From This Day Forward …

If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that this past weekend was a special one in my life.

Our oldest son was married.

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It will likely be many weeks before I have photos of the day.  In the meantime, I have only a small handful of pictures I managed to take.  I thought it would be terribly inappropriate of me to be a paparazzi at my son’s wedding so I resisted the temptation to be snap-happy.

I do however have some memories to share about the day.

(1) I didn’t cry.  

I’m rather proud of that.

Yes, my eyes did get a little welly a few times, but my heart was so full of joy, there simply wasn’t room for tears.  I looked at the tissues the wedding planner had left discreetly by my seat and I smiled.  They wouldn’t be needed after all.

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(2) Savouring the moment isn’t as easy as it sounds.

I had the honour of walking my son down the aisle.

I wanted to freeze-frame every step of that walk as we held hands like we did when he was young.  I wanted to remember every face in the crowd, every smile, every heart beat.

… but it was like trying to hold water.

Each moment was so slippery, sliding away from me even as it was happening.

I remember nothing except the feel of Jordan’s hand in mine – a man’s hand rather than the child I still remember.

(3) It’s an odd experience when your worlds collide.

Gilles and I are both transplants.  Our respective families live far away – in opposite directions – and particularly for me, I rarely get to see my siblings together.

Only once have our two families ever gathered together … and that was for our own wedding 35 years ago.  Not surprisingly, it felt bizarre to have our Quebec family in the same room as our Ontario family.

However, it was even more surreal to have our closest friends, from different layers of our life, in the same room with each other and with our families.  Up until that moment, these worlds had never intersected.

It felt a little bit like having my heart exposed.

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(4) Mingling is really hard work.

In spite of our best efforts, it was impossible to spend any quality time with anyone.  The most important people in our lives had gathered for this special day and yet we didn’t have the opportunity to do more than exchange pleasantries.

I felt a bit like a bumblebee bouncing from flower to flower.

(5) Sometimes things just work out perfectly.

Every detail was as it should have been – even the weather.  That in itself was a minor miracle for an outdoor event in early June in Canada.

Gilles and I had seen the venue only once – on a frigid evening in January.  What awaited us on this June day was a magical oasis in the centre of the city hidden from the street by a high fence.  It too was perfect.

Wedding

My heart is still full and this happy glow is likely going to persist for a long while.

 

 

 

 

165 comments

  1. So glad that it was a lovely day for all of you and that the weather cooperated! The venue and the cake both look amazing – can’t wait to see some more photos when available.

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    • Thanks Margie. We really lucked into beautiful weather on the weekend – dry, not hot, not cold.
      I’m glad the next few weeks are really busy. It’ll take my mind off the anticipation for the photos 🙂

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  2. Oh Joanne, thinking about how deeply you feel, it’s a miracle in itself you did not cry! You are privileged – not many mothers have the opportunity to walk their son to the front:) A day like this you do not want it to end, but it s like trying to hold water! I can just see you restraining yourself to take “a few” photos:):) but I can see the glow in your words:)

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    • So many long-held traditions are going by the wayside, and walking down the aisle appears to be one of them. Just the same, I was thrilled when Jordan said they wanted their mothers to walk with them. I too never dreamed that I would have that honour, and I was thrilled!

      Not taking photos was HARD!! Especially sitting right up at the front with a perfect unobstructed view!

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  3. Hi Joanne I’m new to your blog and so pleased to have connected with you. It is such a wonderful time to see our children meet that special someone and start a new life together. Congratulations on a beautiful day and it was lovely to read your thoughts.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

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    • Thank you, Sue, and welcome to my space.
      The marriage of our children is one of those major milestones in life – not only for them, but for us as well. I used to think that weddings were all about the couple, but now I’ve come to realize it actually all about the parents too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cheryl 🙂
      Gilles and I are still in a happy place, but apparently Jordan and Dempsey are experiencing the post-celebration blues. After a year of planning, and endless details to take care of, it’s now all over and the ‘letdown’ has hit.

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  4. A hearty congrats to everyone! I’m so glad to hear everything went smoothly and even the weather cooperated.
    That cake looked great.
    I can understand that with so many different friends and family coming from so many places, trying to show everyone the attention they deserve you sure must have felt like a bumble-bee.

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    • It really is such an odd experience to have all these different parts of your life together in one room – all ‘competing’ for attention. I’ve never quite experienced this before. I have a new respect for hostesses who throw big parties on a regular basis.

      I for one am relieved that everything went well, everyone had a good time, and the weather – for once – was simply perfect 🙂

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  5. Hi Joanne! I’m just a new friend but I can easily imagine how proud and happy your son’s wedding was. Like everyone else, I am eager to see the photos. And yes, it sounds like the weather and everyone cooperated although I do know from past experience that you are so busy you don’t really have time to “savor” each moment. Hopefully the photos will be excellent reminders of that beautiful day. ~Kathy

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    • Thanks Kathy 🙂
      It’s true that photos are great triggers to bring back a moment or a feeling.
      Once upon a time I would have said that a wedding is all about the couple getting married. Now I know that it’s all about the parents 😉

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  6. Congratulations, Joanne. I am so happy everything went well. A bumble bee would describe you – living life to the fullest! 🙂 The venue does look gorgeous – love the shot with the canoe.

    Best wishes to the happy couple!

    Rashmi

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  7. I always shed tears at weddings. I can’t help it, I am such a sentimental softie.
    Congratulations, on the new family addition. Now you have three sons.

    I am glad you all had a good time and I wish I could have tried a piece of the cake.
    Congratulations to the couple!

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    • Indeed, my family is growing ❤️

      I realized at the end of the night that I hadn’t had any cake and everything had been cleared away. I still don’t know what kind of cake it was or what it was like.

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  8. How wonderful. Sounds like it was a beautiful and special day. My son is getting married this August and I hope the weather is equally nice. Congratulations! And kudos for not crying 🙂

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  9. Oh it happened!!! Mazeltov mazeltov !!! I remember reading the post about the venue. Am overjoyed for you that everything went so beautifully smoothly and that it was so lovely but mostly that your heart got to be full of love and joy!! How fantastic !

    It is very true that at weddings when everyone actually gets together with all the friends and families often coming long distances it can be overwhelming and it all goes by so quickly.
    Congratulations! Beautifully written too.

    Peta (&Ben)

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    • Thanks so much for joining the party 💕
      As I was reading your comment I realized that I’m getting to share this happy moment in my life with my blogging family too. While it may have been so very difficult to savour the moment at the time, I’m certainly getting the opportunity to savour it now with you, my friends 💕

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  10. So pleased that everything went according to Hoyle and that you had a good time in the process. Congrats and good wishes to the happy couple. I think the cake is beautiful. Did it taste as good as it looked?

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  11. Oh Joanne, what a beautiful day for Jordan & Dempsey. To be able to witness our children pledge their love to another is pure joy. I love that Jordan asked you to accompany him down the aisle & the description of his hand in yours, well, that brought this mama to tears. I can feel your love for son jump off of the page! Wishing them a lifetime filled with joy & continued love for all the days to come!

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    • I know how family oriented you are, Lynn, and I’m not surprised you could relate to my emotions 💕

      I liked the idea of holding hands rather than linking arms. It felt both more casual and more personal.
      It’s a perfect memory … which is a good thing because the rest of the walk is a blur ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ll add my congratulations, Joanne. Our older daughter is getting married in October, so I anticipate many of the same feelings. Lovely cake, BTW, and I’m not really big on wedding cakes.

    janet

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    • This is your first child’s wedding too!! I’m so excited for you. If you’re like me, you’re going to secretly fuss and worry about the details … and hopefully like me, all the worry will pay off in a perfect day ❤️

      I too am not a big fan of traditional wedding cakes. I liked this one because it was so unusual – and I loved the cake topper with the 2-seater bike. The cake was a great reflection of their love of the outdoors and an active lifestyle … much like all the small details of the entire day.

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      • I’m not really worried about the details at all. When I was there over Labor Day (US), our younger daughter and I helped choose the wedding dress. We also went along to Baja California/Mexico where everything is going to be held and helped get a lot done there. Our daughter has things quite well in hand. She’s a planner like I am. 🙂

        Our wedding cake was carrot cake and it was delicious!!

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  13. Lovely post, Joanne! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed a wonderful wedding day – I do hope there’s a photograph of you walking Jordan down the aisle, hand in hand – it sounds such an intimate moment, a precious memory to treasure, and certainly creates a beautiful image in the mind. Sending much love to you all ❤

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  14. Just skimming the comments here, I think you have made a lot of people weepy, including me! I remember the feeling of making those solemn promises myself, and so I always feel emotional when others do it. Wishing your son and his husband many more years of love and happiness together. He looks terrific in his wedding outfit.

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  15. Joanne you have expressed it all so eloquently and genuinely I feel tears welling up just reading it. A bumblebee describes it perfectly. It sounds to me like you have retained the most important feeling of all the details, the feeling of your son’s hand. The venue looks incredible and bravo for the weather to cooperate! Congratulations. Xo

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  16. wow- your words were wordsmithy and as a mom – I felt the hand in hand from boy to man..
    and esp. loved this analogy:

    … but it was like trying to hold water.

    and congrats (again) to all

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    • Thank you! I consider that high praise ❤️

      I think moms tend to have a very sentimental slant to milestone events. We can’t help but remember the small child, holding the newborn for the first time, the hundreds of small moments in their life that made us smile, laugh out loud, or fill our heart with boundless love.
      Since this was the first time I was witnessing one of my children getting married, all those memories intermixed seamlessly with the moment. It was a little bit like walking through a dream.

      I thought I would cry. Instead I was in awe.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Congratulations, Joanne. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the photos. It’s funny that I cry at other people’s weddings but I don’t remember crying at any of my children’s big day. I’m sure that my eyes welled up but I held it together. The cake is very interesting looking.

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    • I’m the same – weepy at any wedding, so I just assumed I would be for my own son. Instead my heart was full of joy and I just couldn’t stop smiling 🙂

      The cake was amazing. It was decorated to look like pieces of birch bark wood. Combined with the bicycle for two on the top, it was a nod to their love of the outdoors and an active lifestyle.

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  18. So happy for you and for your son, Joanne. Your very touching account reminded me of my daughter’s wedding and how emotional I was. Unlike you, I cried quite a bit. I always cry
    at weddings of people I know and love. ☺️ Many congratulations to you and your husband, and best wishes to the couple!

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  19. Congratulations! I’m so happy that everything went smoothly including the weather. The day goes by really fast, but you will remember little moments from time to time. I also got to walk my daughter down the aisle and it was so very special. Weddings are a great way to bring people together, I’m sure they all had a wonderful time.

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  20. Oh wonderful! Your family has officially expanded. The pictures (so far, hint hint) look amazing!!! I do find these special occasions often go by in a blur as you try to touch every heart.

    No one expects quality time from the family at these types of functions – it is enough to feel the love and see the smiles and be grateful to have been asked to witness the experience!

    Congratulations to all!!!

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    • Dempsey has been a member of the family for a while, but now it is official!!

      His father made me laugh at the reception. He said Jordan wasn’t mine anymore, he was theirs! 😆

      The photographer did an amazing job of their engagement photos, so I’m looking forward to seeing the wedding photos! … and yes, I’m sure I will find a reason to write another post 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Oh, Congratulations to your son and his husband, Joanne, and to you and Gilles. Yay! I love your reflections on the day: flitting like a bee, your son’s hand in yours as you walked him down the aisle, and your description of your worlds colliding. It’s so wonderful when people can come together and celebrate love. The photos are great and I can’t wait to see more of them. Give the new couple my very best wishes for a long life together filled with love, understanding, patience, and joy. ❤

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  22. Joanne–I didn’t know whether to smile or cry reading this post. How beautiful is this! I am so happy that everything went as planned. Your son looks so handsome….a man, not a child. Isn’t that one of the stranger thing for a mother to realize about her sons? Congratulations to the happy couple and the beaming mama.

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    • Oh Lois – I surprised myself that I didn’t cry. I always cry at weddings … but this one was different. I was just so happy.

      You are so right that it is a strange feeling for a parent to be able to hold the image of their son as both a man and a child at the same time … and that contradiction feels seamless. I remember holding Jordan as a newborn as clearly as if it was last week. Good grief! How did we get to be so old!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I love that your heart was so full of joy that you didn’t cry. I’m not sure that I should admit this on a (very) public forum, but… I did get teary-eyed reading this post. I’m hopeless, I know! With impassioned phrases like “we held hands like we did when he was young” and “I wanted to remember every smile, every heartbeat… but it was like trying to hold water”, how could I not? Awesome post. Congratulations again!

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  24. I thought of you so often this weekend, Joanne. I knew you wouldn’t write the standard post-wedding update – the “I was so proud” followed by listing the number of guests and the food served. This was post was so much more than that. I love what you chose to talk about, Joanne. It provides such a wonderful snapshot of your thoughts from that special day. Thank you for sharing that with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Thanks for taking the time to update at such a busy time. It all sounds so wonderful….especially that cake and canoe!! Lovely photos as usual. Congratulations to your family. How great that you could all join together for your son’s wedding.

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    • Thank you so much. I love weddings to begin with … but when it’s your own child’s, it’s off-the-chart wonderful.

      The cake was absolutely amazing! I don’t know who created it, but the birch bark look of the icing was done brilliantly!

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  26. Beautiful Joanne. So thrilled the day lived up to everyone’s dreams. Love the way you share your story. You may not have shed any tears but I shed a few reading your memories of the beautiful day. Can’t wait to see more pictures. That cake was amazing.

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    • Thanks so much, Brenda … and coincidentally you were celebrating a family wedding at the same time!!
      I love weddings. They are such happy occasions and I felt deeply honoured that our families came from so far to share it with us.

      … and yes, that cake was a work of art! I don’t know if you can tell from the photo, but it was decorated to look like birch bark. I did a double-take … it was so well done!

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  27. Oh, Joanne, I’m so happy for you and your family! Weddings are such happy occasions anyway but to have one in such a beautiful location and on such a gorgeous day is magical. I remember when I got married and felt afterwards that I hadn’t spent nearly enough time with all my guests (unless they happened to be on the dance floor with me), so I think that’s a pretty common lament. The pictures will bring back wonderful memories as well as let you see many of the moments you might have missed. Bring ’em on!

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    • Weddings really are the best. I’m really lucky that our families get along with each other and there’s no drama bubbling under the surface. Everyone is in a good mood and just want to celebrate. Since we aren’t all together very often, when we do, it’s a big party in more ways than one 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  28. You gave me goosebumps. What a wonderful day, and thank you for an update because I’m sure I’m not the only one who was looking forward to seeing a few photos. Love the cake. I’m glad family and friends made time in their busy schedules to come and show their love and support for the new couple. Dream weekend, and may all their dreams come true.

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    • I knew I needed to post something fairly soon. I wish I had more photos to share but I had to work with what I had.
      Even more, I hope I still feel like sharing more stories when I finally do have photos!!

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  29. My heart is happy for you! I remember calculating at my own wedding that considering the number of guest and time, I had 90 seconds for each guest. Very sobering. Looking forward to more pictures!

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  30. Well, maybe you didn’t cry but your post brought tears to my eyes. It sounds like everything was wonderful and that your son and his new partner are starting their life together on a blissful foot. Congratulations!

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    • It was wonderful – every minute of it 💕

      I’m sure both Jordan and Dempsey are just so glad to have all the planning and work behind them – but their effort certainly paid off in a memorable event.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Wonderful! Memories for a lifetime and I can’t wait to see the photos – OK I know, I am going to have to…
    Wishing them both a long and happy future together.

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