Have you ever had an experience that leaves you feeling overwhelmed by love and friendship? I was reminded (yet again!) how extremely thankful I am to have been a part of our wedding day. I know that sounds weird… I mean, of course Xavier and I were a part of our wedding day since it was the day we got married after all. But it doesn’t matter how other people might see it, I felt like we were a part of something way bigger than us on that day. Maybe someday I will stop talking about it and looking at the photos, but I sure hope I never lose the wonder I feel when I see past the images and into the memories of what was going on behind the scenes.
I was shocked to get an email from Borrowed and Blue yesterday saying that our wedding was featured on their website. It was neat to see our pictures and read the review about what they liked about the wedding but as I was reading and scrolling I was hit by the part about wedding vendors. Melissa Elaine Photography captured our day perfectly and I am forever thankful for her skills behind the camera and her awesome personality, but aside from listing her, the rest of the section reads “This was a Do It Yourself” or “Family Friends”… after every vendor. EVERY SINGLE VENDOR. I feel like they should all say “Family Friends” or “Most Awesome Group of People the Bride and Groom have ever met”. I am sure I don’t even know all of what went on as people gave of their time, possessions and skills to pull everything together.
Here is what the vendor section probably should say…
Ceremony Musicians/Band & DJ – my little brother & Ian & Ellen, and Chuck Gilbert. I basically gave Ian, Ellen and Ben three songs that I liked and asked them to play for half an hour. They had to make my processional song the right length (since I was walking down a path outside) and then we asked Ben to double as a piano player and groomsman – jumping back and forth. And can I just say woah. They created some of the loveliest notes I have ever heard in that field. For the reception, I gave Chuck my iPhone with a playlist, two instructions and asked if he could MC (whatever that means) and can I just say WOAH. Chuck made the reception feel smooth and fun, he waited on Xavier and I hand and foot (asking every 5 minutes if we wanted more cookies or drinks) and all in all showed his friendship to us in a way that I hope I never forget.
Cakes & Desserts – I had a desire for pie and a ceremonial muffin. No cake. No cutting utensils. Just perfectly delicious pie and a cute little muffin. I had no idea how it would come together but after Sandy sent out a call for help there were ladies coming from everywhere to make pies. I would have laughed if someone would have accidentally added salt instead of sugar (like I would be prone to do) but instead they all presented flawless, SCRUMPTIOUS pies that looked and tasted amazing. Then we have the women who set up the tables and decorated them based on my scatter brained Pinterest boards (Carmen and Natalie, thank you. From the bottom of my heart it was perfect). THEN there is Xav and his dad who roamed the streets looking for the perfect wedding day muffin because the one I thought we would get didn’t work. The story of them driving up to the Tim Hortons drive thru just to ask if they had gourmet muffins still makes me laugh so hard that I cry.
Florist – I truly thought I was going to do it all in my mom’s garden. How hard can it be to grow flowers right? We planted a bunch of seeds and I was thrilled to watch as the flowers started to bloom a few weeks before the wedding. But my mom wasn’t just pulling weeds and watering the flowers outside our door, she was also using the money she earned from babysitting to put aside into a fund so that the bridesmaids and I could get bouquets from Suzie at the Perry Floral Gallery. When we sat down with Suzie, who I have had the pleasure of knowing through 4H for many years, I didn’t really know what I wanted or what would fit into my budget. Yet, she somehow took the few pathetic words I said and made the most perfect flower arrangements I have ever seen. Not only that, but she offered to trade some of the services for my time working on some photos she had. (So cool how different talents can be used to benefit different people!) I was expecting that she would show up on the wedding day with the bouquets for the girls and I and a boutonniere for Xavier. She came not only with those but she also brought some corsages for the parents and grandparents as well! She truly went out of her way to bless us and make it so special. For all the wedding flowers, a bunch of women came the day before the wedding and cut them out of my mom’s garden, cleaned them up and trimmed them to fit into the bottles. It happened so fast. So many hands touched those flowers.
Hair & Makeup – I had an idea of what I wanted and Tracy Chaffee made it happen to a level that I didn’t know was possible. I traded some photography for services again and I was touched at the extra level she went to on her end of the trade. From having hair and makeup practice runs, to meeting me at Macy’s in a downpour to try real makeup, to having me come and get my eyebrows shaped the week before the big day. She was amazing and I am so thankful for her talent and friendship.
Photo Booth – My dad set up the backdrop, my friends spent hours in the hot sun trying to help me get the flags and tulle to hang evenly and I raided some friends’ basements to pull together the accessories. Once again, it had so many people involved and yet it flowed so smoothly.
Tables and Chair Rental – some local churches and the town hall let me borrow their tables and chairs for the weekend. When one of the churches didn’t have all the tables and chairs they had offered to let me use, they had some people drive extra ones to our house late in the evening. Seeing strangers be so kind and thoughtful like that made me truly want to be a more generous and giving person.
Decor – This was by far the part I was most involved in, and yet the actual set up and finished product didn’t have my hands on it at all! I described the layout and drew little pictures and then a swarm of creative and beautiful ladies came in while I was getting my hair and makeup done and put it all together. They took everything from stations in the basement where I had left piles of books, quotes and golden bottles and perfectly arranged the tables as I watched it all from my bedroom window.
As I come to the end of this list I can’t stop thinking about everyone else that was a part of this event. From Mike’s car to Chris’ mason jars and lanterns, to my dad’s pagoda (and dance floor and benches and doors and everything) to the two women who offered to come get the food started during the ceremony so that Sandy wouldn’t have to… the list goes on and on and I am sure there are things people did that I will never even know about and there are for sure things that I’ve missed in this post. But the point of all of this is to say that I am undeserving to have everything attributed to DIY projects. I did very little of it by myself and I am SO THANKFUL for that. It is an honor to be featured in Borrowed and Blue (I remember looking at weddings on their site and using ideas from there to pull my own vision together). More than that, it is an honor to have friends and family who showed their love to us and our families over and over again. We are still deeply humbled and thankful by the support and examples of selfless love that everyone showed. Thank you.