Thursday, July 10, 2014


I'm finally getting around to posting about my trip to Ontario for my friend's wedding while I was in the US.  Admittedly the only other time I have ever been to Canada was during two prior trips to Niagara Falls when I was much, much younger.  So I wasn't really sure what to expect.  Plus I was driving up from Cincinnati with no real knowledge of Canadian roads or rules, so I was a little nervous.  And I was even more nervous about the boarder crossing.  But it didn't matter because I was looking very forward to my friend, Marybeth's, wedding and to having the opportunity to catch up with some other friends as well.  We are all friends from back in our assistant days in Paris, and the last time we had all seen each other was at my friend, Laura's, wedding two years ago.  So I knew that, no matter how nervous I was about the trip up, the wedding and the entire weekend were going to be a blast.  And I was right!

I'm going to split my Canada trip into two posts so first, the wedding and the weekend with friends and then I'll do a second post about my impressions of Canada.  Since I was driving up on the Friday night from Cincinnati after a full day of work, I didn't end up arriving at the wedding location (where we were staying the night before the wedding as well) until about midnight.  The second I stepped out of the car I was almost knocked over by my assistant friends, Marybeth, Laura and Delaware (actually named Rob but we always call him Delaware).  And the fun began.  I FINALLY got to meet the groom and we all stayed up late with some of their close friends and the bridal party catching up, getting to know one another, goofing off, drinking and just having a good old Canadian time.

The following day was the wedding day and we helped with some of the setup and preparations and then just took it easy (i.e. drank with some of the others who were not in the wedding and therefore not needed for photos) until it was time for the ceremony.  They held the wedding at an outdoor recreation area in Paris, Ontario and the location was beautiful.  The spot where they had the ceremony was surrounded by trees and the sun was shining while they said their vows.  Overall a very nice ceremony, not too long but not overly short, and Marybeth's mother officiated.

 the ceremony

After the ceremony we had some free time before the cocktail hour and reception and they had a bunch of activities set up all over the grounds to keep their guests entertained.  Of course, we didn't really check any of those out, we just met up with a bunch of the people we had met the night before and continued with the drinking festivities! I swear, this group of friends really brings out the alcoholic in me.  Sometimes I think it might be a good thing we don't see each other very often.  At one point (I think it may have been the bride who originally brought it up, but then she took off) the idea of drinking games was introduced, and somehow we ended up playing flip cup and the mother of the bride even joined in.  Finally, after a few too many rounds of boys vs. girls flip cup (and the girls kicked butt!) it was time for the rest of the festivities to begin and we headed over to congratulate the happy couple, grab a drink and sign the guest list in the cabin where the bar was located before finding seats and snacks in the reception tent.  They had a slideshow set up with photos of their lives, including far too many embarrassing photos of us all and our adventures as assistants in Paris, which made for quite the laugh.  A delicious dinner of barbeque ribs was served (I would have been terrified to eat that in my wedding dress so props to Marybeth) and afterwards the dancing started.  And we danced a lot.  In fact, I danced the most I probably ever have in my life.  I was a veritable dancing queen!  Finally the formal reception started to die down, the dancing ended and most of the guests left.  Those of us who had booked a cabin at the wedding location, however, were treated to another surprise - midnight snacks and a late night campfire complete with smores!  We all stayed up chatting, drinking and being merry until the wee hours of the morning.  I think when Laura, Delaware and I finally tucked ourselves into bed in our little cabin the sun was starting to come up.  Overall it was very good times and one of the best weddings I've been to, country theme and all!

 Laura, Marybeth and I before the reception

 Delaware, Laura, Marybeth and I

 The first dance as a married couple!  I'm so glad I finally got to meet her husband...I've heard about him for years but he never made it out to visit Paris and he unfortunately had to miss Laura's wedding two years ago as well.

The following day we woke up in time for the buffet breakfast and mimosas, helped with some of the cleanup, then headed over to Marybeth's new mother-in-law's house for a relaxing day at her pool.  We hauled some of the left over food and booze with us and all just took it easy, enjoying the sun and warm weather while lounging around the pool all day with plenty of snacks and beer.  In the evening we grilled out hamburgers and watched some of the World Cup before heading back to Marybeth's house in Hamilton where we were staying for Sunday night.  Monday we had to head out and I dropped Laura and Delaware off at the Buffalo airport for their flight to Philadelphia on my way back down to Ohio.

All in all an incredible weekend and I'm so glad I was able to make it, even if Lionel couldn't (which ended up being sort of a blessing in disguise as Laura's husband and Delaware's fiancée couldn't come either so we were all without our other halves).  It was so great to catch up with my assistant friends and to see Marybeth get married.  Plus, who knows when we will all see each other next.  Probably for Delaware's wedding, whenever that might be (they have been engaged for 5 years and still haven't set a date), unless I can convince them to all come out to Bordeaux!

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