My goodness, I had to haul out our wedding pictures to come up with ideas for today’s post and what a lovely trip down memory lane it turned out to be! My sweetie and I met in a ballroom dancing class at the University of Calgary. I took the class to learn how to ballroom dance, he took the class, as I found out later, to meet girls. Mission accomplished, I suppose, as here we are 40 years later and we’re still together. Our family has grown as we now have two wonderful sons and two lovely daughters in law.
We got married a week after final exams which meant a) we were broke and I had to beg Revenue Canada to get my tax return in time to fund our honeymoon and b) my mom did most of the wedding planning. We had a small ceremony, immediate family only, in fact the group was so small everyone ended up sitting in the choir loft of the church. Here I am on the way to the church with my dad.
Our best man borrowed his parent’s car to drive us – honking the horn the whole way and I don’t think that’s done anymore – to the wedding dinner after the ceremony. Apparently confetti sprayed out of their heater for months afterward.
Our reception was held at the Romeo and Juliet Inn (yes, that was the name and how romantic is that!) which no longer exists but at the time was quite the fancy place as they had a live band and dancing. Seemed appropriate, seeing as that’s how we met. Anyway, there was one other couple having their wedding reception there the same day – May 6 – and they stopped by to say hello and wish us all the best which of course we reciprocated. It would be interesting to know how their marriage turned out. Here is our first dance as Mr. and Mrs.
We enjoyed a wonderful 6 course Italian meal but to tell you the truth, we couldn’t wait to hit the road for our honeymoon. We left the party about 10 and found out later my in laws shut the place down some time well into the wee hours of the morning.
We spent our first night in the Banff Springs Hotel, the same hotel mentioned in Brides of Banff Springs, Book 1 in the Canadian Historical Brides Collection. Much to our chagrin, we realized we hadn’t booked a double bed but instead had two twins. We pushed the beds together because where there’s a will, there’s a way *wink*…It was kind of a waste of money because we didn’t check in until well after midnight and we were on the road by 8 am the next morning. Ah, to be young and not need to sleep. We have since stayed at the Banff Springs to make up for our wedding night.
We were in such a hurry to cross the border we ended up with a $35 speeding ticket before we left Canada which meant we spent our first couple of days in the U.S. trying to figure out how to pay for it as we knew we would be away longer than 30 day payment period. This was before the days of on line banking so it took some scrambling on our part, not to mention a large chunk of our honeymoon fund.
Anyway, my parents lent us their car, a 1976 Pontiac Sunbird and we went on a 6 week road trip down to Scottsdale where friends of my husband’s parents let us use their condo for 2 weeks. And actually, last year by coincidence we ended up driving over the Navajo Bridge in Arizona which we remembered having done on our honeymoon but couldn’t quite remember where it was. It's closed to traffic now but you can walk over it.
Then we headed over to San Diego where we spent a fabulous evening at a piano bar and up to San Francisco where we treated ourselves to a delicious dinner on Fisherman’s Wharf. Then we worked our way back up the coast through California and Oregon which is still one of our favorite road trips.
We ran out of American money somewhere in Oregon and drove non stop until we hit the border south of British Columbia. Once we were back in Canada, we had $20 Canadian, enough money to buy a bit of food and a case of beer. Haha, priorities!
As a wedding gift, my husband’s grandmother gave us a Royal Copenhagen porcelain figurine of a couple dancing.
Nowadays we'll dance occasionally, sometimes even in the living room when a good tune comes on and we can still rock it! The cover of Barkerville Beginnings shows Rose dancing with Hannah on Rose and Harrison’s wedding day.
You can buy Barkerville Beginnings at your favourite online store HERE. It is also available in print on Amazon or through your local bookstore.