Wedding Post: The Big Day

Warning: this post is picture heavy!
Oh Canada! Hmmm, cannot remember the rest. Having learned it phonetically in French when I was 7, I don’t really know the English words to it!  Anyways, as you know, I was married in Banff, at the Banff Springs Hotel, my favourite hotel in the world!

The Banff Springs is railway hotel, purpose built at the end of the 1800s just above Bow Falls and in a mountain valley, surrounded by Cascade, Rundle and Sulphur Mountains. It’s in Scottish Baronial style, like a fairy tale castle in the midst of the Rockies.

This is the entrance to the reception.   I remember coming here when I was little – staying for the weekend with a school friend as a guest of my parents, and coming here when I was even smaller for an Easter egg hunt in one of the large halls.  So it holds alot of lovely memories for me.  Brunches were classic under Canadian Pacific, though I must admit the Fairmont brunch isn’t quite up to the remembered gluttony of the CP managed affairs.  
The morning of the wedding, mom, David’s mom, Melissa, B and I all headed down to the spa for hair and makeup.  Jag (blond guy on the left) did my hair. 
It was a triple pony tail double twist bun in an S shape down the back of my head, with some artful ‘fanning’ of the hair. I was thrilled with it and Jag. So cool!

After this, we headed back to the honeymoon suite where I ate, drank some bubbly with the girls.  I broke an earring trying to clean it, and Alice (an old friend from Uni) gave me her earrings to wear. Phew!
The dress:

So I got dressed, with the help of Meliss & B (though as soon as the last hook was done up, i had to go to the bathroom so it all came off again!).  Then it was time.

The hall was the Mt Stephen Hall, and it even had its own suit of armor!


My three VVVIP guests – my grandma on the left, 92 years old, and my great aunt and uncle on the right, 92 and 96!
And the aisle. I didn’t actually see the petals, as I was looking at all the friends and family in the aisles.  Glad there are photos! Looks awesome.

We didn’t really know how the ceremony would work, but Carl our commissioner was a star and guided us through it all.  So, down the aisle was first my mom and David.
Then my maid and matron of honour, and my wee princess of honour!
My dad walked me down the aisle.  
Then we came to the bit which I didn’t quite like – the hand off.  At least it was giving me away free, rather than in exchange for a c
ouple cows or camel or such. But it was such a lovely event I couldn’t begrudge the ‘tradition’ and it was easy to disregard the implications of the tradition. See, I look pretty happy! I bet the bubbly beforehand helped too…. 😉

Then we did our vows, which were lovely and simple (good ol’ Canada!). My ring slipped on fine, but when it came to David’s, it wouldn’t fit.  
I’m valiantly trying to shove it on.  The One Ring seemed not to want to bind him to me!  but alas, resistance is futile and the One Ring had to submit (with a little help from D).

And of course, what followed, was The Kiss – but you only get to see the pre-kiss!  

And so we signed the papers, and came away man & wife!  There was some kerfuffle about how to introduce the bride and groom – the commissioner wanted to say Mr & Mrs Cotton – but I subscribe to the idea that it makes more sense for the kids to take the woman’s last name (after all… who gives birth to them? Not the man.) But alas, I had to compromise, and a quick word before hand to Carl and we were officially ‘Mr & Mrs Cotton-Yu’.

What followed was alot of photos – which you can see on Flickr 

The jumping was my idea – the men appear to be really enjoying themselves….

Little Sophia I think got a little fed up by the posing….
So we did a little dancing.
We had a little cocktail hour mc’d by my cousin J, with a little irish dancing, some chinese zither playing and some singing, but alas I have no photos of it (just yet). I hope David’s dad has a few on his camera!
Dinner followed:

My uncle Kai and Clare mc’d, one in Chinese, one in English. We had the traditional run of speeches, father of the bride, then groom:

A little twist in that my dear maid and matron of honour also gave a speech – it was such a warm and funny speech, and made me feel really loved up!

David’s 2 best men followed- Graham (something about a rope and hanging off a cliff)…
And Carl, which started “I’ve known David for 25 years, that’s the same as murder in the UK”. I think most of my family didn’t quite catch it, given the English accent. I think he meant, that it was the same amount of time that you would get for murder in the UK…. hmmm.  He saved himself with a gracious toast:
Lots of toasts…
Followed by dessert:

And cake!
The highlight of the evening – the Square Dancing Chinese!  My mom had organised a bunch of friends and family to do a line dance to kick off the night – and a dozen of our oldest and dearest friends and family changed into western gear, and took to the floor.  My Uncle Ping did some interpretive line dancing, which had me & my cousin J (his son) in stitches.

More line dancing…

There was alot of dancing.  Splits, by both Norm & John, some wild Madonna dancing (John again), boneless jelly dancing… 
My 9 year old cousin Cam – who cut the floor up with his moves.  I could barely breath, what with the boning in my dress and the altitude, but who can stop when you’re having so much fun?
Like I said, lots of dancing. 

It got a little crazy (we’re doing the can-can – to Spirit of the West -why does this happen whenever SotW is played? Canadian mystery I guess, but it sure feels good to do it!).
And then a little crazier.

We even had our own kilted wedding crashers from another wedding the same day.  The big day and night was amazing.  A fabulous crazy time.  Made possible by my dear mom’s manic attention to detail, all her friends coming together to lend a hand and ferry people around, my cousin J & J for being chief of staff and running around taking care of all the little things that needed doing, my favourite jiujiu’s sticking stickers, chasing down rogue ninety year olds gone AWOL, and frankly, all the lovely people who pitched up (including my crazy friend Romain who flew in for less than 24 hours just for the wedding) and who threw us parties before and after in London.  How does one go back to ordinary life after this?
I’ll leave you with David’s favourite photo from our photographer.  I give you- my husband, the pin-up (yes that is a grand piano he’s draped across!):

8 thoughts on “Wedding Post: The Big Day

  1. I cannot believe yo got married at the Banff Springs hotel, it is such an amazing place I visited there about 10 years ago and loved it – I remember seeing a wedding there and thinking it was the perfect winter wonderland setting!

  2. What an amazng day! I’m o glad you both had such a good time.Hope Deuces eye is better…lots of healing licks and purrs from my zoo to him!Take careLove n hugsMel x

  3. wow…what fantastic photos, they really show the day perfectly! I am getting VERY nervous now. eeek!!

  4. what a wonderful wedding!so grand! You both look very very happy and you look stunning. My chinese wedding was very traditional 🙂

  5. Pingback: Cotton Celebration — Adventures of Socktopus

  6. Pingback: Cotton Celebration

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