Getting Married

On the 8th of July, 2017, Leif and I were in Iceland on his great-uncle's farm. At 11PM at night, under a full moon and a still bright sky (the sun was still hovering in the sky, somewhere along the western horizon) we decided to climb a small mountain to the north, Langholtsfjall. We had to jump a few fences as we crossed a few sheep and horse pastures to climb the mountain. We also passed by an elf (huldufólk) rock. We could see, as we climbed up the south-east slope, all of his great-uncle's farm, and under the near-full moon far to the south were the volcanoes Eyjafjallajökull and Hekla.

A photo I took of Leif on Langholtsfjall on July 9, 2017. 

We reached the top of the mountain sometime after midnight. From the summit, we could see in every direction. The midnight sun to the west, and the moon to the south east.

A photo that Leif took that night. I'm facing the West, the sun right behind me, hovering along the horizon behind the mountains and glaciers. 

We were in the land of elves and volcanoes, old gods and young forests, and in this midnight twilight I officially asked Leif to marry me. He said yes. And then, in what is actually very typical for us, we spent the next few hours on that mountain just talking about what getting married would mean for us, and if it would change anything, and what it meant to each of us.

I know it's a small thing, but the reason I use "officially" in the previous paragraph is because I have never been the kind of person who enjoys surprises, even good ones. Leif and I had already talked about getting married over the course of our relationship, and we'd both sort of postponed any official decision-making about it until later, until we both felt more ready. So, even though I do think Leif was pleased I asked him to marry me in such a romantic place (and I was pretty pleased too!), it wasn't coming entirely out of left field.

I took this portrait of Leif up on the mountain on the 9th of July 2017, with the moon behind him. (I love this photo: Leif looks so pensive! And only mildly judgemental: after all, I was following him around with my camera like a paparazzi.) 

A year later, we decided to actually get married in August 2018, by the sea in Nova Scotia. We both wanted a small wedding. My grandmother has some land by the sea,  a field and a rocky shore on a small peninsula between Mariott's Cove and Half-Moon Cove. We decided to get married there, on August 11, in front of around 26 people (and 2 dogs!)

Leif and I exchanging vows in front of our families in a field, a Justice of the Peace presiding over the ceremony.
I had no idea how to do this. I was so scared of ruining this beautiful cake!!

And then, after the ceremony and the midday meal, we packed everybody (except for the 2 dogs) onto a sailboat and went out for a cocktail-hour cruise around Mahone Bay, which was exceedingly decadent and wonderful, and we stayed out on the water until twilight.

A photo of Leif looking super dashing on the boat. Leif should just wear this. Only this. All the time. I'm down.
A photo of me taken on the sailboat on the wedding day, the setting sun in the background.

I wrote a few notes in my Instagram stories the day of my wedding, which I'd like to share here, lessons I'd like to remember:

  1. Family drama (trauma) is what it is. It's worth the work to carve out and build moments of joy and healing.
  2. Laugh a lot.
  3. When Abuelita tells you not to hide your cleavage with your hair, listen.
  4. Pants are fucking awesome.
  5. Rewrite all the government-issued wedding language so that, on top of the required legal jargon, the language is about equal partnership, learning, and being brave enough to ask for help when you need it.
  6. Eat a lot of food and fuck worrying about your body.
This was actually a few days after the wedding, we were invited to sail on another sailboat, and Leif and I took cute pictures. Oh! And I got to be at the tiller on this boat, so I was very proud of myself. 

Well, I hope this wasn't too cheesy! I am just very happy, and I wanted to share that with all of you.

Thanks for reading!

Gersande La Flèche

Gersande La Flèche

By day I am a writing coach & freelance English-French translator. By night (or rather by dawn because I'm an early bird) I scribble away at poetry, prose, and essays in one of my many notebooks.
MTL // Tiohtià:ke