Creating an image of love


I am always in awe of how people, when given a chance, can be creative.

At our wedding, we wanted to create ‘something’, that represented family, its many facets, colours, elements, members. We wanted to show how our family was coming together. Two parents with their four children, and all the tributaries flowing into One.

Pinterest has lots of interesting ceremonies couples use to show this — sand poured into a jar by the bride and groom; knots tied in a rope, shells added to a dish, names to a figurative tree. The ideas are many and varied.

As an artist I wanted something that reflected not just family coming together, but the creative uniqueness of each of us and how we all contribute in our own special way to the whole.

We decided to do a ‘paint pouring’ ceremony at the wedding.

Pouring paint can be messy. An acrylic pouring medium is added to the paint which can make it very fluid. Once poured onto the canvas its natural desire is to flow everywhere.

That wouldn’t do at a wedding.

We needed something that would flow but would still be thick enough when poured to hold most of its form so that it wouldn’t run off the edges of the canvas onto the floor or people’s clothes. Cactus Arts, one of my favourite purveyors of all things that feed my artistic needs, sells a French brand of paint that was perfect: Pebeo paints are thick, opaque and in some colours, metallic or iridescent. Their ‘flowability’ can be controlled, even when pouring medium is added to them.

Jerry with Judy - pre wedding

Jerry with Judy – pre wedding

Which is why, on Saturday morning of the wedding, when Jerry W. a dear friend arrived at the venue to ask if he could help, I immediately gave him the task of mixing paint. Joyfully he tore off a big piece of plastic to cover his clothes and set himself up in the ‘paint pouring’ corner to complete his task.

An Image of Love

An Image of Love

Later, after C.C. and I had finished the first pour and then our children each had added their colour to the mix, we invited all our guests to join in and help us paint a picture of love and family.

It was spectacular! All through the evening, people poured and laughed and added their special and unique mark to the painting. Some went back to add another mark or came back to see what new element or idea was added.

What began as just an idea turned into a beautiful representation of love, family and friends.

We are delighted. Once I’ve added a resin to the surface to protect it we will hang it in our living room where it will be a beautiful reminder of not just our wedding but of everyone in our lives who add such beautiful and vibrant hues to create the circle of love that is our life.

This is the PDF of the poster that stood on an easel beside the poured Painting


And the chairs moved and the sun shone.

IMG_1177Planning a wedding is a delicate balance of trying to plan for everything and anything, while constantly having to give up control of needing to have it perfect.

Planning a wedding outdoors means perfection cannot even be on the agenda. The weather is its own element, with its own agenda and its own whimsy. You cannot control what it does, when it does it or how. You can only prepare for every eventuality.

On Saturday, April 25th, the rain that had threatened all week became a reality. It fell. All around. All morning.

The valley was shrouded in grey glowering darkness. Misty clouds floated above the surface of the lake, raindrops danced upon the waters.

It was beautiful but it was not what I wanted.

At nine, when I arrived at Bench 1775 Vineyards to help set-up, I was not willing to concede defeat. “Let’s wait until mid-morning before we make the final decision,” I pleaded with Natalie Winsa, our wedding planner. “Of course,” she agreed. “Let’s wait.”

Waiting didn’t make a difference. The rain kept falling. The temperatures were downright cold.

My daughters arrived to help. “You’re going to have to do the ceremony inside,” they cautioned me.

I took a breath and decided it was what it was.

All set up inside...

All set up inside…

“Yes! Let’s set-up inside. It will be different than I imagined but it will still be beautiful.”

And we began the task of creating a space of beauty within while outside the rain tapered off but the skies remained gloomy.

We’d planned on being finished by noon. By one, we were not yet done. Alexis my eldest daughter set the alarm on her phone. “We have to be out of here latest by 2 mom,” she advised me.

“Of course,” I replied as C.C. and I draped fabric over fishing line wire to disguise the corner where all the ‘extra stuff’ was hidden behind the DJ.

TZ, who had been working on beautifying the tent, wrapped the final guy-wire with silver mesh, hung the last whimsical flower I’d made on the centre pole and strung the final silver star. TW swept up debris as his daughter Victoria helped place the final centrepiece.

Alexis’ alarm chimed at 2. “We have to go,” she announced.

I was still waiting for the weather to turn. The rain had stopped but the clouds still hung low. “We have to go, mom. It will be beautiful.”

I knew she was right. The room where we’d set up the chairs for the wedding looked beautiful, as did the tent where all the tables were set.

It’s just, I’d really, really wanted to get married outside, with the lake waters shimmering in the sun and the view expanding out behind us.

We drove back to Therapy Guesthouse to get ready. TW practiced sabering a bottle of champagne and we clapped and laughed as the bubbles came frothing out.

Alexis did my makeup while Ross Tabalada, our amazing photographer, took photos. C.C. and his son T floated around for awhile until we banished them to the downstairs.

The tradition of not seeing the bride until the ceremony runs strong amongst our daughters.

And I just kept smiling and getting ready and practicing letting go of wanting the ceremony outside.

At 4:55 we were ready to leave for the ceremony. C.C. and his son TC had already gone before us. It was just the girls and me, and TW who was driving us over.

My phone pinged.IMG_6569 A text. I looked at the screen. It was just emoticons. A heart and a whole bunch of suns shining.

I text back. “Move the chairs please. Outside.”

And so, the clouds pulled apart. Blue sky appeared and sun streamed through the gaps.

And the chairs moved.

It didn’t matter if the air was still crisp or the clouds hung low upon the horizon. Right where we stood, the sun shone and the breeze felt fresh against my skin as C.C. and I, surrounded by our children, family and friends vowed to love one another, forever and always.

It was perfect in every way.

The many views of Love

We are home. Husband and wife. Married.

I didn’t think ‘being married’ would really be all that different than living together. I thought it would just be a formal/legal kind of thing that didn’t change anything.

I was wrong.

Something did change. Shifted. Moved. Tilted. Expanded. Deepened.

There is something different in this place called husband and wife. Something deeper. More solid. Stable. Safe. Complete.

I am surprised. Awed. Excited.

I am home.

The entire week at Therapy Vineyard & Guesthouse was amazing. Natalie Winsa, our host and wedding planner made it all so carefree, so fun, so beautiful! Her partner, Kasey Alladin, ensured that everything we tasted, from the Friday night snacks at the Open House to the wedding buffett not only was delectable and delightful but visually stunning too. And the team at Bench 1775 Winery were amazing. While Sonya, Aaron and crew aren’t actually responsible for the incredible views (Thank you Universe!), they definitely did everything possible to ensure we could savour the vistas from every point of view no matter where we stood on one of their decks or in their tasting room.

Surrounded by incredible scenery, long vistas across the lake and billowy white clouds above, no matter where you stood at our wedding, every view spoke of friendship, family and above all, Love.

There isn’t a single thing I’d change. Not a single moment I’d re-do, except of course, I want to experience it all again and again!

I’m still savouring. Still processing. Still breathing into the beauty and awe of it all. So rather than put words to my feelings and thoughts, I’m sharing photos from our wedding most of which have been provided by the amazing Tamara Z. Thank you Tamz. Your thoughtful ideas on how to capitalize on the views and space and your help in setting up made everything a perfect dream! Between you and Tim W. Sr. this girl never had to worry about a thing! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.