Sarah and Nathan’s wedding visions included throwing a feast with delicious food, good wine and all their friends and family. They said their vows between the rows of trees on Nathan’s family farm, and celebrated in the garden that has fed families for generations.
From the bride, Sarah:
Nathan and I spent quite a bit of time, before we even began looking into details, thinking about what we wanted our wedding to really capture. There were words that kept surfacing like celebration, feasting, friendship, and sacredness. We wanted our wedding to be a huge thank you to all of our friends and family who had brought us to this point. We wanted it to be a day where people didn’t have to worry about anything, a day where they could relax, enjoy the sun and their surroundings, eat delicious food, drink fantastic wine, and steep in the goodness of the day! We also wanted to make sure that everything we offered our friends was meaningful to us. We wanted to build and create as much as we could ourselves, and really think through the traditions and symbols that are a part of most weddings and decide if and how they were symbolic to us.
We had the wedding at Nathan’s family farm. The farm was a symbol of Nathan’s roots and also represented things that are important for both of us: a garden overflowing with good, wholesome food, full and golden wheat fields surrounding the yard, the chance to watch the prairie sky change from blue to pink to black. Basically, the farm offered an honest glimpse of life in Saskatchewan.
We spread two tons of mulch to cover the dirt so that people had pathways to walk on, and lined them with strings of lights. My mother sewed curtains to hang behind us as a backdrop for the ceremony, and my aunt built the arbor by hand. We built a dance floor out of plywood and pallets, and we brought in four power poles to string lights from corner to corner. We moved an old shed onto the property and transformed it into a bar where we hooked up kegs so that people could help themselves, and we set up tents and chairs and tables and games for the time in between the ceremony and reception so that people could relax and enjoy the day. Friends helped us design and weld a massive Argentinian grill so that Chef Moe Mathieu and his team could cook right there in front of us, build the head table from 16 ft logs of Douglas Fir from an old grain elevator, and make a beautiful backdrop for photos and giant letters spelling “LOVE” for our wedding party’s photos. We also set up a videobooth for people to leave personal messages for the bride and groom.
The food was hugely important to us! We love good food and the way it brings people together! We wanted people to feast, to taste things they had never tasted, to watch their food being prepared, and for the whole experience to be fun! Between the ceremony and reception, when people moved to the lawn to relax, my uncles and father poured wine from Spain, and we had planks of charcuterie for people to help themselves to. We also made a cake out of wheels of cheese because we love cheese – it was beautiful and a big hit! For the meal, it was important to us that we serve the food “family style”- platters on each table that can be passed around, as you would at home. We love this style of serving as it helps people (often who may not know each other) to interact and relax with each other. There are also no long waits for a buffet or for your plate to be served to you. We gathered platters from everyone we knew as we needed about 70 to make this work! It was great, as they were all different and had a unique story. We made 25 planks out of birch wood from northern Saskatchewan and had our names branded into them. These planks were piled high with meat and placed on each table. Moe and his team cooked beef, local chicken, homemade sausage, local vegetables, and flatbread grilled over the fire. It was stunning in presentation and absolutely delicious. Some of the wine was a very generous gift from winemakers in Chile, and the rest came from vineyards around the world.
With a massive garden right behind the cooks, a durum field right behind our guests, and the sun setting as the lights turned on overhead, it was a perfect setting. Speeches were made, dessert was served, and then tables were moved so people could mingled around the and by the bar, and dance until early morning!
We had a lot of fun planning and watching the wedding day take shape, and we became increasingly grateful for many friends and family members who stepped up and just got jobs done! The week leading up to the wedding was so enjoyable because of the amazing sense of unity and celebration felt by everyone.
My advice to other brides would be to get off Pinterest! This wedding was done without Pinterest, and while the internet in general is full of great ideas, they are usually not specific and significant to you. What people told us they loved about our wedding was the sense of “us” they got from the day, and they were honoured that we had shared it with them. Spend some time thinking about words, emotions, memories, etc. that are meaningful to you both and go from there!
Sarah and Nathan – August 2, 2015
Ceremony/Reception: Family farm near Eston
Photography: Chelsea Klette Photography
Videography: Sica Films
Bride: Grace Loves Lace
Groom and Groomsmen: Club Monaco
Flowers: Fresh (bouquets), Chris Conacher and Penny Barr (arrangements)
Cake: Penny Barr and various family members
Stationery: Pedestal Design Co.