We have finally done the deed, tied the knot, exchanged rings, and vowed to honour, respect and love each other for as long as we both shall live. After almost 7 years of engagement, DD and I are now officially wed!
We always planned to elope to Canada, and now we've finally realised that long-held dream, with a tiny wedding ceremony in a park on the edge of gritty post-industrial Granville Island - my favourite place in all of Vancouver, and now a location loaded with a whole new set of lifelong memories.
It was just me and DD and Little D (so handsome in his black & white outfit, complete with tiny suspenders and baby Converse sneakers!), a handful of Vancouver-based family and friends, and my dear friend Ashley Oostdyck who travelled with us to Canada to photograph our special day - and did she ever do a beautiful job of it! I am constantly in awe of this lady's spectacular talent for photography, and I couldn't imagine anyone else so perfect to capture our day in pictures. Allow me to share a few of them with you now. Ash's photos tell the story much more eloquently than my words alone can do...
We began the day doing something our little family often delights in: breakfast out at a cool cafe. A bit of a hipster hangout, The Red Wagon was DD's choice, the perfect spot for our morning lattes and a hearty breakfast.
Back at our downtown Vancouver apartment it was time to get ourselves ready for the special event. Amid the hustle and bustle of dressing and grooming, there were still motherly duties to attend to...
And then it was time to go...
The short ferry ride across the water to Granville Island had Little D captivated - he loves boats!
A small detour into the Granville Island Market was required for the purpose of selecting some flowers for the bouquet... and so I perused the blossoms available and picked out 3 fat yellow roses to brighten an otherwise silver-grey day, classic Vancouver weather.
At Bridges, a restaurant by the water, we met everyone for drinks and lunch prior to the afternoon ceremony. Keeping the little man's white shirt clean was a feat in itself (!) and some time out on the jetty boat-spotting was required to keep his attention span in check.
From the markets I'd also bought tiny bouquets of lily-of-the-valley for all the ladies - their sweet smell forever reminds me of my maternal grandmother who passed away many years ago.
Thanks son, if you don't mind fixing up the bill for us... just don't forget to tip...
After finishing our boisterous lunch of tapas and drinks, it was time to wander to the other end of Granville Island where the most verdantly green grass awaited us. Ron Basford Park is a tiny pocket of a park - an elevated mound of the most intense green - that looks back toward the Vancouver skyline, with the mountains as a backdrop. A most splendid location for a teeny tiny wedding like ours.
The now gently falling rain led us to hold the ceremony halfway up the park's hillside, beneath the somewhat protective canopy of maple trees.
My wedding band slid on just nicely, but the same couldn't be said about DD's band. It took a little coercion (and some spit!) but I got it on there in the end!...
A few final photos of a very tired Little D before he crashed out for a nap in his pram.
The ceremony complete, we found ourselves back at the Granville Island Market in search of cake... New York-style baked cheesecake had been an unfulfilled item on my North American roadtrip 'treasure hunt' list, so today was as good a day as any to tick it off. Soooo delicious!
Forever surprising me, DD unexpectedly grabbed my hands and we used a plastic spoon to "cut the cake". Bless him and his quick wit.
Time then to explore some of Granville Island's quirkier corners and spaces in search of locations for a few romantic wedding photos, picking up on the urban textures and details we love so much.
And what's a wedding without a bit of bubbly?...
The day was reaching its conclusion and it was time to farewell the island and head home.
Traditionally, they say it's a lucky sign when rain falls on your wedding day. My uncle even joked that in Vancouver they refer to it as 'liquid sunshine'.
But to any bride-to-be out there who wonders if rain will ruin their perfect day, I can say this much - when you're standing before your friends and family, face to face and holding hands with your life partner, repeating your vows and exchanging rings, the rain is truly the last thing on your mind. I could barely wipe the silly smile off my face as I savoured the moment of something I had been imagining and dreaming about for so long, and in my mind I was thinking, "ahhh, so THIS is what it's like to be wed...!"
P.S. Hugest thanks to our dear friend Ash - more of her stunning photography work can be seen over at her website https://www.ashleyoostdyck.com