The night was black, but dotted throughout were globes of hovering beauty. Beneath the glowing beauty everyone breathed a collective gasp. It was stunning, magical. It was something that would never be forgotten and would be synonymous in memory in exchange for the word romance.
Incase you are just late to figuring this out, the above description was what my feeble little mind imagined the night to look like, the reality was much, much more hilarious!
The above video is what I envisioned.
As I shared previously Christopher and I renewed our wedding vows after 20 years of marriage. It was our time to celebrate the difficult years that we had come through together. Our's is not a Disney romance, there were some really, really hard times, and we almost didn't make it. This renewal was a gift to us, a celebration of our unbreakable love.
I am a bit type A (you know like someone is a bit pregnant), meaning that I drive everyone around me crazy with my pursuit of perfection. I have a vision of how I want something and come Hell or high water that is exactly what I will get, even if I drive everyone around me insane. I will try to achieve my goals with the most minimal blood shed. My close family and friends know me well, and generally just laugh at me. The night before our renewal my mother, sister and closest friends came to Trudeau Resort to help us decorate. I knew exactly what I wanted. Poor Fiona, poor, poor Fiona hasn't quite figured me out just yet. We were decorating the tables, and poor Fiona wanted to put in her input. I was nice, and told her that her idea was lovely. I think it was my friend Theresa who took her aside and told her "She's just humoring you. As soon as your back is turned she will do it the way she really wants it. You really should just smile and walk away." She knows me well, she knows me well.
In the planning stages of our renewal I had seen a video with chinese lanterns ( the one at the beginning of the blog). They were gorgeous. I knew in that moment that I had to have them. I had in my head the first image which I shared at the beginning of this blog. This would be beautiful. I knew that everyone would walk away from our night and tell everyone they knew about the magical evening they had been privileged to. To be honest the chinese lanterns were one of the more expensive things in our budget. We also purchased these beautiful floating lotus candles. Oh no one would forget our extravagance and attention to detail... truer words have never been uttered, but not in the way I had planned.
After we had finished our meal we asked everyone to come outside with us. I am pretty sure that I had that look on my face that my children get when they are pretty pleased with themselves. I even made a point of asking Casey and Cheri Trudeau ( www.trudeaupark.com ) if they wanted to bring their boys out to see our surprise. I quietly walked over and asked our DJ if he wanted to come out and see. I felt like lady bountiful bestowing a great once in a lifetime gift. I was a little hurt when the DJ told me he'd seen it before. Honestly I could barely contain my excitement. Fiona and Kevin had quietly slipped out after dinner and lit mason jars with tea candles to illuminate the path to the lake, and they had lit the floating lotus flowers and they were floating at the water's edge.
I should step back in time a little at this point, only a little. Remember I told you that my Mom and sisters and friends had come the night before to help us decorate? We decided that we should light one of the lanterns ahead of time so that on the night of we would have no surprises ... silly, stupid, naive, idiots that we were. That night as the evening darkness slowly descended we gathered out around the lake. Casey (who by the way is one of our town's volunteer firefighters) came out with us. We read and followed the instructions provided with the lanterns. We unfolded the lantern, and lit the small box on fire. It gracefully danced up into the sky, it's reflection mirrored in the calm water. It was ethereal. We let out a collective gasp because of the beauty of it. We then all hugged and had a warm fuzzy feeling... yes our guests would be wowed, that was for sure.
Now back to the night of. If you remember I had a stupid look on my face. I was full of anticipation. We had done a test run the night before and it was beautiful, everyone would think I was brilliant for thinking of something so beautiful! We all walked to the lake, our way lit by the twinkling mason lanterns, twinkling a soft glow. When we got to the lake the lotus were no where to be seen. Apparently the wind, which was significant had blown them away. Poor Fiona was nearly in tears, "Tris I swear we lit them!" It was one small glitch, yes it would have added to the show, but that was alright.
We broke into groups of four or five. The thing that struck me as really beautiful was the fact that everyone broke from their comfort group. It was members of Christopher's family with our friends, and members of my family all mixed in. Everyone had this great comfort with each other. It really was nice. We all set about trying to light the damned, stupid lanterns. None of them seemed to want to catch. At one point I look over and Fiona has her head underneath her her lantern blowing on it, to make it catch. I then hear Christopher yell, "Fiona Nooooooooooooooo", as the little square finally caught and nearly singed off her first layer of facial skin.
At one point someone shouted out triumphantly that their lantern had caught, and that they were great, something like that. It was then followed by a hysterical "OH GOD NO!" as their lantern drifted up, up, up into a tree. Shortly after that there was another triumphant "We have ours up... Oh shit it's headed for that barn." There were many shouts of "Yeah look at us, followed by oh no oh no..." Many floated into the lake to join our lotus lights. Some found trees, some fell to the earth a singed mess. I believe that only one actually made it up into the night sky.
You will be glad to know that nothing actually caught fire, there were no firefighters, other than Casey at our renewal. It was not the ethereal thing of stunning beauty we had planned. What it was, was memorable. Throughout the night were the echos of laughter. People were laughing so hard that they were leaning against people that until that night had been strangers. People grabbing their sides with tears of laughter streaming down their cheeks was a common sight that night.
In the end, it may actually have been better than we had planned. I cannot think of our renewal without that part of the night coming to mind, and I cannot think of those lanterns without smiling. There was that warm feeling of love (not to be confused with that warm feeling of third degree burns which many almost experienced). If something could go wrong, it did go wrong, but it was alright. I was able to trade my usual perfectionism in for living in the moment, and that moment was funny.
I feel that I should also add that no barns were set on fire, the lantern drifted lazily over, oh and Fiona's eyebrows have since grown back.