From the bride, Kim:
Although certain family members were unimpressed about this choice, we decided to spend the night before the wedding together and woke up in the same bed as always. We are not very traditional. We said goodbye, and I whisked my bridesmaids away to the salon to get ready, calling on my stepdad to bring us food and coffee. I helped all of my girls into their dresses and my elder sister and maid of honor helped me with mine, all the while watching the clock as Brauck and I had a surprise not many people knew about. Back at home, Brauck was doing some running around and getting ready with his groomsman, while the ladies standing up for him were getting ready at the hotel.
Finally it came time for the surprise Brauck and I had planned: meeting in secret before the wedding to try and shake off some of the pre-wedding jitters (and get some awesome photos as well). We had one photographer with Brauck and one with me and it was up to the two of them to orchestrate us meeting in Crescent Park without anyone being the wiser. My father is quite traditional and preferred that we didn’t see each other until the very last moment. To this day, he still doesn’t know and he has even seen the photos. But when it was time to meet and someone mentioned this to Brauck, he suddenly disappeared, sans photographer! Everyone thought he was in the washroom, and waited for him, when actually he had just gone to the park on his own accord with his stepdad. Finally everyone caught up, I made it to the park, and approached Brauck with his back to me. When he turned around, we were both in tears. He reassured me, as he always does, then we parted ways to head down to the ceremony in Connor Park.
It was a beautiful, warm September day, and the sun shone down on everyone in white chairs watching the procession. I wasn’t sure I was ever going to stop crying, but we made it. Brauck’s sister conducted the ceremony as all of our closest friends watched us devote our lives to each other. I was told later that as we spoke our vows, a crane took off from the river behind us, which is a symbol of good luck. After the ceremony, we had a couple hours of pictures, then everyone returned to the park for dinner under the pavilion. It was like we sat 100 people down for a giant family dinner. No head table, no decorations, really, and the food was amazing. We visited from table to table and once the mosquitoes got the best of us, we sent everyone over to the Exhibition grounds for the dance! The wedding party was of course, late, but we made it and after a few speeches the party was underway! Some of our family are musicians, so partway through the night we set up the stage and some mics and had a jam session! Also, it’s a good thing we decided to cut ourselves a piece of cake since both Brauck and I missed out on the midnight lunch! Just too many people to visit, I guess. We danced well into the early morning and when it was time to retire to the hotel, it was lightly raining. No surprise, since it rained for days before our day and for days after. We had the most perfect timing for the most perfect day!
Our outdoor dinner was originally a financial choice, but turned out to be a very memorable part for many of our guests. Our wedding party was also quite unique, being that the friends who stood up for Brauck were not all male. Two ladies and one man completed his side of things, and it was just perfect! One last detail, although there are many, that made our day unique was that I made sure to have TWO father/daughter dances. My parents separated when I was young, so I was lucky enough to be raised two wonderful gentlemen. I had them each pick the song they thought represented our relationships and it just brought that much more meaning to the event.
One of the best parts was that my stepdad carried a vase full of sunflowers down the aisle for me that represented my mother, who we lost five years ago. Once at the front, he placed the flowers on the chair closest to where I stood, and I knew she was watching us in spirit. Brauck’s favorite moment was meeting in the park before the ceremony, but he also cherishes a memory he got to relive that he spoke about during his vows. He told the story of when we first began dating, and he drove to Red Deer from Calgary just to take me on a date. He says it was like going through the same excitement he had the first day he knocked on my door.
Great weddings don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. We hired out for a few things like food and DJ and some decorating, but most everything we did ourselves. My advice is don’t stress about it! The day is going to come and go in a flash, so don’t worry about it being perfect. It wouldn’t be a proper wedding if things didn’t go wrong! Just try to have fun and enjoy it!
Kim and Brauck – September 10, 2016
Photographer: Jackie Hall Photography
Ceremony: Wakamow Valley
Bride: Jessica Belle Rykiss Bridal
Bridesmaids and groomswomen: Azazie
Hair: Dolce Salon and Spa
Makeup: Esthetics by Adria
Flowers: Ellen’s On Main
Decor: Holly-Would Rentals
DJ: Vinyl Replay