Well, ladies and gentlemen, my little brother got married this past Saturday and it was an absolutely beautiful day. The ceremony was touching, funny and adorable, just like my brother and his wife are and the reception was one Hell of a party. I never expected to cry as much as I did throughout the day though, I must have gone through at least a dozen tissues and unfortunately for me, one of the wedding photographers seemed to get a kick out of how much I was crying because she kept taking photos of my meltdowns. Eventually this got on my darling and I’s nerves and he started shielding me from her view when he noticed her pointing her camera in my direction. I mean seriously, one or two shots of the tearful sister of the groom is fine and touching, but a ton? I don’t get it.
My brother and his wife were married at the Notre-Dame-du-Sacré Chapel of Montreal’s much famed and photographed Notre-Dame-Basilica. They lucked out, it’s their parish and the chapel is a beautiful, intimate place away from the glitz and opulence of the main part of the Basilica.
It was just the right size for my brother’s wedding since he and his fiancée had about 100 guests in attendance. This is the main Basilica:
Drop dead gorgeous, but huge and not my brother and his fiancée’s style. The one advantage to using the main Basilica for your wedding is that they close its doors to tourists during the ceremony so you and your guests can enjoy the ceremony in private and don’t have to traipse through a herd of them to get out of the main doors for your photos after your wedding like we did. One of the church employees actually had to remove some tourists from our group after they had inserted themselves right in between the bride’s brother and his wife and my Darling and I as we were making our way out of the church. They looked displeased with having been found out, but their checkered shirts (I kid you not) and cameras were a dead giveaway. The horde of tourists outside the Basilica who took pictures of us along with the official photographers could unfortunately not be avoided however, but hey, at least we put a smile on everyone’s faces!
As for the ceremony itself, it was beautiful and touching. I teared up when I saw how nervous my brother was getting, I cried when I saw him cry as his fiancée walked down the aisle and then cried again when the priest welcomed us and mentioned that the candle burning on the altar was there in memory of my father. I got myself under control just in time to go up and do my reading, which was the first one. I only found out I was reading first at the rehearsal last Thursday and flipped out because I could not imagine how I would manage to compose myself in time to read, but desperate times called for desperate measures: I started counting the figures in the large bronze sculpture behind the altar as soon as the priest told us to sit down and that did the trick. I then proceeded to cry when my brother and his fiancée said their religious vows and then their own vows and then I cried when they were pronounced man and wife. One of my cousins who was seated behind me offered to take some of my crumpled tissues off my hands while she handed me another as I had run out. I refused and shoved the whole lot into my clutch in embarrassment at that point and got overly excited when we came across a garbage can on the way out of the chapel at the end of the wedding ceremony so I could throw them all away. I kept one only slightly used tissue because yup, I teared up on the steps of the church when the bells started ringing too.
We had an hour to kill between the ceremony and the cocktail and reception, so my Darling and I walked back to the hotel and went to relax in our room for a bit. The reception was amazing with delicious food and great music and the speeches were wonderful as well. I went up with my mom she gave hers since she wanted me to take over in case she lost it, so I stood next to her with a box of tissues just in case. She did amazing though and everyone got a kick out of us telling my brother he was so not sorry when he tried to apologize for being an incorrigible tease. Oh and the best part of the reception? I caught my sister in-law’s bouquet!!! I couldn’t believe it, hers was the third bridal bouquet I have ever caught! She was actually apparently going to come over and hand it to me, but my brother told her that would be cheating, so she tossed it, it flew over everyone’s heads and landed on the ground in the right hand corner of the dance floor. I made a dash for it and voilà! It was mine and I just about died laughing!
So there you have it, the happy couple are married and currently off on their Hawaiian honeymoon and we are all left with beautiful memories of their magical day.
Special kudos for the day go out to:
1- My brother and his wife, naturally, for all the beautiful personal touches to their day, right down to personalized M&Ms with one of their engagement photos printed on them which we were all presented with as favors and the donations they made to two charities on behalf of each of their guests, one in memory of my father and one in memory of my sister in law’s grandmother.
2- My local hair salon, Salon Au Premier, who, thanks to my stylist and makeup artist managed to make me look amazing in spite of some major bags under my eyes and my being paler than usual.
3- The Westin for their amazing service, food and beautiful, quiet, comfortable rooms. If you are in the market for a venue for your wedding reception or any other event, check and see if there is a Westin hotel near you and be prepared to be impressed!