Natasha and John approached my booth at the Valley Merchant’s Bridal Showcase in Wolfville last year and I had that feeling that we would be a good fit for each other right off the bat. I didn’t anticipate however that John and I would become good friends over the course of the year. A friendship always makes a wedding different, I have more insight into family dynamics, I know personalities much better than I otherwise could, and there becomes a comfort level that is nearly impossible to replicate at other weddings.
John is from the U.K. and I heard quite a few stories involving his friends and family. I met those friends and family on New Year’s Day when I met up with them at the Herring Cove Polar Bear Dip. It was easy to see why John was so fond of everyone, they were all great to hang around with. I know what it’s like to move away from home and be away from family and friends, and it’s incredibly difficult at times. Family will always be family, but friendships are harder to maintain. The friendships which last are the ones you can pick up where you’ve left off, as if you never spent a day apart, be it a couple weeks, or a couple years between seeing one another. Those are the types of friendships John is lucky to have.
On January 4th, John’s reunion became Natasha and John’s wedding day. You’re probably wondering how John and Natasha met seeing as she’s a Nova Scotia girl, and he’s from across the pond. Well, to make a long story short; they met at a wedding where they were both in the wedding party. They shared glances, they shared company, and their shared a mutual feeling that it would not be the last time they saw each other. Love battled distance and won, and John made his way to Canada. They married in a small ceremony in 2012 to help ensure they could be together and this January’s wedding was the planned wedding they had hoped for, with all their friends and family.
Two days prior to their wedding, we had a pretty big blizzard in Nova Scotia which royally screwed with many people’s travel plans, including a few guests for the wedding. I know the happy couple would have loved if everyone could have made it, but they would rather people stay safe and not travel if they didn’t feel comfortable doing so. The snow was accompanied by cold and wind which resulted in windchill temperatures nearing thirty below zero. The fireplace inside the Old Orchard Inn was burning in behind where Natasha and John had their ceremony, so no-one was feeling the cold at that time. Seeing as their wedding ceremony was a renewal of vows, there was no need to sign any documents during the ceremony, so instead of signing, the couple enjoyed a cup of tea while a song was sung by members of Natasha’s choir. After the ceremony, we did all the family photos and made our way outside. I started my car up and got it warm before bringing John and Natasha into the cold. We went across the parking lot to what I was told is a games room for the Inn. It was a red barn which was pretty much unoccupied and gave us a rustic background for some of the photos. We would take a few photos outside before warming up in the car, and then inside the barn once the rest of the wedding party walked over to the barn. We lost sunlight very quickly as the clouds rolled in just before sunset, but we still managed to get a number of photos outside in the natural light. Natasha was even game enough to take her shall off for a few shots with John holding her while standing in the snow.
The emcee for the reception was John’s best friend Gareth. Gareth did a great job, especially when you consider that he’d never even been to a wedding before. While he and a few others needed to consume an invisible can of ‘man up’ to get through their speeches, you couldn’t say that any of the sentiments were less than heartfelt. The room was full of emotion and speeches are often where that emotion comes to the fore. After a few tears were shed, some tables were moved and the chaos on the dance floor began. There were kids doing flips, groomsmen jumping higher than I thought possible, and even dance moves that appeared to be rabbit-like. In other words, people had a great time, myself included.
In the photos below you will notice a couple jars full of money with Natasha and John’s names attached. The person with the most money in their jar would get a cake in the face later in the evening, and the money would go to charities which had personal meaning for the couple. The total amount raised was split evenly between the two charities and you can scroll down to see whose face got caked.