The wedding was everything we had hoped it would be. :)
We rented the entire Paintbox Lodge in Canmore for the weekend. This provided us with plenty of space, accommodations for most of our immediate family, and a kitchen so that we could be our own caterers. It was like having an open house in a big house that wasn't ours, and came with maid service!
On Friday we did our grocery shopping and got things ready, visiting with family and friends as they came in. My mom brought enough baking to feed three times the people we had there and every bite was delicious. Friends of mine did a big Costco run for us, and brought snack food and lunch meat and buns and condiments, and M&M meats provided all our hot food. The ability to have food available for anyone who stopped in (and for us, too, of course!) during the whole weekend was one of the big reasons we chose this location, and it worked out beautifully.
Saturday's weather was beautiful and sunny, and during the day people checked out Canmore's main street: the kids quickly found the dollar store and the ice cream shop! The cooks busied themselves in the kitchen, putting hot stuff into the oven and transferring it into borrowed crock pots to stay warm until the reception, and ensuring everyone had cold drinks and snack trays were kept full.
The ceremony itself was simple and brief - everyone gathered in the main room, and our new family stood on the stairs. In the Quaker fashion, we gathered in silence until the moment felt right to say our vows.
Our promises were made in simple words that say all that needs to be said:
In the presence of the Light and these our family and friends, I promise to be to you a loving and faithful partner for as long as we both shall live.
We signed the marriage certificate, and my mom made a very moving speech wishing us well in our new life together as a family. After that, all our guests signed the certificate as well (an old Quaker custom) and then it was time for food and visiting!
The Boy blew bubbles from the upstairs balcony:
Princess Girl visited with everyone:
and Dinosaur Boy made short work of Gram's cookies:
And, of course, it wouldn't be right to forget Soft Bear! He helped in the kitchen, and managed to sneak a cookie or two for himself.
For those who don't know, Soft Bear has travelled far and wide with various family members: he's had his photo taken at a fire hall in Texas, at my cousin's wedding (where he was hidden in the foliage on the church platform during the ceremony no less!), and then later in the crib with that same cousin's new baby! Watch for him in future posts. :)