An outdoor family wedding
By Elaine: When I think of love, romance and family Paige and Rob are an example of it all. It was a pleasure and honour to be part of their outdoor family wedding day here at Gathered. From officiating the ceremony to feeding the guests, nothing made me happier to see the affection and happiness that these two brought to this day. There was not a dry eye in the crowd as Rob and Paige shared their love with each other and Rob’s two sons. Their wedding will not be forgotten by anyone here at Gathered and be always be very dear to my heart.
WHAT ARE SOME TIPS OR THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE PLANNING AN OUTDOOR WEDDING?
This is an obvious one, but always plan for rain! We waited until 2 weeks before when we could see the forecast and surprise surprise, it showed rain. We rented 20 clear umbrellas for the wedding party and sent an email out to all our guests recommending they bring one of their own. Luckily there’s a big, clear tent at the Gathered that kept us safe from the rain but still able to enjoy the beauty of the farm.
Also, footwear! Make sure to tell your ladies that the ceremony will be on grass. No one wants to be sinking their heels into the dirt all day.
WAS THERE A SPECIFIC WAY YOU HANDLED THE NERVES OF AN OUTDOOR FAMILY WEDDING?
When the rain started to downpour 20 minutes before the ceremony I did have a bit of a moment…I won’t lie. But having all my best friends, sisters and mom in the trailer with music blasting took away all the stress. Rain is just rain! No matter what the weather was like, we were getting married and that’s all that mattered.
Oh, and wine. Wine helped.
WAS THERE A VISION YOU WERE WORKING TOWARDS FOR THE BIG DAY?
Yes! We wanted everyone to feel like they had been invited to a big family dinner in our own backyard. We love games, so we had lawn games set up and our favourite folk songs playing during cocktail hour. It was important to us that our guests feel relaxed, and really just excited to get to spend a fun night with 120 of their closest friends and family.
WHAT WERE YOUR TOP 3 FAVOURITE MOMENTS OF THE DAY?
1- The morning spent getting ready with my best friends, sister and mom at my house. I moved to Alberta 4 years ago to be with my (now) husband, and don’t get to see them too often anymore. Having them all together in one place for probably the first time in almost 10 years was just so, so nice.
2 – Walking down the aisle with my dad to see Rob and the boys standing at the front. I get super nervous in front of crowds, and as excited as I was to get married, I was kind of dreading that part. But, as soon as we reached the aisle and saw everyone standing up with huge smiles on their faces, I wasn’t nervous at all.
3-The reception! I know this “moment” was technically 6 hours long, but it was just so much fun. Seeing some of my family and friends getting along so well with Rob’s family and friends who they had just met made me so happy. And the dance floor was never empty! Even if half the time it was full of toddlers.
DO YOU HAVE ONE SPECIFIC MEMORY THAT YOU WILL CHERISH AS A COUPLE?
I think we will cherish the entire day. Honestly, I know it’s a major wedding cliche to say it was the “best day ever”…but it really was. If we had to pick one moment though, I’d say it was the “holy crap we’re married” moment our photographer captured so perfectly here:
WERE YOU WORKING TOWARDS CREATING A PARTICULAR ATMOSPHERE FOR YOUR WEDDING?
I think community sums it up well! Having all of our friends and family together in one place meant so much to us, and we really wanted them all to feel that. We wanted everyone to feel like one big family – which is exactly what we were becoming! That’s a big part of the reason why we chose to do dinner family-style – we wanted it to feel just like an outdoor family dinner at our house (for 120 people).
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO COUPLES IN THE PLANNING PROCESS?
Don’t leave things until the last second! The planning process can actually be quite a bit of fun (if you like that sort of thing), but stressing over whether or not the photographer you want is available or whether your dress alterations will be finished in time takes a lot of the fun out of it.
And, if you do get stressed…just remember why you’re doing it. It’s not for the photo ops or the pretty dress. It’s because you’re getting married. Any little kinks in your plan won’t matter at the end of the day.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING ABOUT YOUR WEDDING PEOPLE KEEP TALKING ABOUT?
The food! Seriously. The Southwest dinner was so, so good. The Gathered did an amazing job tweaking things to our requests, and the servers were great. We know that doing things family-style added a bit of stress for them, but you definitely couldn’t tell – and we appreciated it so much.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING THAT SURPRISED YOU?
I made these little place cards with everyone’s names on them that were supposed to be weighted down with wooden clothespins – a Pinterest idea, of course. Turns out people thought they were nametags and used the clothespins to wear them around all night. It was actually pretty helpful (and now I claim it was my idea all along).
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WISH YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF?
Not really! There are a million ideas and fun, pretty things to choose from when you’re planning your wedding. But, now that ours is finished it was exactly the way I wanted it to be and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Actually! That’s a lie. I would have bought more gin.
WAS THERE A WORRY YOUR FAMILY HAD THAT NEVER HAPPENED, OR HAPPENED BUT WASN’T A BIG DEAL?
We obsessively checked the weather report for 2 weeks leading up to the day. We wanted to do the ceremony in the field location, but wouldn’t be able to if it was raining. It was sunny all day until 20 minutes before the ceremony when it started to downpour and the wind was blowing all our decor over. I was frantically texting Rob telling him we needed to start moving the arch to the tent to do it inside, and he was telling me to just wait…he had a feeling it would stop. So of course, because he’s always right, 10 minutes later the storm stopped and we had the ceremony in the field after all.
The moral of the story is: don’t stress about the weather! You can’t control it and no matter what, you are going to have an amazing day full of love and all of your favourite people. A little – or a lot – of rain can’t stop that from happening.
WHAT DID YOU LOVE ABOUT HAVING YOUR WEDDING AT THE GATHERED FARM?
Everything! Elaine and Alysa are so wonderful to work with. They made it easy for us from the beginning, and were so professional and well organized on the day of. The farm is absolutely gorgeous, the food is amazing, and the staff are wonderful, kind people who truly make you feel at home on their property. I can’t say enough nice things about the Gathered – I relive our day there every day!
Photography: Laurel Rose Creative
Makeup: Glamaway Beauty
Desserts: Pretty Sweet YYC