Mike & Chantale's Wedding
The Bride's Perspective

The Bride

Yes Dad, this is long blabbering girly stuff that you can skip over! :)

Just Click Here to get to my latest entry (Thursday October 17th, 2002)

(Sunday September 30, 2001) - How it all began, who knows!! But one night we found ourselves sitting at Orange Julep, looking up at the moon shining over St-Joseph's which was dimly lit on the hill. We began discussing our eventual wedding plans and by the end of the evening a date, year and the fact we were getting married was decided! Tears from both of us, we headed home to tell our parents that it would be in the upcoming year, 2002. I was scared, nervous, excited! I couldn't believe the step! We knew we would, we had discussed it, but sitting down and saying yes, let's do it is NOT the same at all!!!

Our announcement I suppose came as a shock, 'SO soon', 'That's almost NO notice!', 'Impossible to do', 'finish school'. So after a lot of discussion, reasoning and understanding we decided the best date would be August 30th, 2003. We like the date, it'll be a long weekend to convenience those from out of town and it won't be too hot! (smile)

So that was it, we decided on the date and began preparation. Mainly because I'd be in a school semester and would have the time or concentration to prepare a wedding! (Also, why be last minute!)

We began with the invitation list, I think it's been reviewed atleast 5 times, adding, cutting, adding, cutting, cutting, cutting!! (smile) Having a large family on my part is great, but when it comes to inviting people, our two families together is about 70 people. I sizable list thus far, but we couldn't leave out our friends! They mean just as much as our family and are as close to us! So at this point we are hovering around 125-130 invited. Large yes, but we both know them ALL!! So it'll be intimate and close, and most probably rowdy! (grin)

As for the ceremony, the obvious choice would be to have our friend Matthew (also a Reverend/Pastor) at the Lutheran church we go to, to perform the wedding, making it even more personal since he knows us both! He is aware of the wedding, but we will be asking him officially early November.

Best man, maid of honour, ushers, bridesmaids….sigh…what a mess! After MANY sleepless nights, and even more discussions, we have arranged things somewhat. His best man will be a good friend of his, and my maid of honour will be a good friend of mine. Having only one sibling though, I also wanted my sister to be a part of it, so she will be a 'co-maid of honour' since she's as important to me. As for an usher it's currently up in the air, Mike has someone in mind, but has yet to decide! (grin)

The reception was tough, I didn't want a hall, I wanted something special but couldn't describe it. After searching and looking and visiting, we came across one that we both fell in love with. It's a wooden auberge with a cathedral roof, stone fireplaces, out of the city, in the nature. Linda the wedding organizer is wonderful, we got a amazing first impression, she put us at ease and truly looked concerned and excited about OUR wedding. I felt totally relaxed and trusted her completely with my wedding day. We didn't confirm our date, we have one more place to check out, but we do believe it'll be held there.

More details on the reception soon to come…

(Tuesday October 16, 2001) - The first few days of planning were stressful, we attended a bridal show which was great, but we fought for 4 days straight whenever 'wedding' discussions came up, we don't usually fight at all since we have the same opinions on almost everything. After a while we both took a step back and we agreed to take things slowly and calmly. So far, it's been great, and planning everything has been heavenly. We are so happy to be getting married, I feel so girly giddy whenever I start to think about it!

We are going to visit another hall tonight in Ile Perrot, we half don't want it, but honestly the other one is quite expensive. Also if they offer the same things, then perhaps we can consider it, especially if the cost is really reasonable. If we can save and still have an excellent meal and party than great! Also, I think we'd have to meet with Linda again, I'm doubting a few things I don't want to get screwed over. I know the wine isn't enough for supper, and I got a weird (why did you tell us it was plenty) feeling. We'll see tonight…

(Friday November 9, 2001) - So since then many things have happened! We did end up booking the most beautiful place for our reception. It'll be such a fabulous day! Country style, romantic, elegant, 4 star dining and private! Excatly what we were looking for! On top of all that, most of it is taken care of by with wonderful woman, the owner of the auberge. That puts my mind at ease, since I trust her completely in doing an amazing job! In February, there will be a wedding show there, including all of her contacts for flowers, photographers, decorators etc… plus we'll get to taste and choose the cake, the meals, and the wine. So until then we sit back and relax!

For now though, I have to admit that I feel that if I'm not doing something concerning 'the wedding' I feel like I'm wasting my time! And boy has that caught up with me, I'm exhausted!!! (grin) We are currently on the hunt for rings. We have found a few eye catching ones, but nothing 'perfect'. We are also debating our options (there are so many of them!) Matching bands, rings that fit, only one big ring, two medium ones…etc etc etc…So confusing! For him though it's easy for our engagement, I am getting him a watch. I figure it just isn't fair to men who seem to get slighted in the gift getting. So instead of an engagement ring for him (which is a little off!) he's getting a really fancy watch. Then for the wedding he'll get the ring! (grin)

On top of ring searching (which is the hardest thing so far) we are looking into honeymoon ideas. We both really were excited at Seychelle islands in the Indian Ocean. To get a private, secluded island to ourselves would be heavenly! The down side though is that it would take 2-3 days travel to and from. We both agree that for a honeymoon it'll be too tiring, and we started looking into a one day travel sort of thing.

So we have a few options, the most alluring at this point is an all inclusive (major plus!) trip to a Beaches Spa (adult only) resort. It is honeymoon geared to ensure that the newly married couple is pampered! How great would that be! (grin)

We also looked into Greece, but the 'agenda' looked way too busy and hectic for a honeymoon. We looked into Ireland/Scotland, beautiful castles but possibly too rainy. We want the choice to sink our butts in the sand or do activities (must include sunny and hot temperatures though!) We weren't looking into the Caribbean at all at all at all! I didn't want have anything too commercialized or Americanized! We wanted exclusive, intimate, beautiful and exotic. Thought of Tahiti, Bora Bora perhaps or somewhere in the Indian Ocean, but again Travel Time! Would take way too long! And as for a cruise…I'm more of a land girl…I love the water…but put me in nature and I'm totally relaxed! (And God forbid a case of sea sickness – how romantic would that be!)

If you visit this site and have any suggestions please let me know! I'm looking for anything!

(Thursday December 27th, 2001) - Happy Holidays everyone!

A small update, things are wonderful with Mike and I, I gave him his engagement gift on December 4th. What a perfect day that turned out to be! We spent the day together, (and a beautiful sunny day it was!). After having a great brunch at Chez Cora's, I brought him to our hill at Shakespeare park where we have spent countless hours together hanging around and talking, watching the sun set and moon rise.

I had spent so many hours debating if I should wait to give him the watch until he proposed; however 2 things helped me make my decision. 1. I love him and I want to spend my life with him and having a ring on my finger or not, would never change my feelings. 2. I really couldn't wait to give it to him!!! :)

So after revisiting the same hill we fell in love on, I gave it to him. I had gotten a feeling he was expecting it, but the look on his face when giving it to him convinced me otherwise. He SO TOTALLY ABSOLUTELY didn't expect it!! (yay!)

On a side note - I'd like to mention how he is driving me crazy!! Not bad crazy, just crazy crazy!! :) I know he has my ring - I have NO idea though, on how it looks or anything about it! But that part doesn't bother me, I really quite patient. It's the fact that he's going around showing it off to everyone!! I get the "oh... you haven't seen it...but wait 'till you do!!" or "wow, if I were you, I couldn't wait!" But to be honest, I have no clue when I'll get it, I know it won't be for christmas (since it passed!) :) I just know that it'll be the 2 of us alone and I'm sure that whatever the circumstances may be, it'll be perfect, (just the fact that he wants to marry me and live forever after with me is the most flattering thing in the world).

(Friday January 4th, 2002)

Happy New Year! Wow ....and what a new year it turned out to be! We spent an amazing time at my grandparents (as always it's great!) We took an extended vacation of a few days to really unwind from the holiday season and to be relaxed before work and school starts up again.

We spent New Year's Eve surrounded by the huge Turgeon family - playing cards, eating and drinking the night away. Now I knew Mike had promised me that he would not propose in front of everyone, (Thank God!) and that it would be a special moment with just the two of us. So New Year's was ruled out! The partying eventually died down, relatives left and we headed off to bed tired...and having eaten WAY too much!

January 1st 2002, turned out to be a really cold windy day (a typical Lac St-Jean day). Lounging around as usual, unwinding from the previous hectic evening, we decided to take a typical walk to the lake for some fresh (really cold) air! We took a nice long stroll, talking about our future (a topic that comes up frequently) and our lives together! We arrived to the car with a frozen dog (my grand parents dog always tags along) so I threw her in the back to warm up. As I turned around to get in myself, Mike was there with.... a gift. A Christmas gift. (No no no...bigger than a jewelry box!) It turned out to be a 2002 Camelot calender (the most romantic paintings you can imagine and my favorite collection!) I was stunned....but not as stunned and when he began to blabber something about starting this year off right (I didn't catch all of it between the gusting snow and wind) but I did catch on when he dropped to one knee opened a beautiful blue box and asked me to marry him. (I think he had an idea that I'd say yes since the wedding band was there too! -smirk-)

I obviously said YES!

We brought the icicle dog back home, showed the ring off to my grandparents, only to head back and take a walk on the frozen beach and through the woods where we had spent many evenings watching the sunset over the water. We stayed there for as long as was humanly possible without getting frost bite in what felt like -25C with the windshield factor.

So there you go, we started 2002 officially engaged and have to wait a year and a half to get married! Wow I had a feeling this was a special year but never imagined it would begin like this! Oh yes...have I mentionned ... wow! what a ring!!! It is beyond anything I have ever imagined!! The way it sparkles!! For the few people I've managed to show it to, the most common reaction is "wow, now that's an I Love You ring!" and "don't do anything to that finger of yours" Ok, that's it, no more bragging! (-big grin-)

(Friday August 9th, 2002)

A half year later I'm writing! Can you believe how quickly time flies!?! We are one year away! This is precisely the time where all of the Wedding Planners, Wedding Agendas, List of Things To Do, the 'better be sure you don't forget to do these things', all start...1 year before the big day! 1 year before your wedding day you should have planned, booked, called, organized, thought of ...etc etc etc..

I'm glad I started planning the big stuff way in advance, now it's all the details!! I didn't think there was much to think of but there are plenty of little things!!! It tends to get overwhelming since you can plan down to the last little detail! I guess right now the tough thing is that we are doing, planning and doing everything on our own. We have plenty of support from our best man Francisco, but we need to really set ourselves some time to get some feedback from our parents! We need to explain how a non-italian style wedding will be to Mike's completely Italian parents, and atleast try to keep my parents in the loop of what's going on.

I guess one of the main reasons time flew was because I went back to school for my winter term and did not devote much time to thinking about the wedding - I have to prioritize since if I don't graduate with my BAC in Finance and walk down the graduation aisle onto the stage at Place des Arts first, I KNOW my parents won't let me down the wedding aisle!! :)

Here's a thing I also didn't expect to get in the way of my day dreaming about marriage, it's that as I work full time at Scotia Bank, I go to night school 2 times a week, do homework & study, have the kids more often (ie. weeks at a time instead of just weekends), and figured that through the midst of all this hectic living, I decide that hey, I need to pass my Canadian Securities Course...ya ya, that bloody thing that I attemped to do before. So I thankfully managed to pass that course (got the pretty diploma and everything), and balance i would think kind of successfully would be the rest of my life. So now, as I'm on the verge of finishing my last course this summer to take a 2 week school holiday, I still work full time and still have the kids at our place which I must admit has been quite wonderful.

I knew going into this that there was two munchkins that would become a part of my life. Mike and I didn't force or rush anything and I realize that the little ones whom I didn't know how to accept as my step children at first and whom I treated as little friends, ended up being the best way to go about the entire thing. It didn't force the kids in any way to accept me as their step mom, or force me to all of a sudden feel i had two children. And today after being with Mike over 3 years, and all of the time we've spent together I feel that we muddled through everything quite well. Granted there were tough times, (won't deny that!), and being a step mother is the hardest thing I've ever had to do (my securities course is a close second) but there are some days you feel that's it's all worth it.

Melyssa and James and extremely happy in fact thrilled about the wedding and us being together, James continually states how he can't wait until we get a house to have his own room, and Melyssa wants a house to get a dog! In fact she thinks that when we sign the mortgage and offer is done, that the dog is part of the deal, like we drive up to the new house and a dog is sitting there greeting us! She also thinks that when we get married it means that we'll have a baby as well, as if we are exchanging vows and Matthew (our friend who is marrying us) will turn around and give us a baby to take home. She's funny and cute that way!!!

Anyways so far we haven't made any additional plans, just throwing around thoughts late at night. We do however have a an IMPORTANT message for all those coming in from out of town. We NEED you to reserve a room at the Gallant Inn if you will be staying there overnight or at anytime during your trip to Montreal. Just tell them it's for Chantale's and Mike's wedding on August 30th 2003, they are super friendly. It is a small place with very limited room so even a one year in advance reservation is recommended. The reception will be held on Saturday night and I know we will be a bunch of friends and family to stay over and have a beautiful Sunday morning brunch. Another thing not to forget is that Mike and I choose a long weekend specifically to get married since it would make travelling more enjoyable and less rushed for all those coming in from out of town, giving you all a time to truly have a great, relaxing weekend!

If you have any questions about reservations, please call us or my mom anytime. She offered to take care of this for us!!! Yay! :)

Comme vous pouvez le constater, j'ai vraiement pas le temps de tout traduire en français, car j'ai presque pas le temps de même écrire mes affaires en anglais! Mais inquieter vous pas, tout les détails qui sont important ou intérressant vont êtes traduit et écrit. Aussi, la plupart de mes messages en englais sont des détails que j'aimerais ABSOLUMENT parvenir a tous le monde, et j'èspère que quand on se recontre ou se parle, qu'on a le temps de tout discuter et que je peut partager mes histoires.

Pour l'instant, la seule chose que vous devez savoir, ou au moins d'être au courrant, c'est que même si on est un an avant le marriage, il faudrait VRAIEMENT que vous fassiez des réservations à L'Auberge des Gallants. Les persons sont fins et vous avez juste leurs dire que c'est pour le marriage de Chantale et Mike le 30 Août 2003. L'Auberge n'a pas beaucoup de place alors y faut qu'on sauf garde notre place de bonheur. La réception est le samedi soir et on aura beaucoup de famille et d'amis qui resteront pour qu'on puisse avoir un magnifique brunch le dimanche matin ensemble. Aussi, c'est une longue fin de semaine, et nous avons choisi cette date pour que ça soit conveniant pour tous les gens qui viennent hors de la ville. Au moins vous pouviez relaxer et avoir une fin de semaine magnifique!! Si vous avez des questions auprès des réservations, appelez nous, où ma mère (elle voulait s'en occupé pour nous aider - c'est parfait comme ça!!!) :)

(Thursday October 17th, 2002)

October already! Time is flying!!! When we got engaged, it was a year and a half away, now...10 months! So we haven't confirmed much else, just done some searching. We looked into a florist, her work was nice, but Mike and I are interested more in his friend's sister who I will be calling in a few days. Music is is coming along nicely, we have a friend who is a professional DJ and so far available for that day - all we need to do is confirm and sign a contract. Photographer - blah. The ones we've seen are SO expensive. I mean REALLY REALLY expensive. So we have tossed around ideas for pictures but have nothing conclusive. Everyone we speak to emphazises that we need a good photographer but between you and me - 2 to 4 grand for one day is ridiculous!

Now the most predominant question I get is concerning - my dress - ACK! "Did you buy it?" "Do you know what you're looking for?" "Have you gone shopping yet?" I haven't. The entire thought FREAKS me out!!! Most of my life was spent as a tom boy, and everyone joked that I'd get married in running shoes and jeans. As I've matured, I figured that a classic, simple, elegant dress will do - but sometime... the thought of pulling on a pair of jeans and slipping into my favorite pair of sneakers is REAL appealing. Then the greatest thing in the world happens... people start making comments like "you know, the Bride is the real reason people go to weddings" "the bride is the highlight of the day" "what the bride wears is what everyone remembers for years to come!" Wow!!! What pressure!!! Here I thought that the reception is what people focus on, or even just on the happy union of the couple, but then even my own grandma laughed at my apparent naivety and said "no no, everyone gossips about the bride!" Boy, and for all those who know me, all know how much I 'love' being in the spot light!! NOT! If for any reason at all, I'll be nervous of everyone looking, not at getting married!

On a side note, I had a horrible dream last night about my wedding. It was if nothing was prepared, I had no dress, Mike really wasn't Mike (he was some weird looking geek getting married in a turquoise turtleneck!) I had paper/plastic flowers, no food, no vows, some woman married us (but even at that I didn't want to marry that guy who was standing beside me!) I got the lady to repeat twice the part about anyone objecting to the marriage to speak out...in hopes someone would stop the entire thing! The ceremony took 4 hours, it was in a dark room that looked like our living room...sigh. The point in which I realized I was dreaming was when I saw an elf sitting beside me. (Don't ask, I won't eat Mom Aragona's pasta before bed ever again!) Needless to say, I woke up in a sweat and stressed out! A nightmare is the best way to stop procrastination! I almost ran out and bought a dress just to be sure I had one!

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