Eric got married!

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May 2013:  It started Friday with most overseas guests assembling at Eric & Terry’s house in Toronto’s Little Beach because they had hired two minivans for the 3-hour drive up to Lake Muskoka.  We all piled in and endured the traffic on the incredibly-busy Highway 401, which eventually becomes the Trans-Canada Highway.
[Images: Treetop Lodges, Morning coffee at Treetop Lodge, Treetop Lodge view over lake, Main Resort building]
At Lake Muskoka’s Touchstone Resort, Eric & Terry had booked two ‘Treetop Lodges’ for informal gatherings, Friday night, Saturday and Sunday mornings, where Eric was kept very busy... because he had thought to bring his espresso machine and grinder to make coffee for guests.  Canada has only recently embraced espresso, but cafés insist on making it the American way, so that a typical espresso tastes much the same as drip coffee, which is still the standard form of coffee in North America.  The main problem is that they use huge cups so that the espresso is 2 or 3 times weaker than it should be.  Not only that, but most cafés refuse to make coffee in a smaller cup – they fear that the public would see small cups as poor value for money, even though the cup is mostly full of just water!  Eric, however, is nearly as fanatical about making coffee as I am, so at least we all got good coffee to start the day.
The Treetop Lodges were quite palatial, with fabulous views over Lake Muskoka, which was heavily swollen with the recent heavy rain associated with the sudden onset of Spring this year, and the Spring melt run-off – the worst flooding in this area for a century.  So full, in fact, that the jetty planned for the actual ceremony was still under water, so the back-up plan was to have the ceremony in the resort’s boat-house, which was safely above the waterline.  Guests like myself were housed in rooms in the main resort building, and they were very comfortable.
[Images: Terry's parents, Ceremony in the Boathouse, Happy couple with old fart, Grooms and parents, Ceremony, with Celebrant, Ceremony, with Best man, Best Woman, Ceremony, band of gold, Ceremony, signing into fact, Ceremony, with family group, Lakeside, toes in the water, Lakeside, emulating the midges! Ready for Reception start...]
I met Terry’s parents, Paul and Rhonda, on the Friday night, and got on very well with them.
Then...  ‘May the Fourth be with you!’  Saturday morning ( after coffee at Treetops, of course! ) Al & Vera, who had hired a car for a tour of Canada’s Eastern Provinces, arrived to move in with me in the 2-brm apartment.  The actual wedding got underway at 5pm, and we all got decked out in our glad rags – Vera had brought a stunning formal gown – and made our way to the boathouse.  I wore a tartan waistcoat and bow-tie in memory of Ann, who would have loved to have been here on this day.
I have never been to a same-sex marriage before, and did not really know what to expect, but the procedures and the ceremony were almost the same as other marriages so it was easy to follow and the amount of transparent honesty, solemnity and sincerity was very impressive.  I liked the civil ceremony very much.  Terry had a Best Woman: Virginia has been a business friend for more than a decade, and Eric had a Best Man: long-time friend David Peers, who had flown in from Sydney.  All the guests were immaculately dressed, serious and attentive, and it went off like clockwork.  >Eric’s photography business partner, Wade, was the official photographer of course, so the post-wedding photo session took Eric & Terry, Best Man and Woman, with immediate family ( so I was included ) down to the one above-water jetty.  Midges finally put an end to the water-side photos ( millions of the little buggers sending exploration teams up everyone’s nostrils and ears ) and the guests had meanwhile moved up to the main resort building for the reception.
[Images: Reception gets underway, Paul & Rhonda with Al & Vera, Let the party begin! Reception, Al & Vera, Reception, local dark ale, Reception, David, Eric, Mark & Mark, Reception, Head table, Reception, baby bottle, Reception, polaroid posers, Reception, David, Angie, Mark, Reception, guest gift-packs,Last day at Treetops Resort]
David’s wife Katrina had co-planned the reception, and that got under way as soon as the photography session was ended.  As half-expected, Eric waited until this got started before asking me whether I could make a short speech – typical!  But I had been thinking about it just in case, and all other speeches ( all of them nice and short ) were about how the speaker had known either Eric or Terry for a long time.  So I was able to be a bit different and just say a few words about commitment in general, since that was what the whole occasion was really about.  It seemed to be well-enough received...  no boos or yawning, anyway.
The reception went on well into the night and I have to admit that I stole away once it degenerated into the usual dancing to loud music.  Most people, of course, like that, and everyone did seem to be enjoying it.
Sunday morning started with another informal Treetops Lodge coffee session, followed by a very pleasant Brunch in the main resort building, before those guests with cars departed.  At this point Al & Vera drove away on their planned 3-week tour of all the Eastern Provinces as far as Nova Scotia.  The minibuses were filled again for the drive back to Toronto.  Eric & Terry had a honeymoon trip to Mexico planned for a Monday start.  That’s also when I would be flying out to Calgary, so they arranged to pick me up at my hotel ( just down the road ) for the trip to the airport since our flights were only an hour apart.
I am very glad and privileged to have attended this wedding and wish both Eric and Terry a happy, stable relationship.

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