I just love shooting out at Sydenham Ridge. It is a terrific venue with so many great places for photography. The ceremony under the beautiful old oak tree is one of my fav’s for sure! I wanted to try a little something different this Blog post. I wanted to get the brides perspective on the day so we can hear all about it from Courtney and Chad, they planned it, made it happen and now we get to share in the process!
How did you two meet?
We both went (separately) to a metal/rock show in London. Afterwards, we both went to the same bar (still seperately) I approached Chad, instantly attracted to him. My first words were “I really like your beard”. The pick up line worked, we ended up hanging out the rest of the night. We were with our friends too, and ended up playing a game of pool. We were on opposite teams, and towards the end Chad was about to take a shot that would win him the game, however it was a totally impossible shot. I bet him a beer that he wouldn’t get it in…. and sure enough he did. So I ended up making the first move AND buying the first drink! Luckily we had a mutual friend, because I left empty handed that night with no phone number. He ended up tracking me down on Facebook a couple days later through our mutual friend.
How did he propose?
We were at our cottage in Muskoka and had recently had our daughter, Spencer. She was about 4 months old at the time. Chad was out on the deck and asked me to set Spencer down and come join him, and that he needed to talk to me. The sun was setting and it was a beautiful May evening. I was a little apprehensive because usually when someone says they need to talk to you it’s something quite serious; I had noooo idea what was about to go down. He said some very sweet words, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was just STUNNED, i didn’t see it coming at all. Of course I said YES!
What did you envision your wedding being prior to planning?
Exactly what it was down to every single detail. It was a perfect day – it was everything I had imagined it being since I was a little girl.
The biggest thing for me was that we wanted every single person there to enjoy their day, dance, sing, drink good drink & eat good food. Bellies were full and everyone was happy, ourselves especially. The next day we couldn’t wipe the smiles off our face from just how perfect it all was.
What was your colour palette and your style vision?
Our venue was so stunning; it spoke for itself. With this in mind, we wanted everything to be very simple, with a lot of elements of the day to be nature based. Our colour palette ended up reflecting this, with the main colours being pale pinks, ivory, white, and a ton of greenery. In my preliminary wedding notes I have written down “at least a million candles”; i wanted the reception hall to glow. Something about the glow of candles is magical. That exactly what it was; magical.
What unique elements or DIY details did you include?
Our polaroid guestbook and polaroid favours were so incredibly special. Memories are very important to me, so to have these candid shots to look back on forever was a priceless element to our day.
I DIY-ed the guys boutonnieres with feathers, twine and tiny metal plaques with the guys first initials on them. They ended up looking so incredibly cool and suited our theme perfectly.
What was your favourite moment?
Our daughter stole the videographers go-pro during the ceremony. We were worried about how she would behave – she’s only 2 1/2 – but she ended up making the whole crowd crack up, and got 16 minutes of footage from the perspective of a two year old. It was perfect.
Tell us about your flowers, your gown, your favours, your cake, etc.
A family friend offered to do all of our flowers, as well as the greenery runners on the tables. I showed her a few pictures, and what she ended up showing up with that day had me in tears. Flowers and greenery were a huge part of my vision; she knocked it out of the park.
My gown was a stunning, corset back, strapless, ivory fit and flare from Once Upon a Time weddings in Strathroy. I originally was looking for something fitted, with a low or unique back with straps. I fell in love with my dress and never turned back.
For our favours we wanted something that people would be proud to take home. We had little stands, some corks & some little wooden stands, that the guests place cards were sitting in. They ended up doubling as place card holders too which was really neat. Two birds, one stone! The idea was for the guests to take a candid polaroid photo to take home and display in the stand. There weren’t too many left behind; I think it was a really successful favour!
Our cake was a representation of our wedding theme – simple but beautiful. A family friend made a stunning and sweet, 2-tiered off-white cake. She even made a little edible birch piece to stick on the front of it, with our initials “carved” into it, C+C <3 We also had cupcakes.
Describe your wedding day in your own words:
The days leading up to the day, we were so hopeful that it wouldn’t rain. Our venue primarily was set up to be an outdoor event, so we were so fortunate the rain stayed away and it actually ended up being a beautiful day for a wedding. The morning flew by in a flury of mimosas and getting ready. Before I knew it I was getting into my wedding dress! All of my girls helped to keep my nerves at bay with lots of laughs. The guys were at their cabin, doing the same. Some of the guys ended up going swimming in the pond that morning. It was pretty casual!
They say the day flies by and to enjoy every moment, and they are RIGHT. I’m so glad we have so many photos of the day, because it’s very, very hard to slow down. Before I knew it I was in my father in laws old mint green chevy, where he delivered my dad and I to take my final walk as a single lady. I remember bawling my eyes out and squeezing my Dad’s hand, saying “sorry, but i need to squeeze you or im going to have a full blown breakdown” “im not crying because im nervous, i am just SO EXCITED to marry him!” I had been planning every single detail of this day for so long, it was so exciting for me that it was finally happening. The backdrop was a stunning blanket of flowers, on a huge, majestic oak tree. Music was a huge part of our day and we had carefully picked some really special songs to us. I think music sets the stage for the emotions you want everyone to feel. I was hearing the songs I had listened to a million times prior to this day, as my beautiful wedding party made their way down the aisle. That was when it really hit me – THIS IS HAPPENING! My Dad helped me out of the chevy. Chad had his back to me because he didn’t want to see me until I was out of the car. When he turned around it was explosive; I was marrying the man of my dreams! and him the girl of his dreams. We were both smiling like fools in love, and kept on that way for the whole entire ceremony. Our officiant did a beautiful job of telling our story, but Spencer, our daughter, stole the show when she stole the videographers go-pro. We’re still laughing about this today. She was a little rockstar that day.
Surrounded by family and friends, we walked out of the forest as man and wife. We then went on to take photos with family , and then our wedding party. The photos with the wedding party were hilarious, we ended up laughing the entire time and almost all of those photos are candid, which i LOVE. none are stuffy or too formal. Exactly like I envisioned.
Then we were off in Chads AMC ambassador, (his other wife ;)) to get some shots of us. We got some incredible photos, some smoky and hot, other playful and romantic. It was in these quiet moments that we finally got to have a few minutes together and celebrate the fact that we were finally MARRIED!
Then we joined our wedding party as we were introduced by our amazing MC into the reception. Our wedding party made some memorable entrances! There may have been a backflip!
We proceeded to have an incredible dinner, catered by Landstra catering. Speeches were said and then the first dances began. The whole entire room melted away for our first dance, it was just us in that room. It was super special and intimate. My Dad and I shared a very emotional father daughter dance. Then Chad and his Mom grooved to Celine.
Finally it was time for the party to start! Everyone got moving and shaking, the drinks were flowing and there was nothing but fun had. A friend of ours caught the bouquet, and Chad’s best man caught the garter. The fun continued on right into the wee hours of the morning. This is surely a day no one will be forgetting anytime soon, and they lived happily ever after!
What is one piece of advice that you could give to brides-to-be?
The planning process can be stressful. Don’t forget that it’s about getting married, not just about the wedding.
Are you getting engaged soon? Have a look at some killer tips to rocking your engagement session!
Or some tips for an ultra smooth wedding day!