My wedding is a great memory for me, and I am really proud of how it turned out, so I wanted to share that with everyone. It’s strange to think that it is only three years this month (December) that Ian and I have known each other. I still remember that first day we met, it was my birthday celebration and a friend brought him along. A group of us went for supper and then bowling,
I was taking pictures with everyone that came to help me celebrate, and this picture below was from that first night. I never would have guessed that it would end up being of any big significance to me.
Ian and I were in the mall one day when we passed by a jewellery store. He decided it would be fun to go in and look around, and so we did, and we looked at engagement rings. By that point, I knew it would eventually happen, that Ian would be the man I’d spend my life with, but I had no idea when. I also had no idea that he had already been in looking at rings. I don’t know if I really thought much of it after the fact either.
I had just gotten home from work one night and since Ian had a key to my condo he was already hanging out there. He told met o go into the bedroom and there I found all the stuffed animals that we had accumulated since entering coupledom sitting nicely on the bed, we always referred to them as “the kids”. They had a note with them and after I read it I turned around and Ian was standing there with his arm behind his back. I was starting to wonder if “it” was about to happen. He then hugged me and his hands were both flat on my back, hmm, no ring, I guess it wasn’t time. He pulled away and look REALLY nervous, and then he did it. He got down on one knee and out came a ring. WHAT?! I don’t remember what went through my head at that point, all I remember is asking if he was serious, and then crying. The normal routine began after that, time to call the family and let them know, let the close friends know, post it on Facebook etc.
Then came the planning.
I remember really not knowing where to start when it came to planning my wedding. I’ve never been one of those women who have their dream wedding all planned out, I never saw the point of putting too much thought into it when I have no idea if/when I’d get married. So where did I start? Google and Pinterest of course. After looking at some pictures I just knew what the colours had to be: red and turquoise. The most wonderful colour combination out there. All the pictures I found of red and turquoise weddings definitely reaffirmed that decision 100 times over.
Other important first decision? Wedding party. It was a given that my sister would be the maid of honour. I had also gotten really close to two girls at work and knew right away that they would need to be my bridesmaids. A fun memory was definitely when I got together for lunch and asked my bridesmaids. They were both really excited and that instantly made me even more excited.
All the standard planning began then. Finding a location, finding a photographer, gift registry, wedding shows etc.
It was at the wedding show that I found the man I just knew needed to be our wedding photographer, Jason Arnold of Still Imagery. The first thing that sold me on him? A picture he had. He had done a couple shoot and the location was at a turquoise wall with a red railing. Can you say “meant to be”? I was all over that. Not only did I need to do pictures at that wall, he needed to be the one to do that. He also had the best package and pricing, so that definitely helped. I was so excited. We did pictures at three different locations and he was great to work with. Ian and I were both awkward in front of the camera but Jason really helped ease that by directing us and giving us tips on how to pose. We went to the wall, a garden area at the university and a pool hall that we frequented and loved the look of. The pictures turned out amazing.
So, dress shopping with my mom and Ian’s mom (and kind of my dad). This was one part of the wedding that I’m happy I will never have to do again. What a terrible experience. The first place we went was disappointing. I found a few dresses to try that should have been in my size range (12/14). None worked. It wasn’t until I went up to 18/20 that I could even get it done up! What a terrible thing for a bride to have to experience the first time she ever looks at dresses. No one was helpful and I was so over that place. Thankfully, we had way better luck at the second place. I tried on a few dresses and found a couple that I really liked, and I love the one I went with. I never had a “moment” with the dress that you always see in the movies and TV shows. There was no emotional connection with it. It was a dress and I liked it. Simple as that. I was fortunate to have a number of different friends come with me to the fittings and I’m really glad that so many got to be a part of the experience.
The next question: shoes. As a girl who is usually fairly casual and will basically always choose comfort above all else, I knew it had to be either sneakers or flats, and obviously, they had to go with the wedding colours. When faced with those decisions what else would one choose but Converse? They were comfortable, cute, practical, and I can still wear them whenever I want! I had red, as did the MOH, my two bridesmaids had turquoise.
I knew that I needed a small purse for my phone, lip gloss etc. I didn’t know what style or colour I wanted, but I knew that I’d find the perfect one. I ended up being in Value Village one day and found the most perfect purse and snatched it up immediately. It’s another one that I can still use, and it was the perfect colour!
The invites. My mom is really into card making and scrapbooking and was nice enough to make all of our invitations for us. Everything about these was perfect and fit right in with our theme and colours.
The program. I knew I needed it to go with the theme, go with the invites, and be unique. I found the perfect format online for that, I took an idea I found on a website (can’t remember the name now) and tweaked it into our own. Thanks to my parents we now have this framed and hanging on our wall.
The last thing to figure out was what I wanted for my flowers. It took a bit of planning and I knew I wanted Gerbera daisies as they are my favourites. The first flower shop told me that what I wanted was basically dumb and wouldn’t look good. I know what I wanted, and I knew it would look good. Don’t tell me otherwise. We went somewhere else that was able to go with my vision and created something beautiful.
Well, the big day arrived and started out well. We met to get our hair done, just down with curls. Nice and simple.
Well, then came the first issue. They didn’t realize that we wanted to have makeup done as well. Um, what? I was booking this for a wedding, why would you just want hair and no makeup? We ended up having to work with what we could at the hotel while we finished getting ready. This entailed eating Subway, giving the bridesmaids their gifts, and crying. I’m not an emotional person but boy did I cry a lot on this day. Good thing my sister was there to make sure my face didn’t get ruined.
I had forgotten how heavy the dress was and it was a job getting it all situated. It didn’t help that the clasp at the top didn’t want to work!
Onto the ceremony decorations. We kept it pretty simple. The hotel supplied chair covers and we had a backdrop and arch. My handy husband made a card box, and we used a great picture of us from an old fashion photo shoot we had done in Calgary at Heritage Park. We knew we wanted to do a sand ceremony and my husband found this perfect vase at Value Village. I forget what colour it was before, but he spray painted it, got some red candles, and it was perfect. We still have it sitting in our living room and I love that it is such a perfect, unique piece.
Most people we invited were able to come and it was great to see so many full chairs.
Then came the entrances. We had a great wedding party and included 7 of the nieces and nephews as flower girls/ring bearers. It was great that we were able to get so many included in the day.
Then, the grand entrance. Both of my parents wanted to walk me down the aisle and “give me away”.
We didn’t really have any connection to a specific pastor but Lisa was someone that worked at the college I attended and was someone that I was very close to. We were lucky that she was able to get temporarily ordained and perform our wedding, and I’m glad she got to know Ian so well during the process.
Did I mention that I cried? Yeah, a lot. And Ian laughed.
We also had the 8th niece do a reading, and my uncle did a prayer for us.
We exchanged the rings and it all became official.
Then it became officially official.
Oh, and then I cried some more. And Ian laughed some more.
It was real, we were a married couple.
After the receiving line, it was onward to a park for family pictures, group shots, and some couple pictures.
If you’ve gotten to know me at all, you know my husband and I love anything retro/vintage, and that inspired us a lot through the wedding. It only made sense to go to a local 50’s restaurant called Broadway Cafe (this was back before the days of Pink Cadillacs), and have some milkshakes. We were pretty lucky that the whole front of the restaurant was open and made a great spot for photos.
The reception decorations. Red, turquoise and records. That was our vision. Ian made each of the centrepieces and table number stands on his own. We also had extra 45’s on each table for all our guests to write messages for us. We also had a candy bar. I LOVE candy and it only made sense. Luckily there are so many tasty options that went with the colours.
My favourite drink ever is Jones Soda. I knew I needed to incorporate this. They have the option online to do customized pictures, but between the cost of that, and shipping to Canada, was just out of the budget. I had connections to a warehouse that supplied Jones to stores and they were able to sell me the amount I needed for a discounted price. I went with Strawberry Lime and Berry Lemonade because they were the exact right colours. My parents then printed pictures on label paper, cut them out, and stuck them on the bottles. We used these as guest favours and they seemed to really be a hit, most bottles disappeared at the end of the night.
It had already been a long day but it was time for the reception. We needed an epic way to walk in. What would be better than to walk in to “You Are My Sunshine” done with bagpipes? It just so happened that Lisa knows how to play and was willing to do this for us!
We were seated and went through the introductions. Lena, friend. Hayley, friend. Liane, bride’s sister. Tyler, friend. Justin, friend. Jeremy, groom’s brother.
We had a buffet for the meal with Hawaiian Ham and Turkey. All I cared about was the Hawaiian Ham, soo good. The big selling point for having our wedding at this hotel was that they also included the option for a sundae bar for dessert. Heck yes!
We had the best glasses ever. Redneck wine glasses. A mason jar with a stem on it, perfect for us.
After the meal was of course speeches. Maid of Honor/Best Man speeches as well as the welcome to the family.
The cake. Well, cupcake. A friend of mine does a lot of baking and a few times had brought some rainbow cupcakes to work. I knew that was what we needed. They were delicious and we could make them the perfect colour. I still wanted something to cut so having a giant cupcake was just perfect. It was delicious and I love how it looked. The cake topper was also perfect. We both have an appreciation for country music, specifically older country, and would often go two-stepping. She did an amazing job baking all these cupcakes!
We had our first dance to “Fishing In the Dark” which is my husband’s favourite song. We two-stepped of course.
Of course, we did the bouquet toss after that, and Hayley really wanted to catch it. She then had a fantastic dance with her boyfriend, Justin, though they still aren’t married.
All the formalities were over, now it was time to dance, visit and have fun. We were very lucky to have a friend of Ian’s volunteer to be our DJ as his wedding gift for us. He had lights and professional equipment. We would have just plugged in an iPod otherwise, so it was great to have a professional person doing it, and for people to be able to make requests.
We also had a photo booth that our friend Crystal was awesome enough to run. We just used a black sheet and found our own props. I wouldn’t even know where to start with sharing those pictures, so it’s best I just stay away from that.
I know this was a really long post, so thank you if you made it to the end! This wedding was everything I could have wanted it to be. A lot of it was DIY and we saved a lot of money thanks to the people that were willing to help out. It means a lot that so many people that were important to us had a hand in making our day perfect.