Well, a mighty congratulations goes out to Rob and Anna, who tied the knot just over a week ago at Watson’s Mill in Manotick. I was lucky enough to be one of the four best men to take part in the wedding, and share in their special day. As a result, there was a fair bit of partying to be done as well, which included not just one, but two bachelor parties, as well as the wedding itself. And all this a mere week away from my Iron-distance triathlon! This post will share a bit of the fun that we had over the week before the wedding, as well as the wedding itself. The fun was multiplied by the fact that we had some special guests come from out of town that we hadn’t seen in a while, which made it all the better. Namely, Tanya, Troy, Duane and Boris made the trip from their respective corners of Canada to celebrate with us. Read on to hear a bit more about this once-in-lifetime event for Rob and Anna. If you’re so inclined, you can also head over toflickr to paw through the many pictures that we took.
Actually, the whole process of getting to that wedding day was a bit funny from my perspective. For quite a while, I actually wasn’t sure if I was even in the wedding party, as I hadn’t seen a formal invitation, and couldn’t remember Rob saying anything. The reason I say I couldn’t remember, is that for some reason, I thought maybe he’d said something to Matt and I on one of our drunken Jonah walks around my block at one of my parties, but neither Matt or I could remember for certain, and we were tooembarrassed to ask. I finally got the confirmation when I prodded Dave to ask Rob for a list of his wedding party for the wedding, hoping to hear it that way. As it turned out, I was in the party, as was Dave, Matt, and Troy. Cool. The four of us! Since Dave had the most time on his hands, we got him to set up the bachelor party. However, as I alluded to, there were to be two of them. You see, some time ago, Rob started hanging out with some other poker-playing guys, and they were throwing something as well. Isn’t Rob a lucky guy?
It worked out well, since those guys wanted to have a party the weekend before, but we wanted to wait till the Thursday night before the wedding, in order that Troy could make it out, and hopefully Duane and Boris as well. Sadly, they didn’t end up flying in until Friday, but we managed to do it right anyway. The poker guys’ party was a gambling themed day, and only Matt and I joined in from the ‘other crew’. They started the day with greasy breakfast, then moved on to crazy Bingo inVanier . We skipped that part, and just joined in at a house party, where we proceeded to share in the keg and madness! There ended up being a ‘charity’ poker tournament, with the prize money donated to the Sample wedding alcohol fund. There was also plenty of video game action on the NintendoWii (gotta get one of those). After the house party was a night out at the Rochester Pub, where the guys and gals all hooked up. By that point, I’d had plenty to drink, and decided my best course of action was to head home, since I had to train the next morning, and didn’t want a repeat of the week before where I skipped. I was around 1am already anyway, so I’d say I did pretty well!
Troy and Tanya were staying at the Casa Cheshire with Jody and I all week, and showed up on Monday evening. It was great catching up with them and reliving some of the old memories. By the time we got to Thursday, the plan was alllayed out to have a true ‘sucker Thursday’ like the old days on 317 Lyon. That is, those who don’t work start drinking early, and call and harass those that are working like suckers and can’t join in. Sadly, I was a sucker, and couldn’t meet them till later. Our plans included starting the day with a beer a 1pm, followed by bowling on the West end, then the lads headed to the Royal Oak, where I joined them at 5pm. I kicked my day off by having 3 pints of Strongbow in 30 minutes, as it was a sampling night, and we had to be at Dave’s to meet some other guys. Ouch! Then, off to Dave’s for supper and some games.
We ordered delicious Carlo’s pizza, and Rob and I played some drunken battle chess on the floor as the music was blasting. Once we’d sufficiently lubricated ourselves, it was off on a pub crawl of sorts, taking a bus down to the Glue Pot, where we hooked up with a bunch of the guys. We drank there for a while, then plodded off to some old haunts that no longer exist, like the Cave and Al’s Not Here. We stopped for some beer atBrixtons, and eventually ended up at the Aloha Lounge, where we had far too many White Russians, and Joe treated us to a couple Jagers! Ouch again.
By this time, retro 90’s was getting started upstairs at Barrymore’s, and Rob ducked up to that, while we finished our drinks for the next 30 minutes. Sadly, when we finally got ready to go up, the bouncers wouldn’t let us up, because there was a MASSIVE line up around the block to get upstairs. Long story short, a brave Andy ended up bribing the bouncer to let 6 of us upstairs, for a mere $120! Once up there, we danced up a mad storm to many scared looking people. Maybe it was my Mexican wrestling mask! Also, the DJ refused to play ‘The Final Countdown’, as it is apparently an 80’s song. Jerk! All in all, a great night, although we sort of lost Troy for a while, and then I accidentally ditched him on my way home. Sorry Jones.
As you can imagine, the next day was quite foggy for me. I managed to make it to work before 9am, but the productivity was definitely not at an all-time high. Not only that, but I had to get out early in order to be at the wedding rehearsal inManotick and to help get things set up. I left the office around 3:45pm, and was only slightly late getting to the Mill. When I arrived, the drinks were just getting unloaded. And boy, was there a lot! Over 1400 beers for a mere 130 guests, plus tons of wine, Kahlua, Vodka, Scotch, etc. etc.Geez, what was I to expect the next day? Hee hee . The venue looked like it would be a great time, and by the time we got done with the rehearsal and some of the prep, I was definitely looking forward to the big event. The only looming question was weather, as this was to be an outdoor wedding, and the forecast called for thunder-showers at the moment! We’d have to wait and see.
After the practice was the rehearsal dinner, which was held at Cafe Collonade pizzeria downtown. They make a wicked pie! The ladies (Alix, Jody and Tanya) and Boris had already made their way there, and were well into their beer and wine when we arrived. We were starving, but had to wait a while for everyone to get there. In the meantime, they decided to keep ordering bottle after bottle of wine. It was torture to Troy, Matt and I, as we were still feeling far too rough from the night before to partake. Oh well, let the ladies have their fun. After all, we had things to do the next day. I got to chat a bit more with Brenda, the bridesmaid I’d be walking with the next day. She was a lot of fun. After the food, we all headed our separate ways to rest up for the magic day!
Saturday was a day where Rob and Anna had their own activities planned out. The ladies would be doing their hair and make-up and getting dolled up. The lads? Well the plan was to play disc golf and drink beer, followed by running a myriad of last minute errands for the wedding. Then we had to continue with the set-up and decoration at the mill (along with our S.O.’s), and finally get dressed and in position for the grand entrance of the bride. For me, I had to skip the golfing on account of training. Instead, I got up extra early in order to squeeze in a 1 hour swim and a 3 hour bike ride. Oh the sacrifices I make, eh? I met up with the guys at Dave’s house after the golfing, where we (the best men) all cleaned up together (shower and shaves all around). We opted to not get dressed till we were at the Mill. In retrospect, it was genius, as the set up at the mill took a lot more time and effort, and resulted in us all being thoroughly drenched with perspiration. Why we even bothered showering is beyond me! I personally didn’t get to change into my suit until 5 minutes before the bride was to arrive. The toughest part was getting all the folding chairs across the river and set up in nice rows for the ceremony. Luckily, we got the guests to carry them back themselves, which went much better 😉
When the moment finally came however, we were all safely in position across the river, patiently waiting for the ladies. To anyone there, I’m sure it looked like everything went without any sort of hitch. Guess that’s a good thing right? The ceremony started only a few minutes after scheduled, and although the skies had threatened their worst all day, an amazing thing happened. Just after the justice of the peace started his spiel, the clouds parted, and we were bathed in brilliant sunshine. Can you believe that? Of course, this meant that the guys all got to yet again become sweat soaked, just standing there. Ha ha. The ceremony itself went off completely without a hitch, including a great theme song by Andy when the guys walked across “The Final Countdown” of course! There was also a violin player, and everyone looked just great in their folding chairs! Afterwards, we all gathered on the bridge for pictures. It was time for cocktail hour now.
Before the meal, it was an open bar, which could spell possible disaster for many. I wisely opted to take it easy and have just a few OldMilwaukees . No sense losing my brain before giving my speech during the meal, right? A quick visual scan revealed that several others weren’t following in my shoes. I could see plenty of doublefisters amongst our friends. Yup, it was bound to be one of those nights. This was a great time to catch up with some people I hadn’t seen in a while, and it was a lot of fun. Eventually, I called the masses to join us in the dinner tent across the street from the Mill. Once everyone was assembled, Alison the M/C kicked off the dinner with a rain joke, and wouldn’t you know it, as soon as she starts in, the heavens completely open up and unleash on us! Crazy torrential rain. Luckily, everyone was under the tent, and there was just a little bit of damage from rain getting in at the edges. Incredible. I swear Rob and Anna must have both eaten horseshoes for breakfast.
The meal itself was an awesome buffet-style meal with barbecued goodies for all. I have to say, it was probably the best meal I’ve ever had at a wedding. And I’m not just saying that because I was at the head table and had plenty of wine on offer. It was just really really great food. After the food, we went about with the speeches. Troy and I both gave speech / toasts for Rob, and although we both agreed we would’ve liked to talk longer, decided we should try to move it along. Sure, wecould’ve regaled the masses with hours of Rob stories, but really, aren’t those meant more just for us, to selfishly horde and talk about when it’s just the guys? Long story short, Rob’s a great guy, right? Right! So on with the party! Post meal and post speeches is that special time reserved for the reception, the dance, and the infamous cash bar. There was no danger of running out of booze, so let’s all roll up our sleeves and see what kind of dent we can put in the stores 🙂
The rain had long stopped, so we now made our way back over to the mill where there were already snacks laid out, the bartenders were waiting for us, and the DJ was just getting things started. He played a great mix of music. I particularly liked that this guy was strictly old and new school, nothing in between. He had record players, and a laptop. NoCDs or tapes. However, he mostly relied on the records, which was a lot of fun. I managed to get into one dance-off with Rob, which I of course won with my award-winning splits! Ha! I think it’s safe to say that the whole gang had a great time there. We were never without drinks and bad ideas. There were several trips to the other side of the river, where we almost got into boats on the river and other sorts of nonsense. This is also where Duane got the bright idea to book a stretch limo to take him to Montreal (he was flying to the Dominican the next morning). The limo had room for 8, so Boris set about recruiting after-hourspartiers . I really wanted to go, but with Tan and Troy staying at our place, and Jonah waiting, I knew I’d probably have to skip it. Not to mention that I didn’t think I could last that long. Instead I made plans with Tan to keep drinking in the basement when we returned.
Oh the madness! By the time the end of the night rolled around, or at least when the last buses leaving for downtown showed up, we were all one big, drunken happy family. A great wedding day all in all. I even got the DJ to play a few Picklecatz songs for posterity a few times. Rob’s brother Eric was all stoked about it. He and Tim were both pretty crazy too, and looked like they had a good time. There are much better stories about them, but I dare notembarrass them in the ether 🙂 Let’s just say I’m sure they’ll have fond memories of their experiences. Ha! At the wrap-up, Chris and Agnes ended up driving Jody and I home, as we had to make sure Jonah got out, and weren’t sure how long it would take to get home after taking buses downtown and waiting for cabs. Of course, that meant leaving the Joneses’, which I felt bad about, hence the plan with Tan.
Once we got home, I retired to the basement and helped myself to another drink. And another. Eventually, Troy and Tan made it back, and we stayed up till after 5am drinking and watching music movies (Pink Floyd – Pulse and Live at Pompeii, as well as The String Cheese Incident in case you’re wondering). We all sort of passed out on the couch, and I wandered upstairs to bed somewhere around 6:30am when Jody got up to use the washroom. Super ouch now! The next day (or rather, later that day), was very uneventful. We just sort of vegged out, with me getting Al and Matt’s car fromManotick , dropping it off to them, and running home for some training. Everyone else was also similarly tired and unmotivated. But bless Dave’s heart, he somehow had made it back to the Mill at 7am to take care of some of the clean up with Rob and Anna before those guys all took some well-deserved rest. The limo crew also made it back alive. Boris came over later on that day, and we played somevids and had a barbecue.
I’d like to just close off by again thanking Rob and Anna for letting me be such a big part of their wedding day. It truly was an honour, and I loved every moment of the lead up and the day itself. This post has far exceeded what I meant to scribble down, but you guys are worth it! Up next, the story of my Iron-distancetri, but it’ll have to wait another day or so, as I’m tired of typing!