While getting ready for our friends’ wedding yesterday Nellie commented on how unusual it was to see a relationship develop from infancy — before there even was a relationship — to marriage. We were lucky enough to see the culmination of that last night. Our friends tied the knot, and they did it in style.
The venue was The Carlu, which we’d never been to before. It’s an inspired, elegant space which, two days prior, had hosted Prince Charles. He even left a decorative centerpiece. The ceremony happened in a beautiful candle-lit room with a view of the city, and the reception afterward gave everyone a chance ooh and aah appropriately. I had the opportunity to catch up with old friends, even an old colleague from Delano, while fruitlessly hunting for the lamb lollipops we heard were making the rounds.
Our meal, in keeping with the bride’s foodie inclinations, was among the best I’d ever had at a wedding: lobster risotto to start and beef tenderloin with potato gnocchi, both paired with a recommended wine. A trio of desserts wrapped up while the speeches continued, and quite a collection of speeches they were. All were touching, but I thought the bride and her father stole the show.
Dinner gave way to dancing, and speeches to laughter. The bartender, who I came to know quite well over the course of the evening, commented that it was the best (which I took to mean busiest) dance floor she’d seen. At 11pm the caterers began serving gourmet poutine, a nod to the groom’s Montreal heritage, which was an enormous hit with many, especially Nellie. Some time after that we hoisted the bride and groom on chairs, which is harder than you might think, especially when you’re the only one throwing an entire side of the chair up in the air. My arms are a little sore this morning, but it was worth it to be able to sing Hava Negila.
At the end of the night with the remaining few dozen left on the dance floor and drinking drinks, I found myself sitting, staring, smiling broadly as I saw my friends so happy. Happy not just because the evening came off so perfectly, but also from the sheer joy that comes from being part of such an effusion of love. I remembered the feeling from my own wedding, and could see it on their faces. We were lucky enough to be there, twenty-five months to the day (so the groom told us) from their first date, to see the end of the prelude, and the beginning of their story.