We spent the long weekend attending a wedding on Malcolm Island, off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island. The community called Sointula feels somewhat lost in time. It was settled by a group from Finland wanting to create a utopian socialist society in the early 1900s. To this day there are Finnish houses and saunas everywhere.
Our friend Paul lived there for years and his two sons were born on the island at a place called Mitchell Bay.
This is a place where deer are so tame that you can come right up to them and take their photo and the bay is populated by humpback whales.
And that's where Stefan wanted to get married. He lives in Victoria now but the island is a special place for him and his girlfriend Skei so they invited people to drive for more than seven hours up-island to catch a ferry to share in the celebrations.
And what a fabulous celebration it was! The ceremony took place in a fairyland of a garden in front of Bruce and Holly's fairytale house.
Beautiful driftwood signs showed us the way (past handmade houses from decades ago).
Here are our friends and parents of the groom, Paul and Wendy, and below that the darling flower girl, niece of the bride. The little girl was hesitant about scattering rose petals so her mom had to do it for her.
Here are Stefan and Skei taking their vows, and then waving to the guests from the upper porch.
After that we headed down the road to Ralph's place where the party was to be held. Ralph has lived in Mitchell Bay for about 40 years and has built an entire village of driftwood structures. Here you see the one that was used as the bar, with the firepit in front.
Another one was like a little house where the children had fun on a kind of stage.
I didn't take photos of the food--too bad, because it was a spread of incredible salads and barbecued salmon, plus home made ice cream and carrot cake, plus wine and more wine. Here are some photos of the guests enjoying themselves.
The kids enjoyed the giant bubbles and the bonfire.
Later on we went down to the beach to see the humpback whales surface. I didn't get a photo of that--but it was amazing. This is the beach. Beautiful, no? And a lot of happy people enjoying the sunset.
This last photo is from a little cafe where we had lunch the following day before leaving Malcolm Island. It's very different from the southern part of the island. It's a beautiful iconic spot and we were privileged to enjoy the wedding celebrations in this close-knit community. Congratulations and best wishes to Stephan and Skei.