From the bride, Jillian:
Our day began with us each getting ready with our parties at separate locations – the girls at the James Hotel, and the guys at our townhouse. The morning was relaxed and so much fun, and included good food, a few drinks, and lots of primping (the guys even had a little professional help in the hair department!). For the girls, it was so great to have hair and makeup come to us at the hotel. It meant that we could just enjoy the time instead of running from appointment to appointment.
There was stress over the weather that morning as the forecast had been calling for rain all week. There were showers throughout the morning, but we all held up hope that the clouds would clear in time for our 3:30 pm outdoor ceremony. We were thrilled when the sky was looking clear 30 minutes before go time, then with 15 mins remaining, rain poured down on the guests who were beginning to be seated. I was so disappointed watching our gorgeous ceremony site through the window. There was an indoor backup plan, but it was not what we had dreamed of. I was in the middle of telling my bridesmaids that I wanted to wait out the rain when our wedding planner came in and said she had talked to the groom and he wanted to hold off as well. We didn’t have to wait long as one minute before the ceremony was set to start, the sun came out and it turned into a gorgeous day. The timing was unbelievable and we were SO thankful! It truly felt like a gift from my grandmother who is no longer with us, but had always said she had wanted to live to attend my wedding.
The ceremony was by far our favourite part of the day. Standing in the sunshine, in a gorgeous setting, in front of all of our closest family and friends (especially after the iffy weather), felt surreal. We chose to exchange our own vows which made us both nervous, but is something we are so glad that we did.
From the end of the ceremony on, the rest of the day was an incredible blur. We snuck off to take photos with our families and wedding party, while guests enjoyed, drinks, appetizers, and live music. Dinner was prepared by the venue and was incredible! We received so many compliments on the steak. The meal was followed by a fun take on the “shoe game” that included all four of our parents, then the program, a slideshow, and the party! The dance was exactly we what we had wanted, with the floor full until the wee hours of the morning. There was no shortage of fun and an excessive amount of shots were done! Late lunch was served around 10:30 pm and included poutine (my favourite junk food from my university days living in Montreal) and John Deere sugar cookies (a little something special for my farmer groom!). We stayed until the very end of the night, and took the shuttle home with our guests. It was so much fun to see friends and family letting loose and having a great time. Our goal was to be the last ones on the dance floor, and we were!
Our theme was the definition of us – country meets city. In fact, we even included this idea in our save-the-dates which said “Country Boy meets City Girl… for the rest of the story, save the date”. We chose a very rustic venue, but totally glammed it up with chandeliers, white linens, sparkle, and lots of metallics. We didn’t have a “wedding colour” per se, but the bridesmaids wore blush and touches of pink tones were used throughout our otherwise natural palette.
We wanted our guests to have an amazing time. We tried to keep them in mind throughout the planning process. Shuttles to and from the venue were provided, a “baby lounge” for parents to feed and change their little ones was set up, and dietary restrictions were considered with vegetarian and gluten-free options available (beer and cupcakes included!). An open bar didn’t hurt either!
We also chose a venue where both the ceremony and reception could take place. We wanted the ceremony to be followed immediately by drinks and hors d’oeuvres, and for the dinner, reception, and dance to flow immediately after that.
If you are excited about the details then by all means go crazy and enjoy it! I spent hours fussing over the specifics that I know very few people noticed, but I loved every minute of it. I fully admit that the million trips to Michaels and Homesense were totally excessive, but I had so much fun choosing every detail myself. If it’s not your thing, skip the headache and expense, and keep it simple.
I also highly recommend hiring a wedding planner! If not for the planning process, at least for the day of. It was so amazing to have someone ensuring the day ran smoothly and dealing with issues as they came up (which they did!). I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and having someone who shares the same attention to detail meant that I could rest assured my vision was going to come to life the day of. It was also fantastic to have someone to bounce ideas off of and help make decisions from start to finish.
Jillian and Travis – June 25, 2016
Ceremony, reception and catering: Champêtre County
Photographer: Lauren Winter Photography
Videographer: Kappacco Films
Planner: Kaitlin Walker Events and Design
Groom and groomsmen: Bill and Don’s Men’s Wear
Ring bearer: J Crew
Rentals: Handy Special Events
Cake: Cakes by Jen
Transportation: Living Skies Limousine
Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas