The Barefoot Bride ☮ OUR WEDDING
As much as I’ve been long awaiting being able to write out and share this blog post, I think there’s a part of me that was putting it off because I have no idea how I can begin to put into words the very best three days of my life that I have experienced thus far during my time here on earth. Maybe there truly aren’t many words that could even begin to truly express how I felt, no words, only feelings. There is one thing that I know for certain; this is going to be–hands down–the LONGEST post that you’ve ever seen on my blog. I won’t judge you if you need to read half of it, leave for a while, and read the rest the next day ;)
Thankfully through the Barefoot Bride series here on the blog, I’m thinking that many of you are familiar with the process leading up to our wedding weekend. If you have no idea what I’m talking about and haven’t checked out those posts yet, feel free to search Barefoot Bride in the search box on the lefthand side of the blog and that should bring up all of the “engagement + wedding prep” posts.
Let’s briefly start with Thursday. My parents + grandma were in Calgary and we were all doing little tasks in preparation for the weekend; buying food (since we “catered” the weekend ourselves), picking up kegs + wine, etc, etc. Thursday night I was surprised by a girls trip down to one of our favourite florists in the city, where all of the ladies in my family partook in a terrarium DIY project, while I got to make a crown/headpiece to wear on the day of our wedding.
I was even surprised + joined by an out of town friend (who I wasn’t expecting to see until the weekend), as well as a cousin/soulsister from Ontario. We spent the rest of the night laughing, drinking wine, having cake, and opening gifts from that incredibly special group of people. We slept in our Westy that night, parked in front of my sister + brother-in-laws house haha.
Friday morning was spent putting together and packing up the finishing touches that were needed for the wedding. Mark and I had to head to the airport to pick up Kenzie, so our incredible siblings + siblings-in-law took care of some more last minute to-dos like pick up the BBQ we had rented, as well as pick up my bouquet fromRhosyn. We drove little Ellie Blue to the airport, grabbed Kenzie, and started the journey out towards Golden; we were heading out there a little early, and were eagerly anticipating the arrival of all of our family + friends later that evening. We weren’t an hour out of Golden when the rain started. It started slow, and gradually turned into a heavy pour. We made the quickest pit stop at the IGA in Golden to pick up nail polish remover (I was bound to forget something right!), and then we made the quick drive up to Goldenwood Lodge.
The rain only picked up, and by the time we made our way up the mountain road, Ellie was completely covered in mud. It wasn’t long before I started feeling a little discouraged, the forecast was calling for endless rain for the next three days, and we had planned for the entire weekend to take place outside. Slowly but surely, all of our 34 guests began to roll up, and it wasn’t long until all of the most important people in our lives were there, together, for the first time ever. This is where the indescribability begins. That feeling. That unbelievable euphoric feeling of looking out at all of these people, whom Mark and I love more than anything on this planet, there together. Laughing, helping, hugging, it was unlike anything I have ever been a part of. Friday was spent putting up the few decorations that we had, cooking pizza in the fire-burning outdoor oven, playing games, and just being fully present with everyone. Oh! Did I mention that the rain stopped and the clouds parted for us that evening?? Once almost everyone had arrived, the rain slowed until it stopped completely and we were able to be outdoors together, just as we had originally planned. We ended the night crammed into a teepee, fire ablaze, singing together. Oh, my heart
I awoke the next morning in a cabin with my parents, and was afraid to open the curtains because I knew what I would find on the other side of the window pain. I could tell by the gloomy colours + darkness in my bedroom that the rain had returned once we had all gone to bed the night before. It was pouring rain once again, with no sign of letting up. Of course I checked the forecast, only to find the prediction of solid rain for the next 48 hours. Regardless of the weather, we continued to have one of the most incredible mornings/afternoons of my life thus far.
My siblings + their wonderful counterparts, along with my cousin, Chels, Teresa, Kenzie, my grandma + parents all filled the cabin and we did what we do best, hang out with each other + eat + laugh. Our wedding ceremony wasn’t until 3:30 that afternoon, so we had plenty of time to just be there together that morning. The amount of good that group of people did for my soul that morning is unparalleled. They are the basis as to why that was such an incredible weekend for me, and a massive reason as to why that morning was so easy for me; no stress, no to-dos, no worries. They were the very best versions of themselves that day, and I am so thankful for that. Damn, I love my family so much. P.S I just need to mention that as one of my pre-wedding gifts, Mark MADE me a robe. A white robe with floral trim. He made it while I was away in Rhode Island the weekend prior to our wedding. It wasn’t a robe just to have a robe either. The note that went along with it was filled with purpose and sentimentality from my childhood, and my mega obsession with sewing + clothing as a kid.
Earlier that morning, the boys headed out into the rain to our ceremony location. We wanted to assemble a teepee covered in mismatched fabric as the backdrop to our ceremony, so they went down to the floodplain together to put it all together. As the rain continued to soak the earth, Mark made his was back up the hill to his own cabin to get himself ready.
As the clock rolled around to 3:00pm, the sun slowly started to work it’s way through the cloud coverage. It was absolutely magical. A day that was a 100% forecast of cold and rain was changing it’s course just when we needed it to. By the time we were all ready to make the trek down towards the floodplain, the rain has completely seized, and we were left only with squishy ground and the most intoxicating smell of fallen rain.
Luckily for Mark and I, we have two insanely talented musician BFF's who played music for us during our ceremony. Nothing can replace their voices + guitars in that exact moment, but I'll leave the song that they played + sang for us while I walked through the forest with my dad. Feel free to let the song roll on while you scroll through the images. Excuse me while I cry for the rest of the day. p.s after our marriage ceremony was over, we all ventured over to the river where we had a rock ceremony; Mark and I planned this out for super sentimental reasons. Feel free to ask me about it the next time you see me if you want to know what it's all about!
All I remember thinking throughout our entire wedding day was: I've never before felt this level of happiness. It was unbelievably surreal; unlike anything that I've ever been a part of previously. I've had an incredible life up until now, and yet that day was happier than any moment leading up to it. It was also so strange looking at it from a photographer's perspective, and truly getting it just knowing the way that my brides feel during their wedding day.
It's so indescribable; I think if you've been there, then you'll know the feeling that I'm referring to. Throughout the evening (and especially during our dinner, since we were sat at the end of the table), I kept having to pause just so that I could look out and truly see everyone that was sitting at this table with us. Their smiles. Their laughter. Their recognizable laughter. I said it during our speech, and I'll say it again, here: it was honestly like looking out upon their faces and seeing 34 pieces that made up the entirety of our hearts. I've never felt so surrounded by positivity, honest love + encouragement. The thought of it still brings me to tears.
For weeks after our wedding I couldn't even watch the wedding video that Kenzie had made for us. We would sit down to watch it, and I'd begin to cry uncontrollably. Mark would look at me funny and ask why I was crying, and I'd try and speak between sobs telling him that I was crying because the day was over, and I would never be able to live that same day over again hahah. I was a bit of a wreck, but honestly, it was just the best. And juuuust in case this post still wasn't long enough for you, here's our mini wedding video that Kenzie made for us :)