Things To Do Before “I Do”

ImageA few months ago, my girlfriend Brittany and I got engaged.  In just a few more we will have wed.  This past weekend, the two of us set about dealing with the main details of our union.

Rather than get married in our hometown of Kamloops, British Columbia, we had already opted to exchange our vows in another city, and in fact on an entirely separate main landmass.  This meant five hours of driving and a ferry ride both ways would be necessary for any on site preparations we might make for our impending nuptials in Victoria.  Therefore, we decided that all plans requiring ourselves to appear there in person were best to be handled in a single trip.  So off to Vancouver Island we went for a three day adventure of wedding formation.

During our drive away from the province’s interior, we began putting together a makeshift playlist for our reception.  We considered a variety of potential inclusions from a wide array of genres.  Some songs were a minor source of contention, with Brittany vetoing Surfin’ Bird, and me deciding that one Cyndi Lauper song was more than enough for any night.  Most other tunes we reached an easy consensus about whether to use or lose, as with our mutual support for Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced for an end of the night essential.  By the time we arrived at the coast we had narrowed my IPod’s massive reservoir down to four hours of music to which we could waltz, skank, jump around, and in general dance our asses off.

Catching a morning ferry to the island, we checked in at a hotel in Victoria and got down to business.  The first thing to take care of was the site of our ceremony.  Having already set our minds on an outdoor wedding, we searched for suitable terrain within Beacon Hill Park.  The park held many visually and practically pleasing spots, but after exploring its entirety, we settled on a semi-secluded promontory that jutted out high over the beach.  The spot’s ocean view and narrow expanse of grass were ideal for the small yet memorable ceremony we envisioned, and so we applied for a permit to use the area on that certain summer day.

Next we checked out Marina Coffee House, the place we had been considering as the venue for our reception. Since it closed at 6 we could have the cafe all to ourselves for the rest of the night following our ceremony.  The inside would be big enough to accommodate all of the wedding’s attendants, its dockside wooden deck appeared ample space for a PA and dance floor, and an attached restaurant was available to provide a luxurious feast for everyone.  We happily put down a deposit to reserve the space for the evening of our marriage.

As a source for our wedding cake we chose Ooh La La Cupcakes.  Collaborating with the shop’s owner, we conjured up a Tim Burtonesque, topsy-turvy design of turquoise and purple patterns.  As for the desserts’ inner flavour, a taste test ensued.  This was my favourite part thus far of arranging our marital celebration.  We plunged our mouths into cupcakes of a dozen different tantalizing varieties, and with satisfied bellies chose a tier of chocolate caramel and two more of lemon raspberry.  Yum!

Finally, we met with a potential marriage commissioner at her home just outside the city.  She seemed friendly, professional, organized, and sympathetic to our desires.  We opted to write our own vows, while she provided us with options for other segments of the ritual, walking us through the general proceedings. By the end of our meeting with her we felt assured that she could provide a relaxed ceremony void of any religious connotations, just as we preferred.  We booked her services for the intended date and bid her farewell until that day should arrive.  The following morning we left the island, knowing that on our next visit out we would become husband and wife.

Now we wait for that pivotal Friday in July.  All the main aspects of our wedding taken care of, what is left now is to tackle the smaller ones until the time that we legally join our lives as one.  Whatever other specifics we decide on, we can relax overall knowing that the times and places are set, an officiator has been chosen, and the music is arranged for optimal awesomeness.  Most importantly, the cake will be damn delicious!

– Cory Magnus Stumpf

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