<----Oh, here are samples of the dozens of wedding-white throw pillows at the beautiful residence in Burlington, Ontario where their nuptials were held. Each had been liquid-embroidered by the bride's sister in either BOS or YYZ to represent the airport codes of Toronto and Boston. Our two memento pillows are nestled at home in Douglas next to a book entitled, A Day in the Life of Canada so I can sit in our sunroom, scroll digital photos of our son and daughter in law's day, glance back at those pillows -- and smile.
And that book about Canada. A few years ago we "borrowed" it from our family lake house at Winnipesaukee to "decorate" the Douglas guest room for Nick and his future bride's very first stay here for American Thanksgiving. I was so excited ... and so nervous.
Our home has multiple slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune: doors with actual holes, a shower stall where water runs downhill, 'away' from the drain, and as I'm sure you recall, one renovated bath with glass pedestal sink whose broken faucet perfectly matches the tub's broken scalding gusher that our plumbers, Roosevelts I and II, are unable to repair.
But I was determined to make the guest room beautiful.
This particular guest room is accustomed to being transformed. In the past 27 years it has been a master bedroom, Zachary's Toddler Suite, Newborn Abigail's Nursery, Jake's Bachelor Pad, Nick's Garage Band Practice Space, and Abby's middle-school homage to The Color Purple. It has been spray-painted black, sponged in blue, and bordered in floral to enhance a hue called "lavendar-violence" that Abby selected in 8th grade.
It was overdue for 'freshening,' so I bought some white floor-length drapes that I 'tossed' at the curtain rods then allowed to flow elegantly to the floor. Into two outlets I plugged pure ambiance: mini lava lamps with softly-roiling glitter. On the night stand I placed a crystal and silver jewelry box with wedding-bell relief-art I'd received at someone's bridal shower years ago. This I filled with romantic Chapstick.
And I stole all of Abby's heart-shaped pillows and tossed them about the guest room. The largest one -- in hot pink -- the size of an inflatable raft -- I pinned to the far wall to cleverly disguise a hole.
And in the center of the queen bed's new comforter I positioned a Beanie Baby Turkey to commemorate the holiday.
We adorned the vanity with belts constructed of fabric and metal hearts, and I placed some college portraits of Nick on the dresser. As a finishing touch, I lit purple candles moments before they walked in with luggage. But there, in the corner, as a beacon of Leah-welcome, was a captain's chair bearing the book, A Day In The Life Of Canada, so she would not miss home.
The total effect ... was not unlike stepping into a brothel.
Abby's Beanie Baby Collection up on an armoire meant that dozens of artificial eyes were trained on the bed and its turkey... adding macabre notes of voyeurism that even I could not anticipate in my most inappropriate musings.
Did I mention the college portraits of Nick were photos of him drinking Jack out of a bottle wearing nothing but a size 5 ladies' thong?
It was the mini lava lamps that put the whole thing over-the-top. Neither Nick nor Leah slept a wink. But that is not what today's post is about.
|The Burlington, Ontario residence where Nick and Leah were hitched|
|First Kiss as husband and wife|
Burlington put on her best show for our our son and daughter-in-law's most cherished day. Even the weather was picture-perfect for the rehearsal, then the June 15 ceremony.
|A glimmer of 130+ guests in attendance, amid resplendent foliage|
Graeme and Doz, both musician friends of Nick and our family (from Bang Camaro and The Vershok) turned to soak it all in, and Graeme commented to me, "You know, Canadians are beautiful people!"
"I know!" I gushed. "Aren't they generous and sweet?"
"Well, yeah, that, Carolyn," said Graeme. "But I am talking about physical beauty. These are the most gorgeous people I have ever seen."
Doz nodded enthusiastically. These guys are both from the UK. Graeme is from England and Doz is from New Zealand so I said, "Canada can't be that different from the rest of the UK, can it?"
I have visited New Zealand and, frankly, found everyone there quite fetching. And my long lost relatives hail from Cornwall and pictures of them are not un-flattering.
But essentially, Doz and Graeme were right. Everywhere we turned, beauty abounded: the maid of honor, (she technically lives in New Zealand!), is jaw-droppingly beautiful. And, like the bride, her two sisters have contagious, brilliant smiles and faces you don't want to look away from. Plus, you know the adage that if you want to know how a bride will look in a decade, look at her Mom? Well, theirs is gorgeous.
I met a beautiful girl named Moira and another named Petra, three of the most handsome young gentlemen triplets on earth, their relatives, Stefan and Julien who not only spoke French in front of my daughter sweeping her off her feet, but were gentlemen to the core and as handsome as the triplets.
As this magical evening wound down and an Ontario sunrise threatened, I had one disparaging moment where all the beauty and the tall and the amazing made me feel a little weathered and un-tall. Maybe even un-waif-y. But there was no need.
I looked around again and realized the Canadian beauty wasn't specific to Canada. The Bostonian best man and our sons were pretty difficult to not stare down and the groom, of course, glowed.
Abby, below, caught the beauty bug.
Our second oldest son's
I couldn't stop re-applying lipstick.
What all of us were experiencing -- was genuine joy, everywhere. Joy is a powerful beauty-accessory.
The happy couple had named their wedding the Love Party. It was. And that brand of love made everyone FEEL and exude sheer beauty.
Thank you to my daughter-in-law for falling in love with our son . . . and bringing joy & beauty to each of the 130 people at that Burlington home.
Most of all, thank you to our son Nick, for growing into this profoundly beautiful man and husband who deserves nothing less than the best.
We are so happy you both found the best, and continue to create the best in each other.
Of all the beauty we were privileged to witness in these last days and years, this has been the most beautiful. You continue to enhance each other . . . I've never seen anything like it.
Enjoy Costa Rica and Happy One Week Anniversary in a few hours~!