When we were planning our weddings, I firmly believed that if we chose a beautiful venue or location, we didn't have to worry about decorations. This stunning wedding in the Canadian Rockies has reaffirmed that belief! Though Erin and Dave incorporated beautifully pulled together details for their wedding–the autumnal bouquet and coordinating orange tie, the vintage skis, and images of their parents' weddings–they could have just shown up to this location in in a dress and a suit and it would have been a gorgous wedding. Shot by the hugely talented Julie Williams, this small backyard wedding with big, spectacular views makes me want to go on a second honeymoon to Alberta. And the best part is always the great hindsight advice from the bride. Erin shares with us her experiences with keeping her wedding intimate, and simple.
From the photographer:
The wedding took place on one of the nicest afternoons of the season in October in Erin and Dave's home of Canmore, AB. These two clearly love where they live, so we were certain to make use of many epic Rocky Mountain viewpoints for their photos. We also visited the Canmore Fire Hall, where Dave works, for a quick photo shoot.
Hindsight Advice from the Bride:
Briefly tell us a bit about your wedding, the planning process, what inspired you and/or any special elements you incorporated.
My husband and I live in the Canadian Rockies in the town of Canmore. We met in Canmore, got engaged nearby and wanted to have our wedding close to home in the place we love. We wanted a short engagement and thought a fall wedding would be lovely…not too hot…the leaves are changing colour and the days are still relatively long and warm. We were married in an outdoor ceremony in the mountains about five minutes from our home on October 1st, 2010.
We both wanted the wedding and the planning to be as low stress as possible. Also, we wanted a memorable day but didn’t want to go overboard with the expense of such a short-lived event.
I did a lot of the planning and research for ideas online. A number of details were purchased online rather than making multiple shopping trips to the city and a mall. You are likely to find want you want online since the selection is greater and the bonus is…it requires less effort. This might not be for everyone…if you’ve spent a lifetime dreaming of your big day and the planning that accompanies it…do it up!
Things I’m glad we did?
- An outdoor ceremony in the mountains was the best part of the day. I can’t imagine a more spectacular back drop for one of life’s great moments. Most of our guests traveled to our small town from big cities or the prairies and spending an hour in the mountains was the highlight for many.
- We had events the night before and the day after our wedding for out-of-town guests. Hosting them at our house and only inviting the out of towners made the events fairly low key. We hosted an open house wine & cheese in the early evening the day before the wedding (with set hours) and pre-made a bunch of food for dinner the day after the wedding. People traveled from all over the country to be at the wedding and we wanted to have more time to spend with them than just a quick hello at the reception. Also, I hadn’t met some of the people from my husband’s childhood and vice versa so it was nice to be introduced before the wedding. And, it made the celebration last longer than just one day.
- I’m glad we did our photos before the ceremony. We were relaxed and had time to spare. And my husband and I got to spend a few hours essentially alone together. This gave us time to regroup and enjoy a glass of champagne at home with close family after the ceremony and before the reception.
Three things you wish you had done?
- I wish I had asked my brother stand up for me as well. Siblings are forever…they were there in the beginning and they will be there until the end. No one cares more about you than your family and your wedding is one of life’s most important moments for them too.
- Danced with my dad. I thought a moment would present itself in the evening that we would dance, but the reception is such a whirlwind that if such things aren’t planned into the night, they might be missed.
- Physically gone shopping for a dress. I bought my dress online because I wanted to avoid the bridal shop experience and spending a lot of money for something only to be worn for one day seemed so wasteful. But now I wish I had seen what bridal shops have to offer. I liked my dress, I didn’t love my dress.
Things you wish you hadn't done?
- Had a big meal. It isn’t necessary to feed everyone and the actual meal is likely to be lost on your husband and you due to the fact that you are attending your own wedding. The reception and the meal is the biggest expense and in reality it’s a party for the guests because you don’t have time to soak it all in. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are a great alternative, a good way to spend less and will give you more time to mix and mingle.
- I wish I had done my own hair and make up so I looked more like me. Finding a hairdresser and a make-up artist definitely seems like the thing to do, but personally, I would have felt more natural without it.
Things you wish you hadn't worried about?
- The weather. Granted, we were gifted with a glorious fall day but we humans have no control over rain, snow, wind, locust, etc. If you’re outside, have a back-up plan and then…let it go.
- The idea of being the centre of attention stressed me out. Accept the idea of it being your Big Day and that everyone there loves you, then you will enjoy it rather than feeling uncomfortable with the attention. Plus, cliché as it is…it is your Big Day.
What is your very best hindsight advice?
- The smaller the wedding the better in our humble opinion. The ability to truly enjoy every moment of the day and slow down the clock hinges on, in large part, the number of people you invite. The ceremony is just about you and your husband. But the celebration after can either consist of an evening of five-minute conversations with 100 different people, or quality time with the people that care the most about you.
- Photos are one of the most important parts of the day and are therefore worth the money. They have the ability to transport you back to the day and the feeling. Find a photographer with a style you like and if possible, do an engagement session to get comfortable with the feeling of having a camera focused on you.
- Take time to pause, look around and truly be in the moment. It only happens once, and then it is forevermore, a brilliant memory.
Canmore Wedding Vendors
Wedding Photographer: Julie Williams Photography | Floral Designer: Element Florals | Musicians: Andrew Ibanez | Reception Venue: Canmore Golf and Curling Club | Cake Designer: Cake Creations | Officiant: Patricia Compton (iMarry)
Julie Williams Photography is a distinguished member of the Mountainside Guide, an exclusive vendor directory featuring the best and most reliable mountain wedding vendors in North America. Mountainside Guide members are screened and vetted for quality of work, reliability, and professionalism, both among their peers and on review web sites.
See Julie Williams Photography's portfolio HERE.