Thursday, July 2, 2015

Just Like That, My Brother Is Married

My brother and his wife have been together for 15 years.  They have 5 children, and as of Friday evening, they are now married.  When my brother first told me that he had proposed, I was thrilled.  I love weddings, and couldn't wait to watch the 2 of them say their vows to each other.

My brother and his guys got ready at my mothers place; a photographer came to the house to take some pictures of them.  It was such a change to see how calm and quiet things are compared to the bride getting ready where there is so much going on (hair, make-up etc).

I managed to sneak a photo in with him before they left for the ceremony

brother and sister before wedding, brother getting married

Before the photographer left, she offered to take a picture of hubby and I (which is rare for the two of us, so of course I said yes)

sister of the groom, speech, wedding speech, wedding toast
photo credit: Tracie Lessard

The ceremony took place by the water, and the back drop was beautiful.  My sister-in-law looked absolutely stunning, and the reception.....what a GREAT party.  I had an absolutely amazing time with all my family (my dads side is not local, and it was lovely to see so many of them).  My moms side I see regularly, and we always have a great time (doesn't matter where we are).

carleton place canoe club, wedding, marriage

I knew that I wanted to say a few words at the reception, but I wasn't sure how I could do it without being super emotional.  I sat down at my computer one day and the words just flowed out.  I was really happy with what I had come up with, and I *think* my brother was as well.

"Good evening everyone. For those of you that don’t know me, I am Wes’ sister. I could tell you that my name is Ashley, but for most of my life, especially high school, it seemed I didn’t have a name and was known as his sister….so let’s just go with that for tonight. 
You may know that we are fairly close as siblings now, and it might surprise you to know that it hasn’t always been this way. In fact, when we were young we really didn’t get along at all.

In typical big brother fashion, Wes felt that he should have special privileges since he was the oldest. These privileges included having control of the TV remote, choosing which video games to play, and even getting to be first player in whatever game he chose. Being the younger sibling, it also meant that I put up with a lot of teasing from him and jokes played on me. 
There were nights where we were left home alone and he would convince me that someone had broken in. The first time he did this, he convinced me that it was a good idea to search for the burglar in the house – with a knife from the kitchen. After coming up empty in the basement and main floor, he led me up to my parents bedroom. He got on the bed, and told me that on the count of 3 I should lift up the comforter – while I am standing on the floor. He counts to 3, I lift up the comforter and he drops his hand down with the knife while laughing hysterically…..why was it so funny you may ask? My parents had a water bed….there is no way someone could hide UNDER their bed. 
There were also numerous occasions where I would bake pretzels (a double or triple batch) only to wake up the next morning, go to grab one for breakfast but they would all be gone (thanks to him, or matt…or brandon….or mike) 
I can look back at many of these instances with a smile now; and I should add that not all the times when we were young were bad. Wes was biking with me to a friends house (mom made him come with me) and my bike tire caught the gravel and I fell. I scraped up my knees, elbows and hands pretty badly and couldn’t (or more likely I just wouldn’t) get up. He biked home on his bike using one hand, while holding my bike with the other hand to get mom to come and help. Then there was the time I murdered my pet goldfish and he was quite helpful in the moment….until the teasing started after my “grieving period”. 
As teenagers, we often fought more than ever, but I must admit having an older brother had it’s advantages…there was never a shortage of cute guys in the house, and of course I felt special when they would acknowledge me and were always super nice since I was “wes’ sister”. Then there was the time when mom blamed him for smoking in the house while we were in high school, he didn’t tell her it was actually me and she only found out the truth many years after the fact (well, I only found out about it at the same time….I had no idea she had blamed him.) We also had many fun times at the casino, starting on my 18th birthday when we both signed out of school to go

Wes, we have been through a lot together – some good times, and some not so good times. But we have always had each other’s backs – no matter what. I love you, and am so happy to be here with you on this day. 
Tash, I wish you luck as you continue on this path with my brother and am glad to have you in my life. I came across an Irish Blessing online and thought it fitting for today. So, Wes and Tash, this is my toast to you as you start your marriage: 
May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace;
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship, and your hearts joined forever in love "
My poor mother injured her knee a few weeks ago and was on crutches. She managed to walk down the "aisle" with my brother not using them, but she needed them for most of the evening.  She stood on the dance floor while we danced, kind of shaking her upper body (this was really hard on her - as she LOVES to dance) and at one point one of our "family" songs came on (American Pie) but she just couldn't get up to join us.  My cousin and I dragged her chair over to the dance floor (with her on it) and another cousin held the back and moved the chair for her so she felt like she was joining in!

I have heard from other people about photo booth's that can be set up at weddings and events, but never experienced one before....oh, my goodness - was it EVER fun!  I was in a few with groups, but here are the shots from hubby and I

I can't say enough how awesome the party was.  What a great way to celebrate their relationship. Congratulations Wes and Tash (again) and all the best as you start this new chapter in your life!


  1. Congratulations to your Wes and Tash. Your speech was lovely Ashley. How nice that you have a copy of it. Here's to many more years together!

    P.S. Love the photo booth pictures!

    Besos Sarah.

  2. What a beautiful tribute! You two both sound lucky to have each other.


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