Last Saturday, the British Boy and I got married… again. Last time was an intimate affair in a cabin deep in the Adirondak woods. It was snowing, it was cold, it was perfect in every way. This one was sunny and circusy and strait out of another era and, most certainly, one of the most magical days of my life (not to mention, one of the hottest days of the year in England).
I want to tell you all about it but family is visiting and I wish to spend as many of my waking moments as possible with them until they board a plane home next week. In the meantime, here is a sneak preview and I also leave you with my husband’s speech… which brought the entire crowd to tears. Seriously, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room (or barn, as it were) and the bride was the worst of them all – it was sloppy, people! It turns out my husband was very much the writer that day so it seems apt to share his words with you today.
The Groom’s Speech
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends and Countrymen,
Well, first of all I would like to say thank you. Thank you on behalf of Jeanine and I for coming here to support us both today on this very special occasion.
Thank you for coming so far, thank you for coming in this most delightful sun and thank you for squeezing into our diminutive church! It truly is wonderful to see all your faces beaming back at me (yes, even you Chris!)
Now, if you’d like to indulge me for a moment….. Come closer, hush down now, because I’ve got a story for you all that I bet you’ve never heard, well most of you anyway!
Jeanine and I first met on Tuesday March 3rd 2009. I was in my dressing gown and she was standing on my front door step in her Canadian travel gear. Who would have guessed that this was the place for romance to bud?
It was strange, I remember thinking of nothing more than I wanna hang out with this girl.”Lets go get some brekky yeah? ” I say hopefully. Then in the back of mind I hear “Um! Joe don’t you have to be at work in 30 mins?” Jeanine asks me the same question. “Oh no that’s fine,” I say. That’s the last I hear of the “work” thought. Poof, obliterated! By what I now know can only be described as ever growing particles of love!
We eat, we giggle, I woo her with marmalade (it’s true, you’ve read the blog!). Just bloody glad there was no Bovril, I may not be standing here now!
We then take on our first adventure of many. The No. 21 bus ride to my work and her visit to London!
We sit strangely close and look out the window, “Blimey! London looks amazing”, I think. “It doesn’t normally look this rich, I must be in some sort of trance, it’s raining for Pete’s sake!”
Seriously, I can’t believe my luck, this angel is sitting next to me, she’s staying in my house and she’s absolutely gorgeous, witty and, I sense, to my delight, a tad bonkers. Hurrah!
So as I depart for work and her on a photography mission, my brain is all consumed by the thought of seeing her…….. again……. tonight!
And the rest as they say is history and of course, on most popular websites and blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or WordPress. There are pictures too. No NOT like that, Dan!
So, here we are, I am now proudly part of the Caron family. A whole new wonderful family. I have a very generous father Joe, a kind and wonderful mother Alison and 2 great sisters, Christina (standing amongst you) and Michelle who’s probably hiking a mountain somewhere with her husband Mike. Thanks guys for welcoming me into your great family with such warmth and wholehearted kindness.
I knew that I had it good when the first time I met Alison was 200 ft up on a crane bungee jump platform about to plunge into a quarry full of water!
I’m so thankful to marry Jeanine and can’t thank you enough for raising such a wonderful woman!
That brings me nicely on to my own, yup you know who I mean. The Stewart Clan! My rocks, my inspirations, my family. My words can never express how much I love you all, how grateful I am to have such a generous, kind, thoughtful and beautifully eccentric family. You’ve always been there for me and for that I am eternally thankful.
I’d like first to raise a few toasts.
There are not any bridesmaids as such but please raise your glasses to Jeanine’s great friends who have been rocks of support to her. Roma, Leonie and Sas. Toast
I’d like to say a huge thanks to my ushers and great friends for all their help today. Toast
Now of course, there are people that I’d like to thank for this wonderful woman sat beside me, yes indeed her parents. They have done what I believe is a fantastic job indeed. Sadly Jeanine’s father Joe cant be with us today but her Mum Alison has traveled all the way from Montreal to be here. This gives me the opportunity to give her a huge thank you for raising such a lovely woman. Please accept these flowers as a token of my gratitude.
On that note, I would also like to thank my Dad for hosting the wedding here at Dean Hill Barn. A place I hold dear to my heart. Dad here’s a thank you from both of us.
Thank you Jen. Who thought she was coming for a nice few chilled days camping and ended up slaving away to help make this beautiful wedding.
I’ve also got a few messages here from afar! Here they are!
From Jeanine’s Dad
Hello Joe & Jeanine,
I am deeply sorry that I cannot be there for your wedding day, but what matters the most is that the love that you have for each other will bring a life time of joy and happiness. So Joe since I really want you to be able to take care of this wonderful daughter of mine I have some practical advice for you that I have learned over the years. No matter what she says to you in the years to come always, always remember these two words. “YES DEAR”.
I’m very happy for you, I give you both my love and may your love live long and prosper forever.
I will always be there for you both.
Then read out other people’s messages.
I recently bought a lottery ticket as a last attempt to find a way to your wedding. Somehow, I find comfort in knowing that over 2 million other fellow Canadians had their plans fall threw just like mine. Instead, I will be there in spirit, and send good vibes from across the ocean so that you both have a kick ass time! I propose a toast to Joe and Jeanine: the most passionate couple that I know! May your love sizzle for all of the seasons of your life. Much love, Amy
I wish I could be there and we will have a scotch in honour of you both this Sat night. You want a couple of words but It is beyond me how I could ever sum up my love for this woman in a note on an email but I will try all the same.
Jeanine became one of the most important relationships in my life the very first time I met her, we danced and talked and she snuck into the very core bit of my soul and there she stayed. She’s always with me, the laugh, the huge grin, the inappropriate humour (perfectly timed), the creative nature, the adventurous spirit – how could anyone NOT adore this woman? Most of the things I would say to her on the day of her wedding are far too vulgar and filthy to say in front of what I imagine to be an enormous room full of people so I will offer you a poem by ee cummings instead (give poem to Jeanine).
To Jeanine, my dear friend, and Joe – the man who stole her heart, I wish you all the happiness in the world, dipped in chocolate and wrapped in bacon (I think that should be good right?)
Love Cala xoxoxoxo
I wish Rob and I could be there to see you guys get married again. I know it’ll be a magical day. Here are some memorable words from a book that Jeanine and I both read and had lengthy conversations over coffee back in university. The book is called “Way of the Peaceful Warrior”. I only wish to remind her of its message and to wish you both the best in your lives together.
“There are no ordinary moments. Remember to stay in the now. Keep your sense of humor. Breathe. Let go and go for the ride freely, no matter what happens. Be unreasonably happy.”
Love you both,
Chickipoo, Rob and Lily
Sorry we couldn’t be there for your special day part II, but if you try really hard I bet you can feel us there in spirit. You two are amazing together and I can see how you will keep making each other happy through out the years.
Here’s to many years of love, adventure, travel and perhaps a little Stewart family ;0
M & M
All the words that I write are inadequate to describe the depth of happiness I feel when I imagine our girl reveling in bliss. If not too much trouble instead will you on Saturday at some point please tenderly pinch the skin of Jeanine’s elbow and let her know my heart is with her always.
Wishes for the best day ever!
Getting married twice hey. I promise you I never ever thought that I would be the person to do this.
It means so much to me and I’m sure you will all agree it has been worth the effort, to see my wife Jeanine looking so utterly beautiful as always.
That brings me on to say how lucky I feel that I am… so lucky to find a woman prepared to, well for want of a better phrase, ‘go the distance’ with me! It’s not been easy, the long travel, back and fourth, loving Jeanine so much and missing her so.
To be honest, if you’re single, find a nice local person, just down the road in fact, in the same village even better, it’ll save you a lot of cash (flights are très expensive) and … well … I definitely wasn’t this grey haired 3 years ago!
But if you dooooo happen to fall for a beauty from across the pond and you arrrre lucky enough that she is prepared to give up her family, her friends and her country to come and live with you, then hold onto that, value that because the prize that you get is gold! It makes me so proud of my wife, it adds to my strength and confidence to believe in carrying on and growing and getting stronger together.
I love this woman! I love the way she falls asleep when you rub her belly at night. I love the way she loves really cheesy toilet related jokes. We call it having the sense same of poomer!! Shabang!! Yep I thought only her and me would find that funny!
Jeanine wears her heart on her sleeve, literally, I mean just look at the way she writes. It’s so beautifully raw and honest, it takes my breath away.
Jeanine is also a woman who loves nature as do I. Any woman that is prepared to slip into a wet suit in Northumberland, in winter and swim in a river pool called Devils Water is the right girl for me! Most times we wild swim she’s first in!
You know what? Marriage is the hardest and most rewarding choice I have ever made. I can feel myself growing up. Well trying to and I begrudge it sometimes. We’ve likened it to wearing a new suit or pair of shoes sometimes. When the uncomfortable bits are past, the feeling is just pure bliss. I found a bit of writing by one of my favourite authors. JRR Tolkien.
It goes like this.
“Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.”
Jeanine you say to me that you like to decide when you have all the facts. Well here I am and I have ALL the facts and I am so completely happy to have chosen you!!