This past Saturday I performed my first legal wedding. I’ve performed handfastings and wedding ceremonies before, I just wasn’t able to legally sign the paperwork for Vital Statistics BC until recently.
We were supposed to meet the couple for a rehearsal at 10:30 am. So we left home with plenty of time to get there. It’s a very good thing we did. After driving for an hour through the absolutely gorgeous Strathcona Park, we came to the turn we needed to take to get to Tahsis, just past Gold River. Within a few hundred meters, the road turned to gravel, with warning sign about it being an active logging road.
For the next 62 kilometers, my husband held tightly to the steering wheel and tried to navigate around the worst of the potholes. The road went from gravel, to old pavement, to old pavement patched with gravel, back to gravel, to new pavement, back to old pavement… you get the idea. By the time we finally arrived in Tahsis, almost an hour and a half later, our vehicle was two-toned, painted with the mud from the dirt road, and our tailbones were eager for us to get up and walk around!
Don’t get me wrong – the drive was lovely. There were some stunning views as we drove through the mountains, past rivers and creeks that were clear and green with life. We even saw a black bear.
As I was told, the village was small, and so the location of the ceremony was easy to find. We arrived just before 10:30 am, but the bride and groom weren’t there. The bride had gone to get ready – apparently they hadn’t remembered that we set a meeting for that morning.
We made the most of the situation, going for a short walk up Ubedam Creek Trail (I commented that it was so named because “you-be-damned” if you make it all the way! It was a very steep trail), while we waited for the restaurant to open. We had a lovely lunch at the Tahsis Time Grill (if you ever make it there, their homemade lemonade was fabulous!).
Since we still had some time before the ceremony, we decided to go check into our room at the motel. It was across town (a whole two minutes away :)), attached to the pub and liquor store. None of them were open. After we walked part way around the building, a young girl asked if we were looking to check in. We said yes, and she opened a door and told us to go through “there” and the keys should be inside. We went through an office, and what looked like a reception area, into a cafe. No one was inside, and we couldn’t see anywhere that had keys.
We went back outside, and asked her where exactly to go. She said we had to go through the kitchen. Yes, that’s right. We had to go through the kitchen of the cafe, through the storage area, through the kitchen of the pub, and into the back entrance of the pub, where we finally found someone to give us a key.
Back the way we had come, and now we went all the way around the outside of the motel to find our room. My husband was about to go bring the van around, when I opened the door, only to realize that room was already occupied!
Thankfully, we found someone else to help us, who gave us a key to a room that was clean, and more importantly, unoccupied! We changed out of traveling clothes and drove back to the park where the ceremony was to be held.
The rest of the day went much better. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, the ceremony went well, bride and groom were very happy, and everyone was extremely friendly. The groomsmen and several others kept checking in to see if we wanted anything to drink and that we were having a good time. There was a ton of delicious food, good conversation (even if many people were deep in their cups) and fun music. I heard some amazing stories – the best was from the father of the groom. He was a little concerned because of our robes than we were members of the KKK, but he was fine with us being Wiccan.
We took our time coming home the next day, stopping to take some pictures of the sites along the way, including three more black bears, and stopping for brunch in Gold River. My first visit to Tahsis was quite an adventure – one that I will remember for a very long time with smiles.
Oh, did I mention that I do legal handfastings? 🙂