…even if she actually got married nine months ago, and is just getting around to throwing a reception now!
Yesterday we attended Jennifer and David’s long-awaited public celebration in honour of their very private wedding last fall. Here would be an appropriate place for me to put in a picture of the happy couple but in all my buzzing around with the camera yesterday I only got one picture of Jennifer and none of David. This is because they were both doing such a good job of circulating and mingling with their guests that they were never in one place for very long. Instead I will show you a picture of Emma and Jennifer (any excuse for an Emma picture!) as Emma slips a Kit-Kat Noir bar into a lovely hand-painted mailbox given to Jennifer by the Dempseys.
After several days of poor weather and dire forecasts for Sunday, the day turned out to be perfect, with sunny skies and warm temperatures. Ideal for an afternoon of sitting around on the decks of the various family houses at Coley’s Point and visiting with the many guests — probably about a hundred — who dropped by for the afternoon.
It’s hard to say whether someone else’s expectations have been met but from my perspective I think the day was just about perfect for what Jennifer would have wanted for a belated wedding-day. It featured lots of family, friends and relaxation, with the 140-year-old family house in the background and the ocean in the foreground. The kids had a good time playing down by the water, and having their faces painted by the talented Kat and Rachel (Jennifer’s nieces).
The day finished off with a lovely catered dinner at the Anglican church hall in Coley’s Point, and then a talent show with the wedding guests as performers.
The talent show encapsulated everything I love about Jennifer, who is one of my best friends as well as my cousin. I absolutely adore the fact that her way of being “Bridezilla” was not to wear a $1500 dress or drag everyone off to Puerto Rico for the wedding or make a bunch of her closest friends wear dresses they’d never put on again — instead, it was to invite everyone up front to entertain her. Jennifer, of course, was the MC of her own show (David played a much quieter role as appreciative audience, although he did get up at the end to thank everyone for coming and to assure us that “I do talk!”).
“Variety” was indeed the key word as the performances featured everything from adorable little children singing songs, reciting poems, and playing the fiddle (that would be Strident Lori’s daughter Abby, and my Emma and Christopher, in that order), to another 8-year-old who did a karate demonstration, to songs, poems and recitations from the older generation. Some of the members of Revelation II, the church choir that both my dad and Jennifer’s dad used to sing in, performed “Amazing Grace” and dedicated it to Uncle George’s memory, which brought a tear to many eyes. My dad sang a song, but also did a violin piece, because a few years ago Jennifer asked when we were going hear him play it in public and he wisecracked, “At your wedding!” so he had to make good on the promise.
Jennifer took the stage herself for a dramatic performance of the Peter Pan record she memorized as a child (and entirely cracked up the forty-somethings in the audience by making reference to “Dr. Hook” instead of “Captain Hook” — that was the point at which Jason, Sherry and I just about fell to the floor laughing). There was a singalong rendition of “Barrett’s Privateers,” and another singalong, rather less skilful but quite enthusiastic, of Jennifer’s favourite “El Paso.”
I may be slightly biased, but I thought the highlight of the evening came when the Strident Women (me, Lori, Tina, Christine and Natalie) followed up the El Paso singalong by performing a parody of “El Paso” called “The Ballad of David and Jennifer” which we had written especially for the occasion.
What’s that? It’s not enough just to hear about it … you’d like to actually hear the song and see us singing it?
Oh, I knew you’d say that … sadly, the camera ran out of memory and cut off the last couple of verses, including the part where we all blew kisses to David — but I think there’s enough here for you to get a feel for our performance. Tina says it’s amazing that I’m the farthest from the microphone but you can hear my voice better than anyone’s. I’m a big believer in the “If you can’t sing good, sing loud” school of thought!
Back when I was faculty sponsor for the school newspaper at Kingsway, Jamie used to joke that the lamest newspaper articles always ended their reports on school events with “All in all, everyone had a good time.” So I have to think of some more witty way to end my report on Jennifer and David’s party — but it is true, that all in all, everyone seemed to have a very good time. I guess I can just say that I wish David and Jennifer will have as much sunshine, friends, family, fun and laughter throughout their marriage as they did on their about-nine-months-after-the-wedding celebration.