Toronto couple shares wedding joy by parading through streets
Newlyweds Evert Houston and Diana Wright celebrate their wedding by parading down Queen Street E., in Toronto, on Sunday, June 12, 2016. (Simon Remark/Ecstatic Photography)
Published Tuesday, June 14, 2016 9:22PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 15, 2016 10:22AM EDT
A Toronto couple wanted to give their whole community a chance to share in the joy of their wedding day, so they hired a local brass band and paraded through the streets.
Diana Wright, 30, and Evert Houston, 35, sealed their vows with a kiss in their Leslieville backyard Sunday afternoon, before leading about 75 wedding guests through their house, out the front door and all the way to the reception restaurant.
Hogtown Sound, a band that Wright heard busking downtown, blasted out tunes like “Uptown Funk” and “Get Lucky” on trumpets, saxophones --- even a sousaphone -- while Houston and Wright led the dancing in their formal attire.
At least a few strangers joined in. “There was definitely a lot of cheering,” said Wright over the phone from a hotel in Hawaii, where the couple is honeymooning. “Kids started dancing,” she added. “People were taking photos and videos.”
At one point, they passed a pub with an open window and the patrons toasted the newlyweds.
The idea for a procession was inspired by a parade that Wright, a singer, saw in New Orleans.
Houston, a film producer, liked the idea, which he said reminded him of a scene from a Federico Fellini film.
Besides, they like “any excuse to dance,” according Wright.
“We were born to dance together,” Houston concurred.
Houston said the guests enjoyed it, including his new wife’s Italian grandfather, who told him “this is the type of thing that happens in Italy.”
In the days after the wedding, the couple noticed how many neighbours had participated, based on the videos and comments shared online.
Sherry Lynn Petrie, a neighbour, said she was watching news about deadly Orlando nightclub shooting on TV when she heard the band playing and went down stairs to watch and listen.
It lifted her spirits. “The love and happiness just landed literally on my doorstep,” she said. “I'll never forget this moment and how I was profoundly touched,” she added.
Petrie filmed a short video and posted it on a neighbourhood Facebook page.
Houston said he remembers thinking the parade “was so perfect, I wished it would just slow down.”
“Now there’s all these incredible photos and videos just helping us relive it,” he added. “It’s something we’ll never forget.”