Wedding season is upon us, ladies and gentlemen! I’ve been so blessed by my brides i have been privilege to work with in the past and I get all kinds of excited when I think of all the awesome weddings we get to be a part of in 2014!!!
With that in mind, I am starting a new series titled “Bride of the Week”; A little review of the wonderful ups and downs of wedding planning from and “experienced” bride, some of her “wows and woes and would haves” to help those of you who are just venturing into your own wedding plans!!!
Who – Alex and Davin
When – August 27, 2011
Where – Camp Howdy, Port Moody, BC
How long were you dating the groom-to-be before he proposed?
5 years, and before you say “wow, that’s a long time!” You should know we started dating when I was 17 – just babies!
What was your favourite moment about the proposal?
We were camping when he proposed. The box holding the ring was hidden in the bushes beside us. I’m normally hyper-aware of everything going on around me but I was in vacation mode. So it took me forever to notice it, poor nervous guy! Davin had to actually point and say, “what’s that?” In the box was a bunch of envelopes with notes inside talking about each stage of our relationship and what it meant to him. What a sweetheart!
Tell us about your wedding, what was the style, theme, feel, colours, etc.?
We got married at Camp Howdy. So I had the idea of ‘rustic chic’ in mind. That kind of theme is pretty popular now but wasn’t really at the time, so I had to be creative with finding ideas. We didn’t have set colours with everything, but there was lots of purple, orange and green. Both Davin and I are pretty relaxed, casual people so I wanted that to be reflected in our wedding. We had southern BBQ for food, I thought it was pretty hilarious eating ribs with my hands in a wedding dress!
How did your wedding vision change or evolve throughout the course of your engagement?
Man oh man I wish Pinterest was around when we were engaged! It got popular very soon after our wedding. I think it would have really helped to have everything online, in one place. I was organized with a binder and ideas from magazines but I think the process of defining my vision would have been way easier with Pinterest.
What unique element did you have at your wedding?
Wooden signs! Which isn’t so unique anymore it seems, but at the time it was! We bought pieces of cedar fencing, chopped it up and painted them. We painted on directions to get to the wedding, painted ones saying “happily ever after,” “thank you,” and “bride and groom.” They were so fun and quirky, especially for the photos.
Editors note .... the wooden signs were a PERFECT addition for Camp Howdy, as the venue already had tons of vintage signs left over from it's days as a YMCA camp , their handmade signs fit right inDid you DIYing any of your details?
My goodness we DIY’ed soooo much. It’s actually kind of ridiculous! We were young and paying for the wedding on our own so it was important to do stuff ourselves (and with the help of our fabulous friends and family). Although it was super time consuming, I loved all the things we did ourselves, made the wedding unique to us.
Editors notes - Alex and Davin made sure their touches were everywhere, from the STUNNING archway Davin made for his bride, to the homemade BBQ sauce (to go along with their BBQ reception meal) and Herb centrepieces.
What part of the wedding were you most looking forward to?
I was so worried about the reception. That’s the part I thought the guests would want to be great.
Editors notes - One of my favourite details that i collaborated with Alex on was utilizing the outdoor space including the fire pit, during the evening. Alex put together a S'more buffet, and a lounging around around the fire pit was create with furniture at the venue and hundreds of little tea light along the rock embankment
What part of the wedding day ended up being your favourite?
The reception was great but I was really surprised how much our guests enjoyed the ceremony. Ironic considering how little time I spent planning the ceremony. But it was just effortlessly us. One of my best friends and her boyfriend sang at the ceremony. A family member from Davin and my side each read a poem. Our officiant was amazing. We read our own vows, which went over brilliantly. Everything was just so… us.
Any advice to a bride-to-be on something you wished you had never spent time/money on?
Hm, actually kind of the opposite. I think we went a little too DIY. Our family had to work so hard on the day of the wedding, I wish we’d hired a few more people to help out so our family could just relax and enjoy the day/night. Or if we’d paid the extra money to have the venue a day ahead of time, so all the set up didn’t have to be done on the day of.
Editors Notes - Alex did hire a Marlee from Flowerella To help with her day of coordination
On the flip side, what is something you’d recommend to every bride-to-be for their wedding?
Music. But maybe that’s just us, we’re huge music lovers, so we incorporated it into our wedding big time. We had our friends sing at the ceremony, a 20-piece jazz band play during dinner and a fabulous DJ. I know it saves so much money hooking up an iPod but it’s just not the same. I truly believe guests have a better time with live music and a DJ.
What was your favourite moment with your husband at your wedding?
It was about 10:30pm and I looked over at my new husband and said “I’m exhausted, can we go to bed now?” and he replied with “Are you kidding?! This is our wedding night!” We shared a smile, then partied until 4am! Haha!! It was the most fun I’ve ever had. The other highlight with the man was when he played a surprise song on the saxophone for me, what a true romantic!!
Who or what has been most helpful and inspiring in the wedding planning process?
Well it’s going to look like I’m just plugging Larissa and Bridal Beginnings but I really mean this. I had this idea in my head of what I wanted, I hadn’t ever seen it before and there was nothing like Pinterest to help me visualize my wedding. I talked to Larissa about my vision and within a few days she’d put together idea boards of EXACTLY what I wanted! Took such a relief off knowing someone understood my vision.
How have you involved your ‘community’ (friends, family, etc.) in the wedding planning process?
Oh goodness. My poor friends and family, haha! They were involved in everything. Davin’s parents helped us make a zillion tons of BBQ sauce for favours. My parents grew flowers all summer for the wedding. My bridesmaids helped me make the ‘Save the Date’ cards and invitations. We had a crazy awesome group of friends and family who set up and tore down the wedding. And much more! If someone said to me “Alex, can I help with your wedding?” I didn’t say no. If they offered to help, I was taking it. Plus people really do like to be involved, made everyone feel like we were all in it together.
What part of wedding planning, if any, made you most anxious?
The weather!!! My vision involved sunshine. Plus I’m a bit of a control freak so the idea that I couldn’t control the weather pissed me off! I guess everyone prayed so hard for sun that it worked, we probably had the hottest day of the year.
Editors notes - Thankfully the ocean front location of Camp Howdy offered many opportunities for everyoneto stay cool.
How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues?
My mom and stepdad got married at a camp and I’d always loved that. A few years before we got married I got the idea about Camp Howdy. It was tough because the YMCA had just sold the camp to private owners, so it wasn’t the easiest thing to work out but I had my heart set on that location… so I made it happen!
EDITORS NOTES - When we did our walk thru of the venue in March, I knew right away this was the perfect location for Alex and Davin - it offered the space for the reception they required, incorporated their love of the outdoors, and was absolutely unique!! There were so many opportunities to personalize the venue
What about planning with your fiancé, did it go smoothly? How involved was he?
Very smooth. I’m lucky that we really shared the same vision for our wedding day. I planned most of the wedding but when I delegated something to him, I made sure not to micromanage. I just trusted that he’d get it done. The tough part for many is that when you delegate a task, it’s not necessarily done the way you’d do it. But that’s ok! Spread the stress around and be okay with things done a little differently than you’d like. On the other hand, don’t delegate tasks that you only want done a certain way.
What do you wish you would have known at the beginning of your engagement?
How not everyone is going to like the decisions you make, and that’s okay! As long as you and hubby are happy, who cares?! (although I must admit that’s easier said than done)
What do you enjoy most about being married?
We’ve been married for just over two years now and I love it! I’m a ‘strong, independent woman, always right’ type. But I’ve learned to relax and what a load off my shoulders that’s been. We’re partners! We’re completely self-sufficient and capable on our own but we make an awesome team! I’m confident and don’t rely on him for everything but on the other hand I love that I have his last name and I love that we’re our own little family.
Any advice you’d like to pass along to a bride-to-be?
Just relax! Your wedding day is just that, a day. Your marriage is for the rest of your life. So although planning can be fun (and ridiculously stressful) remember why you’re doing this. You’re in love and celebrating that with all your friends and family.
Oh and the best piece of advice I got, was throughout the day (at your ceremony, reception, wherever) look out at all the people and remember their faces. This is the only time you’ll have all the people closest to you in one place, celebrating you and your partner. How cool is that?!
One last point, we did things our way and we didn’t cave when our family gave us grief over our decisions. That being said, I still, yes still (over 2 years later) am getting a hard time about some of the decisions we made. Be confident, trust your gut and make this day what you and your hubby
What does Married life look like now for Alex and Davin?
Alex is now finishing up at BCIT and is pursuing a career in journalism (www.turnertalks.ca) and is running her own business (www.turnertalksforyou.ca). While Davin is busy making a name for himself in the field of construction management. They’re busy but having lots of fun!Many thanks to Sherry-Lu photography for the images, for a complete look at Alex and Davin’s day, check out Sherry’s post on her FB page