What do you do when it snows at your spring mountain wedding? Nothing, save maybe thank your lucky stars for the amazing pictures! This wedding in Canmore, Alberta, captured by Lisa LaCroix is the epitome of rustic elegance. Kerra's Hindsight Advice is also chock full of gems! See below.
From Lisa LaCroix: Don and Kerra’s wedding day started out quite dark and cloudy. We were lucky to have no rain, but the wonderful June snowstorm that Canmore delivered transformed this summer wedding into a winter wonderland. Kerra and her lovely bridesmaids took their time getting mountain fabulous, with hair and makeup provided by Rapunzels Salon & Spa. Despite the weather Kerra was radiant and super excited about getting married later that day. Kerra and Don’s ceremony & reception took place at the Canmore Nordic Centre. Nordic was a fitting word for this day. The blizzard like conditions chased the wedding indoors, but Don cheerfully laughed and commented that he “really wanted a winter wedding anyways”! A break in the snow shortly after the ceremony afforded us a peek at the gorgeous Rocky Mountains Canmore is famous for! Kerra was a great sport about all the mud, which helped us capture some wonderful outdoor shots with the mountains in the background. We then headed over to the Canmore Public Library for some improvised fun. The Library staff were incredible! Not only did they let us traipse all over their library, but they took a few pictures of their own as we were “the first bridal party they had ever had in their library”. Great fun
Why a Mountain Wedding?
I wanted a destination wedding. Don had agreed but he also wanted everyone from his very large family to attend. It seemed unreasonable to expect 250 people to buy plane tickets! After all the mountains are only 4 hours drive away. And I have been going to Canmore every summer since I was born. When we got there for the wedding I ended up driving the bridesmaids around to everything. It really helped that I knew my way around!
Where did you find your inspiration?
We are outdoorsy people, we love to camp, and I run outside all year round. We built the interior of our most recent house with natural elements (stone, live edge wood, iron) – we are just rustic people!
Your favorite moment of the day.
The 2nd half of our first dance. The DJ played ‘Black Betty’ and that part of the dance was the epitome of ‘us’. It was totally un-choreographed and the most fun we have ever had.
What are you glad you did?
- Let the bridesmaids pick their own dresses (it was only a problem with one of the 5 girls) – it took the pressure off of me having to pick one dress to look good on all of the (which is impossible) or picking a dress that was too pricy.
- I made a wedding itinerary for all the wedding guests and had them delivered to the immediate family, I then left a stack at the hotel desk for guests checking in because we had 90% of our guests stay in the hotel we were (Don arranged for a group rate) – it kept everyone in the loop for times, addresses, and the back up plan in case of uncooperative weather for our outdoor ceremony (which ended up happening).
- We are happy we chose the dj we did and opted to have a discreet mic on my husbands lapel. Not only could all the guests hear crystal clear – the dj recorded our vows and surprised us later at the end of our first dance by splicing them into the end of the song.
- Don’s father and stepmother ordered us a limo for the day of – it was a lifesaver. We had thought it frivolous and we were going to all drive separately, it kept us all together for pictures and was actually so fun!
Three things you wish you had done?
- Used the original wedding date we wanted (August 5th rather than June 9th) we decided to change the date to June 9th after finding out there was an indie music festival in town the weekend in August. We worried for our guests getting hotel rooms and how crowded town would be. It turns out we over-estimated how big of an event it would be and I think the weather would have been nicer in August. But who knows – it could have ended up raining on that day rather than the brief morning snow we got that ended up melting by the afternoon (it made for awesome pictures)
- We had real wood invitations, but I also had hoped to do the save-the-dates. Because the invitation suite was real wood, each piece was costly, so we decided not to do the save the dates. In the end we did only have a handful of people RSVP no so it didn’t have a huge bearing on the actual day.
- Planned something fun for the bridal party a couple nights before the wedding. We just played it by ear but it would have been nice to let off some steam and let go, we did anyways – but it was just spur-of-the-moment.
Three things you wish you hadn't done?
- Focused so much on DIY crafts that I threw pampering and beauty appointments to the wayside. Thank god for my sister in law who treated me to a pedicure or I would have walked down the aisle with troll feet!
- Gotten my make up professionally done. The hair I had done a trial the day before and knew what I was getting, the make up was not what I had envisioned and we were too short on time to fix it. It seemed ridiculously overpriced to boot.
- Been too busy to enjoy dinner and dessert. We maybe ate 2 bites of dinner and missed our sundae bar entirely!
Three things you wish you hadn't worried about?
- We had our dog as our ring bearer – some people thought we were crazy, but we absolutely loved it, he means the world to us and it made complete sense. I was so worried about something going wrong for his part in the ceremony – but he was perfect!
- The weather – there is nothing you can do about it but make a back up plan. We were watching weather reports months in advance right down to the hour.
- Making everyone happy – no matter what no matter how hard you try, someone will inevitably be unhappy about something. You only drive yourself crazy trying to think of every possible person, need, or what they will think about your choices.
How did you choose your vendors?
Don researched, made phone calls, and compared prices. We ended up going down to see sites in person and meet people. Our dj (DJ Patrick Smiley) was one of the best we’ve ever seen to this day! I picked our photographer – I looked online for a couple months and found someone who I felt had the same look I wanted – I also met a few photographers in person, I instantly liked and clicked with Lisa (Lisa LaCroix Photography) Our friend made our cake – it was beautiful, delicious, and meaningful that she had gone through all that work for us. (Alicia Pregitzer) Our midnight McDonald’s cheeseburger buffet was a HUGE hit and everyone still talks about it! Our friend, Ryan McPhee, did our wedding slideshow – it was personal, and totally awesome!
What is your very best hindsight advice?
- Expect the unexpected! There will be something – probably very minor – like extra charges (someone breaks a wine glass etc.) after the wedding is done.
- Get everything in writing and do what you feel comfortable with.
- At the end of the day you won’t regret doing something that means a lot to you – you will regret doing something that you are only doing to make someone else happy. Remember – they will get, or have already had their own wedding day – this is yours.