On August 9th of 2018, I said yes to being my best friend’s partner for the rest of our lives.
While I regularly share every detail of my life online, there was something about this moment that I wanted to process privately at first.
Yet, nine months have gone by, and I’m ready (and excited) to invite you into the magic that was our wedding.
I have shared a few pieces about our wedding, but I wanted to come back to something… I didn’t dream of a big wedding throughout my teenage years. I didn’t have a Pinterest board mapping out every detail. I didn’t really put much thought of it, even throughout the entire planning session. While I love Riley, I didn’t have any expectations for the day.
When I say our day was magical, I don’t mean perfect (although the details were beautiful). There were significant hiccups that drastically shifted the entire day. While we lucked out with the weather, the heat left us all melting.
Instead, the magic came in from the moments. No, not the Instagrammable moments, the real ones, unable to be truly captured in the visual form. And, I think that’s why it took me a moment to process and why I didn’t share it immediately. I wanted it to be for my family and me, first. And I think that speaks to the real magic of the whole thing.
So, here it is:
We made the decision to rent a beautiful AirBnb in Canmore. We made this decision so the getting ready experience would be comfortable. It also offered a location for us to gather the night before and the night of (after dinner) the wedding.
With our beautiful choice in AirBnB, it transformed the typical getting ready photos to a memory we can all truly cherish.
While the day of our wedding was strictly for our family (which you can read about here), my makeup artist turned close friend, Elizabeth of Blushed Beaute, was there to celebrate the day with us, too.
Choosing Elizabeth as our makeup artist was one of the easiest decisions I made. A wedding comes along with a lot of choices. With all of the planning, I didn’t have hours to spend trying to find the perfect makeup look. While Elizabeth and I have been working together for years, her dedication to her clients was why it was such a no brainer to bring her along for our day. While you can come to her with whatever look you’re going for, she always knows what works best for you and the vibe of your wedding.
Aside from her knockout makeup skills, Elizabeth is a joy to be around – which is essential when you’re makeup artist spends so much time beautifying the wedding party.
You can learn more about her incredible services by clicking here.
Our ceremony ended up being in the evening. For that reason, we had a leisurely time getting ready. We popped champagne (sparkling apple juice for me) and bonded as a group. With our wedding being focused on family, it was a beautiful time for my sisters and mum to get to know my sister-in-love and mother-in-love better.
While we got ready, the boys did 9 rounds of golf (Riley’s family is a golf family). We really wanted to have a chill day, so I’m so glad that my husband got to spend a portion of the day doing what he loved.
Although my dad had gone golfing, we made sure to include him in the getting ready portion. When my sister got married, he made it really clear that he had wanted to see my sister before the first look. Although this isn’t traditionally what happens, screw traditions that go against the values you hold dear.
I wanted my dad to be there for as many moments as he could.
The First Look
With the wedding ceremony being later, and some terror happening while getting ready (there was a mix up with one of our vendors) when the first look rolled around… I genuinely missed Riley.
We met nearby the location we got engaged at only 11 months both.
While Riley and I are not the emotional types, emotions were heightened, those of my mother. I have to say… The photo of her hugging me, with allll of the emotion on her face, is one of my favorites.
Our Private Couple Time
As I mentioned, there was a mix up which significantly impacted our timeline. What suffered? Our private time to take photos as a couple.
I have to say… I’m still crushed. It doesn’t really seem like Sophie Gray fashion to write a blog post that’s all rainbows and butterflies when that clearly wasn’t the case.
When I look back on my day, I have the most wonderful memories. When I look at the photos that are only Riley and I… I’m very upset. We didn’t have the opportunity to explore the mountains as we had intended. I had hoped to get beautiful mountain photos with lush and rugged backdrops. It just didn’t happen.
Luckily, my dress, (and the other details) really tied everything together.
When I started dress shopping, I knew exactly what I wanted.
Flowy yet tight at the top. Not quite white. Tulle. Light and easy to move in.
Truvelle checks all of those boxes, and then some.
During the process, my dress was one of the firsts I tried on. I didn’t need to try on any others. I just knew. To be honest, I would have been over the moon with any of their dresses.
Each time I had a fitting or got alterations, I loved the dress more and more. It felt so nice not to doubt my decision.
Another thing I love about Truvelle is that they make all of their dresses handmade in Canada. No wonder they’re essentially the dress of millennials. They hit all of the boxes. I now know 5 people who have worn a Truvelle dress.
To top it all off, the experience I had at Delica in Edmonton (who’s the only boutique who carries Truvelle) was just wonderful.
The Moment We Said Yes
I have to be honest, I’m not a flower person. I left it up to my mum to help me with choosing our flowers. She sent me 25+ images from Pinterest. From there, I picked a few of my favorites. I didn’t even know their names. I sent them to Amborella and… They blew me away. Like, how gorgeous are they?!
I made a choice to have both of my parents walk me down the aisle, and it was a beautiful moment. My parents have played such an essential role in my life, and it meant so much to have both of them take part in that special aspect of the day.
When looking for locations in Canmore, we dedicated an entire trip to finding the perfect venue. Knowing we were having a mid-week wedding without a reception or a large number of guests, I was a bit nervous.
When we drove up to Silvetip (it’s close to Downtown Canmore but tucked away in its own magical fairytale land), we couldn’t believe the stunning views.
Unfortunately, with the forest fires, we missed out of the views (which is the least of the concerns #globalwarmingisreal #dosomethingaboutitgovernment) … But it somehow worked. There was a beautiful hue cast over the whole spot.
(If you want to see how stunning this view looks typically, click here)
The location really encompassed the privacy of our special day and made us all standing look exactly as we had imagined.
Our vows were… emotionally.
E. M. O. T. I. O. N. A. L. L. Y.
I don’t understand how people share these intimate moments with people who aren’t their family. I cried the entire time. My sisters were hyperventilating. It was beautiful, and I’m so glad we shared that only with our family.
For some reason, I put a lot of attention to finding our officiant. It was a private day, and I wanted the person making it official to fit with our theme.
We stumbled across Barbara from Threshold Ceremonies, and I have to say… She made the whole day.
We met with her for AN HOUR before even committing to one another. She specialized in making completely custom ceremonies and wanted to take the time to get to know us. Through this process, she also sent us questions to reflect on about our marriage and our vision for the day. While these questions helped her put together the perfect ceremony, it was a perfect exercise for Riley and me to go through.
Barbara’s completely custom ceremony was poetic. It perfectly captured our relationship and solidified our love. Luckily, she sent us a copy of the ceremony for us to reflect back on for the years to come.
After The I Do’s
The moments after we said I do were the best of the whole day. I associate two songs with these moments… Our wedding song, Bright. And my niece’s favorite song… Bella by Wolfine (yup, a Spanish song). Whenever these songs come on now, I’m instantly transported back to these moments.
I’m reminded of exactly what I wanted to be reminded of… Family. My new family with Riley, but the merging of both of our family’s.
The day ended with a family dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Trough. We ate, celebrate and truly became one big family.
And, that’s the magic I mentioned at the beginning of this article.
You can check out our makeup artist, Elizabeth, here.
Click here to check out where we got our stunning flowers from.
You can see my beloved dress designer here. And the boutique I got it at here.
You can see our breathtaking venue here.
Learn more about our incredible officiant here.
You can also check out our bridesmaid dresses here.