The Girl (I'm going to call her Mary) decided early in our planning that we should not see each other on our wedding day, until we met in front of the minister. In retrospect, I think that was a bad choice, but it is what we did. Note that the pictures here are NOT from the professional photographer. I will put some of them into a photo album on the sidebar when we get them (probably in a week or so).
My best friend, Michelle, her partner, and two youngest sons arrived at the house at 10:00 in the morning to whisk my daughters and me away to Canada. I had appointments to have my nails done, my hair done and my makeup done. I was really happy with the makeup (very subtle) and the nails (very short). I have never been more disappointed in my hair in my life. I let the stylist talk me into putting it into an updo. Had Mary been there, she would have insisted that we not do that. I blame her. ;-)
We had rooms reserved for the wedding party at the Hilton in Windsor. It's a very nice hotel with a rooms that provide a panoramic view of the Detroit River (that separates the US and Canada here) and Detroit. It was cold (ice floes in the river), but not snowing and not raining. We had no trouble crossing the border this time.
After all of my appointments at the salon (where they fed me a horrible salad for lunch -- all in all, not my best salon experience), Michelle and I returned to the hotel to wait and then to get dressed. I dressed in my daughters' room as Mary used our room. We had arranged that she would leave at a particular time, then I would leave about 5-10 minutes later so that we could arrive at the Manor without seeing each other. About 15 minutes after she was to have left, her attendant came to our room to say that they were having some minor difficulties and that I was to leave first. To say that stressed me is a bit of an understatement.
We got to the manor and they put me into a private room to wait. Can you imagine how stressed I was sitting in there all by myself waiting? It was brutal. Finally (probably only a couple of minutes later) Michelle arrived to wait with me. She brought me my bouquet of flowers. I thought they were spectacular! She also told me that Mary had arrived and that things should be starting in a few minutes.
If you're interested in the complete program of the event it's here:
The music began and someone came to get us. As I was the last to enter, I had to wait in the hall (where I could see no one and no one could see me) while everyone else entered. Finally, the door opened, my daughters appeared from nowhere and escorted me down the aisle. My nervousness vanished the moment I stepped into the room and saw Mary standing at the end of the aisle. From that moment on, I remember her and very little else.
We exchanged vows and rings and lit the Unity candle, signed the license in front of witnesses (required by Canadian law to be performed as part of the ceremony), and kissed. The minister announced us and we walked back down the aisle, a legally married couple. My daughters told me later that they cried during the exchange of vows.
I don't have the vows that the minister spoke, to which we responded simply "I do" or "I will", or the vows we spoke as we exchanged rings, but I hope to get them. They were very good. She was an excellent choice as an officiant. The vows that we spoke to each other, however, I do have. I've been debating about whether or not I should post them here. They are, of course, extremely personal to us. And, the love that is contained within them cannot possibly be transmitted via the mere written word. Yet, it is my habit to put my life out there and this blog does serve a purpose of allowing my family and friends to share in my life events that they would not otherwise get to share in, so I've opted to post them: