Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Canoe Wedding?!

Awenda Provincial Park - a beautiful place where both
Anita and I camped at when we were young.  

Planning for canoe trips is unfortunately going to take somewhat of a back seat to wedding plans this year. It was to be expected for sure, but at the same time, it's an adjustment for me. I don't have free reign over the paddling season any more, maybe even from this year hence forth! Besides dealing with vacation requests/approvals at work or navigating around family functions/important dates, now I have to contend with one more layer of bureaucracy - Anita, my new boss and soon to be wife. (I'm oft reminded of this saying about, "Happy wife makes for a happy life". I'm convinced it's a conspiracy!) Attempting to take off on a canoe trip may now require some deft wrangling. Submission, consultation, negotiation, and then finally approval (or denial). Talk about red tape. Okay, okay, I admit, I'm being a bit facetious, but I think you get the idea. It won't be the same as it use to be.

I love my fiance and really do look forward to a life together, both on the water and off. In reality, I know much of what I stated earlier needs to happen in order to maintain a happy respectful relationship, so really, I am not that far off. Nonetheless, I'm sure I will still pay for those statements in the opening paragraph. (What, I'm getting a 'time-out' from canoeing?!!) She is very much unlike a stern administrator at home. In fact, she is quite reasonable to deal with when it comes to my yearning for canoe trips. She was well aware of my passion for canoeing before we got together, so it's not like she is being blind-sided. Although, she did say that if I head out on a canoe trip without her, her only stipulation was for me to leave my credit card with her. (Why?!,....ok.)

Looking for back-up locations just in case
it rains on the day of our marriage.

So how easy is it to compromise with Anita? Well, how about a canoe wedding! At the beginning of the year, I had to accompany Anita, her sister and her mom to a huge bridal show in Toronto. I honestly felt like a fish out of the water. Glitz and glamour, lights and sounds, and most importantly big promises that had even bigger prices. As I walked behind all three ladies, I was perpetually being passed all the brochures, magazines, and cards that was being handed to them. The multiple bags I carried in both hands immediately swelled to contain these endless handouts I was trying to stuff them in. If you thought portaging was tough, let me tell you otherwise! I have to say, I was quite relieved when the ordeal was all over. Later that evening when Anita and I were resting comfortably at home, I asked her what she wanted for a wedding. Surprisingly, she said she would be more than happy to just go to a JP (Justice of the Peace) and get married. That was unexpected, but I was pleased she saw the folly in the extravagance of what weddings have or can become. I'm not here to judge and criticize what others want for their weddings, but I was glad that Anita and I were both generally on the same page. 

Now, I could have easily obliged her request as it was simple enough. But I, (this is the ironic part) yes, I'll say it again - I wanted a wedding. One that was small, intimate and not over-the-top, especially one that our friends and family could enjoy with us. Anita didn't need any convincing, she was fine with my request on one condition, that I plan it. Okay, so I knew right off the bat that I wanted an outdoor wedding. But when I started thinking, (how novel) I day-dreamed about a canoe wedding on the water. At this point, I wisely thought I should seek her approval. She was naturally humoured by the suggestion, but then she also did state it wasn't surprising coming from me. (Am I that predictable?!) The more we talked about it, the more she liked the idea as it would be unique and merge perfectly into our honeymoon plans. (Which I will blog about later.) Of course she had some concerns, but as we worked through the details in our head and on paper, it actually seemed feasible. She was sold, phew!

We really contemplated getting married on the Bay, but
we found a more suitable location elsewhere.

A traditional wedding would hardly raise an eyebrow. A canoe wedding on the other hand, that's another story. I convinced the most important person, but as you all know, we don't stand on an island all to our own. Let me tell you, it got reactions all right. Let's just say it was all 'positive'. Despite it all, Anita and I decided to stick with the original plan. Deciding on the location was difficult, because it had to be suitable for a myriad of reasons. After searching the web, checking out various venues/locations, we were still unsatisfied and undecided. Time was running out and we were starting to lose hope. We then decided to check out a lake at Awenda Provincial Park on the advice of its park superintendent. So last month, Anita and I trekked to the lake to scout it out. Needless to say, we were totally thrilled by what we found. We knew it would work out great for our plans! What a relief it was to finally find a place. Of course there is still lots more to do and figure out, but we are now one step closer to our dream canoe wedding. Stay tuned!

Once we found the perfect location for the 
canoe wedding, we were all smiles!


PS. I've finally managed to get some time off work. Heading out paddling this weekend - finally!

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