I am thrilled to be writing this post today! I’ve been waiting anxiously all week to be able to sit and write!
My post today is part of my wedding series, and today I get to tell you all about the wedding that Dylan and I got to be a part of on Saturday!
The wedding took place near Bancroft, Ontario at a place called, Joy Bible Camp. Now, the location is special in two ways. One being that, for many years, the bride and her family attended as campers; And second, this camp is where the Bride’s parents got married 26 years earlier! (so special!!)
The setting was beautiful! The ceremony was going to be held down at the waterfront. Perfectly nestled in between the dining hall where the reception would be held and the Lakeside Lodge, where post ceremony refreshments were offered to all those who attended. All three points were connected by a path lit by lanterns! It was truly romantic.
The ceremony was exquisite: The waterfront lined with white chairs, accented by lanterns and crates of flowers, all leading up to a beautiful white arbor, surrounded by mason jars filled with flowers! Pacabel’s Canon started playing and the groom sat his mother, and then proceeded to stand at the front, by the arbor. Then, one by one, each of the six groomsmen, dressed in grey dress pants and white shirts, walked over to stand by their friend, while in turn giving him a hug on their way by…
The music faded, from the familiar tune into a different song. A beautiful rendition of “Just The Way You Are”. The bridesmaids, each wearing a different pastel dress, started making their way to the front, all smiling at Liam as they walked by, knowing just how beautiful his bride looked, and how magical that moment would be when he saw her.. The anticipation grew as each bridesmaid took her place… Green, yellow, peach, lavender, blue, and finally pink, the colour of the Maid of Honour’s dress… The music came to a great culmination, and the guests were asked to rise. There she was. A stunning bride. Her dress a beautiful A-line with a magnificent train, all detailed in lace. Joanna was escorted by her mother, down the aisle to meet her soon-to-be-husband. The look on his face: Priceless! The love that was shared in that moment, when the bride and groom saw each other for the first time, was incredible. Here mother gave here away, the audience (and bridesmaids) were in a puddle of tears, and so the two began to take the steps of committing their lives to one another. The ceremony was a bit different from the traditional wedding. The bride and groom wanted to sing a congregational song with their guests, and they had asked myself and my brother to sing. We led the congregation in the song “Amazing Love” and then they proceeded with their vows. the vows were beautiful, heartfelt, loving. Both of them finished by saying “I just love you”. They exchanged rings, and shared their first kiss as husband and wife! And then, as they went to do the signing, my brother and I got to sing for this amazing couple again. We sang “Multiplied”. And then as the lovely married couple made their way back over to the arbor, the preacher announced for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Liam and Joanna Tait!!
I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one who left the ceremony feeling overjoyed for them! They were married!!
Right after the ceremony, the bride and groom had requested that the photographer get a group photo of all those who attended the wedding! It took a bit of time to get everyone organized, but in the end it was a great shot!
After that, the guests went to have refreshments, and the wedding party went to take pictures around the camp! The weather held off for almost the entire time that we were taking pictures, and it was only during our last shot, that it started to rain! But, we simply retreated to the dining hall, where there was a photo booth set up for the guests, and used that for a few shots. Also the guests were happy as they got to get their picture with the bride and groom.
Dinner was served at 6pm, in the dining hall. The room was set up beautifully! Round tables, with burlap and lace runners. The centerpieces; a mason jar filled with baby’s breath, as well as, carnations and roses. And the favours: Tiny mason jars, filled with personalized m&ms that said “Joanna and Liam”, “May the Force be with You” and some that had two hearts on them. The dinner was absolutely delicious! The chef prepared chicken and rice, asparagus, and mixed veggies, and on top of all that, there was a salad bar and amazing, homemade dinner rolls!! And for dessert: Root Beer floats, mini cheesecakes, and lava cakes!
Over the dinner, there were a few games to make the happy couple kiss. And of course there were many speeches made. There were also a few songs that were sung. I had the privilege of singing so many times that day, and the final two were at the reception. I sang the song “God Gave me You” with Liam’s two sisters, and his brother’s girlfriend. Later on, Joann’s sister sang a song that she wrote, while Jo and her brother danced. And my brother and I had the honour of singing the song “I see the light” (yes, from Tangled) for the couple’s first dance!
Throughout the reception, there was one thing that really stood out to me, and I’m sure to many others. Something sad and beautiful. Of course most of the speeches revolved around Joanna and Liam, but throughout the speeches made by Joanna’s family, there was also mention of a very special man, who was absent from that beautiful day. That man was Joanna’s father. He had passed away when Jo was quite little, and his absence was definitely felt by all who knew him, but also by those of us who didn’t. At the end of the evening, the family released balloons to remember him, as they have done every year since he has been gone.
It was truly a beautiful day! Emotional, also, but in a good way. I don’t believe that I have ever cried so much at a wedding before!!
All I can say is, congratulations Joanna and Liam! You guys are amazing and love you, and I wish you a lifetime of happiness!