My father, Ed White, worked in Ottawa at Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor-General, as a greenhouse man and floral designer. Shortly after planning for the wedding started he found out that the Queen and Prince Philip would be staying at Rideau Hall on Thanksgiving weekend and he would be required to work. What to do? We could either postpone the wedding or move it to Friday, October 9. Seeing as our only honeymoon would be a long weekend, we decided on Friday.
Now I've never been much of a church goer but Helen and I had to attend for three Sundays in September for the reading of the banns. It was a bit of a chuckle to hear ourselves referred to as Donald Edward White, bachelor and Helen Isobel Ireton, spinster. Once that was out of the way with no objections raised, everything was a go.
A week before the wedding, I requested the Friday off without pay. As soon as my manager found out I wanted the day off to get married, he readily agreed and then recommended that I be paid for the day as well.
My father, being a floral designer, prepared all the flowers for the wedding. All the food for the reception was prepared at our parents and family friends. Helen's mother baked the wedding cake. A friend from my High School days, Bob Drader, agreed to photograph the wedding if I would return the favour when he was married. My long time friend and bass player for the Mississippi River Boys, Walter Cameron, was best man and his wife, Betty Cameron, matron-of-honour.
The guests at the wedding were all the aunts and uncles as well as a cousin of mine, Dave McCarthy, from Toronto whom I'd met while attending Carleton University. Following the wedding, the wedding dinner was held in the basement of the United Church in Boyd's Settlement and catered by the Anglican Church Womens' Guild. Following the dinner we visited with Helen's 84 year old grandmother in Scotch Corners who had been bed-ridden for four years. We then returned to the Ireton family farm for the remainder of the afternoon and early evening. Well the chores had to be done, eh! Cows to milk, pigs and chickens to feed, horses to care for.
After the chores were completed we headed off to the hall in Ferguson Falls for a country-style wedding reception. Because I played with the Mississippi River Boys throughout the surrounding counties, the invitation to the wedding reception was open to anyone. Needless to say, the hall was swamped. The music for the reception was provided by a family friend, Milton Symington and his orchestra, from Arnprior. The first dance of the evening was a square dance, something that I'm sure you'd never see at a wedding now.
To make a long story short, this was the start to what has been an interesting, entertaining and loving 44 years.
And as a final note, as I now repose Between Keyboard and Chair, I'd like to offer my thanks to Queen Elizabeth for her role in making our married life one day longer than we expected.