This Canadian Wedding Is Equal Parts Understated Elegance and Outrageous Fun
Don't let the sparkling lake and lush orchard setting fool you — Annie and John's wedding may look like a stunningly simple outdoor big day, but the details perfectly capture the quirky-fun nature of the Mr. and Mrs. After all, we're talking about a couple who for Valentine's Day dressed up in formalwear (fascinator and top hat included) and went on a progressive dinner to all the hot fast-food joints in town. John even included a photoshopped still from The Bachelor in his proposal. So, naturally, their wedding would include full-size cardboard cutouts of themselves in extravagant '80s weddingwear, a ginormous candy bar complete with their most embarrassing childhood photos blown up on sticks, and a postceremony, prereception pit stop at A&W.
Besides the fun factor, the wedding was really a family (and friends) affair. Not only did the ceremony take place at a family member's private residence in Kelowna, British Columbia, but Annie's mom, Cecelia, and aunt, Julie, did a lot of the planning, with Annie's dad coming in at crunch time with the week-of to-do lists. Loved ones all came together in every way they could to make the day what it was, and it was clear that Annie and John's supportive community was a focus for them in their day. In fact, I love what they used as their guiding "theme" (inspired by The Broke-Ass Bride's Wedding Guide by Dana LaRue):
- Treat our guests as community and not an audience.
- Let our wedding tell our story (past, present, future).
- Create an atmosphere — so people remember they had fun.
- Fun is free.
- We want lots of laughter.
- Short speeches — more social.
- "Go big or go home" — decide what we can do well (within our budget).
So how did they pull it off? To start, they kept the speeches to a minimum by including as much information as they could in their program. The personalized, 12-page, photo-filled program included the order of ceremony, who was in the wedding party, fun facts about the couple, a list of out-of-town guests, a long list of thank yous, and special thank-you letters to their parents. To keep their sanity on the day of, Annie and John had their own private dinner at A&W, which they called their "best decision ever." They had 20 minutes to themselves (which on most people's wedding day is unheard of), where they could fuel up before spending the entire time at the reception mingling and socializing with their guests instead of stuck at a table. They were able to stick to their budget by enlisting the help of friends and family and by focusing on their top priorities: the candy buffet and the photos. Their main "decor" were the printed fatheads, posters, signs, and cardboard cutouts at the reception, which could all be used as props in the photo booth. Double duty!