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Snow castle ceremony

Couple gets hitched in snow castle

Richard Gleeson
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Mar 23/01) - A new era in the lives of Sonya and Norm Mair began in fine Northern fashion, with a little Scottish fashion thrown into the mix.

The couple got married Sunday in the elaborate snow castle on Yellowknife Bay. Despite a -42 C wind chill and a brisk wind, Norm was bare-kneed when he took Sonya to be his one and only.

In the tradition of his hardy Scottish immigrant parents, Norm wore a kilt for the ceremony -- "It was cold on the knees, for sure," he confessed. In a nod to both his and Sonya's love of the outdoors, Norm also sported a buckskin jacket.

The castle is built each winter by houseboat owner Anthony Foliot, better known as Snowking in winter.

"It was just a great day," Sonya said.

"We have four kids between us and they were pumped for the whole week. It wasn't just the two of us getting married it was all of us."

The boys, Jacob and Lance, were responsible for the rings the two exchanged, and the girls, Sonia and Meagan, were bridesmaids.

The Snowking was decked out in his full formal regalia for the occasion, including crisp white coveralls, crown and white-framed sunglasses.

If an award for Most Hardy were given out for the day, Sonya would be the hands-down winner.

In the days leading up to The Big Day, she started feeling stomach pains that got progressively worse. The two visited the hospital Thursday and again Saturday.

"Saturday night we weren't sure if we were going to get married in the hospital," said Norm.

"But Sonya was pretty obstinate. She said, 'Nope, I'm getting married tomorrow.'"

She went into the hospital to be treated for appendicitis the day after the wedding.

The two have been dating for three years, but made the commitment not to live together until they got married. They had planned to move into their new home the day after the wedding. That had to be put off for four days, while Sonya recovered in hospital.

This was not the first time a couple has been hitched in his castle. Carrie and Arnie Smith had that honour last winter.

"But it certainly is the first kilt," Foliot said.