Prince Edward Island Wedding : Ryan & Maribeth

bride puts on sandals on a beach in PEI

Ryan and Maribeth pay tribute to a sister and a father by celebrating the bonds of love in their Prince Edward Island Wedding

It was what she wanted.

Before Maribeth’s sister, Belinda, passed away earlier that year, she told Maribeth that they could fast forward their wedding day to December on the condition that come summer, Ryan and MB would do it all over again, on the original date, and surround themselves with family and friends.

And so it was one summer day in Price Edward Island that Ryan and Maribeth fulfilled that wish – to celebrate their love surrounded by close family and friends from across the country and overseas.

Ryan and MB are good friends so when I got to PEI it was a bit of a reunion of sorts with new Vancouverites, Justin and Danielle, reconnecting with the whole Ottawa gang and sharing the good news they were expecting their first child.

I had a day to scout out some locations with her sister and we found a nice setting on the beach to take some bridal party photos.

Since Ryan and MB were technically already married, the day was really about getting together with family and getting some PEI pictures taken. It’s worth mentioning there was no ceremony hence the absence of any ceremony pics.

There was a very emotionally charged series of speeches with Maribeth’s sister from Ireland, her father, and Belinda’s husband all paying beautiful tributes.

The next part of the evening is probably the most difficult to address.

With dinner coming to a close and the dancing about to begin, Ryan’s father suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. Thankfully there was a nurse in the crowd who was able to offer help and comfort. He was taken to the hospital where Ryan and Maribeth joined him soon after.

There was debate on whether the party should go on. But just as Belinda wished for the party to go on, so to did Maribeth and this is where the power of strong friends rose up and brought joy and laughter to an emotionally charged evening.

The Ottawa gang took to the dance floor and the band played on and, as is custom within the group, the pants came off.

Tears changed to laughter.

The following morning we heard the news that Ryan’s father did not survive the night.

And the tears returned.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that weddings aren’t real.

They’re full of real people who experience real joy, real pain and real loss.

After the passing of his father, Ryan posted a picture of his father from the wedding reception and wrote, “If a man could plan his last day on earth…”