How Did You Meet?
We met in 2006 in a local pub in Derek's hometown, Calgary. Alanna was waitressing at the time. We both share the same zest for life and passion for the outdoors, and we just happened to hit it off.
Details About the Ceremony
The ceremony was held on our generous neighbors' property in rural Alberta; a beautiful log cabin which is used to hold private functions. We both love the outdoors, and because we weren't able to make it back to Alanna's hometown on Vancouver Island, this was the next best thing. We hired Double Tree farms to transport the bridal party from our house down to the ceremony site via horse drawn wagon, and we exchanged our vows on the front deck of the log cabin with our guests on the front lawn. We provided light refreshments, horse drawn wagon rides, and bocce ball games for our guests, along with a custom made photo cutout while we were off taking our wedding photos.
Details About the Reception
The reception was held in a large Quonset (large outdoor shed), which we mainly use for storing farm equipment, hay, some stalls for horses, along with a tack room. We hired two buses to provide transportation all night to ensure a safe ride home for our guests, we turned the tack room into a bar, had several kegs and filled up the horse troughs with beverages. Our catering company did a phenomenal job and guests are still talking about how great the food was. We opted out on having a traditional wedding cake and had a custom made three-tiered cake shaped pinata which was filled with salt water taffy. We hired a live country band (The Brant Anderson Band), and two-stepped the night away.
What was your favorite moment?
Alanna: I had many favorite moments, and to choose just one is very hard; so I will have to say the rope swing photoshoot was pretty awsome!
Derek: When my wife did her first kegstand in her wedding dress.
Why did you choose the location?
It was on our property and home to both of us now. We wanted to share this beautiful part of Alberta with all our of friends and family.
What did you love about the venue?
It was home; rolling country fields, with a beautiful view of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
All of the yard work on the property and neighbor's property for both the ceremony and reception sites. We had a lot of help from our friends and family.
What was the most comical moment?
It has to have been during the rope swing photoshoot when one of the groomsmen almost fell into the river!
Do you have any savvy money saving tips to share?
We bought some of our flowers from Safeway that we knew would be in season during the wedding, and put together our own center pieces. Also, we did a lot of online searches for decorations. Then, of course, the 50% off off-the-rack wedding dress.
What words of wisdom can you impart on future brides and grooms?
Don't sweat the small stuff! I had the clasp on my zipper to the wedding dress break before even getting to the ceremony. All of the ice cream treats and popcicles didn't make it to the ceremony as the freezer on site got unplugged. Not to mention the musician's amp blew right before the ceremony so we had no speakers or microphone, the wagon was running late getting the horses tacked up for the ceremony, and the best man forgot all the groom's side boutonnière and corsages ... and this was only the beginning of the day! I don't think I even noticed half of these things had gone wrong until the next day, because the day WON'T go as perfectly as you had planned it, so just enjoy it! Also, if it's possible, have the catering company set aside 2 full plates of the dinner for you and your husband to enjoy the next day. I remember the food being good, but could hardly enjoy the meal from all the nerves.