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  03:40:15 am, by Nimble   , 1827 words  
Categories: Announcements [A]


Wow, I am going to have a lot of updates to do here, especially to the wedding site, now that we've done the whole kitten kaboodle!

The wedding went great!

Some people told me in advance that things go much more quickly than you had imagined it would. I would not have believed that before. I do now.

This may not have been the most formal of events, but the wedding certainly had a very, very personal touch. We picked the venue, planned, hired, put together things like save-the-date magnets and invitations, put together our own vows and slide show. Is this just a general feature of weddings of thirtysomethings?

We had the wedding at the Calgary Zoo conservatory, which limited our number of attendees. We would have liked to cast a slightly wider net when inviting people, but to be surrounded by tropical plants, birds and butterflies over the evening made things magical, and the larger venue would have denied us this.

Kudos to my best man, Armando Ruggeri, for putting together a stag night on short notice, and for generally trying to keep me calm on the wedding day by dragging me to Wallace and Gromit and Best Buy in the morning and keeping me out of my wonderful bride's hair :)

All our guests went out of their way to make things go smoothly, to shower us with compliments and to grab a moment of our time to talk with us. I'm so sorry we didn't get to spend more time with everyone - as it stood, it felt like a good third of the evening was spending time making heartfelt goodbyes to people on their way out.

People seemed to really like our vows. I'll put our vows up on our wedding site when I get the chance. We just could not settle for even variations of 'canned' vows; we're practical and honest people with some disdain for the overly flowery or exaggerated. The vows came from the heart, and I'm still a little awestruck at how well received they were.

Mrs. Struiksma made us wonderful gardening-themed cakes, as shown in the cake-cutting:

Cutting the cake

The flowers in the flower pot, which you can make out on the left hand side, is actually nearly entirely made of sugar. Amazing the things she can do :)

We had some absolutely fantastic speeches by our attendants. Ennien Ashbrook, being more of a longtime friend of me than the bride, gave a stunning speech and ended it with a toast... a literal piece of toast :) Kristin Priest, Dena's bridesmaid from the Outback, recounted the story of how Dena wrote a 'first date' account after meeting me for the first time, and sent it to me instead of to Kristin, giving me insight few guys get after a first date :)

Bride and bridesmaids

Armando Ruggeri, my best man and best friend since I moved to Calgary decades ago, gave a fantastic speech. Keith Procter, my groomsman and other best friend, also gave a great speech, though none was required of him. I was really moved by what my two best friends here said. You don't often get a chance to find out what people think of you, your values and character, and I was... man, you two made me feel good inside. You guys are the absolute best, bar none, and not just because of your speeches. Hearts of gold, both of you...

Groom and groomsmen

My family came from far and wide to attend this event. I love you all! I know it's a long, long way to come for some of you, too. My parents, in particular, came from the UK, and my sister spent freakishly long hours on airplanes to come from Hong Kong. Claire, by the way, we really like Paul so far :)

The food was great, the ambience was great and well-taken care of, seating was well done.

We made people fold origami and tell stories in order to get kisses, in light of clinking glasses being overly easy to do :) That said, people went out of their way to make origami, paper airplanes being the most common (hey, it's technically origami!).

As to what went wrong over the course of the evening? Not a heck of a lot, despite whatever fears and worries I had. A little too much country in the music roster to start with, a punch bowl that never materialized, and no lighting over the head table. That's about it! I just can't complain :)

People danced, socialized, took pictures. Don MacFarlane, tweed wearer extraordinaire, kindly emceed the event for us, despite little prep time. I was working on our little slide show until late, late the previous night. We had always intended to get it put together, but our schedules were so full. I took a couple of Playstation breaks with the Playstation Ennien and Robin got us. Well needed stress relief - ahhh.

That said, it is a fun little slide show :)

The slide show is available here..., but it's in OpenOffice format. I have converted it to PowerPoint, but have no idea if it works yet. If you are more impatient than that, you can download OpenOffice here. You just need to install OpenOffice Impress to have it work.

Since Dena is a teacher, and we can't get away for a honeymoon until probably next summer, I wanted us to have some sort of a getaway, so I booked us two nights in an executive suite at the Sheraton Cavalier, as well as a couples massage the next morning at 11. That was great - having a little getaway like that really feels good. The massage people from RNR were great energetic younger folks who spoiled us rotten, and the giant jetted tub in the room, divine :)

Many thanks to our other friends and family who helped out with the event. Shouts out to Adam Hough, Craig Grell, Dale Schofield, Lorianne Lemoine, Bidisha Procter and Robin Ashbrook, and especially to Dena's parents, Dean and Sharon for the help in preparing my old place to sell so we could afford the event, ferrying gifts to and fro and helping out around the house with the ensuing chaos.

Not too many people came out to the gift opening, which is to be expected. Thanks to those who came out, though! We're still a little embarrassed because there are a couple of presents that don't have tags or names on them, and I'm not sure how to track down who they came from!

I'm really glad everyone could come and share in our celebration!

Dena is having fun little happy "freakouts" when we try on "Mrs. Annand" or "Dena Annand" or "wife" on her (she is changing her name, utterly voluntarily). It's terribly cute :)

Now we're back home, it's quiet and we're a little insomniac and not really sure what to do with ourselves. I can see why people go on honeymoons right afterwards - it's a surreal time.

As to what to do for a honeymoon when we actually get the time, we're actually looking at, if possible, Africa, primarily East Africa with an eye to seeing gorillas if possible. The tour groups Kumuka and Dragoman look particularly interesting.

Madagascar, the Galapagos, or a tour around Asia are possible alternates :)

Wow, everything about the actual wedding days themselves went so fast! I'm glad we took a small stroll by ourselves into the beautifully but dimly lit paths of the conservatory by night and took our shoes off to enjoy the texture of the path. You really have to slow down and take moments like that or the entire thing will whizz by you.



Let me extend my congratulations once more; I had a great time and I'm very glad to see you two together.

Some of those photos look curiously familiar. Hmmm... :)

Comment by Adam [Visitor] — 10/19/05 @ 08:17

I'm glad you enjoyed yourself, Adam!

We're using your photos (and one on Dena's parents' roll) quite simply because they're good and you got a CD to us the next dang day. Holy crow and all that :)

Thanks for all the help, too, man.

P.S. You really did look like James Bond with the digital watch and car on the go :)

Comment by nimble [Member] — 10/19/05 @ 15:42

That radio controlled car is the best one I've seen yet. I love the car alarm it comes with. Thank you for it. As far as I'm concerned, those photos are yours to do with as you see fit; I'll just reserve the right to use them as well myself for sundry nefarious deeds... Between my photos and Dena's parents' lot, I seem to have escaped the ever present eye of the camera (so far anyway...) so no tux shots. Muaahahah!

Comment by Adam [Visitor] — 10/19/05 @ 15:52

I'll second what Adam said. Congrats! :) I'd like to see the photos sometime if there's an album of some form in the works. I may be one of the people that didn't adequately label my gift. The card was stuck under a bow that seemed to be coming off fairly easy. Let me know if you need a hint.

Comment by ElTwo [Visitor] — 10/19/05 @ 23:52

Adam, I am highly disappointed that there are no tux shots. If I figure a way to stick a USB cable appropriately into my brain to let everyone see that image, I'll do so :)

Sundry nefarious deeds, hmmm? I don't remember you being a Photoshop maven *peer* - hmmm :)

Thanks for the congrats, Lowell! I hope you enjoyed yourself :)

The two mystery gifts so far are some nifty dual-ended candle holders (tea light/taper), and a pretty large one, a spin saw!

I'll have to check our response list as to who's "missing"; the gift opening was a bit of a blur for me! As we said, we wanted peoples' presence more than their presents... but it would be still nice to acknowledge the presents! (Dena's parents were telling us that we were extremely lucky to have only two unattributed presents)

Comment by nimble [Member] — 10/20/05 @ 03:13

"Dual ended candle holders"? In my mind's eye have a picture of something like Darth Maul's lightsabre but with a candle in each end instead. ***fhoom*** ****fhooom***

(Mandatory geek comment now over)

Comment by Adam [Visitor] — 10/20/05 @ 08:20

Congrats! Fantastic choice of suit by the way. Looks great!

Comment by Ooblik [Visitor] — 10/20/05 @ 10:12

Ooops... Well, have fun cutting things up. I was debating a few other things on your list, but was limited mostly by what could fit in my car. :)

Comment by ElTwo [Visitor] — 10/22/05 @ 17:16

*laugh* So you're the mystery spin saw donor? Holy crow; thanks, if so! :) The airplane and the greenhouse were not required, and neither was the luxury boat, so no worries ;)

Thanks, Oob - I told people they were going to get a surprise but that it would look good. I'm glad folks think it does my ugly mug justice :)

Comment by nimble [Member] — 12/23/05 @ 18:15

Yep, that's me. I was contemplating the toolchest or whatever, but the potential of a hernia put me off.

Comment by ElTwo [Visitor] — 12/24/05 @ 22:29

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