Real Weddings

Romantic Tented Wedding – Aubrey & Douglas

“Doug and I met online through OkCupid, which still surprises me today! He was this really charming, intelligent young man in his late 20s, and I was a senior in college who was using a dating site casually. He struck up a conversation, and we ended up writing more than 60,000 words back and forth in messages in the month before we went on our first date to his favorite restaurant. At our first date, we talked until the restaurant closed. We were in very different places at the time, so it took us a while to develop a relationship that helped us both grow together. In the beginning, Doug told me that he thought two years was the appropriate amount of time to spend with someone to know whether he wanted to marry her. As our two year anniversary approached without a ring on my finger, I began to panic. Little did I know, Doug had actually planned several very romantic ways to propose to me, but something went wrong every time he tried to carry out a romantic plan. We knew we wanted to get married that summer, so he humored me and let me schedule a day to tour wedding venues together even though we weren’t officially engaged. After listening to my guilt about technically lying to the first venue about how we got engaged, he ended up proposing to me in my car in a Bruegger’s Bagels parking lot when we stopped for breakfast between venues. It was so cute and romantic even though it surprised us both!”

“Weddings are a seminal event in life. And Aubrey and I share a strong conviction that what has made weddings both beautiful and important is the larger context surrounding them:The context of family and friends, departed and present, and of community, coming together to celebrate and commemorate a changing of seasons in our lives;The context of faith, that as Christians,  my wife and I were making a lifelong commitment before God to one another, understanding that the only certainty in our lives is change, sometimes for the better, other times for the worse;And the context of traditions and of rituals, that we were taking part of a ceremony that ties us to millions of people throughout history, participating in an institution common to very nearly all cultures and peoples. Through these things, we sought to share a moment between ourselves and those present that was reverent, respectful, sacred, honorable, and unabashedly joyous. Tangentially, the ladies dressed in a warm, forest green, because it was flattering to each of the women in the warm midsummer, while the men dressed in tuxedos and diamond-point bowties because Matt Smith says bow ties are cool.”

“We had a lot of help with decorating! Doug’s mom came up with the idea to do it outside in a tent on a local golf course. We wanted something fresh to fit with the venue, so we focused a lot on whites and pale pinks and dark greens. Doug’s aunt and her friend did all of our flower arrangements. I handed them pictures of things I liked on Pinterest, and they created something beautiful. They put flowers and ribbons on the pews of our church and added ferns to help tie in the natural look. At the reception, we kept things pretty simple because the venue itself was so open and beautiful. The centrepieces were lanterns with some greenery and flowers wrapped around them. My mother-in-law and I potted succulents in little glass jars to make the seating cards/ favours. Additionally, my husband handled the graphic design, including all of our table markers, seating chart posters, programs, and invitations.”

“Our color scheme was very focused on an abundance of greenery and pale pink flowers. I had my heart set on peonies for my bouquets, but my florist (Doug’s aunt) was worried that they would be out of season. She worked her hardest to preserve some special for me to put in my bouquet. A few of the other flowers I liked were out of season, so she did her best to find alternatives that still matched the look we were going for. My bouquet had a couple peonies mixed with light roses and various shades of greenery. My bridesmaids had smaller bouquets with matching pale pink and white roses and greenery. The groomsmen’s boutonnieres  had a small succulent and pale pink roses. We included florals on our cake with a garland of green leaves and pink roses on the layers.  We included the same types of flowers from the bouquets and boutonnieres into the centerpieces at the reception. Both the ceremony and reception had some tall potted ferns, too.”

“Doug’s mom came up with the brilliant idea to include a play area for our younger guests at the reception by setting up some lawn games. I worked at a daycare in college, and we were able to invite several families I had babysat for years to join us for the wedding. We had so much fun dancing and playing with the children, including our very enthusiastic flower girl (Doug’s niece), and I think that was my favorite part of the wedding. (Strangely enough, there were sightings of some larger children enjoying the lawn games,  dressed in tuxedos and dresses. Fun, Ages 3+) Our groomsmen also had a surprise way of making the day personalized for us. I had previously joked with one of the groomsmen about having a dinosaur-themed wedding before Doug and I were even engaged. Well, he delivered by getting the other groomsmen involved in including dinosaurs throughout our day. They decorated our getaway car with dinosaur stickers and little plastic dinosaurs. They hid tiny toy dinosaurs in a crack in the prayer bench, which caused Doug to chuckle when we saw them while kneeling down to pray with me during a very serious part of our ceremony. They even had my Maid-of-Honor shove a toy dinosaur into my garter right before the garter toss, which greatly confused my husband. Another favorite part of our day was another gag by our groomsmen. While taking photos before the reception, the groomsmen grabbed a flag off the golf course and went running behind us in one of our portraits. Jess did a great job of capturing the whole incident, including our reactions!”

“Doug and I both wanted a very classic look for the wedding. He achieved this by clothing himself and his groomsmen in sharp black tuxedos with bow ties. I had no idea what kind of dress I wanted going into dress shopping, but I wound up having the classic cry-when-you-find-the-dress moment at my last shop of the day. I chose a button-backed lace A-line gown with an understated jewelled belt. The dress had a blush underlay that gave it a lovely softness. My veil had matching lace accents. I chose champagne-coloured open-toed shoes with a small heel and jewelled details that matched my dress. My only jewellery was a pair of heart-shaped emerald and diamond stud earrings that belonged to my grandma, who passed away before I met Doug.”

“For me, the most special moment was seeing Doug at the end of the aisle waiting for me. He and I both arrived at the church at the same time, so I got to watch him walk in while I hid in my car and waited for the all-clear. I heard him playing the piano in the room next door while I was getting ready at the church. I knew he was there, but it didn’t feel real until I saw him waiting misty-eyed and smiling as I tried my best to walk at a graceful and restrained pace down the flower-lined aisle. One of the sweetest photos from this moment shows the Best Man watching Doug’s response as he smiles at his approaching bride.”

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Photographer: Jessica Miller Photography // Venue: Sable Creek Golf Course // Cake Designer: Tiffany’s Bakery // Tuxedo & Mens Attire: Men’s Wearhouse // Dance Instructor: Fred Astaire Dance Studio // Bridesmaid Dresses: Albert Sung // Dress Store: Abbot’s Bridal // DJ: Burning River


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