On May 11, 2013, I married the love of my life.

So we had a slightly shaky start. The morning went pretty smoothly at first, Dan left early Saturday morning so that our house could turn into Primp Central. The amazing Kathryn showed up bright and early to keep me on track.

My lovely makeup artist was on track to arrive between 10:30-11. I knew she’d left her phone at work the night before, but a facebook message in the morning let me know that she was incoming.

So 10:30 rolled around… Kathryn & I finished up the last few things. Packed my suitcase, drank some tea. Relaxed! Watered my plants, cleaned up the kitchen a bit. 11 rolled around… no sign of her. Hmm. So I was starting to get a little nervous — she had said she wanted two full hours to get things done, so since we wanted to leave the house at about 2:15, that gave us lots of time. But in an attempt to stay zen and trust that things would work out, I tried to relax. Shannon stopped by, picked up Dan’s suit to bring to him.

Time passed. I promised I wouldn’t start panicking until noon — 2 hours, then we could stuff me into the dress… we’d still be on time, right?

So noon happened, and still no sign of her. Ok, at this point I think stress was fully acceptable. Kathryn & I came up with contingency plans — she does amazing hairstyles, she could do my hair. I could do my makeup. It wouldn’t be half as spectacular, but we could make it work, right? Just as we went upstairs to get things ready with my dress, thank heavens: she arrived!

Hopped into the chair, and we were off and running. Emer arrived with my gorgeous flowers, my parents arrived around 1:30, so that was great. But running nearly 2 hours behind schedule did not help the rest of the day. Once we had my hair up, makeup on, it was already about 2:50. I’d planned on leaving the house at 2:15. Oops. We hauled me into the dress, I skipped the stockings in an effort to just make it go faster. Shoes on, lipstick freshened, out the door and into the truck. Traffic in my neighbourhood is pretty heavy on weekends, but we arrived at the beautiful Dr Sun Yat Sen gardens by about 3:30. Carol Ann, Kathryn & I ducked into the bridal room, while my parents went out to the ceremony site. My biggest concerns were that the officiant had only booked half an hour for us, and the ceremony site was supposed to only be 3:00-3:30 (with the rest of the time just in the garden itself.) It turns out that people are very accepting of brides having minor catastrophes, and from the moment I arrived at Sun Yat Sen, everything went incredibly smoothly.

Also, I looked great, so pfft. Half an hour late? Worth it.

The ceremony itself is a bit of a blur. I remember staring at Dan from the moment I turned the corner to the ceremony site. I remember my palms being so sweaty I thought I’d drop my flowers. I remember being incredibly nervous but as long as I stared at Dan, everything was just fine.

I remember Dan jumping the gun on the “I Do” part, causing the officiant to tease him a little, and then do an impressive auctioneer-style fast reading of the rest of the vows so that Dan could say it for real. I was just happy that he was going first so that I could get the gist of what I’d be saying when it was my turn to repeat them.

I had a hell of a time getting Dan’s ring on. Sweaty hands were had on both of our parts, it seems.

I didn’t notice, but across the pond on the free side of the garden there was a crowd of people snapping pictures. Ooh, I’m part of people’s tourist pictures. Yay!


Afterward, my amazing, wonderful, completely perfect maid of honor, Kathryn, herded us all into the spot we had previously scouted for group photos (the scholars study, for those familiar with the garden). The light was great, and she quickly had us herded into position. After the group pictures, everyone was free to roam and Dan & I were sent around the garden where we were photographed from every angle. (For those of you who have me on facebook, the first few pictures from our fabulous photographer have started to roll in.)

Then it was off to dinner, which was fabulous. I really do have an amazing family and a fantastic group of friends. I finally met Dan’s mother & step-father, with a wee bit of trepidation, but they are both absolutely lovely. Thank goodness, I have great in-laws!

After dinner, Dan & I made our way over to the Hotel Vancouver. By transit, of course. What? I’m a nerrrd.


On that note, I wanted to make a few thank yous:

Kathryn was a total rockstar from start to finish. I cannot describe how completely amazing she was. She kept me generally stress free, shepherded the group amazingly well, and basically ran the show leaving me to do nothing but preen and look pretty. So fantastic. Cannot sing her praises enough. Best maid of honor ever. Plus an honorable mention to Chris for being her on-site contact when we were late, making sure that everyone was informed that I WAS coming, and not having cold feet.

Shannon & Mike kept Dan on track — at least HE was on time. I asked Shannon to make sure that Dan didn’t get drunk. Well, that didn’t happen (his barber has a thing for scotch) but at least she kept him vertical and made sure he was legally able to consent during the ceremony.

Benjamin Luk, our photographer. He was great to work with, and from what I see of the pictures he’s shown us so far… I am so stoked. He went way above and beyond, and while I’m always a bit wary of going with friends for something so important, I was never worried — he’s an incredible photographer. His assistant Tyler was also great, and I’m really looking forward to the picture he took of my tattoo in the bridal room…!

Emer, one of my wonderful coworkers (who happens to be a former florist) came up with bouquets for Carol Ann & I — they were absolutely wonderful, unique, and fun.

Cheryl, the artisan who made my lovely, custom crystal necklace. So pretty!

Constance at Dr Sun Yat Sen Gardens, our beautiful ceremony location. Constance was enthusiastic and a great help with the site. Very appreciated!

EXP Bar was a great after-ceremony dinner site. Not exactly the most traditional reception location, they took great care of us, fed us, and (thanks, Brian) got me a little drunk within minutes of arriving. Also, we had a fabulous server (who requested us specifically, after serving us a few nights prior) who, as a bonus, looks like Alyson Hannigan, and who doesn’t love that?

Love Your Cake made an absolutely amazing Legend of Zelda inspired cake. Not only did it look good, but it tasted amazing (even the fondant was pretty good, and who likes eating fondant?)

Erin, without whom god knows how stressed my poor dog would have been. Instead, Justice got to go to sleep-away camp with her aunties and their pack of dogs.

It takes a village to throw a wedding, even a small one. It wouldn’t have been the amazing event it was without a single one of the above people, and I cannot express my appreciation enough.


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