The wedding day dawned bright…& rainy. Again, not heavy, drenching downpours; merely intermittent light drizzles, with tantalizing tastes of blue skies & sun, just enough to raise hopes. I joined my aunt & uncle for breakfast at 8:00, along with a couple of other wedding guest, & we were treated to a lovely meal of fresh fruit, homemade bread, blueberry/banana pancakes, & wonderful chocolate filled croissants.
Since I didn’t need to be at Edgewater until 1:30 (a last minute rehearsal with brother B- who made just in time for dinner the night before) I enjoyed a leisurely morning reading & napping before getting dressed for the celebration. I showed up promptly & we quickly went through the set one last time before heading to the dining room. As I arrived, the decision was made to move the wedding inside, so there a flurry of activity going on; I wisely found an out-of-the-way seat inside the lodge. While others ranted, ran around, & generally freaked out, this is what I did:
Every so often, someone looking frantic would wander over, have a seat to catch their breath, & get caught up watching this lace shawl form itself on my needles; each person would eventually walk away calm & quiet- I like to think this was my contribution to the day (beside singing, of course.)
We sang our songs, some people actually listened, & then the ceremony started (on time, no less!). Once the bride walked past, I elbowed my way through the crowd of standing guests to take my seat with the family, so I was able to witness everything up close. I’ve put several shots in the photo album “Canada Trip” (at my MSN space- see above right), but I wanted to share my two favorites here.
This is “Reverend” Mike, my brother’s friend from college & the wedding’s the officiator; I think he is quite fetching with his bouquets. Actually, he is providing an important service; in Canada, a marriage commissioner must attend each wedding & “signing the documents” is a part of the ceremony; Rev. Mike is assisting the bride & her witness while they sign the certificate. This is my favorite photo of the day:
I love the huge smile on my brother’s face, while his serenely smiling bride looks on; it was a funny, touching day & well worth the hassles to get there.
The reception was wonderful, with great food (salmon or pesto-stuffed chicken), humorous toasts, shared memories, & lots of music & dancing. The weather even cooperated long enough for the pictures to be taken outside by the lake, while the guests snacked on hors d'oeuvres & searched for a peek of the glacier on the mountain. The festivities broke up around 11:00, with the “younger” crowd heading down to Whistler Village to party into the wee hours, while the wiser ones toddled off to sleep.
Sunday morning, after another delicious meal (Eggs Benedict & almond paste filled croissants) I checked out of Cedar Springs & drove over to collect my sister for the ride back to Vancouver. The lodge had been filled by the wedding party, so the dining room looked like a family breakfast (except for the assorted hang-over’s); while H packed up & I enjoyed another cup of tea, D told us that he had arranged for anyone who wanted a little adventure to take the Gondola ride up Whistler Mountain. H & I decided to take up the challenge & headed into the village; the was a huge mountain-biking event going on that weekend & there were hundreds of riders- from 8 to 80 years old- barreling down the mountain side, covered in mud.
It was a 20 minute trip up the mountain, traveling through the low-lying clouds & intermittent sprinkles; arriving at the top (but not the summit- that was closed due to weather concerns) we were greeted with some remaining snow & a pretty brisk, cold wind. We walked about a half mile up the trail, which was about all I could manage, given the altitude & my wonky knees/hip, & surveyed some of the interpretive displays & construction plans for Whistler, which will be hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. On the way back down, we saw several wedding guests & family members heading up the mountain- turns out we were the first ones out the gate that day.
The drive only took an hour & a half this time, so H & I had some time to do a little exploring before we had to be at the wedding banquet being held by W’s extended family. We found Queen Elizabeth Park & spent a pleasant couple of hours wandering around the gardens & paths in the drizzle, even stopping to witness the tail-end of another wedding.
Then, it was off to the last official event of the weekend, the traditional Chinese banquet, hosted by the bride’s father. It was literally 12 courses, each table being served by a single waiter who dished out small portions to every person; there was soup, fruit, salad, crab claw puffs, noodles, rice, duck, pork, fish, even jellyfish with vegetables (I tried a little piece, which had the texture between a gummy worm & a pickle). The funny part is that every dish that was brought out, the waiter made a big ceremony of arranging it just so my step-dad could take a picture. I lost track of every dish, particularly when the toasts started- wine, brandy, & Grand Marnier flowed freely as the couple, the families, & the ancestors were all toasted… in Chinese. Yep, after “Hello, thank you for coming” the rest of the evening with conducted in Chinese- W’s father’s primary language- so W served as interpreter for the whole group. Mother gave her only speech the whole weekend, translated for the others by one of the younger boys, when she presented D & W with a little gift- a blue & brown baby outfit, which followed the wedding theme of “Mountains & Water”. No, they were not making any announcements, but speculation began before they even said “I do” as to how long before there is another family member, myself included.
Thus ended my time with my family- three days of parties & eating, with no arguments, hurt feelings, or disasters. Must be a record.
Next time: All by myself