Category Archives: our wedding.
Our very own bush party camping wedding story is featured today over on Junebug. The gals at Junebug put together absolutely great features, you should head on over and leave some kind words for our mega-kind and extra-awesome photographers: Eunice Montenegro, Christina Craft, Stacey Hedman, Tessa Perkins and Kira Nelson. In addition, they put together an inspiration board with shoutouts to all the pros who helped us out. Also, one last time, I must extend an endless amount gratitude to our family and friends for the hard work, helping hands and many hilarious moments. I know this wedding of ours was beyond unconventional and a heck of a lot of work. I can’t say enough how much all the support we were given means to me, even months later. LOVE YOU ALL.
Our wedding was all about keeping it authentic, thoughtful and true to ourselves and our relationship. We met in the mountains, have made a home and built a great life in the mountains so we naturally chose to host our wedding in the mountains, at a beautiful campsite deep in the Kananaskis valley near our hometown of Canmore. As I’ve mentioned several times, we affectionately nicknamed it our bush party wedding…complete with heaps of hand-picked pretty vintage pieces, personal handmade touches. We tried to keep it local and sustainable. I think we pulled it off, in the days and weeks following the event, so many people told us that they’ve never attended a wedding quite like ours. A few people mentioned that our little party changed their impression of what a wedding can be.
This event really was a DIY affair…but not DIY as in, I, the bride slaved away on my own for hours on end. It was DIY as in our entire family and so many friends stepped up with great ideas and offered a huge amount of time and talent. I truly have such great memories from the whole planning and preparation process. I get warm fuzzies when I look at the photos and know that every single last detail had a bit of love put into it.
Our very good friend and through-the-roof-talented wedding coordinator, Callandra helped us bring all our quirky concepts and handmade details together to make it work perfectly. I’m obviously a huge fan and supporter of a DIY wedding, however, a professional like Callandra is without a doubt imperative to pull it all together without a hitch.
We booked the campsite for three nights and it truly was a three day party, much more than just a wedding. We grew up in very separate sorts of communities; Adam in a small coastal town on Vancouver Island, and myself in a small farming town in the heart of Alberta…but we both were raised with a love for the mountains and the ski scene, which is what eventually brought us together. The two of us moved around a lot, chasing the snow for the first several years out of high school before we met. In each town where we lived during these years, we made a few great friends who we’ve each stayed in touch with since. This meant that much of our family and friends were not acquainted with each other before the wedding; many traveled from afar knowing no one else but us. Throughout the whole event, so many new friendships were formed; it was so neat to see everyone “friending” each other on Facebook after the wedding had wrapped up!
I am so lucky to have amazing relationships with many of my colleagues, I consider so many of them great friends. As you can imagine, there were numerous professional cameras snapping away all day. It truly was a photographer’s wedding…the images below are a mismatched mishmash of several amazing and generous photographers’ work. It’s a full recap, there’s more than 100 photos. I promise, after this, I’ll shut up about this wedding of ours…until then, enjoy!
coordination and all-around wedding hero: Callandra of Cherry Tree Occasions | venue: Lower Lake Group Campsite [Peter Lougheed Provincial Park] | commissioner: Tamara Jones | caterer: Bubbaq [amazing smoky southern BBQ] | hair and makeup: The Loft Hair Studio | groom’s outfit: Boulder [local Canmore shop] | poofy party dress: Atelier Tami | hair comb: Whichgoose | vintage collage bracelet: Lonkoosh | invites: Spoonful Of Sugar | wine box: Naturally Chic | welcome sign: Creative Party Concepts | flowers: my aunt and uncle | dessert bar: prepared by my family & friends, setup designed by Alannah Jensen | primary photographers: Eunice Montenegro & Christina Craft | additional photography provided by: Stacey Hedman, Tessa Perkins and Kira Nelson …thanks guys!
I chose to leave the campsite the night before the wedding so I could get a good sleep in my own bed and cuddle with my cat. I got hair and makeup done at my local salon with my mum and sister.
I found a really beautiful, midmatchy hair comb from Whichgoose. [via Etsy]
SO MANY HELPERS! What an amazing group of friends and family we’ve snagged.
This beautiful tarp monstrosity saved the day.
We live in a tourist town so we figured utilizing tacky post cards from our area for our Save The Date cards was a perfect idea…and very cost-effective!
Quirky and casual invites designed by the lovely Shannon of Spoonful of Sugar.
Back when we started planning our bush party camp-out wedding last year, we made a goal to purchase and renovate a vintage Boler trailer. Mission accomplished! We adore our 1970’s Boler. It was a great inspiration and focal point of our event. It served as the ultimate honeymoon-mobile for our post-wedding trip down through Yellowstone to Jackson Hole and back up through the Kootenays to the amazing little artsy mountain city of Nelson, BC where we met 6 years ago.
Shoe clips are actually vintage clip-on earings! [via Etsy]
We exchanged letters the morning of the wedding. These letters later went into a wine box during the ceremony. To add our own twist on this tradition, Adam [a former chef!] added a menu to his letter. The wine we chose for the box was paired to the entree. This was our favourite dinner he cooked this summer, he’ll prepare it again on the evening of our 5th anniversary, when we crack the box, revisit the letters and enjoy the wine. By then, our culinary tastes may have become more sophisticated, but this will remind us of the summer we were married!
Repurposed vintage collage bracelet from Lonkoosh. [via Etsy]
100% perfect swiss dot party dress custom made in Greece by Atelier Tami. [via Etsy]
Definitely my favorite putting-the-dress-on image ever. Yes, I am a bit biased, but seriously…it’s so GOOD Eunice!
The massive wooden frame that I gathered on my very first wedding garage sale mission last spring served as a great piece to welcome guests into the party. It came from the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, and the welcome sign was dreamed up by Callandra and created by her good friend, Debbie at Creative Party Concepts.
My mum was the cutest mother of the bride to ever exist. Her amazing dress was designed and handmade by her sister. We clearly both have a thing for polka dot tulle!
My sister was in charge of the wedding playlist. We weren’t going to do wedding favors, but when I thought about how much time and effort she put into the song choices, I decided we should send our guests home with a wee sampling of the tunes. We got so many notes from people in the days following the wedding that they had been enjoying the mix.
Adam has been a chef for much of our relationship, and even though he has set off on a new career path, he still loves to cook. This in mind, we chose a vintage recipe box and a variety of recipe cards as our guestbook. [all via Etsy] We really enjoyed reading a few cards each evening of the honeymoon…especially the hilarious ones written later in the night after a few beverages.
This amazing family photo wall behind the bar was designed by my friend Alannah who was onsite to help with the setup. I collected all the photos thinking they would be placed on a table somewhere…this turned SO much better!
When we started planning, flowers really weren’t a concern of mine. To be 100% upfront, we were very budget conscious about this whole event, and florals can get very pricey so I figured we’d just skip it all together. My family thought this was absurd and promptly offered to grow all of the flowers! It was so personal and as local as it gets. During the day-after clean up when I got to the beautiful arrangements, I didn’t know what to do with them since we would be leaving on our honeymoon the next day, but they were just to lovely to toss in the dumpster. As I was humming and hawing few local gals asked if they could take some back to town, we managed to send nearly every last flower to a good post-wedding home.
Despite what I was told, I of course, checked the 7-day forecast as soon as our wedding day was on the radar. It showed beautiful summer weather all week leading up to the day; however Environment Canada told us we’d have a certainty of rain and a drop of about 20 degrees Celsius from the day before. I laughed, and didn’t take it too much to heart; the Canmore forecast is ALWAYS wrong, not to mention our campsite was over an hour away in a different mountain valley completely. Plus, my clients always get great weather…why wouldn’t Mother Nature offer the same to us? I continued to check the forecast several times a day, whenever it was updated. Despite the 27 degree sunny weather we experienced the entire week leading the wedding, this stormy forecast didn’t budge. Four days before, I had a few tears about the impending reality of our no-backup-plan event. Three days before, a few more tears. By two days prior to the wedding I was at peace with the fact that we very well could have a cold and wet outdoor wedding. I started calling all my local friends to round up tarps. We got our hands on what I think was nearly 1000 square feet of colourful cover…way more than we needed! I couldn’t believe the amazing “tarp collage” that was constructed over our dinner area!
Yes, checking the forecast prior to the wedding caused plenty of stress and unhappiness…but we’d had such a stellar summer and the weather pattern we experienced that week was so bizarre, I would have never in a million years imagined we would be served up that frigid, wet weather. If I hadn’t checked I would have been so unprepared and beyond disappointed. My advice is, keep an eye on the forecast, be ready for anything in the mountains. And most importantly, understand that with the right attitude, no matter what the skies say your day will be just perfect.
All this said, we did have 100% reasonable weather whenever we needed it. The ceremony was able to take place outside with only a few bits of light rain…and we even had a few spurts of sunshine. Best of all, there was the most amazing crack of thunder as soon as we were announced MR & MRS.
Adam was so handsome and happy all day long.
We did a first look before the ceremony and it was ideal. We were both SO chatty after spending the previous night apart, it would have been torture to have to stand up at the altar not being able to talk to one another after seeing each other for the first time! We got all our portraits wrapped up well-before the ceremony, had time for a bevie and some mingling and then got to go straight into the party once the I do’s were done. PERFECT. [for us!]
These chalkboards turned out so well. We did all the writing and drawing a few days before the wedding, sprayed them with hairspray and the chalk didn’t smudge one bit during transport!
The witness lottery was such a hit! We didn’t have a wedding party, so to pick our legal witnesses for the registry we drew names.
Callandra with her little lady.
Drink up! Time to get married.
Little Julia, daughter of my good friend and fellow photographer, Crista-Lee, was our eclectic flower girl, she totally rocked this job. I loved that she wore a scarf, gum boots and carried a poof-ball wand instead of a petal basket.
We walked in together…
…and this was the very coolest part of the day. Everyone started cheering when we got close to the front. Such an amazing moment. And notice Adam’s uncle Daryl triple fisting the mason jars…during the ceremony!
It was the prettiest rainstorm ever, in my opinion.
We each have one grandmother still alive…they were both able to make it!
We did a little tribute to the parents. We’re both so lucky that both sets of mums and dads are still together; we’ve each grown up with such a great example of marriage, and we really wanted to recognize this.
I think we got Leslie pretty good!
The absolutely beautiful custom wine box was made by Sharon of Naturally Chic. It is just perfect and looks so good on our living room shelf! The wine was gifted to us by Adam’s sister, Cheryl. It was a splurge…thanks sis!
Leslie won the witness lottery.
Married! To the KEG!
Tamara couldn’t have given us a more perfect ceremony. She rolled with all our casual and quirky ideas. I had never worked with her before, so it was an all-around brand new experience for me.
My pretty sister, our MC’s and soon-to-be Mr. & Mrs. Obleman.
The official photographers! Eunice and Christina were amazing. They both traveled [from opposite coasts!] for our wedding, and it was so great to have old friends behind the lens. These ladies are the ultimate team. After I finished photography school these two took me under their wing as an apprentice and taught me everything I know about wedding photography. I owe so much of my success to these two women.
My Grandma & I
Mojito mint from my aunt’s garden!
Wine made by the Driemels.
My aunt Marian put together my perfect, rustic bouquet.
My grandma purchased all this amazing fabric for us [thanks Grandma!] My aunt Marian sewed the beautiful table cloths, my aunt Val made all the serviettes and the left over material was used for bunting.
…yeah, my outfit was not at all understated.
We sent out a wee “newsletter” one week before the big shebang. Among much other information and local knowledge, we suggested people bring lawn games…and piñatas! [It was a joke...] Two of the young mums actually showed up with piñatas!
I have to mention, everyone looked so good! I was so impressed with all the stylish unconventional wedding outfits…these getups only got more interesting and colorful as the night went on and the temperature continued to drop, layers upon layers overtop! Another bonus which stemmed from the less-than-perfect weather, I got to don my Sorels, a scarf, toque and assortment of cardigans…all of which are some of my personal favorite wardrobe items. [I’m so Canadian.]
One of the most solid visions I had for this wedding was people mingling around the campfire and dancing under the stars. Once the sun had set, the rain started coming down really heavily and didn’t let up causing us to all huddle up under the shelter for the better part of the night. It turned out to be perfect; everyone stayed closer and the party was so much cozier…not to mention the mess was contained within the walls of the shelter.
An unofficial father-daughter dance and my dress “fluffers” keeping the party dress nice and poofy.
These two are next! Adam lives up the street, is one of my oldest friends and I just adore his fiancé, Anna. Keep your eyes open for them on the blog soon…
My mum was the last mum of all the mums on the dance floor!
The day after…still raining, knotty hair, no makeup, a few bevies in. SO HAPPY.
As brilliant as the entire wedding experience was, I think one of our best decisions was to be sure and book a solid 10+ days after the whole event was wrapped up. I was adamant about this from the very start; it certainly made for some tight business timelines before and after it all, but this time with just Adam away from work [not to mention away from the leftover wedding mess that was literally just dumped in the entry of our condo] was so valuable to me. As we were driving east past the Three Sisters on the first leg of the trip, I mentioned that never in my life had I felt as content as I did at that moment…that feeling really did stick around for the entire journey. Everyone has different priorities, but taking some solid quality time together after it all would be my personal number one piece of advice to couples planning their wedding right now.
Here’s the great American Boler honeymoon through my lens: Canmore to Pincher Creek to Choteau to Livingston to Yellowstone National Park to Grand Teton National Park to Jackson to Kellog to Nelson to Cranbrook and back. Approximately a 3500km roundtrip, if you were wondering. Bushparty wedding recap next week…I hope.
We met Tina and Kurt [among a few other interesting characters] while perched on bar stools at a tasty brewpub in Livingston, MT. Near the end of our order of mussels and Adam’s first pint [my 2nd] they offered us their driveway to park the Boler for the night so we could continue to enjoy the local brew rather than hit the road south, as planned. We happily accepted the offer and ordered another round. The next morning, Tina made a pot of delicious oatmeal while Kurt proudly gave us the lowdown on Yellowstone National Park, their favorite stomping ground.
Thanks to our little sister, Amy for the sweet paint job on the Boler; it earned us many honks, waves and thumbs up during our journey.
Entering Yellowstone…it was pretty great, however, as spectacular as this world-renowned national park was, it made me feel very lucky to live just minutes outside of Banff and inspired to get out and really enjoy and experience our mountains much more often. BNP takes the cake, in my opinion.
Yes, we love our Boler. We’ve been perfecting our “Boler wave”…a common signal practiced by Boler owners to other Boler owners. Unfortunately we only saw one other Boler in transit. I guess they don’t know about the wave because they didn’t wave back.
We ate a heck of a lot of good roadside food. Here you see: pork chops with an Okanagan peach sauce [fruit gifted to us by Adam's aunt at the wedding] and a hash including local Montana potatoes, Alberta corn leftover from the wedding and herbs from our patio.
Morning fruit and granola at a Grand Teton rest stop.
Best picnic table ever. All to ourselves.
Another highlight roadside meal: local MT lamb chops purchased directly from the farmer at the Great Falls Saturday market, cous cous and a greek salad with Wyoming tomatoes [gifted to us newlyweds by the grower!] a Vancouver Island cucumber grown by an old high school friend of Adam’s who was at the wedding…and more Canmore patio grown herbs. Finished with wedding wine made in Port Hardy by mum and dad Driemel.
We intended to get out for a solid day of mountain biking…however, the day prior we ended patio hopping all afternoon and then ended up at the fateful Mexican joint for dinner and margarita pitchers. Let’s just say our first little hangover as a married couple is now out of the way and instead of big old bike ride, we went for a wee little hike in Jackson.
This may be the best honeymoon story of all. We got a good, early start out of Jackson and intended to get as close to Nelson as we possibly could. We had made good time, around 11:30, we arrived in the little ski town of Kellog, Idaho and Adam decided it was getting time to find a nice little spot to pull off for the night. Before he could find the perfect little off-the-beaten-path spot, one of the Boler tires blew out. Luckily, there was a Wal-Mart not far up the road. It’s true, you can camp in a Wal-Mart parking lot for free, no questions asked. I may be as frugal as they come, but I really never did think I’d spend the night in a Wal-Mart parking lot…especially on our honeymoon! [Ironically, Kellog is kind of a significant little town in the very early stages of our relationship]
We made the best of it: polenta, poached eggs and bacon for breakfast while we waited for the tire shop to open up for the day.
Early morning fish on the home stretch, just outside Cranbrook, BC.