Whimsical Pastel Wedding in Calgary
Last year I received an email from Nicole who was looking for a wedding photographer in Calgary. She told me about how she was going to marry her high school sweetheart and that it would be a whimsical, pastel theme with many romantic touches. When we sat down for coffee, Nicole brought a list. I mean a real list of about 100 questions! We not only shared a mutual love of organizational lists, but the same first name – and coincidentally enough, the same wedding dress! After spilling my coffee all over myself and a few laughs, I knew we clicked and that I had to be a part of this couple’s day!
How they met: Christian and I met on the first day of high school, in home room class. Apparently, one of our mutual friends, Stephanie, previously showed Christian a photo of me (riding a dinosaur at the Calgary Zoo) and he thought I was cute, but alas he had a girlfriend at the time. We became friends quickly and flirted in Phys Ed class. After ending some other grade 10 relationships we started officially dating on March 22, 2005 and have been together ever since! We were (and still are) absolutely inseparable – if I wasn’t hanging out at Christian’s house after school, he was hanging out at mine. And now we just hang out together all the time, but why wouldn’t you always want to hang out with your best friend?
The Proposal: It was on my 24th birthday, February 4th, 2014. Throughout the day I was working and Christian and I were texting back and forth about my birthday plans. He said he would give me a massage when I got home from work then we would head out to our favourite celebratory restaurant for birthdays and anniversaries – Vintage Chophouse. Backstory: Christian went to school for massage therapy which is why we have a massage table in a spare room at our house. So, once I got home from a hard day’s work, Christian already had the massage table set up and ready to go, and was in his professional massage attire. During my wonderful full body massage, Christian took the rings off that I normally wear (one promise ring he gave me a few years back, and another ring he bought for me in Montreal at a local market) and put them in his shirt pocket. After the massage, I started to get ready for dinner. I did my hair, makeup, put on a nice black dress and was ready to go. Christian said to me, “oh you forgot your rings!” I thought to my self “oh yeah” and asked him where they were. He told me they were in his pocket of his shirt which he then threw at the top of our walk in closet. I walked into the closet, grabbed his shirt and threw it on the bed, looking for my rings. When I picked up his shirt off the bed, underneath was my beautiful, sparkling engagement ring (which he picked out himself) – it just happened to have fallen out perfectly. He asked “will you?”, I replied with “will I what?”, and he said “marry me?” – and the tears ensued. Of course I ecstatically said YES to marrying my high school sweetheart! I later asked him why he decided to propose in our master bedroom. The reason was because it was our special place – we built and designed our first home together, no one had lived in this house but us, and our room was a special place just for us. That night we went for a lovely birthday/engagement dinner and I remember just saying all night “this is crazy, are you serious, is this real life?!”
Our Favorite Wedding Moments: Our day went absolutely perfect. My first favourite moment was when Christian & I were on the way to the venue in the limo with our best friends. We had champagne and did a toast, and it just reminded me of a Chuck & Blair (from gossip girl) happily ever after moment. My second favourite moment was during our ceremony and the tears of joy that Christian was shedding. And lastly, my father daughter dance (he doesn’t dance – probably his first time ever) – and also the beautiful toasts that he and all of our other friends and parents shared. I cried like a baby and it was awesome. When I asked Christian what his favourite moment was, he just said having all of his family together, partying and having fun.
Wedding Planning Advice: From the groom – as a guy planning a wedding, just embrace it! Have fun with it and just do it. I loved how Christian was so involved in our wedding planning. The heart sticks that decorated our isle and ceremony were his idea – would you have guessed?! It was a lot of fun doing our DIY projects together and I’m glad he embraced it. Also, it was Christian’s idea for us to pay for our bridal party’s attire from EPH Apparel and Sorella Vita. People always complain about how expensive it is to be in a bridal party, and we didn’t want anything to do with that. His philosophy behind it was the people we asked to be in our bridal party are doing us a favour, so to be part of our day should not be a huge cost for them. And I definitely agree. Christian’s gifts to his groomsmen were the custom suits they wore at our wedding – that they can definitely re-wear – what’s better than that? And let your bridesmaids be involved in picking their dress – you want them to look and feel fabulous on your big day too and be able to re-wear their dress to another formal event!
From the bride – when planning your own wedding, do your research, be organized, don’t procrastinate, be flexible, and don’t get stressed out. My life mantra is from Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds – “Don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing is gonna be alright”. And it will. Take your time, don’t rush. Have fun with it! Pinterest will be your best friend if you’re anything like me. But also keep in mind your budget and how much you’re willing to spend. I had many excel spreadsheets going on for research, budgeting, timelines, etc. and it helped out a lot! If you see an idea online that you absolutely love but you think it might break the bank – see if you can do it yourself. I taught myself how to use Photoshop and Indesign and created our wedding signage, table numbers, and seating chart, and now found a new love for graphic design! The only thing that’s not under your control is mother nature – so just put out positive vibes and hopefully she’ll listen!
Videography: Jill Tranquilla and Levi – Real Transitions