Thanks for dropping by! After almost seven years together, we decided to announce in May that we would be married August 25th. The wedding date seemed a bit sudden to many, but our work with LiveWorkPlay makes it difficult to take time off, and when we realized the last week of August was manageable, we went for it!
It's probably safe to say we are an unconventional couple, and news of our engagement reached most people (with the exception of our immediate family, and a few people around the office who noticed Julie's ring) in an unconventional way. Unless you had already left for the cottage, most people who subscribe to the Ottawa Citizen did not miss this: Julie and Keenan in the news.
Well, in reverse chronological order, here's most of the story of our wedding and the immediate aftermath!
September 4th Update! By popular request, here is a listing of who did what!
Why not have the people who know you be the people who talk about you? Thanks for making our ceremony so special!
- (Friends) Christina Norris, David Ogden, Meredith Ogden*
- (Parents) Marjorie Wellar, Barry Wellar, David Kingstone, Patricia Kingstone
- (Siblings) Peter Kingstone, Marnie Wellar
- (Mentor) Lucile Champagne.
* Meredith Laura Ogden was born at 6:07pm on August 22nd and weighed 8lbs 5oz and was 21.5". She was eight days overdue.
Bouquets and Corsages: Bouquets Etc.
Affordable high quality arrangements with a personal touch and helpful (but never pushy) advice. Everything was perfect!
Decorative Flower Arrangements: Keenan Wellar and Julie Kingstone
Not much involved here...basically, we did the archway under which the ceremony was conducted. We finished it not too long before guests started arriving. Everyone thought it was part of the professional arrangement, so apparently we did OK with it.
Electrical Engineering: Keenan Wellar
The caterer's coffee pots blew a fuse, knocking out all the lights and the power for Dave Kalil's piano and gear. Thanks to some advance planning and Keenan's obsession with collecting power cords, the problem was rectified in a matter of seconds.
Webmaster: Keenan Wellar
This page just keeps getting longer.
Programs: Julie Kingstone and Keenan Wellar
It's amazing what you can accomplish in five or ten minutes when you have an effective partnership. And access to a decent high speed digital copier.
Song Books: Julie Kingstone
Thank goodness for the songbooks (see the program notes for 3:00 to 4:00).
Evening Musician: Dave Kalil
We knew Dave would be perfect for the after-dinner partying, but had no idea he would be such a riot in supporting the after-dinner commentaries. Pennie Styan's story about "Phil" as accompanied by Dave's music was absolutely unforgettable. Thank you, Pennie, for your "dare to share" attitude, and thank you, Dave, for fighting through your own laughter.
Photography: Colin Welch and David Kingstone
Colin, along with guest Bill Lalonde, are the hard-working gents who renovated several areas of our home. We chose to stay in the house while the work was completed, and had it been anyone other than Bill and Colin we probably would not have survived it. Colin, who is an excellent photographer, surprised us by showing up with his cameras and joining with David to take hundreds of quality photos. Thanks so much!
Videography: Chris Brown
Chris and Keenan did some website work together back in 1996, and Chris eventually got involved with LiveWorkPlay, in the past few years as a volunteer supporting media projects. Like Colin, Chris surprised us by showing up with his professional video camera. Thanks for everything!
Wedding Dress: Janine Adamyk Designs
Everyone who knows Julie knows she did not want a "foofy" wedding dress (foofy means something like "all puffed out"). Her second requirement was that she did not want to put it in a box forever once the wedding was over. Enter Janine Adamyk. Exit the perfect dress for Julie! Minus a few inches off the bottom, you will be able to see it on New Year's Eve.
Tote, lug, lift, drag. Repeat. Repeat again. And again.
- Peter Kingstone
- David Kingstone
- Patricia Kingstone
- Julie Kingstone
- Derek (friend of Peter)
- Keenan Wellar
Ushers: Warren Murphy and Ian Murphy
Thanks for making all the guests feel welcome the second they showed up. Your bright smiles and positive attitudes set exactly the right tone for the day!
Soup, Meal, Salad, Punch: Maison Aubrey
The catering business can be more than a little intimidating. You find yourself talking about what the caterer wants instead of what you want. Not so with Andrew Aubrey, who brought along his master chef, so they could both listen to what we wanted and create a menu that met with our expectations. With Aubrey's you don't have to worry about the plates, cutlery, and so on, because it is all included with the very reasonably priced meal. Great job! Call them up and tell them Keenan and Julie sent you. Seriously.
Cheesecake Desserts: Marjorie Wellar
Have you ever tried to make fourteen cheesecakes all at the same time? Well, apparently it can be done, and boy were they good!!!
Gelato Desserts: Piccolo Grande
A big hit. They brought enough for 200 guests and we cleaned them out. The server had a great attitude and did an excellent job dealing with such a big crowd.
Tent, Tables, Chairs: Chez Lili Party Rentals
We found Chez Lili thanks to Andrew Aubrey. They provided the tent, tables, and chairs. Everything worked fine and the price was right.
Landscaping: David and Patricia Kingstone
They started working on the various gardens the minute we announced our engagement. The very dry summer was not kind to much of their work, but thanks to their diligence the property was in beautiful shape and the garden provided a lovely backdrop to the ceremony.
Wedding Officiant: Dan Mayo
Is their any doubt that this fellow was genuinely enjoying himself? He supported our efforts to create our own program, and his pleasant demeanor and willingness to improvise made it all work. Isn't it amazing who you can find on the internet?
Flower Persons: Nieces and Nephew
Keenan's two nieces and nephew charmed everyone. Not bad for no rehearsal and no preparation time!
Flower Person Clothing: Marnie Wellar
What could be more fun than making last minute alterations with 160 people waiting? You will have to ask Marnie. She's one of the few people who knows.
August 26th to September 1st Update!
12:00 am - 2:00 am, August 26th...the first hours after the reception ended provided reassurance that our life together would not somehow be adversely affected by our marriage certificate. We have both been incredibly happy for the past 7 years and want that to continue! So, it was business as usual...we left Cumberland and drove to the Ruby Inn on Bank Street for Chinese food take-out, came home and fed the cats, then watched some TV before calling it a night.
Sunday morning we bounced right up and headed back to Cumberland to help out with the clean-up that was already underway, then we loaded up the unbelievable number of gifts and headed home. We then began the lengthy process of opening the presents and keeping track of who gave what, while at the same time trying to finish enough laundry for our upcoming trip to Ogunquit (Maine) the next day. A tip for future brides and grooms...put some scotch tape on the gift table and encourage everyone to use it. With all the activity, some of the cards got separated from the gifts! But we managed to figure it all out.
Anyway, this all went on until the wee hours of the morning and we didn't get up until 10:00 am, and we also had a bunch of errands to run before we could leave. So, by the time we were ready to go, it was already 1:00 pm with about 8 hours of driving ahead of us. Fortunately, the driving conditions were excellent and we made great time, arriving at the Mariner Resort Hotel at about 8:00 pm. We went a bit crazy and went out right away, down to Perkins Cove, and ended up walking the Marginal Way (a path along the rocky coastline) in the dark before finally seeking dinner in the village. We missed out on seating for the classier joints but managed to grab a delicious pita sandwich before deciding to walk back to the hotel. It was a long walk and Keenan did a bit of whining, but it did help to ensure that he fell asleep at a reasonable hour.
After breakfast at the famous "The Egg And I" diner, the day's first mission was to find a kayak outfitter and book an excursion for Wednesday. We got lucky with a place right off Route One, where the staff had a few laughs trying to fit Keenan's legs into a kayak. The second mission was to do some shopping at the Kittery outlets, which was great as always. The selection is simply amazing, and the prices are good, even with the Canadian dollar being what it is.
For dinner we were lucky enough to get into Gypsy Sweethearts without a reservation. We discovered this place on our first visit to the area some 5 years ago, and we were hoping it was as great as we had remembered. It was! The lobster bisque was to die for...just unbelievably good. This was followed by an enormous helping of fresh pan-fried haddock with blackened potatoes and lightly fried fresh peas in the pod. We were simply to full to try any of the desserts, which sounded spectacular. We immediately booked a reservation for Wednesday night!
Wednesday was kayaking day...the first time for both of us. We headed out with nine other members of the morning tour along with our guide "Dan" for a half-day excursion in York Harbour and the Atlantic coast. This was no joke...it was three hours of hard paddling covering 7 miles...but we loved it! Keenan got to use a rather nice german boat known as the Prijon Kodiak, which was the only one big enough to accommodate him, once they removed the thigh braces. Julie got a nice Necky boat called the Looksha IV. Julie was a natural right away, but Keenan was rather tippy and the guide seemed to think he would capsize. Haha. Some three hours later, Julie capsized in the Atlantic, due to the fact that she was impatient waiting for some of the slower paddlers, and decided to experiment with some creative maneuvers that ended up flipping her into the ocean. Fortunately, Julie does not share Keenan's phobia of sharks (too much Discovery Channel late at night) and she calmly waited for the guide to help her get back in and continue on. For just $140 for the two us, including equipment, transportation, lunch, and guide, this was an excellent value and a great experience. We both headed back to town firmly interested in purchasing our own kayaks.
It was back to the hotel for a quick nap, and then back to Gypsy Sweethearts for an early dinner before heading out to see a production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat at the renowned Ogunquit Playhouse. It was absolutely fabulous! High energy with great music and great singers to go along with the fun costumes. Julie had somehow managed to procure fourth row centre seats...you could see the lead actresses tonsils when she sang! After the play we headed back to the hotel to watch the US Open (tennis).
Thursday morning we were back at The Egg And I for a very late breakfast, and then head south to Kittery again, this time to look at kayaks. Lunch was a unique experience...we stumbled onto this little shack called "Flo's Steamed Hot Dogs" because we were curious about the lineups there every day on Route One. It turns out this establishment is pretty famous...it was recently featured on CNBC! It had sort of a "Soup Nazi" atmosphere (a reference to an episode of Seinfeld) and you were just expected to know what was going on...we ended up ordering "two specials" even though we did not know what a "special" was. Turns out it is a large hot dog with hot sauce and mayonnaise! It was good. Really good!
In the evening we walked the Marginal Way as the sun was setting. Just gorgeous. We fought with the Cormorants and other sea birds for a spot for photographs on the rocks...sure hope they turn out!
For dinner we stumbled upon another local legend..."Wild Bill's Burgers." This was another strange environment where you had to figure out how to get your food...but boy were those good burgers!
Friday morning it was time to start heading back...we hit YET ANOTHER local legend for breakfast, the "Maine Diner." There was a lineup and they gave us this strange electronic device and directed us back out...turns out once your table is ready, this thing flashes and says "please return to your hostess, your table is ready." Actually, our table was two seats at the counter, which was just fine. Keenan had the best omelet ever (according to him) and Julie had a massive helping of blueberry pancakes.
For the drive home we decided to go back through North Conway and the White Mountains. Keenan wanted to hike the Arethusa Falls trail (where we got engaged) but Julie was sleepy and wanted to get home to the cats. In a bit of a role reversal, Keenan insisted on getting the exercise and Julie finally agreed. It was a pretty tough climb, and it was hard to believe that we had done this trail back in April (see below) with several feet of snow to contend with. Both of us were hot and tired by the time we made it to the falls, which had just enough power left this time of year to give us both a cool shower. We managed the full hike in about 70 minutes (it is supposed to take more like 2 hours) and enjoyed the rest of the drive on highway 302 through the mountains. We tried a different route in order to avoid downtown Montreal, but it was dark and raining and we ended up fooling around in southwest Quebec for some time before finding a way across the St. Lawrence and up to the 417 through Cornwall and Monkland.
When we got home (close to 11:00 pm) Keenan's dad was there...he had not heard from us so decided to feed the cats just in case. He is a great cat-sitter! Another surprise was a new lock on our door...the old lock had jammed (according to dad Wellar) so he removed it and put on a new one. The other HUGE surprise was the appearance of our yard!!! Keenan's sister Marnie and family had ripped out all the weeds and replaced them with real plants! It looks great (until we manage to kill everything) so we made sure to take some pictures first thing the next day. They even brought a bird feeder, which has attracted (so far that we have seen) three varieties of squirells, a pigeon, a morning dove, crows, and nuthatches.
That's a fitting point to end this website! We are married, we are buying kayaks, our yard looks nice, we are feeding the urban wildlife, we have a new lock, and we are watching tennis as this is being written. Life is good!
August 25th Update! THE DAY!
7:00 am - 2:00 pm...no rest for the soon-to-be-married! There were the usual errands to run, the last of which was to pick up twelve bags of ice before arriving on the scene. The van was packed with supplies and such, but it all got unloaded and in place in a matter of minutes, thanks to Julie's brother Peter and his friend Derek, who both came to visit from Toronto for a couple of days to help us out.
We made a last-second decision to decorate an archway with ivy and roses to stand under for the ceremony. We problem-solved the issue in effective fashion, and came up with something we could both agree on. A lot of people wanted to know which florist had done the work, so I guess we did an OK job! The weather was just perfect...sunny with a light breeze and not much humidity.
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm...Keenan was getting a bit weary of all the hubbub and retreated to a bathroom where he hung out in the dark until about 2:30 pm when he piled into his tux and trimmings. He changed up his usual formal outfit (tux with tails and bow tie) by going with a regular black tie, a gold patterned vest, and a new pair of Bostonian shoes. Julie's friend Christina Norris helped her into her one of a kind dress, which simply cannot be described. You will have to wait for pictures. She sported a lovely gold headband of flowers with a dainty veil attached by comb at the back. An extra note about Christina and her husband David...Christina gave birth to their first child, the lovely Meredith, about 72 hours prior to our wedding. We went to see mom, dad, and baby on Friday and were somewhat astounded that all three of them planned to attend the wedding and take part in the ceremony as planned...talk about your good friends!
4:00 pm - 12:00 am...You will have to click here to see what happened!!!
August 24th Update! Midnight report: A busy day and a busy night. Pretty much a normal day, only the activities were a little bit different. Dave Kalil came by and dropped off his piano and gear. He will be great as always. Peter Kingstone and his friend Derek, along with mom and dad Kingstone, helped Julie and Keenan with some of the final preparations. Keenan had a blast setting up the lighting, as he is always at his best when working with dozens of extension cords. Julie was busy working out a schedule for photographs, which proved to be fairly complicated. The place looks fantastic, and it is hard to believe that we will be walking down the aisle together in just a few hours! It's amazing just how right it feels to be doing this right now...had we had this ceremony a few years ago, it just wouldn't have been the same. We have shared so much together and with the people who will be there with us in the past couple of years...it really feels special. There has been no time to be nervous about anything. We won't be nervous until the ceremony actually starts, because we decided not to rehearse our vows. It says in the program that we are going to each have something to say...but we haven't even had time to think about it. It should be interesting!
August 22nd Update! The tent is up, the singers sang! David and Patricia Kingstone hosted a casual gathering of parties involved in the ceremony, and those in attendance also got a preview of the facilities, including the 30x60 tent that is now up and ready to go, along with 160 chairs that are arranged for the ceremony.
August 11th Update! It rained, and it poured! Julie got showered today! Organized at the home of Elaine and Jack Murphy, involved parents of LiveWorkPlay participants Ian and Warren, Julie enjoyed several hours of the spotlight with twenty friends and brought home oodles of exciting gifts. Some more "exciting" than others.
Concurrent with these shenanigans, Keenan enjoyed his ideal bachelor party: being driven down to the market by soon-to-be father-in-law David Kingstone for a gelato ice cream.
July 24th Update! Happy Birthday! Keenan is now 19 years old. Again.
July 21st Update! The Piano Man Is Booked! That's right, none other than Dave Kalil will provide the after-dinner entertainment. For those who don't know Dave (which means you don't go to local pubs) he plays keyboard and sings original tunes, as well as hits from the 70s to the present, at a variety of venues across this region. He also played the first LiveWorkPlay New Year's Eve gala as well as the first Celebrating Productive Living auction event.
Attending one of Dave Kalil's shows together was actually an important moment early in our relationship. We had different tastes in music, as well as different ideas about what constitutes a fun night out. But we both had a blast going to see Dave, and since that time, we have each found space on the CD player for the other's musical tastes.
June 27th Update! The Honeymoon Is Booked! In response to the many inquiries, we are happy to confirm that we will in fact be taking a little vacation after the wedding. We will be heading to Ogunquit, Maine, which is one of the first places we ever went together. On the way there, we will pass through the White Mountains, and the spot where we became engaged. Once we arrive, there is an incredible beach, romantic walking paths, and delicious seafood to keep us busy.
June 16th Update! Keenan got his MA degree today at the Carleton University convocation ceremonies (click to see a picture of Keenan and his mother Marjorie). This brings to an end about six years of hard work through part-time studies. Keenan would like to say: "This is just one of a long list of accomplishments that would simply have been lost opportunities if Julie had not been there all along to see me through it." Julie expects to finish her own Master's degree later this year.
June 9th Update! We have registered with Rob McIntosh China (aka McIntosh & Watts) a husband and wife success story that started in Cornwall, Ontario. They have a great wedding registry website, just click here to go directly to our customized list. The items can be also found at any of the five local McIntosh & Watts stores, which can also provide you with a print copy of the registry. If dishware is not your cup of tea (haha) we have also registered at Sears. They have a little kiosk on the top floor where you just type in the name (e.g. Kingstone, Julie) and a list is printed out, or you can access the registry on the internet. Lastly, we are also registered at The Bay. Click on this link to go directly to our registry.
We already have most of the ordinary household items that any couple needs, so it's not a very long list. For some of the larger items, please don't even consider buying them unless you get together with a whole bunch of people and pool your resources. If there is nothing on the list that fits with what you would like to give, by all means, do whatever you like! The list is just there to save you the trouble of trying to figure out what we might need.
June 8th Update! We have received the first reply already! The speedsters involved are our good friends Christina Norris and David Ogden, who were married about three years ago themselves. Christina is also one of the longest-serving LWP Board Members, having been elected three times since first joining in 1997. David and Christina both work for the federal government, and David is also a dedicated volunteer, serving the TCE organization, which provides supports to people with communication challenges. Christina will be retiring from the LWP Board at the end of her current term in June, as she is expecting her first child in August (hopefully mom, dad, and baby will be able to make the wedding!).
June 5th Update! The invitations are in the mail! A copy of the accompanying letter is available here .
The Engagement In Brief
The links to the right are some scenes including and leading up to the "big proposal." They are all from Sunday, April 15, 2001. We were on a little three-day holiday that included stops in Freeport (Maine) and North Conway (New Hampshire). Freeport offers some wonderful seafood along with pedestrian-oriented outlet shopping. North Conway offers less attractive (but much cheaper) outlet shopping, and there is no sales tax.
The other wonderful thing about North Conway is that it is just a ten minute drive from one of the most spectacular hikes anywhere. The White Mountains are simply gorgeous, particularly the Arethusa Falls Trail, which offers, of course, a waterfall, but also spectacular Frankenstein Cliff, and the possibility of spotting some of the Peregrine Falcons that live there.
We were definitely some of the first hikers of the year, and the trail was still quite snowbound. From time to time we sunk through to our hips! We did pass a few other early season hikers, including a large group of young people accompanied by a variety of dogs dressed up in sweaters and special little doggie hiking booties.
The snow made it tough going. A long plodding uphill hike through deep snow called for a few rest stops, which were actually a lot of fun. Lying on our backs in the snow with the sun beating down, listening to the birds and other critters around us, made it hard to get back up and continue on to the falls. This was especially true for Keenan, whose 220 pound frame was creaking and groaning significantly. We had both been to the falls before, and knowing the beauty that awaited at the end of the trail was motive enough to keep moving. Keenan had some extra incentive, having decided that morning that this would be the perfect spot for a wedding proposal.
Of course, other than the timing (Julie had no idea why Keenan forced her to hike up the side of the waterfall....why...because he needed to balance the camera on a tree branch) there was not really an element of surprise involved. Like most everything else, we make decisions together. Even when we are spontaneous, it seems like we work together as one.
We had talked about getting married many years ago, and had actually been looking at engagement rings off and on for almost two years. We bought a house together in 1999, and whatever spare money we had went into renovations, so we took our time with the ring. There was no real urgency. Our lifelong commitment to each other was never in question, it was simply a question of when we would choose to announce it to our friends and family.
In fact, we had already picked out the design for our wedding bands the previous year, which we promptly ordered from Howard's Jewelers when we got back. While in Maine, we stumbled across just the sort of engagement ring that we had been looking for. Probably for no better reason than to demonstrate to the crazy salespeople at Zales (parent company of People's) that we were not getting taken in by their pressure tactics, we did not buy the ring until the next day.
Keenan had the ring, as well as a small bottle of champagne, in his inner coat pocket, and when we got to the half way point of the 6 mile hike, he decided it was the right place and time to haul it out and make things "official." It was quite a lot of fun, and quite intense, in a very uplifting way. It was somewhat of a miracle that the pictures actually turned out. There was quite a wind going, the sun was facing the camera, and Keenan was racing through deep snow to try to get into the pictures before the timer went off.
Although none of this was a big surprise, it made us both giddy enough to descend the trail in a rather reckless fashion. We discovered that if you moved fast enough, you broke through the snow with a lesser frequency. Of course, when you did break through, the extra speed threatened to throw you off the trail, as Julie nearly discovered at one point. Of course, the second we got back to the car, it was time to start planning the wedding! At the point of the engagement all you know is "why". Then you have to start figuring out the rest of it...who-what-when-where-how!