I just love modern brides who are fearless about mixing and matching sweet rustic details with classic elegant accessories. Mandy got her creative juices flowing and made most of her wedding details herself. Check out her gorgeous feather hair piece, the classic rustic décor, and the sweet baby's breath bouquets and feather boutonnières. Her rustic, vintage-chic vision was stunning for their lakeside ceremony, and forested reception venue!
Mandy & Kody
June 01, 2013
Enderby, British Columbia
Why a Mountain Wedding?
When Kody and I got engaged we were excited, anxious, stressed, and thrilled simultaneously. An engagement is a highly anticipated event and with it comes many emotions. I am a student and he an apprentice, meaning we didn't have a huge savings to fall back on. Even with some help from our parents we were looking at the most economical option possible. At one point we had decided to do a destination wedding in Mexico until one weekend last November we were at a church retreat at a camp in nearby Enderby. We'd both been there several times and absolutely love it. It is one of the most beautiful, serene, peaceful places on earth; not to mention the food there is absolutely amazing! I wasn't even aware they held weddings until I was discussing with a friend how much I loved it out there and she started looking into it for me. Evidently they had only done one before but were very willing to work with us. After a few emails we discovered that with the price they were offering us we could afford the “in-town” wedding plus a great honeymoon! The more and more we thought about it we realized that with all the hiking and walks-in-the-woods we did early in our relationship, it was the perfect place for us to spend one of the most important and special days of our lives.
Where did you find your inspiration?
Honestly, Pinterest. It is a great, visual way to get your ideas all in one place because the more and more you look and pin, the more your vision for your day migrates into something more of what you really want and is more realistic. I began with elegant ideals of pheasant feathers and beautiful flower arrangements but the more I pinned and searched, the more I realized I loved the simplicity and whimsy of a rustic theme. Thus my dream was more manifested in textures and textiles than in colours.
What were some personal details you incorporated?
My personal details were everywhere. With the help of my beautiful bridesmaids, we made just about every decoration from the burlap & lace covered mason jars for the ceremony to the arbor (personally cut from boughs we collected in the woods) to the hand painted signs we made out of old, dilapidated pallettes to our bouquets (flowers bought in growers bunches) to the tea light candle pillars and chalkboard table numbers. I even made the ring bearer box, chalkboard sign for the ceremony program, and my hair piece. In memory of my grandma, her handmade lace table cloth adorned the head table and her other various pieces around the reception hall.
Your favorite moment of the day.
I think there are a few moments every bride looks forward to–and I’m sure each is as unique as the bride–so I can’t nail it down to just one. The first was one I would not have any other way: our First Look. It was so amazing to see his reaction when it was just him and I (and our photographer).
The second was: our First kiss. Every girl dreams about a picturesque wedding with a stunning dress, a handsome man, and a heart-melting, toe-tingling first kiss. When Kody threw in the “dip”, I was beyond speechless! The third was: our First dance. He HATES dancing, let alone in public, so for him and I to dance solo before all our friends and family to our special song (while he serenaded me, I might add) really meant the world to me. The last special moment was as we left: seeing all the weepy eyes and huge grins while we climbed into the limo to take us to our overnight destination at a beautiful hotel. The day as a whole is something I will carry in my heart forever.
Three things you're glad you did.
- First Look photos: due to the camp being out of town and having many guests who stayed the weekend with us, we chose to do a First Look so there was a smooth transition from ceremony to reception. It also gave us some very intimate time before the ceremony that we could do our portraits and it be done right after we were finished hair, makeup, and everything. By the time the ceremony came around we were all comfortable, confident, and laughing.
- Bought my dress online: I understand for many it is taboo to do but for me it was a budget choice. However, I cannot imagine a more beautiful dress and, for the price I paid, I was able to truly have my “princess dress”. They made it to my measurements and converted it to a lace back which made it perfect.
- The bridal party: It didn’t take very long to decide who we wanted to stand up with us that day as we wanted to make sure those people were also ones committed to us throughout our marriage, not just the wedding. Each of my bridesmaids was a God-send and each helped in a different way leading up to and during the big day. The guys, too, were so willing to help with whatever we directed them with.
Anything you wish you hadn't done?
Not really. I planned it all from start to finish to include as much of us, who we are, and what we love with flairs of our personality thrown in for good measure.
What was the best piece of wedding advice you got?
My dad sat us down early on in our engagement right as we begun our planning and said to choose our “most important 3 things” and budget around them. Mine were 1. Dress 2. Photographer 3. Honeymoon. Kody was: Honeymoon ;). From there we could flex our budget around what was truly important to us. For some harder work in some areas, we were able to have exactly what we wanted in others without compromising our pocketbook. I wouldn’t have done it any other way.
What piece of wedding planing advice do you wish you followed?
I’m not sure, actually… I wish I had started my decorations earlier since there were several we were finishing the night before. Ideally all we would’ve had to finish that night were the bouquets so we could have an early night but there were several projects to finish up. Here, though, it is great to have someone to be there executing things for you so everything gets finished and taken care of.
Anything you wish you hadn't worried about?
Mother Nature. That morning it was misting as we left for the salon and I was beginning to panic. When we returned to get dressed, it still didn’t look hopeful. I had a plan B–as every diligent wedding planner should when doing an outdoor ceremony–but I really didn’t want to have to execute it. It was overcast for our photos which created perfect lighting and the sun broke through the clouds for the ceremony. As soon as we all got into the lodge for the reception, the clouds unloaded rain in bucketfuls through a dark and dreary sky. But as soon as dinner was finished, the sun came out again so we could get the wonderful beach photos we did as the sun went down. Weather can’t be controlled so you can’t stress about it. Just plan well and be ready to work with it. It’s amazing what you see afterwards.
Anything You wish you had known about sooner rather than later?
As much as I hate to say it: how the groom and his men were doing in their planning. Kody is amazing in so many ways and has so many strengths; however, organization is not one of them. His groomsmen are just as laid back and left many things to the last minute. That being said, everything got done and they all came through with flying colours so it may have been a lesson in trust for me ;).
How did you choose your vendors?
Our photographer, Ashley Durance Photgraphy, was one of the first we chose. She is incredibly talented, has a fantastic portfolio and is also a friend of my sisters who she went to high school with. I still checked her references and talked with Kody about it but we made sure to cover all our bases and were awestruck with the results. We ordered the suits and all the dresses online but ensured they were reputable websites that backed their products
What is your very best advice to other mountain brides?
Stay calm! There is so much to do but if you are diligent in your planning and have someone reliable to execute said plans on the big day, you can relax and enjoy the day in its fullness. Also, let your man help. He may not seem like he cares about much but he does care about you and how stressed you’ll get. Use him to lighten your load and let him bear yours–be a team. This continues on through all of marriage, too.
British Columbia Wedding Vendors
I got my dress from Weddingdressbee.com, the bridesmaids dresses were from JJshouse.com, and the guys went to boohoo.com. We even had a swatch book for the girl’s dresses. I ordered the ties on Etsy from Petite Peanut Boutique. She sent me a swatch so I could confirm colours and fabric and gave me a custom package since I ordered ties and pocket squares (for the dads). The cake pops were by my sister & her boss at Sweet Pop Cake Shoppe. The cake was by Sugar Sweet Cake Co. as I needed it to be gluten-free and they could deliver to our venue. Hair & makeup was by Reflections Salon & Spa. There are innumerable good things to say about them. They were professional, prepared, super helpful and accommodating. They even had a fruit platter and infused water for us! My basic rule was to find vendors who were organized, communicative, cheerful, and eager to help.
- Photographer: Ashley Durance Photography
- Reception Venue: Gardom Lake Bible Camp and Retreat Center
- Hair Stylist: Reflections salon
- Cake Designer: Sugar Sweet Cake Co