One of the very first mountain brides I found in the blogosphere was Tiffany, of Bride On Purpose. She's a smart lady who was working on her PhD while planning her nuptials, and the two of us had loads in common...you know...besides being totally enraptured with the majestic beauty of the mountains. Here is a glimpse into her wedding. Thank you for sharing Tiffany!
Wow, I can’t believe the time is here... A Mountain Bride becomes a wife!! Between you and me, this doesn’t just mean that I FINALLY will get to see her wedding photos, which will no doubt be AMAZING, but it also signifies the end of my wedding blog addiction. Yep, my subscriptions will all be cancelled once I get through with her recaps. You see, Jes is one of those girls that touched me in this whole process... and so I have been holding on to my google-reader to follow her journey. But let’s face it ladies, it’s time for me to quit reading about weddings! But for now, I am just so happy for her that her day has arrived, and (WOW) that she has asked me to write for her readers... I really am honoured to be here!
When Jes asked me to do a guest post, I have to admit... I got nervous! How could I put into words (in one post!) the whole process of planning/wondering/imagining/executing/experiencing/breathing/living/celebrating a wedding?!?! Well, I can’t do it all, but I can try to share with you the magic of the day. Cause let’s face it, the planning was a task. No doubt it was a task that was scrutinized, sweat over, cried over, doubted, enjoyed, loved, hated, and ultimately... passed by in the blink of an eye. But, yes, it really was a task. I was in the middle of finishing my PhD (I literally defended my thesis 10 days before I said “I do”!), so I had to be focused, organized, and CUT-THROAT about what made it onto the task-list in the first place, but more importantly, what was successfully completed off that list! I can tell you this though (and I am sure our beloved MountainBride will agree), planning a wedding could be a full-time job, but when life is your full-time (or double-time) job, planning a wedding can also be manageable if you manage your expectations, execute tasks and make decisions with conviction, and STAY TRUE TO YOUR VISION!!
Vision I say... well, for us, our vision was maintained by identifying the SOUL of our event. We wanted our wedding weekend to be family-focused. We wanted it to be a laid-back, intimate, rugged, house-party-esque celebration in the mountains that reflected our love for eachother (obviously!) and our LOVE for our family! So this was undeniably how we imagined the soul of our wedding. Once we identified that, the planning process became much more stream-lined... when decisions were to be made, it all came back to one questions: what choice is best in line with the soul of our celebration? When we put it in that perspective, things became pretty easy. For example... did we spend our time on creating a family-photo wall to capture memories, or did we sweat over favours for our guests??
What do you think??
We always ‘knew’ we didn’t want to rent limos, but in the process, the question came up... kinda like this:
Hubs: “do you think we should rent some kind of vehicle to drive us around for photos?”
Me and Hubs at the same time: “hahahaha... that was hilarious!”
I mean afterall, would driving around in a rented limo make our bridal party feel any better/more important? Uh, no! Is it in line with a family-first celebration? Uh, no! I mean afterall, would a limo give us classic photos like this:
Ya, I don’t think they missed the limo!
All of the bigger decisions were similarly driven by the soul of the wedding. We rented an AMAZING house in the mountains so that we could hang out the entire weekend with our bridal party, immediate families, and closest friends. There were 30+ people staying at the Lodge, and this single decision created the foundation for our family focused part-ay! But listen up people, if you rent a HOUSE to host a party at, there are NO ‘hotel staff’ or ‘event coordinators’ to take care of business. This meant that our family and friends (who we invited to stay at the house... and unabashedly recruited for work-bees) literally created our wedding WITH us...
Did I mention that ALL flowers other than the 4 bouquets) were GROWN by mom and step-mom!?!? Talk about wedding elves!!
We could have paid top dollar for perfect Italian wine and decadent desserts, but instead, we accepted a very generous wedding gift from my grandparents in the form of their world-class homemade vino (red, white, and dessert wine that literally knocked the socks off our guests for how good it was!!), and amazing handcrafted desserts from our moms, grandmas, and aunts that created a feeding frenzy after dinner!
The list of ways our families and friends contributed to the heart of our wedding weekend goes on and on and on. But the bottom line is this: without them, we could NEVER have pulled off our wedding in the mountains. Without them, the soul of our wedding and our vision of the weekend would not have been as pure. Without them, the laughs would never have been as deep-down-in-the-belly, the stories as animated, the emotions as heightened, the impact as deep, the memories as meaningful, the scenery as beautiful, the perspective as clear, the EXPERIENCE as AMAZING! Our families believed in what we were doing, both in committing to eachother, and in creating a family-focused event, and so they rallied behind us every step of the way. They were there when we needed them most, from our engagement through the planning, and right until we said good bye. With them we shared some of the most magical moments...
So while nothing ever goes EXACTLY the way you plan it, I can honestly say that the most important goal that we set for ourselves was achieved... we created a FUN, intimate, TRUE, family centered wedding weekend. Our guests had soooo much fun. They laughed constantly, sang, danced, joked, ate, and partied all night long (well, let’s be serious, until the morning... like until we came back the next day for the brunch!!). Our family made it happen, and we will never forget the memories of sharing the entire weekend with the people we loved the most.
In signing off, I just want to say “GO GIRL” to the next bride in the mountains. I hope it meets your wildest expectations! Thanks for having me, and I can’t wait to see you on the flip side!
Another huge note: all professional photos courtesy of the crazy-talented [6:8] Photography