Our wedding story started with our engagement — as most do! This one, however, included a song Jeff wrote and recorded with his band called “Don’t Roll Over My Heart” (I’m in a wheelchair, get it?!) set to a beautifully hand-drawn music video. How could a lady say no to that?
Unbeknownst to Jeff at the time, this poetic and artistic gesture of love opened the door for the casual, fun, bright and visually appealing wedding we were aiming for. Jeff and I own a graphic and web design company, Paper Leaf Design, and were able to take on all the design aspects ourselves — everything from the lemonade sign, to the bottled table numbers and the seating chart. The bright, bold, graphic look of all the print and stationary shaped the style of the wedding, and everything followed suit from there.
We had our ceremony in the park and were married by a pastor who was a family friend, a nice balance for Jeff, who isn’t particularly religious, and me, who is. We wanted a short and sweet ceremony, so we took it into our own hands and wrote the vows. We had some “awww” moments, some laughs and two “I dos.” Altogether, the ceremony took 12 minutes and was perfect, with touches like the tacky “Just Married” sign, the lemonade stand with my mom’s delicious lemon bars, and the surprise t-shirts our ushers made, adorned with our faces and an arrow to direct guests.
My wedding dress and all the bridesmaids dresses were custom-made by local designer Kelsey McIntyre. Being in a wheelchair, I didn’t think trying on wedding dresses would be easy, if doable at all. I also thought I’d run over a normal length dress, so a tea-length dress it was! I wanted something simple yet elegant, accessorized with a sparkly brooch and hair piece from Twigs & Honey.
We wanted our wedding party to be in something they’d wear again. My bridesmaids designed their own dresses; other than being the same material, length and having a splash of green, everything else was entirely up to them. We kept the groomsmen’s outfits fairly casual, opting for simple black dress pants and shirt, with a green tie that matched the bridesmaids’ accents. Including their checkered Vans shoes, it was much less expensive than renting a suit, and much more our style!
Our entrance song to the reception was “Don’t Roll Over My Heart,” the song Jeff wrote for the stickman engagement video. By that time, our guests had seen the video and could sing along. The reception was held at the Shaw Conference Centre in a room with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the river valley. The room also had a huge patio we lined with paper bag lanterns. We had large blank slates for walls, which gave us the opportunity to get creative; we covered them in decals customized with our apple green color. The decals were somewhat difficult to apply, but completely worth it for the impact they created.
The table centerpieces were, of course, Granny Smith apples in tall vases, small vases of hydrangeas and bottles of water with the table number on the label. The apple green proved more difficult to find than I had thought, so one of my wonderful bridesmaids sewed 120 napkins, four table runners, and pillows for the lounge — all in the name of matching!
We created a photo booth with our friend and photographer Leah, which made it more special since she has known us for years. The photo booth was one of my favorite parts; because of it, we forever have great photos of all our friends and family, as well as plenty of blackmail photos! We bought stick-on mustaches intended for the photo booth, but many guests ended up wearing them all night. For dessert, we had chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese icing or vanilla with buttercream, all under the supreme, jumbo cupcake atop the tower. The night continued with lots of dancing to our friend Joff, iDJ-ing with a fancy iPod mixer we purchased specifically for the evening.
The day wouldn’t have been half as amazing without our friends and family rallying behind us. It was exactly what we envisioned: intimate, special and, most importantly, fun.