An american wedding in ottawa
A 'made in Canada' wedding for an ambassador's daughter
The Ottawa Citizen
Sunday, July 27, 2003
Old Lowertown collided with the American upper-crust yesterday in Ottawa's social event of the year -- the wedding of the American ambassador's daughter and a Canadian hockey player.
Anne Cellucci, the 24-year-old daughter of U.S. Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci, and 26-year-old Craig Adams, a Carolina Hurricanes right-winger from Calgary, were married yesterday afternoon at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica.
It happened in the company of Canada's political elite, a posh Harvard University crowd and a cadre of up-and-comers from the National Hockey League.
With the 3 p.m. sky overcast and grey, the soon-to-be Mrs. Adams and her father stood within the golden chasm of the basilica, the wind slipping through the threshold and playing with the gauze of the bride's flowing train.
In her elegant white silk dress -- created by Ottawa designer Justina McCaffrey -- and holding roses of mixed hue, the smiling bride glanced past her shoulder at the dozens of well-wishers braving the growing rain to see her married.
Next to her, Mr. Cellucci, the former Massachusetts governor and proud father, beamed in his dark suit.
During the private service, performed by Archbishop Marcel Gervais, a throng of secret service men, umbrellas in hand, patrolled the mouth of the Basilica, with the Peace Tower visible atop Parliament Hill visible beyond. Mr. Cellucci's offices at the U.S. Embassy are just down Sussex Drive.
As the wedding let out, onlookers gathered on either side of the church doors and gaped as the 300 guests -- including family from as far afield as England, Wales and Italy -- marched to the limos and buses waiting to transport them to the Cellucci family's Rockcliffe reception.
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and his wife, Aline, waved as shouts rang out from the crowd. Also in the fray were Deputy Prime Minister John Manley and Minister of Foreign Affairs Bill Graham.
When Mr. and Mrs. Adams -- she has taken her husband's name -- appeared at the steps, the groom kissed his new wife on the forehead.
Leaving, they boarded a London-style red double-decker bus, stopping to show their glowing faces -- he a man with rugged hockey-player-good-looks and a white tie, she pretty and poised -- through the door for cameras.
In her ice-blue dress with matching jacket, Jan Cellucci -- the bride's mother -- dashed into her limo under a stars-and-stripes motif umbrella.
Hurricanes defenceman Bret Hedican held a firm hand under the arm of his wife, U.S. Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi -- now visibly pregnant.
Massachusetts state police officer Anthony Dichio and his wife Anna -- longtime friends of the Celluccis -- described the wedding as emotional.
"It was emotional for us," said Mrs. Dichio.
"She's like our own daughter," added her husband as he waited for the Rockcliffe-bound bus.
As the rain cleared, a bevy of hockey players and old friends of the bride and groom from Harvard University, where the couple met, stopped on the steps, joking, before setting off for the reception at the ambassador's residence, where Carolina Hurricanes colour commentator Tripp Tracy was slated to be master of ceremonies
A group of production staff from Oceans 11 -- the 2001 George Clooney and Brad Pitt vehicle that Mrs. Adams worked on as set production assistant -- also attended the wedding.
Ottawa onlookers skirting the church steps hesitated leaving the scene -- even after the wedding.
Why did they come?
"We wanted to see the bride," said one onlooker, Jennifer Forbes, a 21-year-old University of Ottawa student.
"We wanted to see the hockey players -- but we didn't recognize them," she added, noting: "They were really cute."
"Too much black for a mid-summer wedding," commented Vera McCracken, a retiree who also came to view the procession. "It's the event of the year, I think," she added.
"I just thought it was beautiful," said Kate Spurr, 21.
Cécile Paquette was visiting from Montreal when she stumbled on the event by accident: "Madame Chrétien was very chic," she said.
Another bystander, Eileen O'Neill, said she came "more from the political perspective," seeking to catch a glimpse of the Canadian political figures attending the wedding.
"It must be exciting for a young couple to see that the local people are interested," she added.
The wedding's almost deliberately "Canadian" orientation -- the bride, her mother and the bridesmaids wore Canadian-designed outfits, for example -- wasn't lost on onlookers.
"Not to say home-made, but Canadian-made -- a Canadian flavour," said Mona Riopelle, a volunteer at the Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus.
Asked what the wedding of the American ambassador's daughter to a Calgary hockey player means for Canada-U.S. relations, celebrity-watcher and federal government employee Lise Anne James replied: "It's a good sign -- a very good sign."