Friday, July 10, 2020

Anniversary Post

My blog friend, Sarah, posted this fun recap on her blog to celebrate her anniversary back in May. You can read it here. I had planned to post this for our anniversary a few weeks ago but, unfortunately, I didn't get around to it. So today, in honour of twelve years (and twelve days) of marriage, here is a recap of our wedding day. And I didn't realize the '12 years, 12 days' symbolism until I wrote this post so that's fun!

Engaged -You can read our engagement story here, but the short version is that basically we had a whole long conversation on a road trip and, at some point, realized we had just decided to get married! There was no fancy proposal, just a nine hour conversation!

We didn't have official engagement photos taken but this one was taken the weekend after we got engaged, after a special worship service for a friend of ours, so we consider it our "engagement photo."

Married - June 29, 2008/ 26th of Sivan 5768 (wedding date in the Jewish calendar)

Location -Waterloo, Ontario.

We had a Jewish pre-wedding celebration at the synagogue on June 28 which all of our family, a few close friends, and the whole Jewish community was invited to. Dave's dad led this service and my dad did a reading. We had pizza afterwards and my favourite memory from this is after everything was almost done, we started singing. Dave and my dad sang all the verses to Barrett's Privateers and the rest of us joined in on the chorus and it was so much fun!

Our wedding photos were taken in my aunt's garden, our service was at Waterloo North (our current church), and our reception was at a golf course not far from our church. On our anniversary this year, we went for a walk, and ended up (unintentionally) walking by the place where our reception was held.

Weather -I forget the weather except that it was overcast during our photos but according to this website it reached a high of 26C, which sounds about right.

Number of Guests - We had room for 150 people but, since we got married on a Sunday (which we made abundantly clear), some people weren't able to make it. We had about seven people tell us the week before we got married, "Oh, we thought you were getting married on Saturday" and they had made other plans. And three people just never showed up at all. So I think we had about 140 people in total.

Colours - We didn't have official colours, because as you can probably tell, we just weren't that traditional. Unofficially our colours were blue and green when we had to make some decision about colour -- napkins, Dave's tie, my jewellery -- that might have been it :)

Flowers - I carried a bouquet of three calla lilies. Then we asked my mom and my aunt to make garden flower centrepieces for our reception. They knocked it out of the park. I loved our flowers!

Readings - Our scripture reading was from Hosea, Chapter 2, verses 19 and 20 (in the Christian Bible) or verses 21 and 22 (in the Jewish Bible). "I will betroth you to me forever;  I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord."

Dave's sister also read "On Marriage" by Khalil Gibran.

Hymn - We sang some verses of "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" and our recessional hymn was "You Shall Go Out With Joy."

Other Music - Some family friends of Dave's sang some traditional Jewish worship songs before the service. Then a choir of our family and friends sang us up the aisle and one other song during the ceremony. It was so beautiful.

Meal - We had vegetarian lasagna, Greek salad, and cheesecake for dessert. We needed to have a kosher meal, and I'm vegetarian, so it was a little complicated. Neither Dave nor I are big cake fans, so we had a selection of cheesecakes for dessert. YUM!!!

Wine - I know we had wine on the tables but I don't remember what it was. I do remember the friend who picked up the liquor license for us! (We lived 3,200 kilometres away from where we got married, so, when seeing to some of the details of our wedding, we had to rely on a random assortment of local friends.)

First Dance - We started falling in love when we watched the movie, Notting Hill, and then Dave learned to play "When You Say Nothing At All" on the guitar. So we didn't pick our wedding song as much as it picked us. We danced by ourselves to the first verse and chorus and then invited two sets of friends of ours (who also got married the same year as us) and our parents to join us for the rest of the song.

Bridal Party - We didn't have an official wedding party. Donny was Dave's unofficial best man and Janice was my unofficial matron of honour.

My requests of Janice were "please get a pre-wedding pedicure with me and come with me to get my hair done and sign the official wedding documents." She also let us stay at their house the week before the wedding (which was an incredibly HUGE gift), helped facilitate the picking up of my wedding dress (I bought it from Target and had to get it shipped within the States so she asked a friend of hers to let us use her address and brought it to Waterloo when she came to visit her parents), threw a bridal shower for me (which I hadn't wanted originally but it was so much fun and celebratory), and just generally was so supportive.

I don't know what Dave asked Donny to do, but I think Donny was similarly extremely supportive.

We also had our chuppah holders playing an important role in the ceremony. (The chuppah is the Jewish wedding canopy and our official vows and the Jewish vows and blessings happened under it.) Marika, Donny's wife, was one of them. We also asked our good friend, Natasha, from Edmonton, and then Dave and I each picked a family friend from childhood to hold the other two poles.

Honeymoon -We honeymooned in Edinburgh, Scotland, and then Dublin and Ennistymon, Ireland. It was quite the honeymoon whirlwind but I loved it all!
At The Burren in Edinburgh and at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

Best memories - During the ceremony and the exchanging of rings, I pulled Dave's ring out of the pocket of my wedding dress and there was a ripple of laughter from the congregation! Yes, my wedding dress had pockets which was awesome!!!

We wanted some picture taken with some kids who were extra special to us and, partway through all the picture taking, Willem got bored. This might be one of my favourite photos from our wedding!
After our first dance, all of our guests danced the hora, the Jewish wedding dance where the bride and groom are lifted up on chairs and everyone dances in a circle around them. I loved seeing all my Christian friends joining in on this Jewish dance. They hadn't done it before but they embraced it with enthusiasm.

Also, from our wedding dance, at one point, someone started a conga line. My cousin, Lisa, beckoning people to join in, and Dave laughing his head off, was hilarious! And my 101-year-old grandma also joined in on this :) You can see her peeking over Dave's shoulder, with my dad right behind her.

Regrets (if any) -- I can't think of any that we could have controlled. Some things I regret were out of our control, if that makes sense. Dave says that he doesn't remember a lot of the ceremony and wishes that maybe we had recorded it so we could watch it now.

Thanks for walking down wedding memory lane with me. This was really fun! If you want to read a more extensive version of our wedding, I documented it in more detail back in July 2012. You can start reading those posts here.


  1. This is so sweet! Fun to hear about your wedding and happy anniversary!

  2. What a fun look back at your wedding!! Cheesecake for desert is perfect!

  3. What a fun post. Our anniversary is the 11th of July. We really had such a low-key wedding that there wouldn't be much to tell. Love your photos and your dress!! So Audrey Hepburn. Beautiful bride!

    1. I hope you had a happy anniversary and found some special ways to celebrate! My dress was from Target! Seriously :)

  4. This was so fun, I'll (of course) have to remember to do in October. I love your table flowers - it's very Texan that they are in mason jars ha. It looks like it was a great day and exactly like both of you!!!

  5. This is such a fun post and I'm definitely doing it next year for us. Your wedding is such a reflection of your personality (as I understand it through the blogging world) - just very relaxed and not fussy. I love that! I also love that your Christian friends enthusiastically embraced the hora because ours did too; most of them had never seen one before but they got REALLY into it.


Thank you for being interested in my life as I blog it and for leaving a comment. Comments make me happier than reading a good book and drinking a cold Coke. Almost :)