In May 2012, I was sitting on my tatami floor in Japan, chatting online with a friend of mine back in Canada. I had no idea what I was going to do in a couple months when my teaching contract ended, and my friend knowing that I perpetually have a five-year-plan reminded me to put her wedding date, September 28th, 2013 “in the ol’agenda.” Except this time I didn’t have a five-year-plan. I had plans, but nothing concrete, and nothing that seemed tangible. It was all wishful thinking, with no action. But I knew one thing, I’d be back in Canada for that date, to be there for my friend’s wedding. I was certain.

Today is September 29th, 2013 and I’ve just spent the weekend celebrating one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve been lucky enough to attend. I’ve been to weddings in Poland, Japan, and Thailand but few weddings where I understood the language completely. I still felt a bit foreign, but it didn’t matter. Friends, cocktails, delicious food with a late night poutine service, 90s dance music, all set up in the middle of the countryside, it was perfect.

Family and friends traveled to Picton, a small Canadian town, with architecture reminiscent of the Loyalist days. Everyone seemed to know everyone along the streets, that were lined with cafes, craft shops, and a book store. Old classic cars rumbled along the strip Saturday morning. Motorcyclists toured the roads of Prince Edward County. The entire Picton Harbour Inn was filled with wedding guests. The rooms backed out onto the harbour, where fish jumped from the water, and varying sized boats docked. It was the perfect sunny day. It felt like the summer we never had.

The wedding took place at the Waring House. An old stone farmhouse turned into a restaurant, inn, and culinary school. The guests took their seats on white lawn chairs in front of a gazebo. The sun powered over us from the right, which lit up the green fields in the distance. It was hot, but the ceremony was brief. My friends stood as bride and groom, facing each other with ease. They read their vows. Smiled. Laughed. They had been planning this day for over a year, and yet they maintained their lovable ambiance that makes everyone feel comfortable.

Both the bride and groom had friends present from as early as elementary school. TheyPicton-Harbour have collected an eclectic group since then, through high school, university, work and travels. I met the bride during a summer school program in Great Britain, in 2002. There’s something about her character that in spite of being in separate parts of the world since then she’s remained one of my dearest friends. On my return to Canada, she persuaded me to move near her in Ottawa. That was when I met her husband, and I saw the same kind of temperament and infectious personality in him as well. They were meant for each other. Which is probably why I cried during every speech. When good people find each other, it inspires us to see best out of life. Knowing that there’s love like that in existence is a precious thing to witness. They deserved that day, and I am blessed to have been there for that.

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