Category Archives: The Wedding

Billy’s Wedding Speech (My Best Friend)

To My Best Friend on Her Wedding Day
Thank you Amy and Brent for asking me to be a part of your big day. Amy and I met when we were in high school. I was in grade 9 and Amy was in grade 10. I was walking up the stairs to a class on the second floor and thought I recognized the person in front of me and decided to pinch her butt.
It wasn’t who I thought it was. It was Amy, and she turned around pretty much ready to knock me on my ass. But as she likes to tell it, the look of fear and embarrassment on my face stopped her. As I apologized profusely she must have felt sorry for me or something and took me under her wing. Befriended me, protected me, and raised me up a bit on the social ladder.
For the longest time I didn’t know what she saw on my face that day or why she took me under her wing, until recently. Most of you know Amy and you know she loves to rescue animals. Every kind, puppies, goats, pigs, ducks or bunnies. Anything that has been abused, or is lost, and needs a place to feel safe. Well whether Amy knew it or not at the time, she rescued me that day. Knowing what we know now, I was abused, and lost, and needed to feel safe. Amy did all that. I can say without a doubt that I wouldn’t be standing here today if I hadn’t pinched that butt so many years ago.
So we grew up together. Lots of ups and a bunch of downs. We spent time playing improve games in the loft of the barn, remember Jenn. Spent a summer before college working in the Bindery at Sullivan Graphics. Singing show-tunes over top of the machines, (if you didn’t know I was gay then…) and having a crazy shampoo, soap, and whatever else we could find, fight at her parents one morning, chasing each other around the house after a week of midnight shifts.
Life sometimes separated us for periods of time but we always came back to each other and have been with each other through all the phases, adventures, mistakes, and heartbreaks. The best way I can explain it is, I am her Will and She is my Grace. In fact when the show Will and Grace 1st came on I remember calling Amy and the both of us saying “ Oh my God did someone steal our lives and make a TV show?”. I even once said to Amy, wouldn’t it be cool if my name was Will so i could be her Will. She started laughing and looked at funny, and laughed even more when i didn’t get what i just said. “You idiot” she said, “You are my Will”. Since my name is Technically Will.
And like friends do, we talked and dreamed about what our lives would be like as we grew up. We always pictured Amy living in the country on a farm with all her animals and me being an actor living in the city. I would come visit her and her husband on the farm to get away from it all. Amy and I would be in the kitchen getting dinner ready while both our men would be outside having a beer and shooting the breeze at the barbecue.
Well 3 years ago I came home and was introduced to Brent. By this time I had dropped the y from my name and was Bill. Except when I came home and my family and friends still call me Billy. Brent said “ You must be Billy, I’ve heard all about you” . I wasn’t sure if that was good or bad but I thought nice guy lets see how this goes. That 1st night the 3 of us went to out and as we got in the car Brent went to the back seat and said “ You’re Billy you ride up front with Amy”. It was one of the smartest things he could have ever done. It scored points with both me and Amy, and every time after that, when ever we got together and the 3 of us went out I rode shot gun with Amy.
For those of you who don’t really know Amy and for those of you who really do, Amy is….. How should i put this?… Amy is Complicated. And I mean that in the best possible way. Amy is a small town girl who is comfortable in the big city. She loves to go to football game one night and to a Broadway show the next. She is an English major who will read the classics of literature, poetry or a crappy romance novel all in the same week. She will speak her mind, tell you like it is and shoots from the hip. She is also love and compassion like I have never seen. She is hard and soft. She is a cowgirl, horseback riding, motorcycle driving bumpkin, and at the same time a designer handbag, $200 dollar pair of shoes, night at the opera, fly to Europe in a fabulous dress Princess.
And to be with her you have to know all this, and get it. That’s what Brent does. Brent you get all the parts of her and you fit! Not only do you fit but you do it all while respecting every part of her, and you make her happy. I couldn’t ask for more.
Back to the part of our dream of Amy and I in the Kitchen, while our guys BBQ. Well Amy’s got that dream. The house, the farm, the animals, and I can honestly say she is alone in the kitchen because I am the one out at the BBQ with Brent with a beer shooting the breeze. And I’m not sure if Brent or Amy noticed but when I came home for the engagement party after we spent the day here building picnic tables and me learning how to use power tools, we got in the truck to head back to the farm. Before Brent even got the chance I climbed in the back seat and they rode in the front together. I’m sure it wasn’t even something any of us realized, myself included. It just felt right.
Amy, I will always be your Will, and you will always be my Grace, but I am happy to know that today you have married your best friend. To Amy and Brent

Lisa’s Wedding Speech

Amy rented a cottage in early September with friends up in Long Beach for the weekend and a week later she moved into the farm. I came by the farm to help and recognized all her friends except for this one tall guy.
Amy said she met him in Wainfleet, but wouldn’t say more. Hmmm… I started in with the twenty questions, but for once my sister was silent.
What was going on? He was just helping? Who was this tall dark haired handsome man and why was he helping my sister??
Over the next few weeks Amy started hanging out more at the beach. She mentioned moonlit walks, romantic bon fires filled with wine. Every time she went to the beach the puppies followed… hmmm… he really did know the way to her heart was through her puppies.
Over the next few months I watched Brent and Amy working together. They pulled out carpet and painted walls at the farm. They laid tons of ceramic tile. Back at the beach they worked on Brent’s building, renovated cottages and planned.
Nearly three years later they continue their journey back and forth from farm to beach. The more I see them doing things together the more I realize how good they look, how strong they are and how happy.
Wow. They worked well together and I watched them grow into a lovely couple.
My sister used to be high maintenance and now she goes with the flow. I believe my sister has met her match. She has changed so much and I can see the love she has for Brent, life, the farm, her animals, puppies and the beach.
I was going to feel sorry for this new guy dating my sister and I wondered how he was going to put up with her? Today I can thank him for being patient, kind and loving.
I can see and feel the happiness you have for each other, your families and all her extra heart beats.
I have no doubt you two belong together and deserve each other.
Everything happens for a reason…
My toast: May your love affair last forever. We wish you all the best and years of laughter and love. Please raise your glasses as the Bremners and Lindhursts welcome each other.  

Brian & Ellen’s Wedding Speech

Brent and Amy’s Wedding Reception—September 18, 2010
I keep thinking of a Psalm, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”. And we are so glad that Brent and Amy are now husband and wife. It seemed a long time until they found each other. Suddenly, with the wedding scheduled, time has flown. Brent used to say it was a long interview process to find the right mate for life.
We have heard several stories about how they met. I don’t know how much truth is in them. You’ll have to ask them about that. I do know that three years ago, on September 4th, we left for a trip to Ireland. Brent drove Brian and me to the Toronto airport. We left realizing his previous relationship was broken. We returned one month later, on October 4th, and soon met Amy. We heard she and some of her friends had wanted to rent a cottage during the time we were gone. We heard Amy came to the cottage but her friends were unable to come with her. It seems that was the beginning. One story was that Amy, who is fiercely afraid of spiders, saw one or two spiders in her cottage. Her method of exterminating spiders was to throw shoes at them. However, being on vacation, she didn’t have a full arsenal of shoes to throw, so after throwing a few shoes and still having spiders around, she yelled for Brent to come help her.
Another story we heard was that Amy drove in, saw Brent in the barn, and told him she had a warm six pack of beer. Would he be able to swap it out for a cold six pack?
Then there was the quiet time when Amy was writing in her journal and Brent saw her and started to talk with her about her writing. Both were English majors in university and both enjoy writing. That was a good start. At least they had something in common.
However they actually started to know each other, they found a lot of commonality in their lives. As I said, both were English majors. Brent is on ski patrol and knows first aid and Amy is a paramedic, so there is another common trait. Both like to ski and snowboard. Amy is fearless in high places and Brent was happy to have extra hands with the roof on his barn. They both love the beach as do the dogs.
Apparently both Brent and Amy had said they did not want any permanent relationships at that point in their lives and yet love bloomed as time progressed. It is apparent when you are with them that they are well-suited to each other. Their words bounce back and forth. They are kind and understanding of one another’s feelings. Everything they exhibit points to a marriage made in God’s eyes and we are thrilled they have found each other. We welcome Amy into our family as her family has welcomed us. The pups, Taz, Gizmo and Poco, are now our grandpuppies and we look forward to a long life for all, filled with happiness and good health. Cheers to a wonderful and happy future together.

Amy’s Wedding Speech

Moms Tribute
There are moments, years after my mom died, when her absence is strongly felt. I’ve stood countless times in the kitchen at the farm with the music playing and remembered kitchen dancing. We’d come home from school and mom would have the music cranked as she made dinner. The instant we walked in the door, she’d grab us we’d do her rendition of swing dancing, but slower… we called it kitchen dancing. Brent and I continue this tradition and kitchen dance on a regular bases.
Today, I have waves of emotion as I stare at the empty space that should be filled by the mother of the bride. My sister and I have had each other to help us through the tough moments. Lisa and I make a point of visiting mom twice a year. The day she was born and the day she died. We take a bottle of wine, in the middle of the afternoon, sit in the cemetery and tell stories and toast our mom – both the good and the bad. So, if you see two girls sitting in the middle of the cemetery with a bottle of wine on a Tuesday – it’s just us.
Lisa and I would like you all to join us in a toast to our mom. She loved a good party and as we raise a glass let’s make her proud tonight in celebrating our wedding!
Dads Tribute
Now, I’d like to take the opportunity to tell you how I really feel about my dad.
When I was 13 my Dad knew nothing.
When I was 16 my Dad not only knew nothing, but he was wrong.
It wasn’t until I was into my twenties that I realized he was right – about everything.
My dad is always helping people. He taught us it was more important to help others than help yourself. I know the man I married today believes in helping others with the same passion as my dad.
Dad taught me about generosity and kindness. He taught me the importance of family and friends. He taught me that the only way to really enjoy a beer was to put in an honest days work.
I was 18 when he told me to make my own decision, but he’d wait until after I made my decision – that I chose wrong. “Way to go Stupid” was a phase saved for those truly unmistakable mistakes that kids make.
He’s a big man. A strong man. I’ve been saying that as soon as he turns 70 I’m going to kick his ass. He turned 70 last march and I’m still waiting.
My dad and I have a common interest through Emergency Services. He’s a retired volunteer fire chief and I’m a paramedic. One night after several bottles of butterfly wine I was trying to explain the importance of the defib and he was telling me it was all about CPR. I argued, as a new paramedic would, about technology and he stayed with old fashion chest compressions.
Fifteen years later… after much research from within the medical community… I hate to tell him that he’s right again.
I love you dad and I’m glad I got to say this all while you still sitting upright.
Brian and Ellen
The first time I had dinner at the Lindhursts I was a little nervous. As we sat down on the back deck with the sun setting into the lake I was relieved to see they had two bottles of wine on the table and the clear liquid in their pre-dinner drinks glasses was not water.
We ate under the stars and talked for hours. I knew these were my people when the third and forth bottles of wine where set on the table. I knew right then that I had to find a way to join this family.
Thank you for making me feel welcome and thank you for all your kindness and support.
Thank You Toast
What can I say about my new partner in crime? He has the most wonderful ideas. Building these picnic tables was a memorable experience as was renovating the farm, working on the cottages and building his barn out back. I often forget that not every girl can swing a hammer, lay tile, mix concrete and has her own table saw (that both dad and brent borrow).
We like helping people and we like helping each other. Brent is generous and kind. He’s loving and romantic. He’s funny, often late and sometimes frustrating. I’m glad I’m on this adventure with my best friend.
This beautiful beach wedding was Brent’s idea. He did most of the planning, getting, gathering and work. He was so excited and his excitement was contagious. I’m thrilled to be standing next to this man, holding his hand and I can’t wait to hear about his next idea.
This wedding has not been about just one day. It’s been a collaborative effort of so many people over months of planning. It was a great excuse to spend time with friends. I have wonderful memories of building picnic tables, putting up the tent and setting up. Chuck and Jill worked so hard on the lighting and Billy swinging a sledge like a princess was incredibly entertaining. My dad got the tractor stuck right over there…
the flowers are incredible – Thanks to my sister Lisa and her shop Shirley Ann’s Flowers for adding the icing to the cake. Shirley Ann’s Flowers can be found at 336 Central Ave in Fort Erie…. I’m sure she’ll give you a discount.
Thanks to my cousin Miranda who made the wedding cake and we only spoke on the phone once.
Finally, we’d like to thank you all for coming to the beach and joining us in celebrating our wedding.
We’d like to thank our wedding Party: Lisa & Robbie, Jill & Chuck, Billy & Jess, Maggie, Erin & Kate and our silent bride’s maid Jenn who travelled from Alberta to be here today… and who could forget our puppies: Taz, Gizmo and Poco. – these puppies keep me sane and bring so much joy. I can’t wait to see the pictures!
We’d like to thank Pastor Tom, HR and Katrina for doing a wonderful job.
Thanks to my new husband for creating a beautiful day fit for a princess. I love you.  

Brent’s Wedding Speech

Here it is – the day that has kept us up for many nights.  A day some believed never would come. It’s time for the well meant cliques.  The thank yous.
I’m not sure how other people write.  I think about writing while I’m doing other things – which explains some of my scars and lack of sleep.  I’ve been thinking about these thank yous for some time, and I thought about a good chunk of them while we were building these picnic tables.
I suspect pretty much everybody knows this, but I’m not originally from here, here meaning Wainfleet.  I suspect that there were attempts to conceive me here – but I wasn’t born here.  Wow, that’s completely off topic.  Anyhow – this is home – I’ve grown here, made mistakes here, learned here, and made some of my best friends here – and some friends of mine taught me if you’re going to get married in Wainfleet you’re going to build some picnic tables.
When I asked Amy to marry me she was thrilled (of course).  As we climbed over the initial shock of me asking such a grown up question we started talking about details.  Amy wasn’t surprised by my suggestion of venue; she instantly agreed.  And she was oddly not surprised when I said: we need to build picnic tables.  She didn’t even laugh at such a suggestion.  Likewise she didn’t laugh when I recommended installing squeaky, bangy hinges on the new screen door at the Farm.  I knew I had the right girl.  Anyhow, so we built picnic tables.
Amy and I build together well.  It’s one of the reasons I knew she was the one.
These picnic tables are analogous to our relationship.  They aren’t perfect – but they’ll hold more than their share.  They might be a little out of square, but still are oddly atheistically pleasing.  They’re extremely functional.  Amy and I sweat and probably bled a little over these tables.  We work hard at things together.  But their construction had lots of help.  We’re fortunate to have lots of support.  And there’s more than a little beer and sweat spilled on these by people we’re lucky enough to consider friends.  A great union needs hard work together, but it also needs outside help.  We’re thankful that we have that.  Thank you to our picnic table support crew – our friends.
Thank you Amy for proof reading my words, for building my picnic tables.  Many believe when they see a grand wedding under a big tent that this is for the bride.  Thank you Amy, for this excitement is largely for me.  If you enjoy yourself, thank Amy for running along with me.  I suspect that Amy would be equally satisfied with a small civil ceremony.  From the first murmur of our nuptials I knew I wanted a celebration fit for such an occasion – I mean how many thought this day would never come?  Thank you Amy for the rest of our lives together, starting with such a grand beginning.  For teaching, listening, and kitchen dancing.  Thank you for only quietly rolling your eyes when I heat up yesterday’s coffee.  I’ll keep making the new stuff for you though.  Thank you Amy for this day and all the rest.
We thank our families who have put up with decades of craziness until we finally met our match – and married each other.  Thank you for this beautiful location, thank you for opening your house to our celebration.  Thank you Mom and Dad for putting up with months of incredible wow and helping make this celebration a reality.  And thank you for the many, many years of support through fun and challenges (mostly fun) that lead to this day.
Thank you Frank for welcoming me into your Family.  He has a funny way of welcoming a new family member.  His brother tells you to get him a beer and Frank lets you help lay flooring.  It’s a wonderful welcome which makes me feel as much a part of the family as any of his kids.  When he called one of my decisions “stupid” I knew I was in.
Thank you to our extended families, our friends.  Our supporters.  A friend of mine says he can’t pick his family.  Friends are family that you pick.  Thank you friends for your fond thoughts and wishes and joining us for today’s celebration.  A special thank you to our friends who have helped us create this day by setting up, constructing, and who’ll help with the tidy.  We are blessed to have many friends and thank you.
Thank you to the bartenders, the food and catering staff.  We owe you; you’re helping distract our guests from the splinters.  How about a quick hand for these wonderful people – the backbone behind a great celebration!
And what would a celebration be without music?  Thank you to Ray and the band for bringing together the sound system so everybody could hear the words I’ve been so looking forward to offering and the music that will make this celebration a wonderful memory.
The legal, the spiritual, is done.  Let us celebrate!

We Wrote Our Vow

Bride to Groom:
I Amy take you Brent to be my best friend, partner in cahoots, travel companion and husband.
I promise to be faithful, honest, kind and loving.
In front of God, family and friends I vow to be a good wife, honest partner and willing adventurer.
I will stand by you during the good and bad. I will love you all the days of our lives.
Groom to Bride:
I Brent take you Amy to be my wife; my equal, my muse, my confidant, my conscience.
I promise that you will have the first choice of crayons when we colour, the best hammer when we build.
In the presence of God, our family and friends I vow to be a best friend & faithful partner and to love and cherish you as long we both shall live through joy and challenges.

The First Honeymoon Kayak

September 24th, 2010
Happy Birthday Rob and Happy Anniversary to Lisa and Rob!!! I wish I was celebrating with you today instead of fishing Taz out of Greenbo Lake… again!!
Tomorrow is our one week anniversary and we’re thinking of celebrating with chocolate cake and a ten mile trip into town. Fancy!! LOL…
It turns out we’re the type of people who listen to country music when in Kentucky, wash plastic disposable utensils and take our trailer on our honeymoon. We also: write on our laptops, learn about geocacheing (thanks Brian and Jenn), take videos with our new digital camcorder (thanks Wojick Family) and watch our portable DVD player (thanks Debra and Harry) outside beside the fire (we watched our favourite movie last night on the little screen: Pump up the Volume – stuck in the 80’s).
We managed to drop our kayaks into the Greenbo Lake today and paddle for a little bit in the ninety-five degree heat. The wind picked up to cool us off and heat us up by having to paddle harder. Poco sat happily in captain’s position between Brent’s legs and Taz wandered up and down the front of my kayak. We really need to put a non-slip surface on the top. Luckily she only fell in once. They all have lifejackets, so I managed to fish her out without much ado and she happily wandered to the front of the boat as soon as her little paws hit the plastic. Gizmo stayed in the trailer for his mid-afternoon nap.
To our delight the little sea kayak survived it’s slide down the interstate without damaging it’s ability to float. Brent looked nervous as he pushed the kayak into the water and just sat still for several minutes before determining the craft was sea worthy. Miracles.
The state park is really filling in for the weekend and we’re happy to have a spot up on the hill. We’re angled sideways away from the people so we look fondly on the forest, but the noise of the other campers has reached our ears. Taz is so exhausted that she’s not barking and the boys have found comfortable spots to rest, which means we can rest as well.
We took a good hike after a few glasses of wine post-kayak. The heat really bothers the little dogs and we’re happy to hear it’s going to be seventy-five tomorrow. We should be able to tackle a good hike after the rains push through tonight.
Brent and I have decided this is one of our best adventures.
We’ve got the charcoal grill up and running again tonight. This is the last of our steak, shrimp and potatoes. I just flipped a steak and felt the first of many raindrops. I’m so happy we’re not in a tent!

Day 4 of Being Married

September 21st, 2010 – day Four of being Married.
Well… phew. It took us all day Sunday to clean up after the wedding. We moved all the picnic tables off the beach and took down the tent. Thanks to all our friends who stayed to help and a big huge thanks to Bill Cushman for his time and his amazing (and beautiful) tractor. It’s so shiny.
By the time we got to the farm it was nearly eight at night and we were exhausted, but I was far too excited to wait another day to open our wedding gifts. Wow. We were amazed at the creativity of gifts and the generosity of donations. Wow. Thank you. Especially our parents. We love you all.
We woke Monday morning still tired and didn’t manage to get started on the trailer until nearly eleven in the morning. We were slow. We pulled everything out of the trailer and laid it garage-sale style on the driveway of the farm. This seemed to draw much attention because people started stopping by. We had to have a beer or wine with our guests who wanted to wish us well on our wedding and they kept asking… Why haven’t you left yet? We’d laugh and admit to moving at a turtle’s pace.
We love when people stop by the farm for a visit. We happily delayed our departure to visit with family and friends. You are always welcome at the farm. We cherish you.
By eight o’clock Monday night we realized we weren’t leaving, but Brent wanted to keep the romance alive and what better way than an all you can eat steakhouse? We had a gift certificate for Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse in Niagara Falls and we quickly showered and drove to the Honeymoon capital for our first dinner out as husband and wife.
It was delightful. Salty, but delightful! We laughed and I told everyone that we were just married. Brent smiled his quiet proud smile and continued to eat red meat until I thought he might burst.
We got back to the farm around eleven and fell into bed. I woke around two with the meat sweats. I’m happy to avoid meat for a few days. Just ask Chris about the all you can eat Mongolian place in Vancouver when he got the meat sweats.
Tuesday morning came quickly and we started to prepare to leave. By eleven we were still at the farm, but mostly ready. With dogs loaded we waved a farewell at my dad and headed for the border. First stop: Duty Free!
Several bottles of hard alcohol later we headed south west, tried unsuccessfully to open a join US account and then decided to really start driving. It was one in the afternoon. Three days post-wedding and we were finally ready to start our honeymoon. There are some drawbacks to doing it yourself and losing time is one of them. I would not trade the lack of debt for the lack of time any day of the week. Our honeymoon might be shorter, but our lives are just as rich.
By three p.m. we decided to stop and found a private campground called By The Lake. It was fairly typical, but what came as a loud surprise was the sound of the I90 racing towards Cleveland. We were in Ohio, but just barely.
We set up the trailer without any loss of limb and then sat to enjoy a bottle of wine, some cheese and crackers thanks to Betty Ann and Rick Chandler who gave us a lovely gift basket complete with everything you’d need for a picnic.
After a brief nap Brent announced we needed charcoal for the small grill my sister gave us as a wedding present. We walked the one mile to K-mart with the pups and brought the dog stroller to return with the bag of charcoal. After a two mile walk the dogs were napping and we were grilling sausage over a charcoal BBQ incredibly proud of ourselves.
With the light from Diane Conner wedding gift of a three candle lamp we cooked over an open fire and managed to burn, or at least singe the edges of everything we ate. It was the best honeymoon meal ever. Hot dogs, sausages and potato chips with soco to drink on ice. No wonder we’re getting fatter, but heck we’re on vacation!
We managed to get the hot water tank lit and I had a short and cool shower while Brent manned the fire. It felt good to be self sufficient.
We talked about other honeymoons options and both agreed that this is was our best idea. I’m sitting under the stars in Ohio beside a fire and the only sound is the I90 racing to Erie.
The best news? The truck and trailer pulled beautifully! We were delighted with our progress and in the power of our truck. The trailer is like a home on wheels.
It’s nearly ten at night and we’re sitting around the campfire with the puppies passed out and Brent snoring gently in the chair beside me. I guess we should go to bed and watch a movie… wink. Wink.
There is no where else I’d rather be than sitting under the stars in Ohio by an open fire with my love and best friend snoring in the lawn chair beside me. Sweet dreams husband bear.  

Wedding Day!!!

September 18th, 2010 Long Beach four in the afternoon: BEST DAY OF MY LIFE
I have never felt more beautiful as I made my way down the beach towards Brent. I have never felt more love than when I looked into his eyes that were shining with emotion. I have never been more delighted than when everyone cheered as I got out of the truck and kicked off my shoes.
How can this not be the best day of my life?
Hours at the hair salon, putting on make up, jewellery and a beautiful dress is priceless…. and amazing and wonderful and the best and most beautiful I’ve ever felt. I had no idea twenty-nine could feel so good.
The ceremony was amazing. It was filled with emotion, not only from Brent and I, but from our wedding party and our guests. I looked up at one point and everyone in our wedding party had tears in their eyes and smiles on their faces. Thank you.
We are grateful for the witnesses and grateful for the venue, but mostly we are grateful to have each other.
I will remember this day for the rest of my life and I cherish each memory and each thought. Each word spoken and each hug given. I hold this all dear and close to my heart.
The pictures are just starting to surface and I’m excited to see the different poses. What has filled me with happiness is that in each photo our love shines through. It sounds corny, but it’s true. Brent and I talked about it and decided to overcome our nerves and let all our emotions come on display.
It was amazing.
Brent and I have talked about the wedding and how much it meant to both of us, our families and friends. It feels so different. We feel different. We feel matched and married to each other without doubt. There is no where else I’d rather be.  

Wedding Tent

Our wedding tent is sixty by sixty. It’s huge. It totally kicked our ass yesterday. With only three days before the wedding and an thunderstorm predicted for Thursday, Wednesday became the day to put up the tent and move tables.

It would have been a thirty minute sitcom with lots of physical comedy, except it took over five hours in real time.

After we managed to sink all twenty-four of the three foot long steel tent pegs we tried to put the side posts up. We’d get one side up and the other side would fall over. We run around to the other side and then the front would fall. This went on for an hour with lots of grunts and a few swear words (okay, more than a few).

We gave up on the sides and decided to put up the centre pole. This was much harder considering we  didn’t know what we were doing.

There was five of us in the middle of the tent trying to get the massive centre pole up. We struggled against the weight of the tent and the sides we’d already tied down. We tried brute strength, but we were no match for the tent.

Huffing and puffing we were getting frustrated and a little snappy with each other when Brent’s dad had the idea that if we take the tension off the sides perhaps we might stand a chance of getting the centre pole up. Hmm… sounded good, but we still were not strong enough to lift the weight of the tent.

My dad offered advice based on watching circus tents go up on TV. It seemed they put the poles in and then pulled them up from the outside. It was worth a shot. We’d be at it nearly three and a half hours, so it was really time for some progress.

We untied all the sides facing the lake and sent Brent and Chuck to man the pole under the now collapsed tent. I don’t know how they could breath. With the rest of us on the outside pulling like mad towards the lake the pole began to rise.

Our excitement fueled our muscles and we pulled harder and the post rose a little more. With a cheer from inside and outside, we pulled. Our feet dug into the sand and our backs and arms screamed as we pulled with all our might.

Once we got it going the centre pole reached the magic point and suddenly it was upright. We cheered out loud. Breathing hard, covered in a slick layer of sweat mixed with gritty sand we popped the tops on our beers and congratulated each other.

It didn’t matter that the sides had all fallen down or that we had to reconnect everything – that centre pole was up.

After struggling to move the heavy hardwood picnic tables into place we sat under the tent, cracked another beer and watched the sunset behind the windmills to the west. Billy and Chuck made jokes that they signed up for a wedding and not a construction crew. Dad joked that we’d get his invoice soon.

I think we all felt a little satisfaction that we’d managed to kick the tent’s ass.

Funny side note: My sister Lisa and I got a pedicure this morning and in order to preserve the delicate yellow flower that was glued to my big toe I refused to wear shoes. The tent erection was done in bare feet and moving the picnic tables by loading them onto a trailer manually and driving them onto the beach with the tractor was done in thong sandals.

Several people asked if I was crazy, but I shrugged my shoulders and said it better break my foot without damaging my pedicure. Go big or go home I guess. My feet and toes survived.

I refuse to wear shoes today or until after the wedding. Wish me luck!