Sunday, May 18, 2014

Andrew and Tanya Hay Wedding

Andrew Hay is my 30 year old nephew who last night married Tanya Duthie. I remember when he and his older brother were the size of the youngest nephew, Alan’s, new 2 month old cockapoo Eva. Eva and my cockapoo, Gilbert are ‘hanging’ with Natasha, Alan’s roommate. Both dogs would have had no end of joy riding Tanya's wedding dress train.
My brother and his beautiful wife were in Winnipeg when the older boys enriched our lives. I was a family physician at the time.   My mom and dad were so enchanted with the boys. They loved their grandchildren. I was so busy with my work I rarely saw them.  A regret today.  Indeed the next time I remember them well they were boys, then they were young men.  Graeme is an engineer, Andrew a geologist and Allan the youngest now completing his undergraduate in psychology.
Now, Andrew is married. Where did the time go? It seems these days to be speeding up. All the seeds of distant past blossoming. The songs about times passing ringing true.
Andrews' gorgeous, intuitive, big hearted, sensitive and humour loving wife, Tanya,  is now Mrs. Hay. I called her that last night.  And missed my mom, my first Mrs. Hay, the one who made the mould for that glorious title.  Adell, my brother’s wife is Mrs. Hay, but I knew her first  as Adell.  Then she was the prettiest brightest girl my brilliant older brother brought home, in the days when he was riding motorcycles and I was still bicycling.
But the wedding!  Nostalgia does that to me. Tears in my eyes.    Like when my big brother, Ron, stood up to give the toast. He’s funny. But mostly I know him as strong.  His sons are such a product of the finest of parents.  Tanya and her sisters and the nieces and nephews are also a product of Tanya’s parents, Brent and Lois. Brent is a fisherman just like Dad.  I really liked them. Salt of the earth.
But the wedding! I digress. Tears in my eyes remembering how handsome Andrew looked beside his radiant bride. He wore the  Hunting Hay tartan kilt.  To get the Hunting Hay tartan, he specifically wanted, with blues and greens rather than the red and greens of the Royal Hay,  the family had to order it direct from the weaver in Scotland.  Despite months ahead preparation the material only arrived a couple of weeks ago.The kilt makers in a flurry of love worked overtime so all the Hay men could be dressed akin for this most important of occasions.  Tanya’s dress was quite as exquisite. She and her brides maids were truly stunning.  They had to be, for the Handsome Hay's and Mike, showing our naked knees were a sight to behold.
Tanya is the youngest of four sisters.  The mother’s eyes and beauty are so in the genetics of them all while  the Father’s hilarious toast suggests the source of the humour loving gene.   I loved the little children, Tanya’s nieces and nephews running around.  Adell's cousins, Velma and Melvine, were my companions.  Mike was a fabulous best man. Andrew and he met at Queen’s.  Mike’s a fine young man, son of a psychiatrist.  It made me appreciate him even more.
I’d be wrong to try and mention all the 60 or more I'd met through the rehearsal and day and night of wedding. Just too many.  Lovely people here for a lovely occasion. All of them inspiring and uplifting. Gathered as we were, to celebrate the love of Tanya for Andrew, Andrew for Tanya.   Three, maybe, four generations were represented.  Gaming themes, monopoly and star wars. Fireworks and dancing. The music for the couples dance, and father and bride dance was divine.
Later in the night some of the music, techno rap or something, I confess sounded very much like what my mother called  ‘young people’s’ music.   Aging I find myself, in the changing world, appreciating more  my father's wisdom.  He thought  'young people's music" or rather anything that came after Gene Autry and Frank Sinatra , ‘god awful’.  Now here I was thankful, these young people had included some of that 'god awful' Beatles music.  I had to admit though their own music had everyone in a frenzy of fast dancing.
When a slow ballad came around, Adell and I danced. We did a cowboy fox trot  I remembered Mom teaching me to dance as a child.  It was the same dance step she and Dad did for 55 years or more.  Later I’d see Ron and Adell dancing those same steps.  Andrew and Tanya danced.  Tanya and her dad, Brent, danced. Brent and Tanya’s mother, Lois.  Then everyone danced. Everyone was so beautiful.
Later, I loved watching Andrew, Alan and Graeme almost blowing themselves up  with fireworks shot from the dock. After that Tanya and her sisters danced even more wildly and crazily together to their techno disco music. The only lyrics I remember were' jump' , 'jump', 'jump'. My knees reminded me of these the day after.
The smorgasbord was a feast.  I loved the roast.  The girl sitting beside me, a personal trainer, had run 40 km that morning.  Who runs 40 km in the morning.  Her mother a CBC reporter and father a designer were as entertaining as the very bright civil servant and his fetching college professor wife sitting the other side of me.  Fearful of strangers, I felt always among family, with these easy going delightful people.
Ron had brought guitars and left them out to play.  He’s playing one now.  I played yesterday. Paul played Leonard Cohen as if he was the great poet himself.  I have to respect the young as they know our history. We’re stretched to catch up with theirs.  I didn’t  recognize half the references I’ve heard these days. Recent themes. Modern references.  References of the young. Alan the youngest of the boys is only 23. His very photogenic girlfriend, Erica, caught  Tanya’s tossed bouquet.
The  ceremony took place on the outdoor deck .  The bride was so resplendent holding her father’s arm. Andrew and Tanya exchanged vows.  Loons called across  the lake beyond.  All around us the  Ontario artists of the  Group of Seven had painted the woods and lake. I was reminded of our childhoods in Kenora, my brother’s cottage .  The breeze was welcome.  It blew away rain clouds, black flies and mosquitoes .  The Bride and Groom kissed.   Voices choked. Tissues appeared.   I must have got something in my eye.  
The Canada Club on Riddeau Lake, a perfect location.
Norbert Van Der Poll, photographer, and Canada Club  proprietor was everywhere helpful, and taking pictures,  but discretely...unobtrusive.  Only later,  seeing the extraordinary breadth of photos and the quality of shots, did I appreciate what a master of human photography this wise older man is.  His books of his photographs cover 50 years of professionalism.  I loved to see the work of a master, appreciated so well by my brother, award winning  nature photographer himself, and  my cinematographer, nephew, Graeme. Norbert captured the soul of the wedding.   I’ll thank him for ever for catching those special moments of Andrew and Tanya.  I even look good in the picture of all of us.
Andrew and Tanya found Norbert, found the Canada Club and planned the wedding in its entirety uniquely specific to their tastes and loves.  I was blessed to be present.  But then I think everyone felt that.
“I like weddings, like baptisms,” I said to Melvine and she said, “Yes, I know just what you mean.”
These are my pictures.  A reminder of being here.








Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing your pictures with us


sugarcarol said...

I loved your beautiful narrative and accompanying photos. I'm Tanya's aunt, Brent's younger sister, and regrettably I missed the wedding as I am on holiday in Arizona. Your words brought to life the people you observed, as did the photos, including more than a couple which included my three children and my beloved mum.