It takes a community to make a wedding.
When I’m at home plopped down in front of my television, about six hours into binge watching Netflix, the only inspiration I feel is the urge to get up and get a snack.
The same can’t be said for Dale and Maureen Trimmer of Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario.
“It was quite innocent,” said Dale from his hotel room phone. “We were watching television one night, about a year before we came, and one of your advertisements came on, and I looked at Maureen, and I said, ‘that looks like a nice place to visit.” So we kind of decided from there on in, that when we got married that this is where we would come and get married.”
They were so taken aback by the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism commercials that they began to put their marital plan into action.
“We got the 1-800 number from the bottom of the screen, and we called, and they sent us that 500-page Traveller’s Guide. And Maureen spent the past year going through it.”
Now, that’s dedication. The Traveller’s Guide is a great resource for any would-be traveller that is planning a trip to the province. It’s filled chock-a-block with all kinds of useful information. There’s also an online app you can get for your iPhone or iPad, which is pretty helpful, I’ve used it a couple of times now – and I’m from here. But this isn’t about me. It’s about the Trimmer’s and their wedding plans.
“Maureen thought at first that she’d like to be married at the top lighthouse. She made several phone calls, and Twillingate seemed like the place for us. They had the ability to make the lighthouse available, if that’s what we wanted to do.”
The lighthouse in question is the Long Point Lighthouse, located on Crow Head in Twillingate. It’s one of the most photographed sites on the northeast coast, and is visited by thousands of tourists each and every year.
It is rather peculiar, though you don’t often hear of couples getting married in lighthouses, at least I hadn’t before. The best part is they were inside the glass of the lighthouse. There’s something oddly poetic and beautiful about the sight of two people joining together in a place filled with so much light.
Dale went on to describe his plans… or rather, lack thereof.
“We decided one thing we did not want to do is we did not want to be restricted in time,” Dale said sheepishly. “She made sure that the lighthouse was available in June… we booked the photographer tentatively for some time in June, because we didn’t know – we hadn’t even picked a date.”
Now, this is where I have to step in and say that no plan may be the worst plan you can have out here. Fortunately for Dale and Maureen it worked out, but I’d strongly advise you to make your reservations well in advance so you’re not sleeping in your rental car. Because nobody likes sleeping in a rental car. But back to Dale and Maureen:
“We got to Twillingate, no reservations or anything, and as fate would have it, Waterside Cabins had just been built,” beamed Dale. “And out of the five cabins that were available, one was called the Honeymoon Cabin. We were the first to stay in the Honeymoon Cabin, as a matter of fact.”
I managed to get Earnest Watkins on the line from Waterside Cabins – best man to Dale, and husband of the maid of honour to Maureen.
“That’s the first time we encountered that,” he chuckled. “They asked if we would stand for them. So we agreed to it. We didn’t mind one bit. I must say they were wonderful people.”
And so they are. One thing that struck me about my conversation with Dale was how polite and cordial he was on the phone. Make no wonder people wanted to help him.
“The next day we went to see the marriage licence issuer, we had both been married before. Within about an hour we walked out with the licence. Then we had to find the Mayor, who was the local commissioner. And the first guy we asked about the Mayor said, “Hold on a second, I’ll call him.” And about fifteen minutes later the Mayor showed up. So we didn’t have to go find him, he came to us,” marveled Dale.
So, the suspense was killing me. When did they tie the knot? And how did it work out?
“So, we decided on June 14, because of a personal connection. We were just going to get a caterer and then have the photographer and her partner, and the mayor and his wife – and then the people who rented us the cottage, we got close to them over the week. So Maureen had the wife be the maid of honour, and I had the husband as my best man. We ended up having dinner at the Cozy Tea Room and Bakery a couple of days before. And we decided to have the wedding meal there. They made us a wedding cake and the whole whack.”
That’s the one thing you can’t quite capture when you’re telling people about this place. The people are wonderful. I know it’s stated quite a bit, but you don’t really fully appreciate it until you come here and experience that kind of hospitality for yourself. I’ve been too many far flung corners of the Earth, and I’d trade them all in for a cozy cabin by the sea any day. Maureen and Dale would likely do the same.
“Saturday, the day of the wedding, was beautiful. We got up on Saturday morning and there was a massive ice blockage in the bay and a whole bunch of these huge icebergs. In the past weeks we had gone looking for them, but this Saturday morning all the icebergs came to us,” he said. “The sky was priceless. Everything was just priceless.”
And there you have it. A match made in heaven, and a plan hatched on the couch. It’s funny the things that inspire us. Sometimes it’s timing, and sometimes it’s left to the cosmos. It’s worth noting that both Dale and Maureen were born in 1949, the year Newfoundland and Labrador joined into confederation with Canada – perhaps they were fated to come here all these years later. Who knows?
I asked Dale, in closing, what surprised him about the province? He took a moment, and this is what he came back with:
“I don’t think I anticipated in my mind how phenomenal everything is here,” he said earnestly. “The landscape, the icebergs, the ocean, and the people. The people have just been incredible.”
Well Dale and Maureen, I can safely say we think you’re pretty incredible your own selves.
Do come back soon.