The evening before we had a memorable dinner at a restaurant called Loon's on Queen Street in the Beach. That morning we got up and went about our business. It didn't seem real that we were getting married. We picked up my Mum at her house around 10 and she had bought flowers for us to wear. We had put the whole thing together in such a hurry that we had not thought of flowers!
We drove to Osgoode Hall, where it was raining. We were at Osgoode Hall because my friend the Honourable Roy McMurtry was marrying us in his judge's chambers. He had suggested Remembrance Day for the simple reason that it would be quiet and he wouldn't have to be hearing any cases.
I had asked Roy only two weeks before if he would do the honours. He said: "My boy, you know how it is. I would be happy to do it if you can write the script for me!" And so Angelina and I collaborated on the vows and came up with something we both loved. Funny thing, after 19 years we remember some of it differently. I distinctly remember not agreeing to "obey." But She Who Must Be Obeyed Must Be Obeyed, so I guess I must have, right?
The entire wedding party consisted of Roy, his wife Ria, his assistant and my good friend Wendy and my mother. My very good friend Wallis Smith and his wife Virginia were our witnesses. Oh yes--Bill McMurtry, Roy's younger brother and my legal mentor--decided to come too although I don't exactly recall inviting him! It would not have been the same without Bill. Finally, we had a photographer.
I remember being extremely happy and sweating a great deal. Angelina was beautiful, with her deeply dimpled smiling face. We were really in a blissful state.
After the short service and some toasts, we went for lunch at Winston's, a posh downtown Toronto restaurant that sadly is now gone. One of my partners, Rick Krempulec, was in a business meeting and came over to see what all the merriment was about. He was very pleased to add his voice to all the good wishes.
We jumped into our car and headed off to Chateau Montebello for a four-day honeymoon. We didn't know what was to come. I was still living in Toronto; she was in Ottawa. It was some weeks after that wedding that I decided that I would move to Ottawa and take my chances that my clients would want to continue to keep me if I was on my own working from home in another city. Well, that part of it all worked out.
Actually, it all worked out. To many people we were strangers. Our relationship was only two months old when we got married. But she had promised me that our relationship would always be simple and perfect. And that is exactly how it has been. We have become lovers, best friends, life companions. And between the two of us, life is as simple as it gets. Because I never want to change her and she never wants to change me. It is not that we are paragons of perfection. It is because we are each distinct human beings. We do change. We have both changed a great deal over the past 19 years, but our changes come from within, not from spousal pressure to be different.
Now we have our son Andrew, and things remain at their core simple and perfect. And it will always be so with us.
Happy Anniversary, my love!