Afterthoughts

I’m sure that by now you’ve heard the fantastic news – we’ve made it to the third and final phase of the wedding threesome contest!

In order to learn about our what our phase III quest will entail, we’ve been charged by our contest-masters, Jay from Captivate Bridal, Rick from Rick Denham Photography and Mary from with one final post – the afterthoughts.

Our final task is to let you all know just what it’s been like to keep up this blog for the past few weeks.

We’re not going to lie – the task was not an easy one. For most university students (as many of you will know), April happens to be the busiest time of year. With Jackson’s final exams and projects and Loretta’s piles and piles of final exams and projects to mark, keeping up a regular blog, that was actually interesting was a very tall order indeed.

Luckily, we had a little help from some of our friends. On some days when those piles of paperwork were just too much for us, these really amazing people were there to help shoulder some of the weight. They were able to add some spice to our blog with their take on our relationship and on us as individuals – even if, at times, it was a tad embarrassing.

While it’s true that we are very busy people and this blog was time consuming, it gave us an opportunity to spend time together and grow as a couple. This blog was done by equal contributions from both of us. That’s right, for the most part, we wrote every post together – it wasn’t just Jackson or Loretta taking on the role of ‘author.’ Lots of couples do many things together, but how many couples do you know that can say that they’ve actually written together? Keeping this blog together has given us the opportunity to reflect on many great moments we’ve shared together and it’s provided even more validation for our love for one another.

We love lists, and so we thought it would be an appropriate way to cap off our phase II blog with a top ten list of our favourite bloggy-style threesome contest moments.

Top Ten Bloggy Style Threesome Moments

  1. Awkward first date moments
  2. Jackson’s uncanny ability to capture Loretta on camera while she’s being silly
  3. Our ability to bring bad luck to the home team of every sporting event
  4. An amazing road-trip rendition of Kim Mitchell’s Patio Lanterns
  5. Introducing you all to our cute pup, Wernicke (and how we came up with his name!)
  6. Our secret key to long-distance love (the post-it note!)
  7. Telling you all about how Jackson popped ‘the question’
  8. Giving you a sneak peek into our wedding planning
  9. How many (gullible) people actually believed Brian’s interpretation of the story of how we first met. Apparently we were a little too subtle on how truthful that ‘interpretation’ was.
  10. Sharing with the world just how oh-so-good-looking our wedding party is. We really capitalized on photos that were easily found on Facebook!

A couple of grad students bumming around campus...

 

Thank You

Hello friends,

The time has finally come for the second phase of the wedding threesome contest to come to a close.

We’re not going to lie — at the end of phase I, when we heard that we had to keep up a blog for three weeks during the middle of final exams and final projects, we were less than thrilled about the idea. These three weeks have really been some of the busiest of our lives. However, despite our crazy schedules — we prevailed. And since a majority of these posts were written by both of us, together — the task actually served to strengthen our bond as a couple. During some of those crazy, busy days, it was almost therapeutic to actually sit down together for an hour or two and write stories and laugh about times when it wasn’t so crazy.

Naturally, we got by with a little help from our friends, too. On some of those days when we just couldn’t find an hour to come up with bloggy genius together, some really amazing people were there to bail us out. Brian, Tawn, Miles, Jeff — we really appreciate your special guest contributions – you have no idea how huge they actually were for us.

We would also like to thank all of you who have devoted a bit of your time each day to coming and reading the blog. We can’t even believe the amount of views we’ve gotten in just three weeks – and from all over the world, too!

The winning couples from phase II will be announced here http://www.weddinggirl.ca/ on Monday, April 16th. Three out of the four couples will be moving on to phase III, but we don’t yet know what phase III has in store for (hopefully) us.

We sincerely hope that we don’t have to harass you all again — but if we do, we’re certain that you will have our backs! Your support throughout this whole competition has been unparalleled and we appreciate everything that all of you have done for us.

Writing this blog has definitely been a lot of fun. It has given us the opportunity to reflect on a lot of the fun things that we’ve done during our time together; It’s given us the opportunity to express some of our ideas and visions about our wedding day; And — of course — it’s given us the opportunity to share all of these experiences with you all.

We will leave you now with ten reasons why we think that we should move on to phase III:

  1. We are two amazing people who really deserve a break
  2. We have the best and most supportive friends and family!
  3. Our blog has been awesome (it’s been cute, touching, funny, sweet, romantic…)
  4. The announcement is the day after Jackson’s birthday — and moving to phase III would be a sweet present (‘that plus beer,’ says Jackson)
  5. Loretta’s computer died yesterday so now we have to pay for that, too
  6. Loretta’s high school cheerleading team gets a pizza party if we win
  7. Jackson’s friends each get one beer if we win
  8. We have a really cute puppy
  9. We have been paying for school for a combined 13 years – with 5 more years to go!
  10. We really want to be able to afford the wedding of our dreams

If you all can think of any other reasons as to why we should win – show us some love and post it as a reply! Let’s give Jay from Captivate Bridal, Rick from Rick Denham Photography and Mary from a little help in selecting this year’s Wedding Threesome Contest winners😉

Would You Like Some Cheese to Go with Your Whine?

We thought we’d share some exciting plans we have so far for our upcoming nuptials.

When: February 2013. Why a winter wedding you ask? Well there are 3 good reasons:

1. Graduate students don’t get many vacation days and since we both attend university year-round the only time we know we will have time off is our reading week, which happens to fall in February.

2. The venue we picked is amazing (see below) but is only available in the winter season.

3. We want to honeymoon somewhere exotic so why not go when it will be cold here?

Where: We are getting married at Loretta’s church, Westminister United Church in St. Catharines. Loretta has many fond memories at the church growing up, so it was a natural choice. Our reception will be held in the former Niagara District Courthouse in the beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake. Originally built in the mid 19th century it was once a courthouse, jail, and town hall. The courthouse is now designated a national historic site of Canada and currently is home to the Shaw Festival during the summer months. Niagara-on-the-Lake has a special place in our hearts (as you read about in our engagement story) and we fell in love with the venue instantly!

Niagara District Courthouse in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake is the venue for our wedding reception

Our Wedding Theme: We love our wine. From our first date to wine tours in the summer, we’ve (mostly responsibly) had our fill of wine – mostly white, mostly Riesling, to be specific. Jackson even bought Loretta a giant wine glass where we keep every cork – if it’s for a special day, we write the date and the occasion on it! Given this, plus the fact that our wedding is in the heart of wine country, we naturally decided that our theme should be wine and cheese – inclusive of a cocktail hour wine tasting with a wine barrel bar, some wine themed decor, a cheese wedding cake and wine and cheese themed favors.

We opted to skip the traditional wedding cake and have a wedding cake made out of cheese wheels!!!

Cheese Spreaders and Wine Corks as Wedding Favors

A wine barrel bar to serve a wine tasting during cocktail hour

Jackson and Loretta save all of their wine corks!

Some wine themed decor

How it all Began – The Story of our First Date

Jackson here. This is the story of our first date – from my perspective.

It was mid-March, 2009 when Loretta and I had our first date. I was super nervous. My hands were sweaty, my voice was shaking. I was in trouble.

However, as luck would have it, I was guided by some excellent advice (and even a prop) given to me by Miles, one of my amazing groomsmen. He suggested that if you’re really nervous on a first date, it’s good to have some kind of an activity do so that you can fill in any possible awkward moments with a turn at the activity – and for those who know me well, you know that I have a tendency to be a little awkward at times.

For Loretta and I, this activity was Boggle – Miles actually lent me his personal copy for that night. But even though I had this genius crutch, I don’t think I actually needed it as Loretta and I hit it off tremendously (though, I probably had a little extra confidence having that awkward-saver as a back-up if I needed it!).

Boggle - great first date activity!

Loretta set out some treats for us to munch on – white wine (Riesling, at least a 2) and some pineapple with chocolate dipping sauce (mmmm).

We played a few rounds of Boggle as we munched on pineapple and sipped on Late Autumn Riesling. As I kept winning round after round of boggle (I’m a words-guy!), I could tell that Loretta wasn’t really fond of losing – so I let her win a couple of rounds. Good thing the conversation came so easily, because the Boggle may not have been the perfect fall-back crutch that I had hoped it would be!

Loretta had a great sense of humour and seemed to really take a shining to my goofiness and especially liked my Mike Tyson impersonation – I had been working on it earlier that week. As the night wore on, I noticed that if she got up off the couch to do something, when she came back she would sit down closer and closer to me every time. I thought – she likes me, awesome!

The defining moment must have been when Mr. Deeds unexpectedly came on the TV. Prior to our first date, we had talked about how we loved comedy movies and Adam Sandler’s Mr. Deeds was one of the films at the top of our lists – this couldn’t be just a coincidence!

'The hideousness of that foot will haunt my dreams forever'

When the night was over, Loretta showed me to the door.  This was it – the ‘make-it or break-it’ moment – time to leave a lasting impression. As we both went in for the kiss goodnight, Loretta went for the lips – and I went for the cheek. The kiss ended up being an awkward combination of a half-cheek, half-lip kiss.

I thought to myself – ‘I blew it, best just to get out without any more awkwardness.’ So then I turned to the door and pulled on the handle and it wouldn’t move – it was locked.  Of course it was. Loretta unlocked the door opened it up for me and as my face burned with embarrassment, I thanked her and walked out the door. Way to go, Jackson – way to leave a ‘lasting impression.’

Fortunately for me, Loretta (obviously) overlooked that awkward ending – she actually found my nervousness and awkwardness to be kind of endearing. And look at us now, more than three years later and engaged to be married!

It only took about 15-20 dates for me to stop shaking like a leaf every time I went to knock on her door.

A picture of us during our first summer together

Loretta’s Love to Cheer

Ok, I had to feature these guys. I love Jackson, I love Wern – our pup, I love planning for our wedding… but I also love working with these athletes. I spend up to 6 hours a week coaching a high school competitive cheerleading team with 3 amazing coaches. I can’t believe how far these kids have come over the past 3 years… building a team that can execute elite level tumbling and acrobatic skills is not an easy feat. We started with a group of kids with virtually no experience and this year our team will be traveling all the way to Montreal to compete in the Canadian National Championships. The students were all too happy to try to help us win the contest. Many of them participated in the ‘pimp’ phase as to many 14-18 year olds, Facebook is totally their thing. They even wanted to help us out in phase 2! Here is their contribution to our blog:

If we win, it will make a whole lot of high school girls and boys happy!

They are still holding me to my promise – If Jackson and I win, they get a pizza party in Montreal for all of their help! Jay, Mary, and Rick – you can come too and get in the on the pizza party action if you’d like, we need some more chaperones. Chaperoning a group of 30 teenage boys and girls in Montreal – sounds like an easy task, right?😉

A ‘Decent’ Proposal

We know you’ve all been waiting on bated breath to hear about how Jackson popped ‘the question’ to Loretta. Well, without further ado, here’s the story of ‘The Proposal.’

It all began in early October, when Jackson was plotting and scheming on how he would possibly get Loretta to the place where he knew was the perfect place to ask her to be his wife.

Jackson had a plan to take Loretta away for a romantic weekend in Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL), but the tricky part was trying to get Loretta to agree to it without her being suspicious that something was up, as she is usually the one to plan the getaways.

Needless to say, Loretta knew, or at least hoped that something was up. However, as she was the one to pack all of the luggage – and she went through every piece, item by item – her hopes were deflated as she found no evidence of what she was hoping to find (i.e. a little jewelry box). Note to the guys: the ladies never check the inside jacket pocket.

As we drove down the highway, Loretta started to get nervous as we approached the U.S. border – she kept telling Jackson she didn’t pack her passport. Jackson started to sweat as it started to rain a little. Jackson turned off the highway at the last exit before the U.S. border and the rain had stopped. Thank god – says Jackson. Jackson suggested we take a walk – a walk in 10 degree drizzly weather. We pulled into Queenston Heights – a park in Queenston near NOTL. We had been there before – maybe 6 months into our relationship, Loretta brought Jackson there to have a picnic. In our first visit there we set-up our blanket right near the bandshell under a beautiful tree on the most perfect summer day. That was the day – the day that we both knew, the day that Jackson knew Loretta was the one and the day that Loretta knew Jackson was the one.

So, 2 ½ years later as Loretta reluctantly went on that walk in the miserable weather, Jackson found that tree we sat under on that nice summer afternoon and he got down on one knee.

Jackson was so nervous and Loretta was so excited that neither Loretta nor Jackson really know what he said to this day – but whatever he did say, it must have worked. Loretta said yes – obviously, that’s kind of why you’re reading this.

Loretta at the hotel just after agreeing to be Jackson's wife - she looks excited!

Loretta and Jackson spent the rest of the weekend celebrating NOTL style. Loretta bought Jackson an amazing umbrella, they went to a fancy dinner and they stayed at the Queen’s Landing Hotel. It’s so fitting that NOTL is where we’ve decided to celebrate our love on our big day – almost exactly 4 years from our first date!

Loretta couldn't help herself. She had to sneakily send this picture to her maid of honour while Jackson was in the bathroom.

All Request Thursday

Hey everybody,

We sure hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about us, both as a couple and as individual people. We’ve had some real dandy posts from some people who are really special to us – and it means a lot to us that they would take the time to say a few words, just to help us out with this contest.

If you just started following us recently, we’ll fill you in on what the contest is all about. We are going head-to-head with three other couples to win a prize pack of Wedding Day Photography (from Rick Denham), Cinema (from Captivate Bridal), and Planning + Coordination (from WeddingGirl.ca) – valued at over $10,000! Thanks to many of you, we’ve made it to the second phase – which has us writing this wedding blog for three weeks. Our goal is to be the couple to get the most amount of views on their blog. That means, every time you come and read it – you might be helping us win!

We thought that with today’s post, we would give all of our faithful followers a chance to have a say on a little part of our big day. That means you all can be special guest posters today!

When the vows have been said, the cake has been cut and all of the speeches have been said – we really want to have fun. A special occasion like this should be a celebration and we want everybody to have a good time. This is where you all come in. We want you to post a reply with a song that you think will really get people into the mood to party. If you can’t narrow it down to one song, pick two! Heck, pick as many as you want – as long as you think it’ll get the party going!

To make a suggestion, simply click reply just below this post and fill in the blanks.

Thanks, everybody!

Loretta and Jackson know how to party - Halloween style. Loretta's a kitty cat and Jackson is a dirty-moustache zebra muscles... guy... thing.

Not Just another Blog Post – A Post from the Best Man

Best man here.  Not just another good or great man – The Best Man.  Followed by an eerie godly light whenever I wear a tuxedo and along with my ability to clean myself up so well, I am sure these are the main reasons I was chosen as Jackson’s best man.

Jeff and the eerie, godly light that follows him around whenever he wears a tuxedo

If you met Jackson before his university years, you knew him as Tom.  So that’s who I’ll be blogging about today.  It took Tom until much later in life to realize his first name rhymed with things like Action, Attraction and Satisfaction.  I first met Tom in high school chemistry class.  I don’t recall the details of it but I probably made some kind of obnoxious poop, fart or dick joke and Tom thought to himself “Hey, this guys alright.”  And once I found out that his Mom had a hot tub, our friendship was set.  Little did I know he was just using me for my brains but little did he know I was just using him for the hot tub.  It was a good arrangement which eventually led us to today – Me as the best man in his wedding.

Well Tom certainly is a character.  You may not know this, but Tom has been lead singer of many bands throughout his late teen and early adult years, and even continues his musical career to this day.  If you ever hear someone crooning at your window late at night and think “Is that Gowan?” you won’t be far off – It’s Tom Wilson.  As Tom mentioned in an earlier blog, we even started a band together with our friend Scott called the Suckwads.  Later in our career (several hours later) we changed our band name to Ass-notes and the Shitty Beats.  The band broke up later that night – We weren’t very good.  I think we spent too much time thinking of a name than actually playing.

Tom and I are both huge hockey fans.  Unfortunately for Tom he is a Canadiens fan.  (I noticed this is a bit of a trend with the wedding party too, and I have to say I am sorry for you all).  I have witnessed many a Habs loss with Tom present and I can’t say I envy Loretta after a game where his team loses.  At least I can send Tom home after a big loss… But on those miracle nights when the Habs actually win, Loretta must feel like the luckiest little girl in the world.  Together Tom and I have witnessed many great hockey events such as my Penguins winning the cup in ’09, Crosby scoring the golden goal for Canada, and very soon I will take the winning $200 from the hockey pool Tom set up this year.

(Poop Warning)  After reading the Maid of Honour’s blog a week or so ago, one thing that Tawnyah wrote about Tom stood out to me.  She said he is “one of those rare people that their shit actually doesn’t stink.”  This struck me as a bit odd and made me seriously wonder if she was talking about the same Tom I know.  Maybe I’m just taking things a bit too literally, but the Tom I know can’t turn around without taking a shitty poop.  “Hey Tom, where were you for the last 5 minutes?”  and with a thumbs up and a grin he would reply “Poopin’!”  Then he would go on to describe it in detail… Well at least he is efficient at it.  Then he would disappear again another 30 minutes later.  Efficient and frequent.  In fact if you scroll to the top of this blog and look at the pic of Tom and Loretta you can kind of tell that Tom is holding one back.  Tom is also the perfecter of the “fake dump” at work to get an extra break or two.

Alright, that’s enough toilet talk for one blog I think.. but I think in a nutshell that sums up a big part of our friendship.  Now, when Tom told me he was dating a brain surgeon from the internet I’m pretty sure I thought “Wow, great story Tom.”  He told me their first date was riding a tandem bicycle along the beach into the sunset and was a really scrumtrulescent time😉.  That’s when I really knew he was making it up… that’s not even a real word.  But he wasn’t making (some of) it up.  It turned out Loretta was real and lived in London.  She wasn’t actually a surgeon but still pretty brainy… ah-ah-ah.  We Paris folk will still refer to her as the brain surgeon.

It was just the other day that I realized fully and completely Tom was ready to move on from Me to Loretta.  I sent Tom this beauty of a picture:

Their fathers must be so proud

only to find that Loretta had shown Tom the picture a few days earlier.  It may be photoshopped, but still hilarious.  Yes Tom, I think I can now say with conviction that you have found the one.  And as Tawnyah would say, Loretta, I don’t think your shit stinks either.  And yes, I really am restraining myself from typing out another poop joke right now.  I look forward to the wedding speech!

I’ll leave you all with a gem from the past – Tom and I in our high school prime.

Clearly, no one ever accused us of being 'too cool for school' in high school.

The secret to long-distance love… ‘the post-it note’

Some of the post-it notes we've kept from our long distance days!

  

Jackson and I started out the first two years of our relationship doing the long distance thing. Ok, not the easiest thing to do… but a few tricks made it a lot easier. Enter the post-it note. I started sending J post it notes with his lunch I would pack for him on Sunday mornings for work. I’d try to get it in his backpack when he wasn’t looking so he would have something cute to read that day. Jackson would then do the same before he left on the weekends. I would find funny notes all over the place throughout the week when he wasn’t there with me. When we moved in together we found that both of us kept all of each others notes. Here are a couple of my faves:

Loretta to Jackson:

I had a great weekend with you yet again! Thank you for taking me skating I had so much fun. You are such a great teacher and hopefully one day I can stop on my skates just like you🙂 Also, thank you for driving around to every store to look for chicken with me. No chicken? They all were just outta chicken? LOL. On that note enjoy your lunch and have a great day at work❤ Loretta xoxoxo

Jackson to Loretta:

Every bit of my heart beats for you Loretta. My right and left atria and ventricles, even my bicuspid and tricuspid valves. I wish I was spending the day with you instead of studying this stuff. I love you❤ xoxo J.J.