If you’re anything like me, keeping your wedding day super personal and true to who you are is probably really important to you…and let me tell you — with Pinterest and online blogs at our fingertips — keeping things genuine while still being on-trend can be REALLY hard!!
From experience, I know that it’s easy to fall in to the pretty trends and want to recreate exactly what you see online…but I promise you, the things you’ll cherish the most are the moments you create and the details that scream ‘this is US’!!
These 5 events from our wedding day were my favourite because they kept everything super personal, and brought us right back to the reason we were there: to celebrate our marriage.
1. THE CONFETTI TOSS.
If the thought of being showered in confetti doesn’t make you feel like an instant rockstar, let me tell you a couple reasons why I absolutely LOVED this moment!! First and foremost, it was so much fun. We had just been declared husband and wife (…if we’re keeping it real, a somewhat nerve-wracking ordeal) and the confetti toss was the perfect way to let loose start celebrating!! It was so relaxed, so upbeat with music, and so perfectly ‘us’. As I held Shaun’s hand and ran through the arms of literally my favourite people, I heard cheers, I heard laughter, I heard our best friends calling our names. The formal wedding stuff was all out of the way, and now the party had begun! Plus, another pro? We now had everyone gathered in one place, and could grab a quick group photo! Two birds, one stone; if yah hear me!
2. THE DADDY/DAUGHTER FIRST LOOK.
If you have a sweet spot in your heart for your dad, then I highly recommend having a ‘first look’ with him immediately after bride prep! For many dads, this is the first time they’re fully realizing that their daughter is about to get married, and it almost always gets the tears flowing; and I’m speaking from experience here…
…When I saw my dad on the morning of our wedding I cried balled my eyes out at the sight of him. It was clear that this moment meant just as much to my dad as it did to me, and – as I rarely see him express those kinds of emotions – it made everything THAT much more emotional. Right after this moment together, I walked straight in to my first look with Shaun, which also wrapped in some sweet symbolism of handing his daughter off to be married. I loved it, and I encourage all “daddy’s girls” to consider including this moment in their day!
3. WRITING OUR OWN VOWS.
When I was younger, I remember thinking that I would NEVER write my own vows. Public speaking is hard enough as it is, but spilling your heart out in front of +100 people?…There was no way that would happen…right?
Well, after really thinking it through, I realized that I had SO many reasons why I wanted to marry Shaun, and that the order of events laid out by our officiant didn’t convey any of them. I wanted to tell Shaun why I wanted to marry him, and exactly what it was that I was promising him. Now, this isn’t to knock anyone who doesn’t want to write their own vows (I still LOVE the repeat-after-me bit of the service!!), but – honestly – the part I cherish most from our Ceremony are the sweet words we exchanged, which were both personal and unique to us.
4. SERVING OUR FAVOURITE FOOD FOR DINNER.
Not all venues will let you bring in an outside caterer, but if you have this flexibility, I urge you to use it in a way that brings personality and fun to your day!! As we got married on a family property, we had the freedom to choose any food vendor we liked; so we asked ourselves straight up “what is our favourite food”?…
Well our answer was veggie burgers!…but burgers, at a wedding?…could it even be done?…We were determined to make a ‘gourmet’ burger bar, which was not only delicious, but which could also accommodate all the dietary needs of everyone at our wedding (with vegetarian, nut free and gluten free options)! What came from it was a custom buffet bar with 4 different burger patties, and toppings like sliced avocado, grilled pineapple salsa, ‘big mac sauce’, caramelized onions, 4 different cheeses, and over 20 more toppings to choose from! But it was also important to me that everything be displayed in a super cute and consistent way; afterall, this was a wedding not a family BBQ!! The final result was exactly what we dreamed of, with rows of toppings in identical bowls, and custom signage throughout to tie it back in to the decor.
I tell you all this, not to make you crave burgers for dinner tonight, but to remind you that if you have the freedom to choose a really unique vendor to cater your wedding, jump on it!! And the cost? Came to about $35/person; you can high-five me anytime ;)
5. THE FIRST LOOK.
For those of you who don’t know, a ‘first look’ is a private moment between the bride and groom that happens before the Ceremony. It’s still rather non-traditional, but there’s a reason why 90% of my couples are now opting to see each other for the first time before the Ceremony…Let me explain.
I touched briefly on this one in point 2) so it shouldn’t be a surprise that my ‘first look’ with Shaun was the ultimate highlight of our wedding day. On the morning of our wedding, I wasn’t nervous like they said I would be…I felt numb…Numb, because I couldn’t believe the day was actually here!! We had been planning this day for over a year – and dreaming of it for even longer! – and it was surreal to think this was actually happening!…but as soon as I saw Shaun waiting for me at our first look, that all fell away. As I walked closer, and called for him to turn around, that strange feeling I’d been having all morning was lifted. Suddenly, it was all about HIM and ME again. Not about the day. Not about the expectations. Not about the wedding. It was about our MARRIAGE, and I knew that the one person who could understand those feelings, was Shaun. The nerves fell away, and the pressure was OFF. We hugged, we talked, and we were free to be ourselves (which you can’t do at the altar!). And you know what else? By the time our Ceremony rolled around, I was excited to see him all over again, except now – with the nerves gone – we were free to enjoy this ‘traditional’ aisle entrance with WAY less pressure…and – yes – we both still cried like babies.
I hope that as you read through those points you took away the underlying message that your marriage is more important than your wedding. I honestly believe that keeping things super personal and staying true to who you are is key to throwing a killer wedding day celebration, and I hope you’re right there with me!!
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