Pictures Guests The Ceremony Speeches Quiz?

We did it!

On October 4th 2003, after being together for 5 years, being engaged for 3 years, and being re-engaged for 10 months, Mark and Jennifer finally got married!

The original invitation is here

The ceremony and reception both took place at Thompson House on McGill University campus. The ceremony was in the reception area and the reception upstairs in the ballroom. A special thankyou to Jerome and his staff at Thompson House for making the day go without a hitch.

Thanks also to all of our guests for making it a fun and special day, and to all those who gave us wonderful gifts or donated to charity on our behalf.


We didn't have an official photographer, but here are a few that were taken by different people on the day.

Our guests, by table

Head 6 5 4 3 2 1
Will Sandy Robin Dan Loula Harry Richard
Sue Graham Clare Susan Clare StellaDiane
Phil ElisabethPhilippaGeorge FlorentRob Harry
DorisRichard Phil Mary PhyllisKerry Donna
Kim Helen Tristan Julian Luke LesleyPetra
Tony Jan Nigel StephanJane JeromeKerry
SahfiTineke Luke Iain Roy Sean Jason
Nina CatrinaMaria Tara Helen

The Ceremony

The ceremony felt to us like it lasted less than a minute, but our guests assured us it was longer. Here is how it went:

We walked together down the stairs to the entrance room of Thompson House while our introduction song, Blue Rodeo's Lost Together, played. We stood on the third step up from the bottom and were joined by our minister and our witnesses, my Dad and Jen's Mum. The rest of our guests were standing in front of the stairs. We waited for the song to finish.

Minister to the audience:

We are here today to witness the union of two people, Jennifer and Mark, who are from different continents. Three thousand miles separated them for most of their lives, yet somehow they found each other, and over the past five years they have formed a commitment to each other. Today is the day to celebrate and affirm that commitment in marriage.

Minister to Jennifer and Mark:

Jennifer and Mark, we know that there will never be a perfect marriage, life must have a few challenges along the way. As you enter into this next step in your relationship, you should understand that it takes a lot of love and a lot of work to make a good marriage. You have worked hard to build a strong and loving relationship, I am sure you will continue to do so in the years to come.

Do you Mark take Jennifer to be your wife? Will you love her, cherish her, and help her in all of life's challenges? Will you be true to her in sickness and health? Will you treat her as your princess? Will you be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?

Mark: I will

Do you Jennifer, take Mark to be your husband? Will you love him, cherish him and help him in all of life's challenges? Will you be true to him in sickness and health? Will you be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?

Jennifer: I will.

Minister to the audience:

Some of the guests have some words of wisdom for Mark and Jennifer.

Rob Firing:

"Love is a feeling, Marriage is a contract, and a Relationship is work."

Will Miller:

"Moonlight and roses are bound to fade for every lover and every maid but the bond that holds in any weather is learning how to laugh together."

Sahfi Goldenberg:

"Love is friendship set to music."

Tristan Styles:

"The first duty of love - is to listen"

Daniel Nemeth:

"In our life there is a single colour, as on an artist's palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the colour of love."

Susan Carmichael:

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye."


Robin, may I have the ring that is Mark's lasting symbol of his vows to Jennifer?

The ring is a circle with no end, symbolising the enduring love Mark and Jennifer have for each other.

Mark, place the ring on the third finger of Jennifer's left hand and repeat after me your vows to her.

From this day on, I Mark take you Jennifer to be my wife.
I will love and cherish you.
I will be true to you
whether we are rich or poor,
in sickness or in health
This ring is a symbol of my pledge of lifelong marriage to you.

Elisabeth, may I have the ring that is Jennifer's lasting symbol of her vows to Mark?

This ring has been forged from gold, purifying the metal, as your love for Mark is pure. It is a fit token of your commitment to him.

Jennifer, place the ring on the third finger of Mark's left hand and repeat after me your vows to him.

From this day forward, I Jennifer, take you Mark to be my husband.
I will love and cherish you.
I will be true to you
whether we are rich or poor,
in sickness or in health.
This ring is a symbol of my pledge of lifelong marriage to you.

Now that you, Mark and Jennifer, have openly declared your wish to be united in marriage, and as you have made these promises to each other before these witnesses, and have given each other rings to confirm your vows; I, Helen Kurtz-Weil, by the power and authority given to me as a minister, do now pronounce you to be husband and wife! You may kiss the bride.

In the tomorrows which Jennifer and Mark will enter together, may they find far more in life than either would have found alone. May they find in each other companionship as well as love, understanding as well as compassion, challenge as well as agreement. May their friends and kinsfolk, those present today and those unable to be present, continue to rejoice in the love that has united them.

Now go walk the ways of the world together, and may your days be good, and long upon the earth.


Three people gave speeches, and one person read a poem at the reception dinner. Here are the texts:


I'm going to take a few minutes to tell you about my daughter, the bride. First of all, Jen can be very intense! In the hospital nursery she cried as loudly as all the other babies put together. On the other hand, when she started laughing, she laughed harder than anyone else. She laughed early, laughed loudly and laughed often. Here ladies and gentleman, I submit exhibits A and B. Even those who didn't know her then will find the expressions very familiar. Jen still laughs a lot, and she has the precious gift of being able to make other people laugh too.

Jen doesn't much like to be told what she can and can't do - she likes to find out for herself. She has an independant scientific attitude. Here, ladies and gentlemen, I submit exhibit C. In this photo you have evidence of this scientific attitude as Jen checks out some cactus spines. At the age of 4 Jen decided that our warnings about poison ivy were merely silly adult stories - and decided to find out for herself. She systematically rubbed poison ivy leaves all over her body. You can imagine the result! Jen still doesn't take others' information on faith - whether it's mortgage rates, a blood test report or even her own Mother's opinion.

On the other hand, Jen doesn't mind telling other people what to do. A certain "princess quality" emerged early on in life. Here I submit exhibit D. Jen is in fact very good at figuring out what should be done. So good in fact that most of the time it gets called "problem solving" and "management". An early sign of this kind of ability showed up when she was 4. For some time she had been lying awake at night worrying about Vietnam (that's something else she's good at, worrying!). Then, one night, she came trundling down the stairs, dragging her blanket, and announced she knew what they should do in Vietnam! "Oh, you do, do you?". "They should get all the skunks in the whole world, take them all to Vietnam, and then it would smell so bad that everyone would stop fighting and go home!". I never heard a better idea for Vietnam, did you?

Jen is still resourceful and creative when it comes to finding solutions to problems and crises. She's also good at persuading others to follow her suggestions (Note, I didn't say "orders"!). Those are some of the reasons she's so good at her job.

Jennifer discovered cats early - may I present exhibits E and F. She descended on them with a passion. Quite literally. When she learned to crawl she tried to use my parents ancient, arthritic cat as a pillow and determinedly followed it although all poor Penny wanted was to be left alone. She had to stroke any cat she encountered. Later, for 19 years, Jen's cats were her babies - no babies were more loved. Now some of us are hoping for the human variety.

Now here she is all grown up and married to Mark.

Psychologists long pondered why we have such contradictory proverbs about love. We say "birds of a feather flock together", but we also say "opposites attract". Finally we figured out that both are true, something other people of course have always known. It's best to be alike in some traits and different in others.

It wouldn't be any fun to be a person who is funny and loves to laugh and me married to someone with no sense of humour. Well, there's no problem here - Jen and Mark are birds of a feather in this respect. They both spot and appreciate the humorous and absurd wherever it lurks (the only difference is that Mark is quieter about it!)

Emotional intensity? I don't think I need to explain to you how good it is to have one partner who stays cool and calm (I certainly appreciate it!). Sometimes opposites are better.

Scepticism and independent thought? They're well matched here. They're both sceptical and independent (of course it helps that they frequently have the same independent thoughts!) Seriously though, they're both independent thinkers who are creative in their careers. Thus they share the satisfaction that comes with doing a good job.

You might ask how Mark feels about being married to a princess. I guess he must feel pretty good about it, after all, he bought her a tiara for Christmas! Mark seems to have appropriated my own husband's motto - "She's happy, I'm happy." - a fine recipe for marital happiness I would say.

And what about cats? Well although Mark never had cats before, he quickly became a doting dad to Jen's babies. I would say this bodes well for the future. And if their antics with our own young guest, Edan, over there, are any indication, Jen and Mark will be terrific should some babies of the human persuasion appear on the scene.

So I'd like to propose a toast, to a great couple, alike and opposite. Jen and Mark.



Welcome guests

I would like to thank you all individually for joining us today, but I expect people would start throwing things at me before I got halfway through the list. There are a few people I would like to pick out to thank though.

First of all, we have visitors from four different countries, so I'll pick one from each country to thank.

All the way from England, I'd like to thank my Mum. I'm sure she would've preferred us to get married on a nice warm beach somewhere in Portugal, so I'm glad she braved the Montreal weather to be here.

All the way from France, I'd like to thank my Dad for being here, and for embarassing me a few moments ago.

From that little country to the South of us comes our friend Sahfi. It always makes us happy when she's around, so I'm very glad she could be here today.

And finally, from this great country of ours, the other side of Canada in fact, my good friend Philip. I've known Philip for about 15 years, he was instrumental in me finding my first real job, and he has always been my mentor. He also gave me the courage to emigrate to Canada, by being the first to do so.

I still have a couple of people left to thank. They were the two people who brought Jen and me together, 5 years ago at a hotel in Daresbury. One of them can't be with us tonight, so I'd like to thank Lynn in absentia. The other is here. He's the one who pushed me, literally onto the dance floor and into Jen's arms during a slow song. The only mistake he made that weekend was choosing a Celine Dion song to push us together in. Thankyou Will for bringing us together, I think you should stand up!

Finally, I have to thank my new wife Jennifer. Thankyou for turning up today, thankyou for saying I will, thankyou for sticking with me through thick and thin.

I want all the world to know that your love's all I need.

Richard's poem, read by Jan

In days of old
When men were bold
The mating game was simple
He primped and preened
And got all cleaned
And squeezed out every pimple.
He'd then head out to the nearest bar
Or even one that was really far.
And there he'd woo a maid divine
Saying real smart things like "What's your sign?"
But nowadays to make a hit
He's got to be computer literate
When he wants to meet a real cool female
He has to do it through an email
When a couple is asked how it was they met
They often say "On the internet!"
- or a chat room,
Next thing he knows, he's a bridegroom.
However you do it, the results are the same
It's still that age-old mating game.

The quiz

Because we are both trivia addicts, and originally met through a trivia forum, we thought it fitting to throw a surprise trivia quiz after the meal. Our thanks to Sean Murphy for being our quizmaster!

The Quiz (answers are further down, no peeking!)

Round 1 - Movies

  1. Who is Luke Skywalker's sister?
  2. What Coen Brothers movie features George Clooney as an escaped convict?
  3. What is the name of the actor who plays Harry Potter?
  4. With what movie would you associate 'Rosebud'?
  5. From what movie does this quote come: 'Mr. Brown? That sounds too much like Mr. Shit.'
  6. Viggo Mortensen plays which character in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy?
  7. 'Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire. The List Is Life.' Is the tagline from which movie?

Round 2 - Jen and Mark

  1. The two songs played as part of the ceremony today are by which band?
  2. In which city did Mark propose to Jennifer? (The first time)
  3. What is the name of the company that Jennifer works for and what does the company sell? (1/2 point each correct answer)
  4. When Mark moved to Canada, he had to sell his beloved car. What kind of car was it?
  5. What year did Mark move to Canada to be with Jen?
  6. In which American city did Jen and Mark first meet?
  7. Every year since Mark arrived in Canada, Jen and Mark have attended this sporting event which takes place in June in Montreal.

Round 3 - Television

  1. "I'm not a lumberjack or a fur trader.
    I don't live in an igloo, eat blubber or own a dogsled.
    I don't know Jimmy Suzie or Sally from Canada,
    Although I'm certain they're very nice."

    These words are from a commercial advertising what product? (product AND brand)
  2. On what television show would you find the following characters: Karen, Jack, Rosario, Leo
  3. On 'Fawlty Towers' the character Manuel hailed from which city?
  4. What Canadian Children's television show featured puppets Casey and Finnegan?
  5. On what British children's tv show would you often hear the phrase, 'here's one I made earlier?
  6. The real-life town of Roslyn, Washington became Cicely, Alaska for the setting of which television show?
  7. The following is an excerpt from the obituary of a character who died in the first episode of which show?
    Nathaniel passed away December 24th, 2000. He is survived by his loving wife Ruth, his sons Nathaniel Jr. and David, and his daughter Claire. Viewing on Tuesday, December 26th at 2 p.m. at Fisher and Sons. A private burial to follow at Fairhaven Memorial Park.

Round 4 - Mixed Bag

  1. What wobbled but didn't fall down?
  2. French Fries, curd cheese and gravy is better known as what?
  3. David Thomson House is home to the P.G.S.S. What does P.G.S.S. stand for?
  4. Montreal's Dorval Airport was recently renamed to honour which former Canadian Prime Minister?
  5. Who is the author of the following books: The Poisonwood Bible, Prodigal Summer and Animal Dreams?
  6. In what museum would you find Botticelli's 'The Birth of Venus'?
  7. What does the medical abbreviation NPO stand for?

Round 5 - Music

  1. 'Happy Talk' and 'I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta my Hair' are two songs from which musical?
  2. Who composed the following symphonies: Jupiter, Prague and Haffner?
  3. Here's your ticket pack your bag: time for jumpin' overboard
    The transportation is here
    Close enough but not too far, Maybe you know where you are
    Fightin' fire with fire

    Name the song AND the band (1/2 point for each)
  4. With which Big Band artist do you associate 'Pennsylvania 6500'?
  5. With which song did Abba win the 1974 Eurovision song contest?
  6. What Beatles hit begins, 'When I find myself in times of trouble Mother Mary comes to me'?
  7. What is Eminem's real name?

Round 6

  1. Sir Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best are perhaps the most well known Canadian medical figures. Their names are synonymous with the discovery of what?
  2. What is the world's southernmost capital city?
  3. In what North American city would you find the Plains of Abraham?
  4. What is the American version of the British television show 'Changing Rooms' called?
  5. In 1920, J.E.H. MacDonald, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, Franklin Carmichael, F.H. Varley and Frank Johnston officially formed this now famous group.
  6. What letter is to the right of B on a standard QWERTY keyboard?
  7. Are you ready to dance?

The Scores


The Answers

Round 1 - Movies

  1. Princess Leia
  2. O Brother Where Art Thou?
  3. Daniel Radcliffe
  4. Citizen Kane
  5. Reservoir Dogs
  6. Aragorn (Strider also accepted)
  7. Schindler's List

Round 2 - Jen and Mark

  1. Blue Rodeo
  2. Florence, Italy
  3. Vigo Productions/greeting cards and stationery
  4. An MG (F)
  5. 2000
  6. Las Vegas
  7. The Canadian Grand Prix (Formula 1 racing)

Round 3 - Television

  1. Molson Canadian Beer
  2. Will and Grace
  3. Barcelona
  4. Mr Dressup
  5. Blue Peter
  6. Northern Exposure
  7. Six Feet Under

Round 4 - Mixed Bag

  1. Weebles
  2. Poutine
  3. Post-graduate student society
  4. Pierre Elliot Trudeau
  5. Barbara Kingsolver
  6. The Uffizi (Florence, Italy)
  7. Nil per os (nothing or nil by mouth also accepted)

Round 5 - Music

  1. South Pacific
  2. W.A. Mozart
  3. Burning Down the House - Talking Heads
  4. Glenn Miller
  5. Waterloo
  6. Let it Be
  7. Marshall Mathers

Round 6 - Mixed bag 2

  1. Insulin
  2. Wellington, New Zealand
  3. Quebec City
  4. Trading Spaces
  5. The Group of Seven
  6. N
  7. YES!!!!!