Monday, September 22, 2014

Rainbow Falls and the Surprise Wedding

So, as of yesterday I have officiated at 125 weddings.  I have done weddings on baseball diamonds, in garages, on mountain tops, in kitchens and along some of the most beautiful trails, riversides and lakefronts that the Fraser Valley offers up for romantic moments.  However, E's and T's wedding this past weekend will be one of the most memorable.

E phoned me a week or so ago to ask if I was available on the 20th.  I said I was but that I had a wedding already booked for later in the afternoon so it would have to be in the morning or after 3:30.  This didn't really work because E wanted to take his lovely bride-to-be up to the top of Elk Mountain which requires quite a hike.  Wasn't sure I was up to the hike or that time would permit.  He said he would look for another marriage commissioner but that if he couldn't find one would I be up to a boat ride up to Rainbow Falls.  I was enthusiastic about this possibility and let him know if things didn't work out to give me a call back.   And he did.

When we started to make arrangements E informed me that he had a few details to work out.  As we discussed possibilities it became clear to me that T (E's girlfriend) did not know anything about this plan.  In fact, he hadn't even proposed to her yet.  He assured me that they had been together several years and that getting married was in both of their immediate plans.  If only she had known HOW immediate.  This is where the fun begins.

E and a friend arrived at my house the night before the wedding.  He brought the marriage licence, the fee, and we the talked about how we were going to make this work.  E had a boat, T's best friend since Grade 4 had flown in from Saskatoon and was in on the plot, as was his friend, S.  The plan was to take the boat up to Rainbow Falls, go for a hike, find a secluded spot for the two of them where he would propose.  They would then join S & K (friends) and me down the path somewhere and they would get married.  Okay, I thought that could all work and hoped that E knew his girlfriend well enough to know that she would say 'yes'.  Now the big question.  How do you explain my presence in the boat?

E told me that they lived a crazy life and that this would be no big deal.  Still, I needed to know.  E and the gang would be launching their boat in Harrison.  They would pull over at Green Point where the two guys would get out of the boat to 'meet' me.  This was as far as our planning got and we figured we could just 'wing it' from there. 
My husband (who thought maybe this was all not such a good idea) and I had headed out to Green Point earlier than our planned meeting time. I brought my camera, posing as a local out taking some pics on a beautiful sunny day (SO glad the sun shone!).  The guys showed up as planned and I seemingly struck up a conversation with E who invited me to join them in a short trip up to Rainbow Falls.  E had assured me that T would think nothing of it.  I was not convinced.  However, I waded through the water, behind E & his friend.  As we got close to the boat I asked T if she was okay with me joining them.  I told her that I had lived in the area for many years but didn't own a boat so had never been to Rainbow Falls.  She enthusiastically told me, no problem, so I pulled myself into the boat and settled in.  These four didn't skip a beat, just picked up some strange lady off the shore at Green Point and brought her along for a ride.  T was easy to talk to and loved to laugh.  We shared some stories on the way up the shoreline and the hopped off the boat at Rainbow Falls, a short 15 minute ride from Green Point.

I asked them how long I had to take pictures and they headed off up the path to the falls.  I let them get a bit ahead of me and then I picked up the pace so I could take some pictures of the proposal.  As the three of us watched it became apparent that T had said 'yes' and that E was now explaining to her that not only were they engaged, they would be married on the spot.
We hiked across the stream, set up just below Rainbow Falls and participated together in E's and T's wedding.  We signed the register and the marriage licence on a moss covered log while the sun filtered through the tree tops above.  The light was perfect.  The moment was perfect.  Here's hoping that T and E share a perfect love for the rest of their lives.  Thanks for the memories you two.  This is one wedding I will never forget.

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