I love getting away from the city to do weddings in the country. Getting away from the glitz of a city wedding and finding folks who focus on what’s important. Focusing on their love, love of family and of friends.
Notre-Dame de la Salette is about a little more than an hour’s drive north of Ottawa. It is a quiet country community nestled in the hills of the Outaouais Valley; part of the Canadian shield. The official population is just over 750 people. Arriving into the village, I was on a dirt road and had lost cell phone signal. There is one store that is a convenience/ grocery/ liquor outlet. I found the school where the wedding was being held. The pink balloons gave it away.
I gazed at the vehicles in the parking lot. The DJ had a pickup truck! Yep – I was in the country.
I entered the school and made my way to the cafeteria where the ceremony and reception were to be held. As I rounded the corner I was struck with a sea of pink!
They had put a lot of effort in decorating the drab school cafeteria into a joyous atmosphere ready for a big celebration; pink lanterns, pink tablecloths, pink cake, pink gift table.
All that pink prepared me for what was to come. Brigitte, Robert and their blended family of 9 kids arrived – in pink of course! I got them to pose for a picture just before the entrance. You can add Brigitte’s dad and sister and Robert’s brother in the sea of pink.
They choreographed an entrance dance to kick off the ceremony. It was wonderful how everyone participated. Robert ended up with a hole in his pants from the slide – but it was worth it.
Finally all settled – we started the ceremony. I was surrounded by the 9 kids as I delivered my words. Each of the kids had a message of love to their parents. There wasn’t a person in the room who wasn’t touched my this precious outpouring of emotion. Brigitte and Robert decided on a unity sand ritual to mix their lives together – with pink sand of course.
I declared them married and off the went down the aisle, sprinkled with confetti. Her mischevious dad dumped a bunch down the back of Robert’s shirt as he went by!
As the party started, I said my goodbyes to Brigitte and Robert and left the school. I stopped at the little convenience store to buy a can of pop. There were a few people at the cashier. They looked at me and figured I was from out of town ( I was the only one with a suit and tie on at the ceremony). “Did she say yes?” asked the cashier. “Of course,” I replied, “It was a beautiful ceremony.” She paused and reflected, “Brigitte and Robert are good people.”
There are no secrets in a little village like Notre-Dame de la Salette. Everyone knows everyone. Everyone knew that Brigitte and Robert were getting married and it was a good thing. It is easy to become enthralled with the glitz and preparations for a wedding. I find it is small weddings like Brigitte and Robert’s that bring things into focus. A wedding is about love, family and friends. A wedding is a joyous occasion that brings communities together.