Pure joy, euphoria, lightness, a slight flutter, a heart bursting with happiness and love; all feelings I experienced on one of the most beautiful days of our lives. Not going to lie though the road to victory was a path paved with hard work, tears, hours of organization, dozens of lists and a meltdown or two. I've said to many that if I could have known how much work it was going to take to get our wedding day off the ground I would have eloped. But now that the work has been done and we had one of the best days imaginable I wouldn't take back a single second of it.
Now that the dress is tucked away, our photos are here and our marriage has begun I wanted to share our wedding story, for what it's worth in shoutouts, winks and slow claps of appreciation to all of our vendors, friends and family that made it possible. First a little bit about the couple behind the big day :)
RICKY + NICOLE
Together almost 9 years before we finally said I do, Ricky and I met while working together at the now extinct Northgate Futureshop when we were still just kids. On one quieter night in the store he showed me a slight of hand coin trick and the rest was history. I went to school to become a journalist and he began apprenticing as an electrician. In 2015 we bought our first home together and had our beautiful little girl Paisley. We have grown up together and we have fought every single day to be better people, better partners and better friends to each other and for ourselves. I know there isn't a person out there who has more of my best interests at heart or who could love me more completely. Alright now with all the mushy stuff out of he way :) On to the goods! The wedding: August 5, 2017.
Our wedding took place over the August long weekend at Wabamun Lake's Moonlight Bay Camp operated by The Bissell Centre. The camp facilitates inner city families for retreats and the rest of the season it's rented out for events, reunions and weddings to cover the operating costs. With its own private beach, it's located just down the road from Wabamun Lake Provinical Campground about 40 minutes west of Edmonton. The property has 7 cabins with four double beds in each, a hall and commercial kitchen, a lodge style rec facility, a dock, a playground, volleyball pit, fire pit and more. I spent so many summers at this lake as a kid and now many more with ricky and paisley on countless day trips and getaways. It made for the most beautiful backdrop for our wedding weekend. We had a lot of out of town family coming in from Saskatchewan so it was the perfect setup for us. No one had to worry about accommodation. Everyone pitched in to get meals out on the Friday and Sunday, and it was so heartwarming to host all of our favourite people in one place for an entire weekend.
Picked up my dress off the rack from David's Bridal for about $260. Honestly I didn't even think to look and see what designer it was, cause that's just how I roll. I tried it on and it fit perfectly. It was an a-line, full length strapless with gorgeous woodsy lace overlay and fit perfectly with our lakefront venue. One add on I would shy away from was the gown cleaning service for $199. Because the dress was well tried on when I bought it, the sales rep convinced me to send it away for cleaning and the dress actually came back with the lace completely shrunken down. The store did a great job managing the issue and had it fixed right away and within a few weeks I had my dress back. I was mostly unimpressed with the company they contract the cleaning out to, they just packed it up all shrunken down and shipped it right back to me initially without saying anything. My in-store experience at David's in Southgate was great - I just would have chosen to get it cleaned locally had I known what a hassle it would have been ahead of time. Loved the dress though - I definitely had the 'it dress' moment in the store that I wasn't expecting at all.
In my time working in media, I feel super blessed to have been able to work with so many talented florists and floral designers in my days. Cory Christopher, Fabloomosity and Kuhlmann's are some of my favourite. One thing I wanted to do with our wedding however, was find those hidden talents and help support them in the growth of their small businesses. I spent a lot of time scouring the buy and sell pages and other blogs to ensure we partnered with the right people for our budget and the aesthetic we wanted to achieve. Therese Lopez Florals was exactly that for all of our floral needs. We had a smaller order, one arch piece, three bouquets and seven centrepieces but from the very beginning Therese patiently considered and executed all of our requests flawlessly. We went with a colourful wildflower look to tie in with the rustic outdoor setting of our wedding and they turned out better than I could have ever imagined. We booked her in before a rate increase and paid just under $700, but she's still very reasonable. Seriously don't even think twice about booking with her - you won't regret it!
In keeping with the thread of finding up and comers I tracked down our photographer through one of the buy and Sell pages and I could not be more thrilled with how our pictures from the day turned out. Mandy from Mandy Landry Photography spent the entire day with us from hair and makeup all the way to the final toasts at the reception and she beautifully captured every magic moment in between. I believe her rates have also gone up since I booked with her but we paid $600 and that included travel and a free engagement session. Her portfolio isn't super robust in the wedding area but her pictures are just gorgeous - seriously check her out on Instagram here. She has such a kind soul and I would recommend her all day long !
For the reception dinner we had a catered BBQ Buffett from Memphis Blues in New Castle. We selected a menu of three meats and four sides including: applewood smoked beef brisket, authentic hand pulled pork, BBQ pit smoked pork ribs, coleslaw, potato salad, BBQ pit smoked beans and cornbread. Every chowed down and loved it, and for 50 guests with travel and chaffing dish rental and dinner service it all came to about $1200. One tray of cornbread was slightly undercooked and we did have to hire out for a dishwasher but other than that we had a great experience. I will mention that this was not the first BBQ restaurant we approached, we booked a tasting at Smokehouse BBQ and the owner didn't show up. After we proceeded to email him for a quote he never even responded so needless to say I was quite pleased we ended up going elsewhere and Memphis was certainly the right choice.
THE HAIR + MAKEUP
After some pretty outrageous quotes from other companies that specialize in on-site wedding hair and makeup, I was able to track down the owner of Salon Montage in Spruce Grove and they were great to work with. They sent the stylists straight to Wabamun to do our looks on-site, which was nice, not having to leave the venue and head back in town just to get hair and makeup done. We had such a beautiful time getting done up, listening to an awesome playlist my Maid of Honour had put together and just enjoying a few quite hours of peace before the day really got going. My little one, Paisley even came in and hung out for the longest time, it was just such a great energy and the ladies did such amazing work. It worked out to around $550 for all three of us to have our hair and makeup done which is super reasonable and well worth it.
One word: Canva! This platform is super user friendly and I designed all of our save the dates, invites, seating chart cards and menus by myself for free. Using this site made it super easy to customize to my liking and I just ordered the prints online through staples. So great!
Hosting an entire weekend wedding outside of the city is definitely a group effort and I could not have done this without all of the hard work and love our friends and family poured into this day. A big thank you to our parents for so much support along the way! Dad was a rockstar in set up and tear down and my mom literally crafted and shopped for a straight year to help me with all of the little details :) Our amazing wedding party consisted of my best friend Erika, cousin Christine, Ricky's best friend Craig, Erika's man Steven and Christine's husband James. These people are our rocks and it was so special to have them all by our side on the big day. Erika's mom Christine also deserves a huge shoutout for keeping my mom sane the day of and helping so so much, she was amazing the entire weekend! And of course a thank you to all of our friends and family from Saskatoon that travelled the six hours to celebrate our love and witness us saying I do!
And a final thank you to my husband. I grew up a very independent, driven young woman and honestly there was a large time in my life when I truly needed no one and thought I would never get married. But 9 years later you have softened my heart, given me the most beautiful and smart daughter imaginable and I truly am so grateful to call you my husband.