Our Wedding Day was on 1st March 2009, which happens to be St David's Day too. I hope that this may help to explain why you will spot daffodils, rather than roses, in both my bouquet and the Fella's buttonhole in our wedding pictures!
My bouquet adorned with my something borrowed from the lovely bitchnstitches
It was fairly quiet day, really. As we were not getting married until 3pm, we went for a bracing stroll along the beach after breakfast, spoke to both my parents and then headed into Tofino for lunch and a hair appointment. (I am incapable of blow drying my own hair well.)
One blast with a hair dryer and two bowls of seafood chowder later, we were back at the hotel with just enough time for the Fella to change and then set up everything downstairs with our photographer. He was scheduled to do this while I did my make up and worked out how to clamber into the White Polyester Dress of Doom.
When I say, 'set up everything downstairs,' we recorded our ceremony using the video feature on my camera. So the Fella set my camera up alongside two laptops for my parents to watch us get married over the internet via Skype.
Now, remember those cast iron underpants? I did put them on. However, I had to bloomin' take them off again! It is one thing to try them on in a department store changing room. It is quite another thing to put them on in a very warm hotel room, when you are as nervous as hell, then ask the Fella (he was blindfolded) to do up your dress, have him struggle ridiculously (well, he couldn't see what he was doing) and not manage it.
At about that point, in a panic as the clock was ticking ever onwards, I could actually feel the sweat running down the back of my legs. Running, I tell you - not dripping but running...
In a panic, I pushed the Fella out of the bathroom (where this had all been going on) and I gave in. I asked him to go down to Reception and ask the nice hotel Events Cordinator lady, Martina, to come up and help lace me into my dress.
I had been trying to avoid this as I really did not want to stand there, in my knickers, without a bra (my dress did not seem to allow for one) while some strange woman tried to lace me and my bosoms into my lovely plastic mess without giving me excessive overhang (back or front).
Now, as I was all hot and sweaty, it took me every single minute that I had between the Fella leaving and Martina arriving, to struggle my way out of those flipping death trap pants. It was like a scene out of a comedy film - they had stuck like glue to me.
I twisted - I contorted - I prised at them with my fingernails (thanking the powers that be that I had gone for a clear nail varnish) - I tugged and I rolled them off, bit by bit. I just made it out of them, into my no VPL thong and got my dress half dragged up my body again before an urgent tapping on the door let me know that the lace-up cavalry had arrived.
Martina, the poor woman, had no idea what she was in for - I was one very flustered and decidedly sticky bride who had to be downstairs, pronto, where my groom was waiting for me with my parents looking on!
Well, it took her three attempts to do up my dress. Poor lamb - I wish that I could have rolled in talcum powder to make her job easier. Alas no, Sweaty Betty here had jumped back into her lake of plastic and the damned thing kept sticking itself firmly to her body.
So every time she did my dress up? Well, I was cooling down so, as soon as I moved, the dress would unstick itself momentarily and sag downwards my knees while gaping at the front. So she had to try again, making the dress tighter each time.
By the time that I had dragged on my mother's arm-saving shrug and Mel's fabulous garter? I was 10 minutes late. Luckily, the situation was so ridiculous that I had regained my sense of humour. So Martina thrust my flowers at me, we laughed and bolted for the Great Room.
Mind you, by the time I had scooted energetically down the stairs (just as fast as my high heels would allow me) the only things not sticking to me like something made by Loctite were my mother's shrug and Mel's garter (both made of silk).
In actual fact, Mel's garter had given up any pretence of staying put on my thigh - it was hula-ing attractively around my ankle, a delicate, pretty blue and white trip hazard (photo later)! Very luckily, I had requested no music. Else, the groom would have caught me in the doorway to the Great Room, dress hitched somewhere around my midriff and battling my garter back into place to the tune of 'Here Comes the Bride'!
From there....? Well, if you click here for the wedding slideshow on Flickr, it should give you a fairly good idea about how the ceremony and the rest of the day played out!
Yes, yes: there are some pictures of me in my dress in this set. Looking at these photos, I am fairly sure that our photographer bumped up the image exposure settings afterwards to make the pictures a bit more flattering!
Mind you, even though he did that, please note that there were another 150 pictures or so that hit the editing floor (with the Fella's agreement) due to their less than flattering, oil-tanker-as-bride, nature!
My favourites are the one that I have already posted, shortly followed by the following two images:
The demure and sensible couple...
...sporting essential West Coast Bridal Footwear!
The photographs during and just after our ceremony were taken by Jeremy Koreski, who was both our wedding photographer and one of our witnesses. A really smashing bloke:
Jeremy a.k.a Brideshooter signs the register.
Our other witness was Martina, the Hotel Events Coordinator:
Martina signs the register, relieved that she'll never have to lace me into a dress again!
The loveliest thing of all is that Skype worked. So although it was 11 pm in the UK, my parents were able to watch us get married in real time. My mother and stepfather stayed up with champagne plus my father's family all got together at my sister's house with champagne and popcorn! After the ceremony, one of my brothers bumped my mother off Skype so that he and his girlfriend could toast us with champagne too!
Voila! My families toast us with champagne over the internet!
Saying goodbye to my families before we have more pictures taken.
The Marriage Commissioner was a lovely, patient lady but I am not completely certain that she was sure about our use of technology - I suspect that she is used to couples eloping to Tofino in order to escape their families. She asked us why we had chosen Tofino and we mentioned that we had come away to be married on our own as it was not possible for all my family and friends to make it out to Canada. She gestured to our laptops and quipped that we need hardly have bothered, as we'd brought everyone with us on our computers!
Yes, we both cried during our vows although this does not show well in our photos. Yes, we did get covered in sand plus soaked to the skin with rain and seawater out on the beach afterwards.
In fact, my carefully blow dried hair ended up in rat tails around my head and I had to pour seawater out of my welly boots!
However, that was the perfect excuse for us retire to our room - where we found a huge bouquet of white roses from my family, a bottle of fizz and some chocolate dipped strawberries from the hotel.
So we hung up our glad rags*, jumped into our twin bath with a glass of champagne to warm up and afterwards, we retired to bed...
...where we both just simply fell fast asleep! Well, what did you expect? We are married now!
We were both out cold until 5 minutes after we were due back downstairs for our wedding dinner. So the few stray photos of us at the end of our wedding day (where we are cutting our cake) were when we were both half asleep and had dragged ourselves downstairs to go through the motions of having something to eat!
The very last photos in our Flickr wedding set were taken in Tofino before we returned home - we took one of the rainforest trails, another walk along the beach and took some more pictures of our flowers before we headed home.
Just in case you are wondering where we stayed, it was the Long Beach Lodge Resort hotel. They were so kind to us throughout our stay - the hotel, our room and the restaurant were all fabulous.
So all in all, Tofino was the perfect, and a very memorable, place to get married!
His and hers: my ring is exactly half the size and dimension of the Fella's ring, oddly enough.
End of Wedding Act One: The Civil Ceremony
* * *
I thought that everyone was fibbing but it was absolutely true. The sand and the water at Tofino is so clean that you could probably roll around on the beach in your wedding dress, then swim in the ocean, hang your salt water and sand ridden dress up to dry, then shake it out and there will not be a single mark or a stain on it...
...mine certainly didn't. Not one single mark.
Unless, at last, I have discovered the one true benefit of a plastic dress?!