Monday, January 4, 2016

'Whals in the Woods: A Special Toast

After our parent dances, the band took the stage. I wish I could just casually return whenever I want to that feeling the night created. The hundreds of candles lit around us, the clear sky, the string lights and the band playing while being surrounded by everyone we love so much. Oh what a sensation it was seeing it all come together.

We had planned our timeline to include the toast to my brother after the band's first set. We had asked my brother's best friend T to say a few words, while everyone toasted with a shot of Jaegermeister. Following the toast, our tribute song for my brother* would come on and a fun dance party would commence.

One of the hardest parts of grief and losing someone close to you is the lifetime of missed memories. Wedding days are obviously one of the most difficult days to feel an absence. I had my moments throughout our engagement feeling sadness over my brother missing out on our wedding day - it was one of those things that would catch me off guard and leave my heart feeling heavy.

I will say, and do recommend finding a way to incorporate your missed loved ones in your wedding day. It really does help. I didn't feel sad on our wedding day, but instead my heart was filled with joy with our little reminders of my brothers presence throughout the day. He was on my bouquet, we made a nod to those attending in spirit during our ceremony, and we planned a big toast for him. This felt so right, and while I had pangs of all sorts of emotions, I mostly just filled myself with the joy I know he would have wanted me to have. It's the best you can do given the circumstances.

The toast was perfect, everyone grimaced as they took their gross shot, and as anticipated the dance floor quickly filled - just as my brother would have wanted. The party had definitely started!

And, because what better way to share an experience, than to share the musical vibes to go along with it?

All photos captured by Isos Photography, with selected photos cropped and converted to black and white


Can't beat a dance party with your grandmother :)

Need to catch up?
*A close friend of my brothers created a tribute video after he died. One of the songs in the video was Tom Cochrane's Life is a Highway and it always stuck out to friends and family as a reminder of my brother.

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