My Journey to the Altar - A recap of my day
THE NIGHT BEFORE WAS SLEEPLESS. I tossed and I turned with my mind running a mile a minute. Listing off things that still needed to be done. Thinking about all things that could go wrong. Listening to the rain pounding on the roof of my moms house and worrying that we would have to move the wedding to under the tents in our backyard. I wondered if Collin would cry, I pondered if my makeup would run. I was so stressed out that I was in the bathroom all night. I was stressing even though I had done all of the prep that I could do, and knew that I would have to just to with the flow. That did not stop the stressing or the nervousness.
I woke up feeling like a little girl on Christmas morning. I had this overwhelming urge to go jump on my moms bed and giggle at the fact that the day that she had watched me dream about since I was little was finally here. Instead I quietly showered and held back tears of happiness while I did some reflecting on mine and Collin’s relationship over the past four years. Quickly afterwards, I was horrified to realized that although I put effort into every detail and supposedly had thought everything out, I forgot a clean pair of underwear! Who does that!?
My bridesmaids started to filter in around 8am. There was a buzz of excitement in the room, but it was quiet and relaxed at the same time. My Mom made us all a wife savers casserole for breakfast (my absolute favorite Christmas morning breakfast), and my grandma bought us a nice bottle of champagne for mimosas.
I gave all my girls gifts and hand written notes. I had bought small shoe boxes from the dollar store and wrote each of their names on the lid. Inside of each box was:
A handwritten letter on a gorgeous card from Kismet Weddings Co
A simple, but gorgeous bridesmaid necklace from wish.com
A bracelet made by my mom and I
and a gorgeous personalized insulated wine mug from Van Horlicks.
They all cried. It was so special for me to have some of the most important women in my life with me in one room, and I just needed them all to know how much I love them.
I put on my dress on in the spare room and walked out to all my girls standing in the living room. Some cried and some cheered. It was such a special moment and I highly recommend this for everyone getting married. And of course, I couldn’t resist doing a little twirl in my dress!
I chose to wear Ked’s for the wedding instead of heels or flats and I 100% believe that it saved my feet and my back the entire night and day! Although if we are ever hanging out, ask to see the pictures of what my shoes looked like at the end of the night :/
Collin and I chose to do a first look before our ceremony. We got married in Salmon Valley, so we did not want our guests out of town looking for something to do for a few hours. It was straight out of a fairytale. I walked up, heart pounding in my chest fully expecting to cry. I tapped Collin on the shoulder and he turned around. Here come the waterworks … but I could not cry. I was so happy and excited and I could not shed one tear. But that was ok, because my soon to be husband cried enough for the both of us. My heart was so full. This handsome, thoughtful, loving, caring, man of my dreams saw me in my wedding dress and burst into tears. (I am crying while I write this, where the heck were these water works then!). This moment was such a special moment and I am so glad that we did it and will forever recommend this experience to everyone!
We met our bridal party afterwards at the entrance of Kristian Winther Park where they were all waiting for us. Everyone piled into the back of the trucks and tailgated to the river, true country style. My nephew rode on my lap in the passenger seat, and when we got to the river, and I got out of the truck, I realized that his feet were full of mud. That that mud was now on my dress. So before portraits could start, everyone grabbed some Bubbly and went to work cleaning!
Three minutes into photos, it started to pour rain. That is when the tears came. That’s when Bridezilla made an appearance. I went into the truck and bawled. “I am not supposed to be getting married in the rain.” Who comes knocking on the window but my wonderful big brother Brad. “Brew, I just heard that it is not raining at the campground. Everyone is laughing and having a good time. Let’s go get you married and then do photos after the ceremony. Your guests can go to the reception and have a drink and if you are late, that is ok.” So that is just what we did. And that was the last of the rain for the rest of the night.
The clouds painted a picture in the sky. The river created a soft background music. And all of our loved ones were seated together in one place. It was the most perfect ceremony I ever could have asked for. Even though we had done a first look and seen eachother already, Collin cried as I walked down the aisle. We both used his vest pocket for our used tissue throughout the entire ceremony. We laughed, I pointed out what finger my ring went on when he forgot, I put the ring on when it wouldn’t fit over my stress swollen knuckle and I protested reading my vows because his were so darn good that I did not want to follow them.
During family photos a rainbow came out, and it was a perfect sign that the rest of the night was going to be absolutely gorgeous. And it was. We did bridal party and formals on the beach and around the campground, and were about 1.5 hours late to the reception but no one seemed to mind. Before we headed into the reception, we went into the house to freshen up (remember the undies scenario?). My bridesmaids Judy and Cindy bustled my dress, the groomsmen shared a shot, and we headed up to the reception.
The bridal party walked in, and Collin and I drove in on the side by side. So redneck, so PG, so us! Dinner was phenomenal; a taco bar and our rice crispy dessert bar, by Ambrosia Sweets, turned out so well! My Aunty Connie made our cake and she did an unreal job. She somehow found out that Collin loves Cheesecake and switched the filling up to include strawberries and cheesecake and Collin was one happy camper for the rest of the night - he got his cheesecake; his night was complete!
Speeches were moving and emotional, and our German family had us cut out a heart in true German tradition. Our first dance was beautiful. Getting one of our groomsmen, Lars, to sing our song was the best decision that we made. It made our dance 10x more special. Although a family friend, Marty, decided to cut into the dance and took over the last 20 seconds. So I did not get to have a big finish with Collin like I had always dreamed of, but that is a memory that I will always have with Marty after he is gone.
I definitely felt like we were pulled in every which direction all night. 115 guests, everyone wanting 5-10 minutes of your time. That takes up A LOT of time. I do not think that I even had one full drink until about midnight. Which is also when I think that I saw my husband for the first time after our dance. But, I was so happy that everyone came from far and wide to see us and that I got a small moment with them all.
I danced a tiny bit, but spent most of the night after 12 at the bar. It turned out so awesome in there. It was bright. The actual bar was awesome, built by Collin’s cousin, TJ. And our bartenders were absolutely amazing! We shut the party down around 3am and were in bed by 330am.
My advice to brides? Enjoy every moment, take it all in, and try to find something good in every little hiccup throughout the day. There will be mishaps and no one will know about them but you. But if you take them and shine a positive light on them, it makes everything better! We had a few mishaps through out our day including, but not limited to, mismatched ties, rain, 1st dance cut ins, mud, an unstable and non working outhouse, and a few others. But every single one of those things added to our perfect, fairy tale, wedding!
If you felt like that was just a teaser for photos, here is a slideshow with some of our favorite images!
Our Vendor Team
Photography: Kreative Eye Studios
Hair: Studio Cheveaux
Makeup: Theresa Reagan Makeup
Dresses: Storybook Wedding
Flowers: Forever Florists Boutique
Food: Tina’s Catering
Rice Crispy Bar: Ambrosia Sweets
DJ: Tycon Tunes
Tables/Chairs/Linens: It’s Party Time
Grooms Ring: Etsy (OriginHG)
Bartender: Ryan MacLellan
Liquor: BC Liquor Store
Fun Fact: Revenue from the BC Liquor Stores goes towards paying our hardworking paramedics and nurses in BC. Once we found that out, the thought of going to Costco in Alberta for our liquor needs was off the table. #supportlocal
Nails: Polished by Sierra
Guest Book: Kat Made That | Album Epoca
Table Wine: Hobby Brews
Fun Fact: We went with a Sagiovese and a Gewurztraminer Reisling
Wine Labels: Speedee Printers | Etsy (StudioPlusOne)
Table Runners/Square Mirrors: Signature Weddings & Rentals
Table Numbers: Etsy (EasyWeddingCo) | Dollarama
Fun Fact: I am selling these! Email me if interested!
Succulents: Hunniford Gardens
JP: Lynda Stoppler
Cake Topper: Etsy (ThistleAndLaceShop)
Ring Box: Dandy Lines
Shuttle: Big Brothers and Big Sisters
Fun Fact: Not only is their shuttle service very reasonable, but it is run by volunteers and all proceeds goes to this wonderful non-profit organization!
Ceremony Location: Salmon Valley Campground
Bridesmaid Gifts: Van Horlicks | wish.com | La Vie En Rose | Channing’s Vinyl
Groomsmen Gifts: Etsy (EngravedMugs)
Thank-You Cards: Etsy (KismetWeddingsCo)
Thanks for popping by and reading all about my own wedding experience!