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.


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.


(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.


(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.


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






  1. Joanne, I am having difficulty finding the words to describe how meaningful this post is and the story behind it. I thought about our discussion last week a few times. From all of the potential options on a bucket list and then your choice. You mentioned to me how you can express yourself better in writing than talking. Your words, wherever they come from are very powerful. 💕

    Remembering your adult child as a young child resonates with me. I have that feeling often, and especially during pivotal occasions.

    As I continue reading, tears brimming. Joanne, you express really well “the wedding.” And, yes “heart exposed.”💕


    • The intensity of emotions come back to me whenever I revisit this post. My eyes get welly and my heart feels like it’s going to explode EACH AND EVERY TIME. I’m guessing it may never go away. If that’s what my child’s wedding feels like, I can’t even begin to imagine your experience of holding a grandchild for the first time!!!

      These events in a parent’s life sometimes feel like they are beyond words … yet still we try … and the one thing that never ceases to amaze me is that in spite of all our differences as individuals, these experiences resonate as shared human feelings.

      Exposing my heart is something I find very difficult to do, and yet with each meeting of the ‘West Coast Ladies’ I find it’s a little bit easier 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Joanne, your beautiful description brought memories of my own daughter’s wedding to mind and tears to my eyes. Yes, I cried at her wedding, while simultaneously smiling so hard my cheeks hurt!



    • Isn’t that the oddest combination? – to be so happy that we cry?! I still haven’t seen any of the official photos, but I suspect that’s when the tears may start 💕


  3. Congratualtions Joanne on your newly wedded son and new family addition. Weddings are so joyful, I’ve been to several this year myself, and I get weepy at these. Cannot imagine not crying at my son’s or my daughter’s weddings. How did you manage this? Look forward to seeng your pics once they are available.


    • I think it was nothing short of miraculous that I didn’t cry. I’m definitely a weepy kind of person, but that day I had a happy smile on my face the entire day!!
      I’m still waiting for photos. As each week goes by, I’m getting more impatient 😏


  4. Beautiful photos of a beautiful day. Recently, we had a big family event where both sides collided. It’s funny that we don’t realize how separate they are until they are in the same room.


  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts & feelings on such a milestone occasion. Weddings often go by too quickly and in a blur, but you have managed to capture wonderful memories of the day! I am so thrilled for you, Joanne, for the Happy Couple.

    P/S My daughter just took a peek at the photo of the cake, and she says it looks so beautiful!


    • hahaha! Yes, that will be me this weekend too when my son and husband both compete in a Half Ironman competition together. It’s tough work being a spectator with a camera! 😉


  6. This post is so beautiful I’m sorry it took me this long to get to it. But I was busy when it landed in my inbox and I wanted to give it the savouring time it deserved. Worth the wait. What a simply fabulous day and you have described it so beautifully. I’ll confess when reading about your walk down the aisle, my eyes got decidedly welly. Such wonderful memories for you, Joanne. ❤


    • Thanks so much Heather. The past couple of weeks have been such a busy blur, I haven’t really had time to process it. I think when the photographer’s photos come in and we start to go through them, that’s when it will really hit and the tears will flow … but right now, I just have a perpetual silly grin 💕

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Annie! I know you went through all this not so long ago. I think the beauty of it is that now when I read other people’s account of their child getting married, I can relive my own experience 🙂


  7. Mazaltov Joanne! Such blissful days are few and far between for most of us. And they are great markers for this moment in time in your life and your son’s. I LOVED your description of the multiple layers, slices, time periods of your life and the friends and family meshing into one melting pot on that particular day. What a tired bumble bee you must have been!!

    I have to say that visually that is the most stunning wedding cake ever. Is that bark of the birch tree? Love the boat outside as well. And your son sure looks handsome and composed for the big day! Congrats and best wishes to all of you on this joyous occasion.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Ben. We are all still in a happy glow. We all gathered on the weekend for Father’s Day and talked about how some families don’t have these happy times together, they don’t enjoy each other’s company, and there’s always ugly drama when they get together. We feel very lucky to not be one of them ❤

      I too was completely enamoured with that cake. The decorator did an outstanding job of making it look like slabs of birch bark wood. I regret not snagging a piece of cake while I could. It disappeared quickly … but I’m told it was very good!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Joanne!! It sounds like a glorious day! My heart is so happy for you. Congratulations to your son and to your newly added one as well. Just beautiful ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the way you captured the day and the emotions. Each of us has our own experience of an event and I am fascinated by the details that stand out from individual to individual. I am so happy that it turned out to be as beautiful as was intended and look forward to seeing more pictures later on. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Such a sweet and loving look at your son’s wedding and the festivities, Joanne. I’m so glad it was a happy day for all. I think the wedding cake, in its outdoor theme, is a work of art, have never seen anything like it. Loved hearing about the hand holding…a touching and deeply loving slice of life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for kind words. The guys and their wedding planner did such a great job of the details. Their theme suited them so beautifully.
      It’s reinforced my belief that even in the biggest events of our life, there are the small moments that become the most memorable ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Aww this post brought back memories of when my sister got married, and when one of my closest friends got married last year. It’s a lovely and wondrous feeling to feel as if your heart is full to bursting! Your words and photos capture the feeling very well


  12. Joanne I am so happy for you that your son’s wedding went so well. Wishing them a long and strong marriage. And I love that you walked him down the aisle; I’m tears thinking just how cool that is. 😀


  13. Well I cried while reading this post and I am not ashamed 😛 It was beautifully organized and written. How long will it take you to process all the joy and all the details? As long as the pictures, I’d bet.
    Wonderful, wonderful time to celebrate. I really appreciate you sharing!
    Love the shot of the canoe — it’s truly perfect. Perfect shot to end with.
    An oasis.
    Just love this post!


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