Where to begin ! Our wedding was truly the most love filled, emotional, special truly magical day of my life.
We have so many beautiful memories, great moments, and cherished times from our wedding and everything in between… and yet, it wasn’t without a stressful start. It was a bit of rocky lead up with the pandemic and it caused us to rethink our day a lot.
Like, a lot.
We originally planned a wedding with 150 people on our property, annnnnnnd 2 months before our wedding date we decided the right decision would be to cancel the wedding. Keeping all of those close to us safe and well was a huge priority. This decision was a heavy one to make. We felt super upset and frustrated. This special day that we were supposed to share with our favourite people felt robbed of us. Above all those feelings, we really just wanted to get married.
We decided to move forward with an elopement for just the two of us. It was only a few weeks before the date that we decided to invite our parents, siblings and a few members of the wedding party. My Mom asked me if it occurred to me that this could be an even better version of what we had envisioned for our wedding. I bitterly replied that NOPE, covid ruined it and we were ‘settling‘. I have never been so wrong in my life. I am so happy with how it all turned out, that I can barely string together the true words to express the feelings that were felt on that day.
It was magical.
On all levels of magical.
I spent time in the morning with my best of friends…my ‘birds’ …getting ready in the treehouse. Andrew golfed on the property and swam in the pool with his best buds and family crew.
We prepped the beautiful tablescape to be a backyard dinner party under the stars.
It was a day I will never forget.
p.s before I get into our special day we have just launched our wedding venue package for those interested in getting married here at the treehouse and cabin retreat !!
My first look was with my Dad was everything. We both just sobbed big tears. The photographers told me I could go tap on his shoulder when I was ready for him to turn around, but I just had an overwhelming feeling to hug him tight.
He told me, as he turned around, that he had been waiting for this day for his entire life and that he felt so grateful to be just be able to be standing there. There had been many months when his cancer was presenting so strong and I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to share this day with him.
It was my everything.
I later found out my sisters were watching and feeling this from the window. They didn’t know when it was happening but felt compelled to open the blinds just as I was walking towards him. I am sure the same fears have crept into their minds too. I feel like this moment was meant for all of us to share. I hope and pray that they will get to experience it for themselves one day too
… and I will be watching from the window feeling all the feelings with them.
Next up… I was going to see Andrew for our first look. We shared our vows with each other in the long grasses and wild flowers in the field. This was just a few hours before our wedding ceremony and we wanted it to be just us. It was so beyond special. After he read his vows, he pulled out a note from his pocket, and in it was a printed photo of his phone. He made a note on his phone, a week after our first date and the note said “I’m gonna marry this girl.” He had printed and placed it in an envelope that read “open this on the happiest day of your life.” He carried the note with him for years in his backpack. PS. If you know Andrew you know that he is not a keeper of things hehe, he may or may not misplaces everything. On the daily. But the photocopied, wrinkled, worn envelope had stayed with him all these years.
He opened the envelope in the field and I was a complete puddle.
We moved to a cocktail hour filled with yummy margaritas and lawn games and welcomed our family and friends. Our intention behind having a cocktail hour before the wedding ceremony was so our small group of family and friends could wander around the property, feel relaxed and settled into the happy day.
Things happen and people can run late and I know myself ( from going to previous weddings ) that the vibe can be a bit rush getting to the ceremony on time. It was important to us that everyone felt really good that day. I also got to do my second reveal with my other Dad (I have two Dads)! Our D.J that we had originally hired for the big wedding ended up making us a cocktail hour playlist that we played as we caught up under the treehouse with everyone.
It worked out perfectly beautiful.
Everyone gathered around the pool and my birds and I met my Dads at the back of the house. Even though I had been around Andrew for the full day, seeing him standing there was the most heart filling moment. We stood at the top of the steps with our officiant, some soft florals and candles… just as the sun was slowly coming down.
Andrew had tears in his eyes pretty much the entire ceremony. He kept squeezing my hands and I knew in that moment that this was exactly how our wedding day was meant to be. I had never felt so close to him in my life. We laughed, cried, cheered. It was just the best.
It was all so meaningful and imperfectly perfect. I chose this song to play when they announced us as husband and wife and signed the papers. Andrew and I constantly play it and sing it super loud. It was the sweetest fit for us.
One of my favourite parts of the day was right after the ceremony. Andrew and I had a little moment and then came down the steps to join the celebrations with everyone. Just being there hugging everyone felt very surreal. One of our friends accidentally stepped back into the pool, fully dressed and in heels. She was an amazing sport about it so I think its fair to say it was hilarious and a great memory to add to the day. My mom had a back up dress (of course she did, she’s my Mom haha!) and Julia was looking gorgeous again in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.
We moved into some quick family and sunset photos and then settled into our seats for what turned out to be theeeeee best hours filled with so many laughs and tears. My little brother was the M.C and he set the tone for a very relaxed and love filled evening. Andrew and I spoke first and what I thought was going to be terrifying, ended up being so special. We had a chance to tell those closest to us how grateful we were for them.
Our MOH and best man speeches were so incredible, I could go on and on, and then all of the Dads spoke and we laughed and felt all of the feelings.
Next I snuck my Dad off for our father and daughter dance under the twinkle lights at the treehouse. I had prepared a little video with family footage from growing up while this song played in the air.
We cut our cake, had sparklers and fire works, danced by the outdoor fire, swam, played games and had some late night local pizza. It was just the perfect evening.
People ask what it is it like to have a 20 person wedding … and I think ….
with less people, everyone just feels safe to feel the feelings louder, to laugh deeper and cry harder and join in the magic.
I have some incredible souls in my life that knew how to best support me that day, I now can’t even imagine what it would have been like to do it the original way.
I am going to be writing another post with all of the details, the decor music, dress, rings, tablescape …. all the details that might help those newly engaged and planning their special day. I just wanted to share the special parts here first. We also have our wedding teaser video up, can’t wait to share the full version when it’s ready.
I wanted to say one last note to all of my other covid brides out there. I get it. I know this year has brought lots of difficulties and obstacles. You are not alone. What matters most though, is that you still have each other and you will get through it. It will be special however you have to reimagine or replan it.
Your love will win.
Photos by the incredible : Alyssa Wodabek