDDING SHOWER AND REHEARSAL DINNER
We'd be remiss in chronicling the joys of our wedding experience if we didn't mention two very special events which preceded the big day itself.
The first was a surprise shower that Peter's co-workers threw for us. The fact that they took the time to book a hotel suite and arrange for decorations, food and drinks just for our benefit meant more to us than they will ever know. After months of worrying about whether (straight) friends and family would see our ceremony as a big joke here was undeniable proof that they viewed our wedding as significantly as anyone else's. Because of this support and because we just had to attend this party instead of planning it, we both enjoyed that night as much as, if not more than, our actual wedding day!
We also really appreciated the generosity shown by Peter's parents in hosting the rehearsal dinner. While the logistics of rehearsal had gotten off to a rocky start (as described in the PLANNING section), we were in great spirits by the time we left for dinner. A large part of this was seeing our parents and grandparents chatting away like long lost friends after being introduced only hours earlier! It was also great to see how Peter's sister Annette had gone all-out to make Brandon's sister Chantelle feel at home, even to the point of putting her up at her own apartment. After months of anticipation we also really enjoyed watching the reaction of our sisters and best men as they finally got to open the gifts we had so carefully chosen to suit each of them.
THE WEDDING PARTY
from left to right: Annette, Chris, Peter, Brandon, Joe, Chantelle
Peter's Usher: Annette Marshall Every time Peter and his youngest sister support each other through their ups and downs they discover that they're more similar than they ever would have thought. Peter was proud to have her at his side during the most significant event of his life.
Peter's Best Man: Chris De Ville Peter met Chris in 1991 during a difficult time in Peter's life. Chris' generous spirit, youthful outlook and shared sense of humour were just the ticket to get Peter back on his feet again. The two were inseparable for many years, sharing favourite pastimes such as movies, clubs and travel to cities from Vancouver to New York.
Brandon's Best Man: Joe Tedesco Brandon and Joe's history started in 1992 as freshmen at Kettering University where they were both members of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Since then their mutual interest in music and other non-engineering activities helped them survive the 5 rigorous years at school and beyond. Joe's family had also been a big part of Brandon's life and he's very grateful for the their many years of support.
Brandon's Usher: Chantelle Taylor Chantelle is Brandon's younger sister. Less than a year apart, they were often mistaken as twins when they were kids. She and her boyfriend Ian live in Victoria where she and her brother grew up along with their grandparents and Aunt Taylor. Bran and Chan have always been best friends, so he was very proud to have her be part of his big day! ("You're next Chan!")
PREPARATIONS & PICTURES
Would you believe that we were so thoroughly prepared that we started off the day ahead of schedule? We actually had enough time to kill before everyone's arrival that Peter ended up cleaning the bathroom and Brandon packed for the honeymoon! These activities were more than just time wasters - we both needed something to distract us from the fact that the next twelve hours would finally tell whether all our hard fought plans would come to fruition the way we hoped. Time and again people had told us to make sure we enjoyed our wedding day because it would be over before we knew it. We took this advice to heart and continually reminded ourselves to slow down (Brandon was on the verge on setting a world record for speed shaving before he realized just how wound up he was!) Subsequently, it was an extremely enjoyable morning as the photographer shot the wedding party excitedly getting ready for the big day. (We knew these candid shots would be the ones we'd likely treasure the most.) Peter's greatest anxiety was whether our friends who had volunteered to help out would execute the tasks as planned. So it was somewhat unsettling to see that the single task assigned to the ushers - picking up snacks for the party's lunch during the photo shoot - was now into its second day of involved discussions between Annette and Chan with no sign of a resolution in sight. They needn't have fretted so much, it was just snacks! But it worked out in the end.
Shortly before noon the limousine arrived (on time) and the grooms and best men climbed into the 1954 Cadillac while the ushers and photographer followed behind (along with the massive vegetable platter the ushers had grabbed from our fridge as a backup for lunch which was still under heavy negotiation).
Taking things slowly was not a problem during the drive to the village as the limo driver never went beyond the speed limit! This was perfectly fine with us as we sipped champagne with our best friends and took in what had turned into a beautifully sunny fall day. Our massive white Fleetwood Series 75 evoked waves from pedestrians and honks from passing motorists fascinated with the site of the huge Caddy casually rolling up Toronto's main street. (It also caused more than a few puzzled stares from people searching for a sign of the bride!) That trip was the most enjoyable part of our entire day.
Having arrived at the village, the guys were photographed with the limousine while the girls scoured Black Creek for their final solution to the lunch dilemma. After eating the snacks that had been the source of so much angst (the girls had finally settled on muffins), the wedding party headed into the village for group photos. It was a strange day in a couple of ways. First, it was a slightly peculiar experience for the visitors attending the village's Pumpkin Fest as they too looked in vain for the missing component of this wedding party. Secondly, not only was it unseasonably warm for mid October but there was a ladybug infestation that year which was more annoying than you might expect as they were a variation that actually bites! Photos ended right on schedule which was just fine with Peter as he was literally nauseous with anxiety as family members were beginning to arrive and the culmination of a year's worth of planning was only about 30 minutes away!
It didn't help Peter's nerves when the party discovered that the rear vestibule where they would to wait for the beginning of the ceremony was locked. But he had resolved not to sweat the details so he and Brandon calmly stood off to the side of the church as the guests began to arrive. Seeing all of those friends and relatives in person was a bit of a wakeup call after so many months of just dealing with them as names on a list and Peter had to work that much harder to fight back the feelings of sickness. Finally, after telling the ushers twice to get the people in the church rather than let them mingle outside indefinitely, it was time to start.
Page last updated October 06, 2013