We’ve started asking couples to tell us about their wedding in their own words, because who knows it better than them? Thank you Kristyn for taking the time to write this out! 🙂

I loved that we had our wedding in Calgary and that the logistics of the day were manageable. I loved that all of my family could easily attend and that all our vendors were local.  I think the most important part of the planning and the wedding itself is to be true to yourself and your partner’s wishes. And that is what we focused on. We focused on the number one priority for both of us, and that was our family. We wanted all people to be able to attend, without hangups on cost & distance. However it is different for every couple! Maybe for someone else it is setting, or cuisine, or custom suites. To each their own.

We chose Hillhurst United because both Mike and I felt, for the first time ever, that they resonated with our ideals regarding love, marriage and religion. Both Mike and I aren’t particularly religious people, and it was of utmost priority for us to say our “I do’s” in a house of God whose priority was inclusivity. Our reverend, Danielle James, delivered, what I believe was the most moving nuptials. This woman is a waking TED-talk. She connected with us, and our guests.

The Calgary Winterclub was our first choice for reception venues primarily because of its size and the fact that they had just redone their banquet hall. I would have loved an outdoor reception but calgary’s weather in the summer hit and miss (mostly a miss). They did an excellent job at our wedding.

I was obsessed with my dress, but what bride isn’t? And the flowers at our venue made our indoor venue feel like an enchanted garden brought indoors. Blue Hydrangea Floral are professionals, and streamlining our day was definitely not their first rodeo.

My favourite part of the day was hanging out at my uncle’s riverfront backyard between the ceremony and reception. It is probably the most picturesque
place in the city. Plus spending the day with our bridal party and family, and taking pictures with both Abby and Dave, was surreal. I think I say this because when you get a chance to work with Abby and Dave, you can actually take a few moments to spend alone with your partner. They have a way of intuitively capturing moments that don’t encroach on the intimacy you feel in those first few hours as a new wife or husband. And the proof of that is in the beautiful and candid moments captured in their photography.

I also think the part that you miss out on the most when planning your big day is the big moments that you and your partner partake in together that happen in mere seconds before your eyes, and that is exactly why we chose Abby + Dave!  

We chose Abby + Dave because we had seen their work before. They had done our family’s members previous wedding. I also chose them because there are two of you! A wedding is an incredible day that has more moments in it than a lifetime, and I wanted one shutter open when the other one was closed. Two unique perspectives navigating a day that feels like a total whirlwind seemed like the best option. Plus I felt like they connected with us even through our initial email. They’re genuine excitement for us on our big day was a huge part of what made our day great, because you do spend a lot of time with the duo. You’d think they would grow tired of the same orchestration, but they both seemed to genuinely love their job, and connecting with friends, family and the wedding party. They always were looking for the next best shot, and enjoyed the atmosphere while doing one hell of a job.

Leading up to the wedding was exciting and a bit of a blur. You make so many quick decisions and then you spend endless amounts of time scrutinizing them. Pinterest is your best friend and also a mortal nemesis. Like seriously, limit yourself. You can never achieve a Pinterest wedding of your dreams unless you are getting married at one of those boutique vineyards or private estates-and for so many of us, that is not practical or feasible.

But now that it is all said and done, do I occasionally catch myself wishing had an Okanagan backdrop at a vineyard somewhere, yes… but I also slap myself out of my post wedding withdrawal (yes, this is a real Physiological ramification that occurs in most brides after their big day) and think because of Pinterest and Instagram, we have no metacognitive limit on a tangible reality. The vortex of wedding planning is deadly, and can take away from that amazing and finite time you and your fiancé have to bask in one another’s fiancéness. Take time to just spend an entire weekend not obsessing over minutia, or even, just an hour a day: because it truly does consume you. Seriously, I promise, no guests will notice if the table runners match the cummerbunds! (Hopefully you didn’t teleport to 1984, because clashing cummerbunds should not be a bone of contempt now a days).

Also, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, go to a new hairdresser the year before your wedding. In fact, don’t cut your hair at all. Having someone “accidentally” thin your hair out months before your big day,not only makes your husband think he is marrying the most superficial human on the earth, but you actually do become the most superficial human on the earth. “Hair grows” they say… “it’s not the end of the world” they say… but it feels like it. I swear. With 6 months before your wedding, your hair will never grow so slowly as it did when you decided that new trendy hair boutique knew what they were doing.

And honestly the day of, just chill out. I lost my “bridal bible” the night before. It literally had a minute by minute play by play of every single possible outcome, and I managed to misplace it. Mike even drove across the city around midnight the night before to retrieve it for his panicked bride to be, but to no avail (it was in my parents garage…). But on the morning of I woke up and decided that my panic was just going to spoil the day. It was likely fate. So I just relied on the fact that everyone else had a copy of their roles and responsibilities and I was just going to go with the flow. Best “mistake” of the day.

As for marriage and deciding to get married it was a pretty steadfast objective of our relationship from the get go. If your best intentions are your partners  and your partners is yours, love is simple and won’t elude you if both of you make room for one another, as a union and as individuals. Also you really do have to marry your best friend.

Just remember that the most important part of the day is what comes after, and that is your marriage.

Ceremony: Hillhurst United Church
Officiant: Reverend Danielle James
Reception: The Calgary Winter Club
Florist: Blue Hydrangea
Hair: Salon Fli
Makeup: Rachel from Mac Makeup
DJ: Pez Productions
Videographer: Strawberry Films Forever
Rentals + Decor: Great Events Rentals
Stationary: The Social Page

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