On Saturday, July 17th my cousin Fergus married his longtime sweetheart Svea in a lovely beach-side ceremony on his "hometown" island of Saturna, BC. We traveled up to the island on Thursday beforehand, so we were able to help out quite a bit with the preparations as well as visit with the rest of our family and Svea's. Essentially, we had a three-day celebration of family, with lots of good food, beautiful scenery, and wonderful weather.
Conan had a lot of fun, first with riding the ferry over to the island and then with seeing all the people and reading books with Great Grandma Joy, Mammie (aka Grandma Debbie), Poppy (aka Grandpa Dennis), and anyone else he could get to sit and read to him. He learned the names Mammie and Poppy from his cousin Chloe, they are her names for my Mom and Dad. Conan and Chloe were very cute together, and she learned to say his name almost immediately. "Conawn? Conawn?" she asked, whenever she saw me without him.
The wedding preparations were intensive, as we had to turn the island rec center basketball court into a banquet hall, complete with a tulle canopy and hanging globe lanterns, flower arrangements both large and small, and of course keep everyone on the crew fed and watered throughout the whole process. It all came together seamlessly, a great testament to how much a motivated group of people can accomplish! It was neat to get to know Svea's family from Nunavut by working alongside them to prepare for the formal bonding between our two families. I really only had a vague idea about Nunavut beforehand, so I was fascinated by all their stories of life in the remote arctic.
Conan & Chloe of course didn't do much in the way of wedding preparations, but they kept busy going on walks an exploring the beaches, and cooling off in the afternoons playing in buckets of water on the deck. Cousin Odessa joined them for some play time as well, delighting in soap bubbles and romps through my Aunt Pam's amazing flower garden. I showed them how to roll down the small hill in the yard, which was entertaining for babies and grown ups alike.
After the wedding ceremony, there was a splendid reception, complete with a catered banquet featuring an 85 lb beef hip roasted to perfection, a delicious 3-tier cake, toasting and roasting the bride & groom, an open bar, and finally dancing into the wee hours with a fabulous 9-piece live band. It really was a night to remember! I found myself marveling at the wonder of it all: here I was, dancing in a community gymnasium on a small Canadian island to a rousing rendition of Disco Inferno with family and friends from Japan, the US, France, and all across Canada, including some really remote parts of Nunavut. And all of that while my baby slept in his stroller in the beer garden! Life is pretty amazing, when you stop to think about it.