Eat Local. Drink Local.

This is a tale of a wedding that broke away from tradition, and celebrated the couple instead of the processes. The wedding had it's first nontraditional twist right from the beginning. Rather than follow tradition and not see each other before the ceremony, we had our first look at our own home before the ceremony. This eliminated so many of the wedding jitters and allowed us to have that time to just absorb the moment in private.

The ceremony was held at Aspen Beach Provincial Park, which was where we had our first real date. Our usher greeted everyone with infused water in mason jars and we had a snuggle up station which housed warm blankets, in case anyone was cold. Since our guest list was 65 years and younger, we decided to skip out on the cost of the chairs and go with cocktail tables, that were later moved over to the hall.

For our departure we had sparklers. I suggest using these on a calm night though as the wind made is difficult to light. I also recommend using these when it is a tad bit darker to get the full affect. They were beautiful once they got lit and definitely added a unique element to the evening. Other than the wind, the weather held out until right after we were finished pictures. The first raindrop hit the car window as I was getting into the car. The snow followed by the end of the following week. Talk about dodging a bullet!

Eat Local. Drink Local was the inspiration for this wedding. The venue was an old theater built in 1905. It even came equipped with a balcony, hardwood floors, stage and red velvet curtains. We wanted the event to have a farm to table/ Farmers Market feel to it. We achieved this by focusing our attention on a few different elements. First the bar. We constructed a pallet bar, our inspiration being a lemonade stand. All of our alcohol was from local vendors that I knew of from hosting an annual art show/ craft beer and wine tasting. It really was a fantastic collaboration from some amazing vendors in the area. We got all our beer from Snake Lake in Sylvan Lake. We opted for Mead (or honey wine) from Grey Owl in Alder Flats. Wine came from Shady Lane Estates in Barrhead, which has also recently taken on a distillery, West of the 5th. For hard alcohol we decided to try something different and went with Moonshine from West of the 5th. We wanted to maintain our Farmer's Market feel so we asked our bartender (and friend) to come up with some custom drinks for us; giving him a mickey of each of the 4 flavors and told him to have fun! He came up with some amazing cocktails and we named them appropriately.

Next came the food. Since we had a sunset wedding on the beach, and the wedding was more about the party with good friends, we opted to skip out on a traditional meal. In it's place we went with a Charcuterie/grazing table, which I still have trouble pronouncing. We purchased all the pickles from the local market, the veggies came from a local greenhouse (S4 Greenhouses) and the fruit came from my favourite BC Grower at the market (Souto Farms). The cheese was sourced from Sylvan Star Cheese in Sylvan Lake. The meat all came from 6th on the Block in Gull Lake who also plated and catered for us throughout the night.

The flowers were done by myself. After being in the business for almost 20 years (off and on) and having post secondary education in floral design, I really couldn't hand this department over to anyone else. And I am really glad I didn't! I had flowers ordered from a grower just outside Red Deer, but at the last minute I had an emergency and couldn't make it out. Luckily, our neighbors came through and I had 3 gardens at my disposal. I think the fun-est (that's not a word) detail was the stems of fresh raspberries, used as foliage and filler. The day before the wedding we had a decorating crew of around 15 ladies all pitching in and decorating tables, cutting veggies and setting up tables. I love my ladies! I could not have pulled this off with out them.

Best of all we pulled this wedding off with a budget of $10,000. Let me tell you my secret:

1) We were able to save money by having an evening wedding instead an afternoon wedding

2) Booked a little venue in our tiny little town, and

3) Offered a charcuterie table instead of a full meal.

4) Shopped local when possible

5) Of course, we saved over $1000 on the wedding by using home grown flowers and doing them myself.

6) Purchased all the linens and sold them after

This wedding was simple and very much had a hometown feel. It was about celebrating with friends instead of doing some distant relative (that you don't even know) would expect. It was about being with family that are friends and friends that are family.

Photography by Raelene Schulmeister For more picture, Visit her blog

Ceremony at Aspen Beach Provincial Park, Gull Lake, Alberta

Venue at Bentley Community Hall, Bentley, Alberta

Dresses by Novia Mia Red Deer, Le Chateau

Flowers by The Boho Baby Momma

Hair and Makeup by Bentley Beauty Salon, Beauty by Sara, Renew Eco-Salon

Table and Vase Rentals by Copper Cloud Events


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